Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Barbour’s Memory

Via TPM, GOP presidential hopeful Haley Barbour remembers what it was like to be in the forefront of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.

A leading historian is throwing into question recollections from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) that he watched Martin Luther King, Jr. speak in his Yazoo City hometown as a teen.

In an interview with the Weekly Standard in December, Barbour described standing on the outskirts of a rally to hear MLK.

“I remember Martin Luther King came to town, in ’62. He spoke out at the old fairground and it was full of people, black and white,” he said. But Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Garrow told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger this week that records show no signs of any such appearance.

According to Garrow, as well as interviews with a local NAACP activist who met with King and the owner of the local paper at the time, King’s only recorded appearance in Yazoo City was in 1966 and included no rallies.


According to Barbour, he went with friends to check out the scene at an MLK rally in Yazoo City, but he could no longer remember details of the speech.

“I don’t really remember,” he told the Weekly Standard. “The truth is, we couldn’t hear very well. We were sort of out there on the periphery. We just sat on our cars, watching the girls, talking, doing what boys do. We paid more attention to the girls than to King.”

I think he’s mistaking that for the time that he was at Woodstock and saw the Beatles play a set with Bob Dylan.

By the way, remember all the ruckus Hillary Clinton got into when she said she was under sniper fire in Bosnia and had to run for cover, and how the press jumped all over her for it? Those were the days.