Fluid set of relations between Pritchett and anti-segregationist groups
This excerpt reveals how Pritchett cooperated with Martin Luther King Jr. and the local press. Pritchett shares a personal interaction with King that demonstrates the amicable yet tenuous relationship between civil rights activists and their resisters.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Laurie Pritchett, April 23, 1976. Interview B-0027. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- LAURIE PRITCHETT:
...I remember one night Dr. King came to my office. It was about five o'clock, and my secretary come in with a telegram. I opened it up, and it was from my wife. It was our anniversary. And I read it, and then Dr. King says "Did something disturb you, Chief Pritchett?" I said, "Well, yes, in a way. This telegram's from my wife. It's our anniversary, and I haven't been home in two or three weeks." Dr. King looked at me and he says, "All right. You go home tonight, enjoy your anniversary, do anything you want to. There'll be nothing happening in this town tonight." And he said, "In the morning we'll take up where we left off." So I said, "Do you mean this?" He said, "You have my word." So I got in my truck and went home. We went out to dinner. When we came back to my house after we left the Victory club (a steak house) there was a bunch of cars out in front, and I thought something had happened. And it was the news media. This one you just mentioned from Raleigh was standing there, all of them. They'd went and got my wife a gift certificate and brought it back to the house to us. And we sat there and had a few drinks and talked. And then the next morning we took up where we left off. But I had good relations with the news media.