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- WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection
- WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Fulton County Young Republican president Mr. Thornwell speaking to a reporter about civil rights legislation, about mayor Ivan Allen, and about senator Barry Goldwater in Atlanta, Georgia, 1963 October
- WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
- Date of Original:
- Reporters and reporting--Georgia--Atlanta
Bills, Legislative--United States
Civil rights--United States
Civil rights movements--United States
Discrimination in public accommodations--United States
Right of property--Georgia--Atlanta
Governmental investigations--United States
Political candidates--United States
- Allen, Ivan, 1911-2003
Goldwater, Barry M. (Barry Morris), 1909-1998
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
- United States, Georgia, Fulton County, 33.79025, -84.46702
United States, Georgia, Fulton County, Atlanta, 33.749, -84.38798
- moving images
- In this WSB newsfilm clip from October 1963, the president of the Fulton County Young Republican Club, identified as Mr. Thornwell, speaks to an unidentified reporter about proposed civil rights legislation; Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen; and senator Barry Goldwater's chances for election in the 1964 presidential campaign. The visual portion of the clip is inconsistent and fades in and out several times; also some questions and responses are not completely recorded.
The clip begins with Mr. Thornwell speaking to a reporter about the public accommodations portion of the proposed civil rights legislation under congressional consideration. Thornwell believes that public accommodations laws are "aimed at destroying and undermining private property rights" and asserts "the majority of the citizens have rights which should not be taken away at the expense of any minority." The reporter appears to test the microphone before asking Thornwell to comment on Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen's testimony about the civil rights legislation to the Senate Commerce Committee on July 26,1963. Thornwell condemns Allen's testimony as "a turn-coat performance" to court political advantage with president John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy. He claims that the passage of the public accommodations law will hamper the current racial harmony, which was achieved through the efforts of leaders of both races. He further suggests that Allen's political future in Georgia may be limited and that Allen hopes president Kennedy will appoint him to a federal position. Thornwell anticipates Allen's political efforts with the Kennedys will fail because Georgia will vote for a Republican candidate in the 1964 presidential elections. Asked to evaluate Allen's chance for reelection after supporting the federal civil rights legislation Thornwell replies that "reasonable, responsible citizens of this community will recognize his wishy-washy position" on race as well as on other issues and will not reelect Allen in the 1965 mayoral election. Thornwell begins to outline the position of the Fulton County Young Republicans on the federal civil rights proposals by saying that Republicans are not segregationists: he further states that the proposed legislation was born out of demonstrations that the Kennedy brothers encouraged. Later Thornwell pledges that if Arizona senator Barry M. Goldwater is nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, "the Young Republicans will put thousands of people ringing doorbells and in the streets to back his presidential prospects." The clip ends with the off-screen reporter speaking to the cameramen and thanking Thornwell for his comments.
President John F. Kennedy promised civil rights legislation in a June 11, 1963 address following the peaceful integration of the University of Alabama campus. Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen was the only southern mayor to support the legislation in congressional hearings. However, Congress delayed the legislation until after the assassination of president Kennedy when it was taken up again at the encouragement of president Lyndon B. Johnson. The legislation passed as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and did include a public accommodations section which required businesses serving interstate travelers to serve customers regardless of race, leading to court cases with the Heart of Atlanta Motel and the Pickrick Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia.
Title supplied by cataloger.
- Local Identifier:
- Clip number: wsbn45292
- Metadata URL:
- Digital Object URL:
- IIIF manifest:
- Bibliographic Citation (Cite As):
- Cite as: wsbn45292, WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Fulton County Young Republican president Mr. Thornwell speaking to a reporter about civil rights legislation, about mayor Ivan Allen, and about senator Barry Goldwater in Atlanta, Georgia, 1963 October, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1094, 2:21/06:08, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia
- 1 clip (about 3 mins., 47 secs.): black-and-white, sound ; 16 mm.
- Original Collection:
- Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection.
- Contributing Institution:
- Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection