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Governor J. Lindsay Almond Inauguration Speech
(WDBJ Television, Roanoke, VA)

Governor Almond's speech described a difference between states' rights and what he called "states' responsibilities." Almond considered the federal union a "compact" between the states and that nothing in American history, not even the "tragic" Civil War, had changed these fundamental principles. Almond rested the South's position on desegregation on "these plain and unequivocal facts of history" and called for the South to educate the rest of the United States about this history. Virginians, Almond claimed, faced "an ever deepending constitutional crisis." "No public school can function at the point of a bayonet," Almond proclaimed. "Integration anywhere means destruction everywhere," Almond reiterated. Almond's speech drew the conflict over integration in public schools as part of a broader constitutional crisis, one that threatened the foundations of the republic in the face of the everpresent Soviet Communist threat. In this speech Almond used Cold War rhetoric, mentioning Sputnik and condemning what he saw as growing "collectivist" tendencies in American government.
About the film
  • Date: January 11, 1958
  • Sound: Yes
  • Duration: 20:43
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