After being utterly rejected by the egalitarian National Party the Dixiecrats would head down South to Birmingham, Alabama. They wanted to get back to friendly territory. Birmingham itself was protected by Bull Connor, the fiery Alabamian who had made his outrage clear during the National Convention in Philadelphia. On the Saturday of July 17th, a group of 6,000 Southerners would meet at Birmingham’s Municipal Auditorium to act. The meeting was originally planned by the organizers to be an American themed event with only the US flag as to avoid a “sectional atmosphere”, but luckily a flag company down the street began selling Confederate flags, to which many Dixiecrats made sure to stop by. I should note that the flag disagreement, though small, sort of reflects the fractions within the “Dixiecrat Party” itself. Many of these people wanted their movement to be non-sectional including Governor Thurmond, yet they were being unrealistic. The rest of the nation simply had already proven they didn’t care for states’ rights or constitutional rule. They proved that at the National Convention. However, many Dixiecrats still imagined they could win support outside of Dixie. This in effect would retard their efforts to create a Third Party as they wouldn’t be able to solidify their existing strong points while they simultaneously tried to attract outsiders. The Birmingham Convention however would embrace the Southern identity fully. The event itself had many attendees, though not many currently elected office holders, something that would be noted. The office holders who did attend were Governors Wright and Thurmond, former Alabama Governor Dixon, former Governor Hugh White of Mississippi and Sam Jones former governor of Louisiana. Both of Mississippi’s US Senators also attended as well as a few of their congressmen. Many Southern leaders wimped out though and didn’t come. This would hurt the public image and legitimacy of the event. It should be said that plenty of legendary fire brands and ex-office holders were in attendee such as the aged “Alfalfa Bill” Murray, former Oklahoma governor, Gerald LK Smith, an ex-Huey Long chief and now leader of the far-right Christian Nationalist Party. Other firebrand men included J.E Perkins, author of The Jews Have Got the Atomic Bomb; the fiery J.B Stoner, leader of the Anti-Jewish party; and Jessie Welch Jenkin, president of the Patrick Henry Organization, which wanted to destroy the two-party system by abolishing both major parties.
The event was also rushed, as it was only really planned out a few days beforehand. Even the intent of the Convention/party remained blurry especially on the query of whether to run their own candidates for the presidency or to withhold their states electoral votes from Truman. One thing the Party didn’t lack, now officially named the States Rights Party, was youth. Many Southern college students from across the South made sure to attend.
“College students from Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, and Mississippi who had caravanned to Birmingham to participate in the conference provided much of the energy and color during the proceedings. Among them were seventy-five students from the university of Mississippi who, reflecting the socioeconomics ties of many of the states’ rights supporters, came decked out in planters’ hats and carried the confederate flags. Treated as if they were state dignities, the students had the honor of a state highway patrol escort that led them to the Alabama border” (The Dixiecrat Revolt, page 136)
Its hard to imagine the average college student today going out of their way to do anything productive, much less for their own people, especially if their people are White. Yet one must remember in 1948, many of our Southern colleges were still under our firm control. Many of these colleges embraced their identity and Southern heritage, monuments, and Southern names adorned their Dixie campuses and halls. These students were raised to love their Southern roots and the colleges reinforced that love while building young Southerners up. Now, Southern colleges, as well as colleges in general, are under the control of radical cultural Marxist who utterly hate the White race and especially the “backwards” Southerner. This is why they send their wicked hedonistic brainwashed students to tear down our monuments and why they are so determined to remove any mention of the former White owners and founders of these universities. They want to steal our identity. The Dixiecrats were the ones trying to stop this from taking place.
As stated before, the Convention would come to embrace their Southern roots. The Confederate battle flag could be seen all throughout the auditorium. After the band struck up Dixie, to the much delight of the crowd, the speaking began. The first few speeches were given by chairmen Walter Sillers and then by Senator Stennis, one of the two previously mentioned Mississippi Senators, then by Florida Senator Frank Upchurch. They all gave speeches condemning Truman and calling for states rights to be maintained, then ex-governor Frank Dixon took the podium to give the keynote address. Dixon cut to the chase and touched on the real problem the South was facing, that being the threat of negro domination and a hostile takeover. Dixon called out the quisling president for “trying to enforce a social revolution in the South”.
“Dixon warned that Truman meant to eliminate segregation in public schools and private schools ‘from grade schools though colleges.” (The Dixiecrat Revolt, page 137)
Dixon also warned the crowd that once Blacks were added to the schools it would inevitably lead to a growth “in immorality, in vice, [and] and crime.” How can anyone, who isn’t a godless libertine, argue that public schools haven’t become havens and breeding grounds for moral debauchery? Once more Dixon accurately predicted that integration wouldn’t just end at schools but would expand to all aspects of White’s lives until nothing was left.
“Dixon continued harangue against the president by attacking the other civil right proposals. He warned that the creation of an permanent FEPC would require all businesses to meet racial hiring quotas, and that the elimination of the poll tax would result in mass registration of ignorant, uneducated, unqualified blacks. An antilynching law was unnecessary, Dixon argued, because “we…know that there is no lynching in the South.” “Government is a dangerous thing,” Dixon warned. And he employed his white southern brethren to protect basic democratic principles to guard against the establishment of a police state. Failure to fight Truman’s “vicious program” would inevitably “reduce us to the status of a mongrel, inferior race, mixed in blood, our Anglo-Saxon heritage a mockery” (The Dixiecrat Revolt 137)
The enthusiastic Convention gave him a roaring applause, one that lasted nearly 20 minutes, rightfully so. Dixon’s words have proven prophetic and been proven true again and again. Dixon was right about it all. One has to wonder if the man had a crystal ball. We our living in the nightmare world, “Clown World” if you’d like, that the far-sighted Alabama Governor warned of. The activist state with all its anarcho-tyranny style of rule has been established. Race mixing is now rampant. Our cities have been turned to crooked slums by the dim-witted gib loving black masses. Frank Dixon was right.
The next speaker and the last that morning was Texas state Rep. Lloyd E. Price, who tore into the New England Yankees for once again sticking their noses in the South’s business. The convention would then exit for the days lunch.
One problem which behind the scenes was being dealt with was the election of the States Rights Candidates for President and Vice President. The States’ Righters had originally planned to put Governor Thurmond and Governor Ben Laney on their presidential ticket, yet Laney would backtrack and would show a total lack of interest in the movement. Many People believed he had return to Arkansas after the Philadelphia DNC instead of heading to Birmingham. He instead had arrived at Birmingham on Friday, only to hide away in his hotel until he decided to withdraw his name from the nomination. He would take the Democrat loyalist approach and condemn the Third-Party strategy. While lunch was happening, Thurmond was finally convinced by the Dixiecrat chiefs to accept the nomination. Once his candidacy was agreed upon they would wait for the afternoon session to publicly announce it. The afternoon session with ironically begin with Alabama Governor Folsom’s welcoming speech, Folsom was a party loyalist who was only there for appearances and votes. One of the more entertaining events that happen that evening’s session was Beulah Walker.
“The audience howled and stomped its feet when seventy-nine-old Beulah Walker, nicknamed “the wool hat woman of Byron, Georgia,” expressed her enthusiasm for states’ rights by performing an impromptu jig on the auditorium stage” (pg. 139)
At 6:00 Pm, the revolting Southerners would officially nominate Wright and Thurmond as their presidential ticket. Dixie would be struck up as the Palmetto Governor walked to the stage, with his Confederate flag waving and General Lee portrait carrying young supporters in escort, Strom would then take to the deliver to deliver his acceptance speech to the cheering Southerners. He roared to the audience that they weren’t to be taken for granted saying “for our loyalty to the party we have been stabbed in the back by a president who has betrayed every principle of the Democratic party in his desire to win at any cost”. He reaffirmed that the Party’s goal was to save states’ rights and constitutional government. Then in his closing words he defiantly yelled “There’s not enough troops in the army to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the Negro race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our schools and into our homes,” to which the convention hall erupted in a booming applause and cheers.
The Dixiecrats would have a difficult task ahead of them. Their task was that they must break the solid South and throw the election against Truman. He must not win. His victory would show that his strategy of pandering to blacks while ignoring the White South was a winning tactic to be used again. This would lead to the eventually disfranchisement of White Southerners from both parties. It was vital that the Dixiecrats break the party dogma and revolt. If they could break off enough Southern states from the Truman ticket than they could stop either party from getting the necessary number of electoral votes needed to become President. This would throw the vote to the House of Representatives where the both the major parties would need to make concessions to the South. They were hoping they could mobilize the Southland to act as a separate united political force. The Dixiecrats had little time left to do that but they would try.