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American Experience

George Wallace: Settin' The Woods On Fire (Pt.2) (#1207)

In part 2 of this historical biography of George Wallace, the Alabama governor sets his sights on the White House. Running as a plain-talking, no-nonsense, conservative independent, Wallace nearly succeeds in gaining enough popular and electoral college votes to move the decision to the House of Representatives. Newly-elected president Richard Nixon takes note of Wallace's domestic political power among conservative anti-civil rights, anti-integration voters. Wallace appoints himself as the champion of the "Rednecks" and poor southern whites. A new love and wife enters the widowed governor's life (Cordelia) and joins him on the campaign trail. In his second attempt for the U.S. presidency in 1972, Wallace is shot several times by an attention-seeking assassin. Wallace survives but is bound to a wheel chair for the rest of his life. Though the mental anguish of his disability marks the bitter end of his political career and also his second marriage, Wallace experiences a personal and moral revelation. He seeks forgiveness from the Black community, political enemies and civil rights activists that he fought against for his political life. [86 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation.

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