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D in the Heart of Texas             

Jerry T. Dealey

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The Pre-November ‘Hate’ Incidents

Early History of Texas
The Europeans and American Settlers
John Neely Bryan – And Other Early Founders
Some Wheeling-Dealing to Grow a City
George Bannerman Dealey
The Dallas Morning News is Born
The Great 1908 Flood
G. B. Promotes Other Early Dallas Growth
The "City of Hate"
Building the ‘Subway’, Triple Underpass, Dealey Plaza
The Other Buildings Around Dealey Plaza
The Elder G. B. Dealey
The Dallas "Citizens Council"
The ‘Right Wing’ Direction of Dallas - "City of Hate" Revisited
A ‘Turn-Around’ for the Dallas Morning News
The Pre-November ‘Hate’ Incidents
Dallas’ Law Enforcement
November 1963, Why Dallas?
Dealey Plaza Changes To-Date

What re-gained Dallas’ reputation as the “City of Hate”, in addition to its newspapers and politics, were a couple of incidents that occurred.

The first occurred during the 1960 election, where Senator Lyndon Johnson was the running mate of John F. Kennedy, running for Vice President of the United States. It became known as the “Lady Bird Spitting Incident”.

Although, Johnson was a Texas ‘favorite son’, he did not often get along with the citizens of Dallas, who traditionally voted Republican, in contrast to most of Texas. This was exacerbated by the editorials of the Dallas Morning News at the time. Johnson was seen by many as too soft on civil rights, and other ‘liberal’ causes.

The date of Friday, November 4, 1960, had been designated for months as a Republican “Tag Day”, where young Republican Junior Leaguers, and other good looking young girls walk the streets in pairs wearing pro-Republican (in this case Nixon-Lodge) stickers, and handing out Republican literature, tags and materials. Long after the event had been scheduled, it coincidentally turned out that LBJ would be ending up his campaign with a luncheon at the Adolphus Hotel, on the same day.

The intersection of Commerce and Akard streets, and both hotel lobbies were packed with attendees from both events. The Johnsons, who usually stayed at the Baker Hotel when they stayed in Dallas, started with their entourage through the crowded Baker Hotel lobby, across the crowded intersection, and through the crowded Adolphus Hotel lobby. According to Dallas witnesses, there were simply too many people in too little space.

The Republican ladies (mostly), resented the way the Johnson entourage (mostly men) tried to “shoulder their way through” their ranks, and much pushing, shoving, cussing and spitting ensued.

Lady Bird was visibly shaken. However, most Dallas observers later recalled that although there was some yelling and some spitting taking place, they doubt that any spittle actually found their mark. Many could not recall any spitting at all.

John G. Tower, the Texas Republican Senatorial candidate at the time, was waiting in the Adolphus Hotel lobby. He issued a statement to the press the next day that the Nixon supporters, nearly all housewives, were spirited in the statements, but orderly. He further pointed out that the Johnson supporters were nearly all men, and that they were the ones that started the pushing and shoving. Reporters later believed that which version you got largely depended on who the person telling the story supported.

The incident that shook the Dallas leaders, as well as the President’s supporters, was the Adlai Stevenson assault which occurred on October 24, 1963. This date had been declared “United Nations” day in 1948, and Stevenson, who was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations had been scheduled to make a speech at the Memorial Theater.

When Dallas right-wingers heard of Stevenson’s visit, they planned their own rally for the night before. Their rally included the speaker Major General Edwin Walker, a right-winger that had been fired by the Kennedy Administration for using his position to foist his political views onto the troops under his command. Walker’s speech that night was largely a lambasting of the United Nations, and its ‘goal’ of taking the American freedoms, power and wealth and sharing it with other countries.

To say the least, Walker’s rally incited the right-wing citizens of Dallas, who managed to infiltrate the Stevenson speech. (Many believe that Walker planted his own people in the theater.) They raised a loud ruckus at the Stevenson speech, and prevented his speaking for several minutes until security could usher them out. Outside the Memorial Theater, a number of anti-UN protesters had gathered, and when Stevenson came out, he left the line of bodyguards to go talk to one of the ‘ladies’ and hear what she had to say. The “lady” suddenly struck Stevenson with the sign she was carrying. Stevenson was not severely injured, although the blow stunned him. He even continued to talk to the “lady”, who insisted that another nearby black man had made her hit Stevenson. News cameras covered this event, and no such outside assistance can be seen in the film.

IE150-1.GIF - 6031 BytesD in the Heart of Texas - Table of Contents
03LEFT.JPG - 1910 Bytes A ‘Turn-Around’ for the Dallas Morning News
03RIGHT.JPG - 1880 Bytes Dallas’ Law Enforcement

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Last edited June 3, 2003