WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. condemning the Georgia state legislature for refusing to seat Julian Bond at a press conference held in Atlanta, Georgia, 1966 January 13

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. condemning the Georgia state legislature for refusing to seat Julian Bond at a press conference held in Atlanta, Georgia, 1966 January 13

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Creator:WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Title:WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. condemning the Georgia state legislature for refusing to seat Julian Bond at a press conference held in Atlanta, Georgia, 1966 January 13
Date:1966 Jan. 13
Description:

In this WSB newsfilm clip from a press conference held in Atlanta, Georgia on January 13, 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. condemns the Georgia legislature for its refusal to seat Julian Bond for his support of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee's (SNCC) position against the Vietnam War. The clip's audio track is inconsistent; some comments may not be completely recorded. Dr. King recognizes the constitutional right to dissent and cites the founding fathers as historical precedent. He "finds it alarming and disturbing to find our nation moving on an obviously unalterable course when dissent is equated with disloyalty." King proposes that America's greatness comes through the right to free speech. He criticizes the Georgian legislature for implying "the people of Fulton County's 136th district cannot decide who is to represent them in this body." Pointing out that over eighty-two percent of voters in the district voted for Julian Bond, King calls upon governor Carl Sanders to reschedule an election to fill the vacant legislative seat and upon people of good will--both white and black--to engage in "creative protest." King indicates some of his interest in the legislative situation comes from his work promoting voting among African Americans; also as a resident of the 136th district, he is concerned that the vacant seat be filled in a timely manner. Demonstrating his concern, he intends to update his voting registration that day. In addition to possible direct action protests, King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) support legal action to assist Julian Bond. An unidentified man off camera announces a fifteen minute break, and the clip pauses. After the break, King presents direct action and legal action as a dual approach by the SCLC as a way to "dramatize the issue," giving citizens a chance "to participate and to express their outrage and their indignation." A reporter begins to ask a question, and King mentions that the legislature does not have to be in session for protests. Several unseen reporters try to ask questions before a break in the clip, after which discussion moves to the SNCC statement condemning the war in Vietnam. When asked if he endorses the SNCC statement, King, who repeatedly spoke out against the war, endorses the statement "in principle." Citing the multi-faceted drain on the country, King encourages the federal administration to support peace. A reporter seeks to clarify King's reaction to the SNCC statement which labeled the United States as an "aggressor." King declines to argue semantics with the reporter and refuses to take a position for the SCLC without consulting the executive board. Asked if Bond would have been elected if he had spoken out against the war before the election, King replies that he doesn't believe voters would have punished Bond for his position and outlines a possible timeline for a special election to replace Julian Bond. King discusses those who agree with Bond in protesting the war, including himself and "many outstanding congressmen," although he says he does not know enough about the opinion of African Americans in Atlanta in relation to the war to anticipate their reaction. King also clarifies his position relative to the draft; while he has never advocated evading the draft, he does support the right of conscious objectors to have alternative service. Continuing, he proposes that the country should recognize the work of the Civil Rights movement as valuable enough to be an alternative to military service. Several reporters attempt to ask questions, and King stresses unity with other civil rights leaders in Atlanta on the issue of Julian Bond in the legislature. The clip ends with a man off-screen thanking the reporters for their time. Julian Bond, SNCC communications director, was elected to the 136th district of the Georgia legislature in November 1965, one of ten African Americans elected to the legislature that year. After Bond publicly endorsed the SNCC anti-Vietnam statement and said he respected those who burned their draft cards, members of the House of Representatives voted 184 to twelve to not allow him to serve in the House on January 10, the first day of the legislative session. Later that year the United States Supreme Court ruled that Bond's statement was within his first amendment rights, and the Georgia legislature had to seat him. Bond served as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1965 to 1975.

Title supplied by cataloger.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.

Types:Moving images | News | Unedited footage
Subjects:King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | Bond, Julian, 1940- | Sanders, Carl Edward, 1925- | Press conferences--Georgia--Atlanta | Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements | Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Public opinion | Public opinion--United States | African Americans--Attitudes--Georgia--Atlanta | Freedom of speech--Georgia--Atlanta | African Americans--Suffrage--Georgia--Atlanta | Governors--Georgia | Direct action--Georgia--Atlanta | Reporters and reporting--Georgia--Atlanta | Legislators--Georgia | Georgia. General Assembly | Georgia. General Assembly. House of Representatives--Elections | Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.) | Southern Christian Leadership Conference | Atlanta (Ga.) | Fulton County (Ga.)
Collection:
Institution:Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Contributors:King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | Digital Library of Georgia | Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection | Civil Rights Digital Library Collection (Digital Library of Georgia)
Online Publisher:Athens, Ga. : Digital Library of Georgia and Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia Libraries | 2007
Original Material:

1 clip (about 10 min.): color, sound ; 16 mm.

Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection.

Rights and Usage:

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. condemning the Georgia state legislature for refusing to seat Julian Bond at a press conference held in Atlanta, Georgia, 1966 January 13, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1346, 4:57/15:11, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Related Materials:

Forms part of: Civil Rights Digital Library.

Persistent Link to Item:http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/crdl/id:ugabma_wsbn_49968