Maddox, Lester

Segregationist Georgia governor, 1976 American Independent Party presidential candidate

Price: $60.00

Description:
Lester Maddox (1915-2003) 75th Governor of Georgia 1967-71. A popular, populist governor, Maddox came to prominence as a staunch segregationist. In 1944, Maddox and his wife opened up a combination grocery store/restaurant, Lester's Grill, then bought property off the Georgia Tech campus to open up the Pickrick Restaurant, known for its specialty, skillet-fried chicken. The restaurant became well known in Atlanta for large newspaper ads with cartoon chickens. Following the 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision, the ads more and more featured the cartoon chickens commenting on political questions of the day. Following passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he sued to continue his segregationist policies and said he would close his restaurant rather than serve black people. Unable to win his case, he became a martyr to segregationist advocates by selling the restaurant to employees rather than agreeing to serve black customers. During his ownership of the Pickrick, he twice ran for mayor of Atlanta (1957 & 1961). In 1962, he ran for Lieutenant Governor and lost, but gained valuable recognition across the state. When Maddox sought the 1966 Democratic nomination for Governor, his principal opponent was former governor Ellis Arnall. He came in 2nd (State Senator Jimmy Carter came in 3rd), then ran in a run-off against Arnall, resulting in a primary victory for Maddox. In the election, Howard "Bo" Callaway, 1st GOP congressman elected from Georgia since the close of Reconstruction, won a plurality, and Maddox finished 2nd. Under election rules in effect, the state legislature was required to select a governor from the 2 candidates with the highest number of votes. With the legislature dominated by Democrats, all required to sign a loyalty oath requiring them to support Democrats only, Maddox became Governor, serving 1967 to 1971. Maddox campaigned hard for states' rights and manifested anti-black sentiments while in office. Upon the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., he denied the slain civil rights leader the honor of lying in state in the Georgia state capitol. Also, he endorsed George Wallace, the pro-segregation American Independent Party candidate in the 1968 presidential election. Under the 1945 Georgia constitution, Maddox was prohibited from running for a 2nd consecutive term, necessitating a 1970 run for Lieut. Governor. Although Maddox was elected as a Democrat at the same time as Jimmy Carter's election as Governor, they were not running mates. Carter and Maddox found little common ground during their 4 years of service, often publicly feuding. Maddox ran again for governor in 1974 but lost in the Democratic primary to George Busbee. When Carter ran for President in 1976, Maddox ran against him as nominee of the staunch segregationist American Independent Party. Maddox and running mate William Dyke of Wisconsin received 170,274 votes, less than 1 percent of the vote. He made a final unsuccessful 1990 bid for governor. ISP, 10 x 8 color bust satin finish portrait of Maddox, photograph by Don Simmons of Atlanta, inscribed and signed with sentiment in red ink at right side center.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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