Wallace's daughter, Holder praise marchers

March 9, 2009 at 10:29 AM
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SELMA, Ala., March 9 (UPI) -- A joint appearance by the late Alabama Gov. George Wallace's daughter and Eric Holder, the first black U.S. attorney general, held deep meaning, observers said.

The moment between Peggy Wallace Kennedy and Holder came Sunday as a part of Selma, Alabama's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee, held to commemorate the day in 1965 when state troopers and local police brutally beat civil rights marchers in the city, the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser reported.

Kennedy, whose father as Alabama governor was a staunch segregationist and a focal point for white backlash against the 1960s civil rights movement, introduced Holder at the event, noting they had another connection -- Holder's late sister-in-law, Vivian Malone, was the woman Gov. Wallace famously tried to block from entering the University of Alabama in 1963, the newspaper said.

"I so wish Vivian had lived to see this moment," Holder told the crowd, saying that Malone would have said "that the work is not yet done. We stand closer to the dream of Dr. (Martin Luther) King, but we have to keep marching."

Kennedy later walked arm-in-arm with civil rights leaders and members of Congress in the re-enactment of the Selma march, the Advertiser said.

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