On this day in Alabama history: Lurleen Wallace inaugurated as governor

On this day in Alabama history: Lurleen Wallace inaugurated as governor
Lurleen Wallace posed for her official gubernatorial photograph soon after her election. Born into a working-class family, Wallace was a popular figure among Alabama's white low-income electorate. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)

January 16, 1967

Lurleen B. Wallace was inaugurated as Alabama’s first female governor. Originally a stand-in candidate for her husband and former Gov. George Wallace, Lurleen Wallace eventually earned the admiration and respect of the public as she handily won the gubernatorial election. While in office, she continued her husband’s fight against federal, court-ordered desegregation but succeeded in bringing attention to the treatment of the elderly and mentally ill. She also advocated for the creation of more state parks and recreational facilities. Lurleen Wallace died from cancer only 16 months after taking office, and more than 30,000 Alabamians attended her funeral as she lay in state in the Capitol rotunda. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1973.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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