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Truman: Wallace “Making an Ass of Himself”

Sept. 8, 1963 - Former President Harry S. Truman said today that Governor George Wallace of Alabama was “making an ass of himself” in using state troopers to prevent public school desegregation in his state. “The Governor,” Mr. Truman said, “should be enforcing the laws rather than using his office to break them.” Mr. Truman gave his views in an interview during his morning stroll from the Carlyle Hotel, where he is staying during a visit to New York City. The 76-year-old former President said the actions of Governor Wallace as well as those of other staunch segregationists “have been most injurious to our image abroad.” Asked whether the U.S. should continue giving aid to President Ngo Dinh Diem’s South Vietnam Government in view of its apparent refusal to institute reforms, Mr. Truman replied: “A country which does not comply with the U.N. Charter does not deserve aid from any source.”

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