One of the most recent interviews was conducted
with former Attorney General of the United States Nicholas Katzenbach. Mr, Katzenbach was interviewed to discuss his
role in the Justice Department during the period when it was led by Robert Kennedy. He also discussed issues facing
President Kennedy, whose agencies were directed to lawfully enforce court orders. The interview, in particular, focused
on his encounter with then Governor George Wallace as students Vivian Malone and James Hood attempted to register to attend
the University of Alabama.
Below is a link to an interview conducted with Nicholas Katzenbach in May, 2010.
Despite Federal court orders, Alabama Governor George Wallace refused to allow two African-American students, Vivian
Malone and James Hood, to enroll at the University of Alabama. Choosing to make political opportunism a kind of kabuki
performance, Wallace tried to replace Federal authority with State authority. Assistant Attorney General Nicholas
Katzenbach was instrumental in ensuring that the Executive Branch would enforce the law. He confronted Governor Wallace
in a memorable exchange captured on film.
FINDING SOURCES-Nicholas Katzenbach on the Civil Rights Movement
What conflicts existed between the Federal Government and the State of Alabama in the period discussed
in this interview?
What does Mr. Katzenbach say about working with Robert Kennedy?
did a humorous moment with RFK's daughter, Kerry, break the tension that was mounting during Katzenbach's conflict with Governor
Why was this encounter between the State Department and the Governor historically important?