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Notre Dame Students Protest Governor Wallace

Apr. 29, 1964 - Hundreds of Notre Dame students opposing Governor George Wallace of Alabama staged a demonstration tonight that interrupted his speech defending segregation.

The men students, some women students from nearby St. Mary’s College, and a few nuns took part in the protest at a field house meeting. A crowd of 5,000 turned out to hear the Governor, a candidate for the Indiana Democratic Presidential preference primary May 5.

He was booed and hissed for more than an hour. Midway in his speech, a shouting, pushing effort and walkout that included the singing of the integration hymn, “We Shall Overcome,” stopped him for 10 minutes. The students carried picket signs that said such things as “Christ made us all one race.”

But the Alabama Governor, who said he thought segregation was best for most white and black races, also won rousing applause at some points.

He never lost his composure.

The meeting tonight followed a statement by faculty members calling Wallace the “current lightweight champion of segregation and America’s number one racist.”

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