National States' Rights Party
National States' Rights Party
Founded in 1958 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the party was based on antisemitism, racism and opposition to racial integration with African American people. Party officials argued for states' rights against the advance of the civil rights movement and was dismissed by opponents as a Nazi party. The national chairman of the party was J. B. Stoner, who served three years in prison for bombing the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The party produced a newspaper, Thunderbolt, which was edited by Edward Reed Fields. In 1958, the party's first year, five men with links to the NSRP were indicted for their participation in the bombing of The Temple in Atlanta.
During the 1960 presidential election, at a secret meeting held in a rural lodge near Dayton, Ohio, the NSRP nominated Governor of Arkansas Orval E. Faubus for President and retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John G. Crommelin of Alabama for Vice President. Faubus, however, did not campaign on this ticket actively, and won only 0.07% of the vote (best in his native Arkansas: 6.76%). The party also ran in the 1964 presidential election, nominating John Kasper for President and J. B. Stoner for Vice President, although they won only 0.01%, i.e. less than 7,000 votes.
The party began to expand its operations and moved to new headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama in 1960. Supporters were soon kitted out in the party uniform of white shirts, black pants and ties and armbands bearing the Thunderbolt version of the Wolfsangel. Thunderbolt itself gained a circulation of 15,000 in the late 1960s and the party became active in rallies across the United States, with events in Baltimore, Maryland in 1966 being particularly notorious because five leading members were imprisoned for inciting riots. The Federal Bureau of Investigation targeted the NSRP under its COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE program.
The party attempted to gain international contacts, and during the 1970s took part in annual international neo-Nazi rallies at Diksmuide, alongside such groups as the Order of Flemish militants and the United Kingdom–based League of Saint George. Before that the party had been close to the British extremist leader John Tyndall and his Greater Britain Movement after Tyndall had failed in his attempts to forge links with George Lincoln Rockwell.
The party's influence declined in the 1970s, as chief ideologue Fields began to devote more of his energies to the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, in April 1976 U.S. Attorney General Edward H. Levi concluded an FBI investigation into the group, after it was decided that they posed no threat.
In the 1980s, the NSRP began its terminal decline when Stoner was convicted for a bombing in 1980. Without his leadership, the party descended into factionalism, and in August 1983 Fields was expelled for spending too much time in the KKK. Without its two central figures the NSRP fell apart, and by 1987 it had ceased to exist altogether.
The group had no specific connection to the less extreme States' Rights Democratic Party, although it did share some of its views. Similarly, the party has no direct connection to the group of the same name set up in June 2005 in Philadelphia, Mississippi after the conviction of Edgar Ray Killen for his role in three 1964 murders (although this group consciously picked the name to evoke Stoner's defunct movement).
- The Times, June 21, 1963, 250 Arrested In U.S. Racial Riots
- 'National States' Rights Party' from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- J. B. Stoner, 81, Fervent Racist and Benchmark for Extremism, Dies
- Profile of Edward Fields from Anti-Defamation League
- Webb, Clive. "Counterblast: How the Atlanta Temple Bombing Strengthened the Civil Rights Cause," Southern Spaces 22 June 2009
- Dayton Daily News, March 20, 1960, Faubus Named Presidential Candidate by States Rights
- Our Campaigns - Candidate - Orval E. Faubus
- Our Campaigns - Political Party - National States' Rights (NSR)
- Groups targeted by COINTELPRO
- Ray Hill & Andrew Bell, The Other Face of Terror, London: Grafton, 1988, pp. 165-166
- Richard Thurlow, Fascism in Britain A History, 1918-1985, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 269
- 'White People's Party Attempts Political Activity' from Anti-Defamation League