The Capital: Mr. Smitherman Goes to Washington

In Washington, all bars and most restaurants close at midnight on Sunday. It was well after midnight on Sunday, April 4, when Joseph T. Smitherman, 35, the race-baiting mayor of Selma, Ala., and his home-town friend, Attorney Joe T. Pilcher Jr., 35, decided they were hungry and thirsty.

The mayor was in Washington for a television interview, the first time he had ever been north of North Carolina, and he was uncertain about where to go at that time of the night. He and Pilcher left their room in the Sheraton-Carlton Hotel, went...

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