Kennedy orders Wallace to "desist"

WASHINGTON, June 4, 1963 (UPI)-President Kennedy today ordered Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace "to cease and desist" from any unlawful obstruction of justice in connection with the admission of two Negroes to the University of Alabama. The order, contained in a proclamation, was a final technical step required before the President could use federal troops, if necessary, to enforce the court order for desegregation of the university.

Kennedy said that as president he did "command the governor of the state of Alabama and all other persons engaged or who may engage in unlawful obstruction of justice, assemblies, combinations, conspiracies or domestic violence in that state to cease and desist therefrom."


Kennedy said he had "requested but has not received assurances that the governor and forces under his command will abandon this proposed course of action in violation of the orders of the United States District Court and will enforce the laws of the United States in the state of Alabama.

The proclamation took effect at 11:30 a.m. when it was countersigned, as all proclamations must be, by Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

The document was similar to one Kennedy issued shortly before dispatching troops to Oxford, Miss., to quell rioting at the university campus there.


It was titled "unlawful obstructions of justice and combinations in the State of Alabama."

The President acted under section 334 of title 10 of the U. S. Code. Former President Eisenhower acted under the same section before he sent troops to ensure admission of Negroes to Little Rock High School.

Under the section, Kennedy could federalize the Alabama National Guard or use "any other means necessary" to prevent obstruction of justice.

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