top of page

Senator Morse Hits Governor Wallace’s “Nervous Condition”

Sept. 5, 1963 - Senator Wayne Morse (D-Ore.) told the Senate today that Governor George Wallace (pictured) of Alabama receives disability payments for psychoneurosis incurred during World War II. The charge was promptly answered by Governor Wallace: “I receive 10% disability for a nervous condition caused by being shot at by Japanese airplanes and anti-aircraft guns in combat missions during World War II. To what does Senator Morse attribute his condition? I wonder if Senator Morse was shot at by enemies of this country. If not, I wonder what causes his nervousness. Maybe he was kicked in the head by a horse.” The Veterans Administration today confirmed that Gov. Wallace receives $20 monthly in disability payments, but declined to reveal the nature of the disability. “Such records are confidential,” a spokesman said. The spokesman added that Sen. Morse did not request Gov. Wallace’s record and that the V.A. did not send it to him. In his Senate speech, Sen. Morse said Gov. Wallace was hospitalized in September 1945 for “severe anxiety manifested by tension states, anxiety attacks, anorexia, and loss of weight.” The Senator said that after receiving disability payments in 1946, Gov. Wallace was re-examined by the V.A. in November 1956. Reading from what he termed the Governor’s “official records,” Sen. Morse said this second examination showed that Mr. Wallace “was tense, restless and ill at ease, frequently drummed the desk with his fingers, changed position frequently, sighed occasionally and showed a tendency to stammer, resulting in the diagnosis of anxiety reaction. The 10% rating was continued.” Sen. Morse concluded: “Since Gov. Wallace has not been examined since 1956, it would seem to be appropriate for him to volunteer to be examined at this time.” Earlier in his speech, Sen. Morse termed the Governor’s war record brilliant and “of decided service to his country.” He said Mr. Wallace engaged in nine combat missions in B-29s, participated in the offensive against Japan, and earned the Air Medal and good conduct medals.


bottom of page