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Judge John Minor Wisdom (1983)

Louisiana Legends



Genre: Interview

Place Covered: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1983-11-14

Duration: 00:27:02

Subjects: Desegregation | Dewey, Thomas E. (Thomas Edmund), 1902-1971 | JUDGES | INTEGRATION | School integration. | HARRASSMENT | VOTING RIGHTS | Wisdom, John Minor, 1905-1999 | 1952 Republican National Convention | United States presidential election, 1952 | Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 | Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 | United States federal courts | United States. Supreme Court | Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka | United States. Voting Rights Act of 1965 | United States v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 1966 | Politics | Civil Rights | Affirmative Action | Republican Party


  • Harrison, Joseph L., Jr. Assistant Director
  • Courtney, Beth Executive Producer
  • Grigsby-Breazeale, Kathryn Producer
  • Fourrier, Clay Director
  • Weill, Gus Interviewer
  • Wisdom, John Minor Interviewee


This episode of the series “Louisiana Legends” from November 14, 1983, features an interview with Judge John Minor Wisdom conducted by Gus Weill. Wisdom, a native of New Orleans, served on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, from 1957-1999. He discusses: his role at the 1952 Republican National Convention, including his aid in selecting Richard Nixon as Dwight D. Eisenhower’s running mate; managing Eisenhower’s 1952 presidential campaign in Louisiana; his view on Eisenhower’s legacy; his impression of Thomas Dewey; the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education and the 5th Circuit’s application of the ruling in desegregation beyond education; the harassment received by judges ruling in favor of African American Civil Rights; his lack of disappointment in not being chosen to the Supreme Court; the significance of the Voting Rights Act; and his decision in the U.S. vs. Jefferson County Ward as his most important case because it provided for the desegregation of public schools and affirmative action for African Americans.