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.
These stamps were handed out during Lurleen Wallace’s 1966 gubernatorial campaign. George Wallace’s presence on them signaled to voters the true meaning of her run for governor as a way for him to serve a second, but unconstitutional, consecutive term. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)
Lurleen Burns Wallace was Alabama’s 46th governor, serving from 1967-68. Although she was largely elected to provide an unofficial second term to her husband, George Wallace, Lurleen Wallace was much beloved by the state’s citizenry and elected with an overwhelming majority. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama)
The funeral procession for Governor Lurleen Wallace proceeds along Dexter Avenue toward the Capitol in Montgomery on May 9, 1968. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Alabama Department of Archives and History)
Lake Lurleen, Tuscaloosa, 2013. (AJ4TBama, Wikipedia)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.