George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire | 1999
Documentary about George Wallace, the governor of Alabama for 20 years and four-time presidential candidate. The program examines the life of the man who divided a nation and launched a conservative movement that transformed the country.
Born in 1919 in rural south Alabama, George Wallace was raised in tiny Barbour County. He caught the political bug early, becoming a Senate page at age 15. After graduating from the University of Alabama and serving in the Air Force in World War II, Wallace began the climb that would take him from state representative to circuit court judge to the 1958 governor's race. Running as a moderate alternative to John Patterson, his race-baiting opponent, Wallace was soundly defeated. Stung by his loss, he vowed to win the 1962 campaign for governor as the most defiantly pro-segregation candidate on the ticket -- he won easily. In 1972, Wallace built a new image as a presidential candidate, running as a Democrat. A Gallup poll of America's most admired men showed Wallace in 7th place. All was going well for Wallace until five bullets stopped him cold. Campaigning from a wheelchair, Wallace was re-elected governor twice more and made a fourth run for the presidency, but was defeated by Jimmy Carter.