Snake Subsidy Ends; Bomb Shelter Craze Sailboat for Sale Imported from Florida to Dallas at a cost of $690, 12-foot sailing dinghy with Dacron sail. In as-new condition. “Half-Fast.” For $297 FOB. 7227 Fisher Rd., Dallas, Ph. TAylor 4-0445. A liberal boat for liberals only. Liberal From One Generation to the Next The Story of an ‘Oath’ ODESSA During the Hoover-Smith campaign of 1928, my father brought home a p a mphl e t, entitled “Knights of Columbus Oath,” that someone had given him in town that day. Although I was only a small boy then, I can clearly remember watching my mother shake with terror as my father read this infamous “oath” to us. It bound all subscribers to wage holy war against all Protestants and Masons, to swear allegiance to the Pope above any ‘heretical king, prince, or State, and even to place Catholic girls in the homes of Protestant families to spy on their activities. In our humble minds, there was no question of the authenticity of this pamphlet. There it was in black and white before our very eyes and that was that! Thirty-two years have passed since 1928, and this episode was long forgotten until a few weeks ago. I was returning to my parked car in Odessa when I noticed a circular under my windshield wiper. Glancing at it as I started to throw it away, I noticed that it was not like other -cirdulars. I examined it more closely, and then those thirty-two years raced back like a flash, for I was looking at a copy of the same “oath” that my father brought home. “Knights of Columbus Oath” read the caption, and underneath, “Reprinted from the Congressional Record, February 15, Page 3216.” I sat in my car and read the whole thing. Something was wrong, but I didn’t know what. I know several local business and professional men, all upright, loyal citizens, who are members of the Knights of Columbus. These men certainly didn’t strike me as being the type who would ‘subscribe to a pledge of this sort. I went to see a neighbor of mine, secretary of the local chapter, who has taught in the Odessa school system for AUSTIN With Editor Dugger away in -Minneapolis to address the National Students Congress, replies to the Observer’s new Department S on Texus-Sexus continue to pour into this office. Sevenlovely former Misses Cornstalk \(1953plied us by the Jim Hogg County Corn Growers and Reapers Assn. to sort the mail, and the departL ment is now firmly -established in the storeroom next to the w.c., just back of us. MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 many years. He told me that he had never seen this oath, nor one like it, -although he had heard that such a thing existed. In all his years with the Knights of Columbus, he had certainly never subscribed to such an oath. My curiosity piqued, I determined to get to the bottom of the mystery to discover the origin of the purported oath. I began making phone calls and writing letters, and what I have learned is an interesting -example of how a lie can be perpetated from year to year, frond generation to generation. THIS BOGUS oath first came to I light during a congressional campaign in Pennsylvania in1912. One of the candidates, Eugene Bonniwell, was a Catholic and a member of the Knights of Columbus. The other, Thomas S. Butler, was a Protestant. Campaign workers for the Protestant candidate distributed the phony oath throughout the district a few days before the election, and the Catholic was defeated. Bonniwell claimed that the circulation of this spurious oath was the -chief reason for his defeat and filed a complaint with the Committee on Elections of the House of Representatives. A specimen was submitted as an exhibit during the hearings and, ; consequently,’ was printed in the Congressional Record. What the pamphlet does not show in its present form is, that, later in the hearings, the -committee ruled that the oath was a fake and that no similarity between this fake oath and the genuine one existed. This fact was also written into the same issue of the Congressional Record. Nevertheless, the distribution of this oath \(usually in connection with a poto plague the Knights of Columbus. Most of the distribution has been by itinerant evangelists whose main theme was anti-Catholicism. The 1928 Hoover-Smith campaign sparked a widespread circulation of the oath, especially throughout the South. Now it is beginning to show up in many parts of Texas as this presidential -campaign begins. Several years ago the Knights of Columbus began to file libel charges in connection with the document and, to date, they have successfully prosecuted almost a hundred people charged with its distribution. Numerous others have retracted Replies are ranging from positive to negative at this moment. So far the answers have generally crossed party lines except among Constitution Party supporters who, one surmises, do not choose to stop with the abolition of the personal income tax. However, it seems that “Procreation without Intimidation” is fast becoming a politically potent clarion among liberated left-wingers in some areas of West Texas. No trends have -developed, it must be added. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note at this stage a growing fear that federal aid to classrooms may, over the course of another socialistic decade or two, extend to front rooms, back rooms,. and their -accusations against the Knights of Columbus and publicly apologized for their libelous intent rather than face -prosecution. Furthermore, the Knights of Co umbus has offered a reward of $25,000 to any person who canfurnish proof that the bogus oath is, or ever was, taken or subscribed to by the Knights of Columbus. SEVERAL people have commented to me that, although the oath currently in circulation may be false, the differences between it and the true one are negligible. I wrote Luke E. Hart, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut, requesting a copy of the true oath. Hart informed me that the Knights of Columbus, strictly speaking, do not take an “oath” but an “obligation”. That is, the candidates for membership are not required to swear on a Bible but make a pledge in much the same way that one does when one pledges allegiance to the flag. On reading the following pledge and this is the -only pledge any candidate of the Order takes the difference between the true oath -and the fake becomes immediately ‘apparent: “I swear to ‘support the Constitution of the United States. I pledge myself, as a Catholic citizen and a Knight of Colum us, fully to enlighten myself upon my duties -as a citizen and conscientiously perform them entirely in the interest of my country, regardless of all personal consequences. I pledge myself to do all in my power to preserve the integrity and purity of the ballot nand to promote respect for law and order. I promise to practice my religion consistently and faithfully, and to so conduct myself in public affairs and in the exercise of public virtue as to reflect nothing but credit upon OUT Holy Church, to the end that she may flourish and our country prosper to the greater honor -and glory of God.” Many false and malicious charges are hurled by proponents of both parties in any political campaign, and there are always people who, regardless of political or religious affiliation, will believe what they want to believe. Undoubtedly, -the Knights of Columbus will continue to be plagued by this time-tested fraud. JACK DAVIS eventually, bedrooms. This would have a dampening effect, the replies suggest. A decided lack of interest in sex has been scored in ‘several North Texas counties, and is attributed to the steady decline in individualism since the New Pretty Miss Corinna Northe office for coffee Tuesday afternoon. *Under the headline “Warn ing” in the Bartlett Tribune: “There is a city ordinance which prohibits people from keeping hogs within the city limits. People will have two weeks to get them out of the city limits. This is a necessity. Cy Young, Mayor.” The Way of Life *Folks are still going out to the Big Thicket to see the “ghost light” on the Saratoga Road, Archer Fulli’ngim -says in the Kountze News. One night last week such colorful scenes as these were seen on the road: a boy and girl on a date chasing a coon in a thicket, a preacher standing on a car top and warning that the ghostly red ball of light was -a sign that this world is in its last days, a man and a boy arguing violently over whether the light was really a ghost or a reflection of a car light seven miles down the road. Finally, ‘Sheriff Whitaker warned the curious to quit carrying guns and shooting at the light. It was rumored that one man missed getting hit by inches. *Testimonials on the evils of alcohol and chor used ‘”amens” enlivened a meeting of the Oak Cliff Civil and Moral League, preparing for a local option election drive. The drys challenged a wet statement based on an Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce survey that more than half the residents in the area keep beer or liquor in their homes. A layman from Tyler Street Methodist Church said he found only three of 50 homeowners he sampled “who wouldn’t say there was not liquor in their houses.” A minister of a Christian Church -took issue with a statement made by Baptist minister and drive chairman Jack Pritchard that “any preacher who is not willing to stand up and fight this thing is not worthy of the name.” The Christian minister said they would alienate people ‘if we equate their worth with the stand they take on liquor.” *The Houston Post said the recent epidemic of husband murders probably accounts for the city’s climbing murder rate. It quoted statistics showing that Deal. People expect things to be given them and no longer go out on their own, Mrs. Ezra Frizby of Leopoldville, Texas, noted. -Roughly 271/2 percent of those replying said some sort of allowance should be made for `depletion in those counties showing a drop-off in activity. Prudery has a place in society, and perhaps even in this newspaper. However, let us all rest assured it will be not the prudes, but the_ prurients, who will contribute more to the growth of that society in our day of deterred deterrents, when the wafting smell of sizzled barbecue has smothered our Texas suburbia in apathy and listlessness, and depletion rules the land. The sidewalk cafe would be a mighty boon for us all, a symbol and a hope, under this antiseptic dictatorship of the vocal mogul, the colloquial yokel, and the bourgeois-oriented editor professionally intent on keeping his hormones to himself, harmonious, alas, to the final sunset. W.M. county grand juries and trial juries judge women gently. Seven husbands were indicted for murdering their wives and one was no-billed, while six female husband-killers were no-billed and three indicted. Of five women who stood trial, this year for husband slaying, one was convicted and got five years, one was adjudged insane, two received suspended sentences, and one case wasdismissed. Five men were tried for killing their wives; one got 99 years, another life. The average sentence was -about 50 years. *A forum panelsponsored by North Dallas Chamber of Commerce agreed that some form of federal medical assistance for the aged is going to come, but divided 2-2 over whether this was good or -bad. A crowd of about 100 generally applauded the insurance and medical men who described the start of social security 25 years ago as a “black day” in our history. Travis Wallace, president of Great American Reserve Insurance Co., said it was important that people in a free society buy their own health insurance. Jerry Holleman, president of Tex_ as AFL-CIO, called “unChristian” the quoted statement of an El Paso man who longed for “a government that would allow a person to succeed or starve to death.” *San Antonians are beginning to build nuclear bomb shelters. A salesman for the shelters says that people who wouldn’t have given the idea a thought last summer are now inquiring about the costs involved. One 16 by 20 foot room is gaily decorated in light yellow, with painting and bookshelves. “The shelter may be the next step in keeping up with the Joneses,” the San Antonio Light observed. *Coke County will cease to pay a 50-cent -bounty on rattlesnakes, although bobcat, coyote, and rabbit bounties will continue. Approximately $8,000 has been paid out since the county started the program last year, resulting in a larger drain on the county treasury than had been anticipated. Over 6,000 rattlers were killed last year, amounting to $3,173.50. Almost 9,000 have been killed already this year1,757 in June alone. *Texas, along with the rest of the nation, has far fewer post offices in 1960 than in 1900, U.S. Census figures show. The state had 3,112 in 1900, and only 1,697 now. Development of highways and growth of larger towns and cities, along with expansion of rural mail routes, are responsible. The most isolated post office in Texas is Terlingua in Brewster County. It is 85 miles south of Alpine, close to the Rio Grande, and serves only 32 families. *Guzzling score from the 1960 St. Louis Day -celebration at Catroville: the crowd of 10,000 altogether drank 15,000 -bbttles of beer, 8,500caps of tea, and 4,500 battles of soda pop. They also ate 3,000 pounds of German sausages and trimmings. *,The Southwest’s first munici pal helicopter airport \(“heliFort Worth, mainly for transit service to regular airports. IMIIII1111 UM IIMMMMM 1111111111111111111111111111 CLASSIFIED JAZZ AND POP RECORDS from the 30s and 40s. 78 rpms only. Send want list to RECORD SEARCHERS, Box 3485, Austin, Tex. . am mmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmm imommulas TILE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 7
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.