Montgomery, Ala. – On this 45th anniversary of the shooting of Gov. George Wallace, State Auditor Jim Zeigler sent a written request to Gov. Kay Ivey asking her to return the portraits of Governors George and Lurleen Wallace to their historic location in the state capitol rotunda.
Both Wallace portraits were removed from the rotunda in January, 2015 by the administration of then-governor Robert Bentley.
Zeigler tried four times in 2015 to get the Bentley administration to return the portraits. He cited Joint Resolutions of the 1983 Alabama Legislature that mandate that the two portraits remain in the rotunda forever.
Here is the text of Zeigler’s request to Ivey:
I hereby request that you return the portraits of Governors George and Lurleen Wallace to their legal and historical place in the capitol rotunda.
The Alabama Legislature passed joint resolutions in 1983 mandating that the Wallace portraits remain in the rotunda in perpetuity. It was clearly the legislative intent that this be done.
The Wallace portraits had been displayed in the rotunda until January 2015, when they were suddenly removed by the Bentley administration.
Your action in restoring the Wallace portraits to their rightful place would be a bold statement that we in Alabama respect our heritage and reject historical revision.
When I attempted to get the previous administration to return the Wallace portraits to the rotunda, officials of that administration reflexively thought up excuses not to do so. Each one of those excuses was flawed. If you were to hear reasons not to return the Wallace portraits, I would request the opportunity to meet with you to address those excuses.
On May 15, 2017, we observe the 45th anniversary of the attempted assassination of Gov. George Wallace. What a wonderful tribute it would be to Alabama’s only four-time governor and presidential candidate to have you right this wrong and restore the Wallace portraits to their historical and legal place.
Thank you for your consideration and action.