Montgomery, Alabama 1960. Part 2

We began our story yesterday. The family of Mother Goose traveled from northern Minnesota to Montgomery, Alabama in the autumn of 1960 to visit my uncle. Besides touring the obvious historical sites, they also paid their respects at the Oakwood cemetery where legendary country western singer Hank Williams had been laid to rest only seven years earlier.

Grandma and Geney with Hank’s monument in 1960.

Hank’s monument in recent times — his neighborhood is a little more crowded now.

People and places change over the years. Buildings age, monuments rust and molder. Trees grow, people die. Times change. Families change.

All of my dear family who went on this trip are gone now — Grandma and Uncle Fred, Mom and both of her brothers, Warnie and Geney…

Mr. Dylan taught us to sing “the times, they are a’changing…”

Montgomery, Alabama in 1960 was smack dab in the center of the civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King had been arrested and jailed earlier that year. Students at Alabama State College had followed his example of non-violent protest with a lunch counter sit-in. From our modern perspective, can we even begin to imagine a time when it was illegal for black people to eat at the same table as white people? Can we even remember 1960?

Students in Greensboro, North Caroline protesting segregation in February 1960.

Montgomery was the scene of extreme violence in 1960. This famous photograph was taken by Charles Moore.

This final picture, taken by my mom with her Brownie camera, easily and horribly illustrates the community’s acceptance of the Ku Klux Klan in the capital city of Montgomery in 1960. Just like those welcome signs posted by the local Lions club, or the Rotary Club or the American Legion, just another civic organization…

Fortunately, some things change. God bless America.

Montgomery, Alabama 1960. Part 1.

The family of Mother Goose traveled from northern Minnesota to Montgomery in the autumn of 1960 to visit my mother’s brother, Warren Mattson. He was a tall glass of water who easily acquired a hilariously rich southern accent and cowboy boots after he was transplanted there from Minnesota. He had a lot of attitude and a snotty Pomerian pup. Still, his family loved him enough to drive 1,300 miles for a visit.

Uncle Warnie and his cranky dog.

Uncle Warnie was a fine tour guide. They saw all the main attractions in the capital city of Alabama.

The Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama 1960

Today, the Capitol building looks about the same.

Not much has changed on the outside…

The State Department of Archives and History 1960

No doubt they’ve added some archives and history since 1960…

The First White House of the Confederacy, Montgomery, Alabama 1960

Some things change very little over time…

But thankfully, many things do.

I’m hoping you’ll return tomorrow when Mother Goose reveals a shocking picture from 1960 Montgomery. You don’t want to miss this bit of American history.

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June 2023