Special Report: Would George Wallace have voted for Barack Obama? - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Special Report: Would George Wallace have voted for Barack Obama?

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - History was made last week when Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States.

We've come along way since the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Bloody Sunday in Selma and former Governor George C. Wallace's historic stand in the school house door in Tuscaloosa.

Wallace later apologized for his segregationist views.

WSFA 12 News spoke with his daughter to find insight into whether or not Wallace would have voted for now President-elect Obama.

Peggy Wallace Kennedy believes there was a substantial chance her father would have come full circle and voted for Obama. In her CNN commentary, she wrote: "Perhaps it would be the last chapter in his search for inner peace that became so important to him after becoming a victim of hatred and violence himself when he was shot in a Laurel, Maryland shopping center parking lot."

"He started thinking about some of his deeds and words...," she recalls, "and wanted to work on maybe forgiveness."

Young Peggy Wallace spent her teenaged years in the Alabama governor's mansion on South Perry Street, arriving in 1963.

Her mother Lurleen, later to be governor herself, sheltered her children - guarding and keeping them out of the spotlight of the turbulent times. "She kept us children sorta in the dark...she really didn't want us to be exposed to publicity," Kennedy remembers of her mother.

In 1982, Mrs. Kennedy was a grown woman of 32 years when her father won an unprecedented 4th term in the state's top office. Governor Wallace had reversed his position on race from that infamous inaugural speech in 1963, and his unforgettable line: "segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

In an amazing turn of events, twenty years later thousands of black voters in Alabama openly supported Wallace and helped him win. Kennedy believes her father was a genuinely changed man. She adds that there was a genuine forgiveness from African-Americans as well.

Despite her father's direct or indirect role in the Bloody Sunday march in Selma in 1965, it's Selma in 1995 that she prefers to recall with her father being - quote- "welcomed with open arms as he was rolled through a sea of African-America men, women and children."

And with Barack Obama's election what does Mrs. Kennedy hope for both personally and politically with his presidency? "I see healing from him [Obama]," she says.

CNN says Mrs. Kennedy's commentary had more than a half-million hits before they stopped counting.

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