Civil Rights: Farce in Birmingham

"It was a farce," complained an aide of the Rev. Martin Luther King. And so it was. With the perfunctory trial and hand-slap conviction of three white roughnecks in a city court last week, another empty charade staged by Ala bama's Democratic Governor George Wallace was played out.

It started with a portentous announcement from the Governor's office two weeks ago as FBI agents probed deep into the bombing that killed four Negro girls at a Birmingham church (TIME, Sept. 27). "State investigators," Wallace boasted, "expect to break the Birmingham church case...

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