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Alabama


  • Originally published 06/13/2013

    George Wallace’s daughter lives in shadow of his segregationist stand

    For 50 years Peggy Wallace Kennedy has lived in the shadow cast by her father, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace, when he stood in a doorway and tried to stop two black students from integrating the University of Alabama.That single episode in the American civil rights movement — his infamous “stand in the schoolhouse door” — attached an asterisk to her name, she says. It’s a permanent mark she can never erase, despite her own history as a moderate Democrat who gave early support to candidate Barack Obama for president in 2008.“If you’re George Wallace’s daughter, people think the asterisk will always be there. ‘Oh, your father stood in the schoolhouse door,’” she said in a recent interview.Kennedy was just 13 at the time. Her mother, Lurleen Wallace, had whisked her away to a lake fishing cabin with her three siblings that day, so they would be nowhere near the wrenching historic drama in which her father played a leading role....

  • Originally published 05/04/2013

    Work ahead for Scottsboro Boys pardons

    Though the Alabama Legislature has cleared the way for posthumous pardons of the Scottsboro Boys, much work — from legal documents to public hearings — remains before the names of the nine black teens wrongly convicted more than 80 years ago are officially cleared.The Scottsboro Boys were convicted by all-white juries of raping two white women on a train in Alabama in 1931. All but the youngest were sentenced to death, even though one of the women recanted her story. All eventually got out of prison. Only one received a pardon before he died.The case became a symbol of the tragedies wrought by racial injustice. It inspired songs, books and films. A Broadway musical was staged in 2010, the same year Washington opened a museum dedicated to the case. The Scottsboro Boys' appeals resulted in U.S. Supreme Court decisions that criminal defendants are entitled to effective counsel and that blacks can't be systematically excluded from criminal juries....

  • Originally published 02/27/2013

    Rosa Parks statue set to be unveiled at Capitol

    Rosa Parks is famous for her 1955 refusal to give up her seat on a city bus in Alabama to a white man, but there's plenty about the rest of her experiences that she deliberately withheld from her family.  While Parks and her husband, Raymond, were childless, her brother, the late Sylvester McCauley, had 13 children. They decided Parks' nieces and nephews didn't need to know the horrible details surrounding her civil rights activism, said Rhea McCauley, Parks' niece....

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Bill to clear Scottsboro Boys in Ala.

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In 1931, Alabama wanted to execute the black Scottsboro Boys because two white women claimed they were gang-raped. Now, state officials are trying to exonerate them in a famous case from the segregated South that some consider the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.Two Democratic and two Republican legislators unveiled proposals Monday for the legislative session starting Tuesday. A resolution labels the Scottsboro Boys as “victims of a series of gross injustice” and declares them exonerated. A companion bill gives the state parole board the power to issue posthumous pardons....