The States: From Defiance to D

Standing proudly before the white pillars of Alabama's statehouse, the South's most luminous white hope vowed defiance of the tyrannical Federal Government and resolutely reaffirmed allegiance to states' rights. The band played Dixie; the crowd roared its approval.

That was in 1861, and the hero of the inauguration was Jefferson Davis. The ritual has changed not at all. If Lurleen Wallace, standing in the same spot as Davis and taking her gubernatorial oath on the same Bible, felt any sense of inadequacy about sounding the same shopworn theme—or even the slightest sense of deja vu—her inaugural address last...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!