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Governor Wallace Eludes U.S. Marshals

May 27, 1963 - A heavily guarded Governor George Wallace eluded U.S. marshals today, and legal papers formally notifying the Alabama Governor of a school integration suit were served on a Negro maid instead. The servant, Martha Davis, accepted the papers at the Governor’s Mansion after state troopers had kept two deputy marshals from handing them to Wallace himself. As she took the papers, the federal officers admonished the maid to “be sure he gets them.” In Washington, a Justice Department spokesman said the handing of the papers to the maid constituted a bona fide service, but Wallace, who flew to Decatur, Alabama today to make a speech, disagreed. He said the maid is a convict who works at the executive mansion and whose civil rights were removed because of a felony conviction. “It is ridiculous that these marshals served a Negro maid in my house,” the Governor said. “Civilly, she’s dead.” The suit was filed by the Justice Department in an effort to stop Wallace from carrying out his promise to appear in person at the University of Alabama and turn back two Negroes ordered admitted there June 10.


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