Farrisee, Anne. (199?). "Appendix D: The Julian Bond Case."
Retrieved July 27, 2002 from the World Wide Web:
Anne Farrisee, Project Historian at Georgia State University's Department of History, presents
this fascinating look at Julian Bond's struggle to claim the seat to which he was elected. It is
available online in the Georgia Secretary of State's Capital Guide.
Farrisee recounts the rich details of the special committee vote (23-3) and the full House vote
(182-12) that denied Bond his seat, and goes on to describe the involvement of Martin Luther King
in organizing a protest rally supporting Bond, and the local media's reaction to the whole thing.
Among the items of note are an account of newly elected Georgia State Representative J.C.
Daugherty, one of Bond's biggest proponents during this fight, being told by legislative leaders
during early negotiations:
"This boy has got to come before the committee, recant, and just plain beg a little.
We have got to have something to hang a hat on. If he will do that, it is going to put the
committee on a spot where they'll just have to seat him."
The frenzy to deny Bond his seat simply because he exercised his
right to speak out against the Vietnam War prompted The Atlanta
Constitution to write in its January 10, 1966 editorial:
"The Legislature today would best serve the dignity of the state
and the good of the country today by declining to make a martyr out
of Julian Bond.... Nothing could more greatly please the [SNCC] ....than
for is Legislature to lose its head and belabor Mr. Bond because of his
beliefs.... An ill-becoming act of smallness will reverberate cheaply
around the world.... It is far, far better to permit foolish speech to
go unpunished in America than it is to foolishly punish an American for
On January 14, 1966, Martin Luther King led a demonstration march on
behalf of Bond. Leading up to the march, media attention downplayed
interest in the event and predicted a low turnout. The next day the
press buried the stories of the larger than predicted crowd, Martin
Luther King's speech, and the message of the protest itself by
focusing attention on the troubles that occurred near the end of the
march. The Atlanta Constitution featured the headline "Troopers Repel
Pickets Trying to Rush Capitol," and led their coverage by detailing
the "brief but violent melee." In contrast Farrisee describes Martin
Luther King's speech in the following way:
"Despite cold weather, the march turnout was large enough [1,500]
to snarl traffic en route. Once at the Capitol, the protesters were
addressed by Dr. King, who stood on a truck bed, 'surrounded by a
sea of blue-uniformed state troopers who barred the entrance.' King
did not restrict himself to speaking just about Bond's right to be
seated, but also spoke about the immorality of the American war
effort in Vietnam. After his remarks, the marchers circled the
Capitol three times before approximately 100 of them rushed the
south entrance. After they were repulsed, the state troopers locked
the doors and took out their nightsticks and helmets."
Bond finally took his seat a year after he was first turned away,
but only after being twice re-elected to his own vacant seat and a
receiving a favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. At Bond's
swearing in, Representative James H. (Sloppy) Floyd (of the Supreme
Court case Bond v. Floyd) stormed out and called Bond "a shame and
disgrace to his race and to this state."