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AUSTIN I covered the Emmett Till “wolf whistle” case from the day the 14-year-old Negro’s body was found tied to a gin fan in the Tallahatchie River to the day one of the men accused of the murder stood on crutches in a federal surplus commodity relief line to get food for his family. J. W. Milam, one of the halfbrothers accused and acquitted of the Chicago boy’s murder, was almost a caricature of the rural bully. At the time Till was murdered, Milam was managing a Delta cotton plantation. \(“I’ve worked niggers all my life and I much along the lines of a prewar Tennessee football lineman thickset and six feet, with fingers as gnarled and stumpy as halfsmoked cigars. He was commissioned a lieutenant in the field during the Korean war for his effectiveness against the enemy. ONE HOT DAY almost a year after the trial I drank beer with Milam most of an afternoon. We discussed an article written by William Bradford Huie which had appeared that week in Look Magazine. Huie, an Alabama novelist and free-lance magazine writer, described in gruesome detail his mysteriously appropriated. version of what happened the night Till disappeared. According to the article, Milam himself killed Till after the youngster bragged that he had “been with white girls before” and “wouldn’t repent.” It was rumored that Milam and his half-brother, Roy Bryant, had received $10,000 for telling Huie what really happened. I found Milam, after half a day’s search, in his cousin’s general store in Minter City, a small town in the delta near Sumner, the site of the murder trial. “I don’t really know whether I’ve got grounds for a damage suit or not,” he told me, tucking the legs of his khaki trousers into the tops of his motorcycle boots. “The guy who wrote that story was careful not to say where he got his information and he didn’t quote me directly. He just said what he thought happened.” TILL, who was visiting at his I uncle’s Tallahatchie county farm cabin, was said to have “wolf whistled” at Bryant’s pretty wife, who wore shorts as she waited on customers in store she and her husband operated in Money, Miss. The young visitor from Chicago was apparently showing off for his country cousins. They went into the store to buy bubble gum. Milam and Bryant admitted taking the boy from his uncle’s cabin late that night “to teach him a lesson,” but insisted they “gave him a good talking to and turned him loose.” Three days later his body was found in the river. “I’ll say one thing for the Look article,” Milam told me. “It was written from a Mississippi viewpoint. I’ve gotten letters from people all over the country . . . You know, complimenting me for what the article said I did.” He pulled fourteen letters from his hip pocket and said it was “today’s batch.” One letter, signed “A Fan,” said the Look story “gave me a lift.” It came from California. “Just for the record,” I asked, “what do you say about Detroit Congressman Charles C. Diggs saying you got paid for supplying the details for the article?” THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 April 28, 1962 “Boy! If I did I haven’t seen any of the money,” he laughed. “If I find out I can’t sue them, I’d sure take some of that money I’m supposed to have gotten. That’s just if I can’t sue, you understand. I’ll leave it up to my lawyers as to whether I can sue or not.” He said John Whitten, one of several attorneys who defended him in the murder trial, was looking into the possibility of a suit. But Whitten told me that any libel suit would have to be filed in a federal court in New York and would be handled by New York lawyers. “You know, some movie companies have contacted me about making a movie about all this?” Milam said. “I won’t say which ones. And I haven’t signed nothing yet. I turned that over to my lawyers too.” MILAM’S four-year-old son into the store then and lam said he had to take the to a dentist in Greenwood. ran Mi boy “Now don’t you bite the dentist this time,” he growled affectionately at the boy. Then he turned and explained, “Last time he bit the dentist’s finger and the dentist told me he’d charge me extra if he did it again.” “So, don’t you do that again, you hear,” he told the boy. “I will if he sticks his finger in my mouth,” the boy said. Milam laughed. The boy bent down and crammed his trousers into his boots, which were just like his daddy’s. WHETHER RUMORS that Milam was paid by Look were true or not, some of his neighbors in Tallahatchie County apparently believed them. The burley plantation manager left his job soon afterward. \(Some said he was in the area until he broke his leg in a tractor accident. Soon after this a welfare agent told me he had applied for government surplus food in Greenville. He was out of a job and living, rent free, in a tenent house owned by a man I knew and played football with at Texas Tech. I wrote a brief story about Milam’s obvious financial troubles, and it angered my former college classmate. He asked me to meet him for lunch to discuss the story. When he walked into the restaurant, I saw that he had brought J. W. Milam with him. During our talk, I apparently convinced the plantation owner that there was nothing malicious in the story and he never brought suit as he had threatened. Throughout the discussion, Milamhis leg in a snowwhite cast remained silent. That was early in 1958. I haven’t heard what has happened to him since. J.M. jigiotaritmo Nauseating Brew Sirs: How will you explain to your children and grandchildren when they behold in helpless despair, a military of promiscuous foreign soldiers policing our America under banners and orders of the United Nations? They will ask: “Why did you trade the glorious heritage of our once free and powerful nation for this mess of nauseating, ecumenical brew that we must now swallow?” Fanatical one worlders entrenched within our Capitol are far along with their ruthless designs for total disarmament and transfer of our national sovereignty to the superior jurisdiction of a World Court, World Bank, World Military and other Marxist monstrosities of a sovereign -United Nations. A quick end to this suicidal, traitorous political insanity which now pervades the “New Frontier”, is imperative if our nation is to survive. In the person of General Edwin A. Walker, who has made himself available for the office of governor of Texas, we have a political savior and leader who will have the courage and strength to turn us back from the deceitful, dole-strewn path W3 are following that can lead only to national disaster and suicide. Let us gladly grant him this honor in order that Texas may spearhead the national drive for a return to political sanity and the preservation of our Constitutional Government and our national sovereignty. William V. Hoyt, P.O. Box 19, Yoakum. Tennis Star Replies Sirs: It used to be, back in the good old days when R.D. was editor of the Observer, that I rather thought that I was your type of Republican. See the Observer, Dec. 25, 1959, and Nov. 10, 1961. In last week’s Observer, however, I read that your type of Republican is not only conservative, but “grim, serious, and rather mean.” I cheerfully admit that I am grim and serious, and I don’t mind being called conservative since I have no idea what it means. I do deny being “rather mean” and am forced to conclude have been defamed. Charles Alan Wright, 2500 Red River, Austin. Juxtaposition Sirs: I just received the Texas Absurder telling about “Scholar’s Rural Trials” and can’t see myself personally anything in the Story to make you print it in print right alongside to the printing of General Walker’s Speeches. This just goes to show how much more on the ground is the feet of a soldier than an ivory tower scholar, and I for one support Proff. Sullivan for governor. Is he running? Barnetta Spoulder, Pasadena, California. WASHINGTON Friends of the Kennedy administration’s program for U.S. cooperation with the European common market are circulating facts showing the considerable dependence of the Texas state economy on exports. The argumentative implication is that the U.S. must make deals with foreign nations lowering trade barriers or lose such export trade. According to an Export Origin Study on Texas produced this year by the U.S. Department of Commerce and circulated by the “Committee for a National Trade Policy,” Texas ranks eighth in the nation in the value of manufactured exports. Of the state’s 500,000 manufacturing workers, 150,000 work in establishments that produce these exports. According to estimates by the Department of Agriculture and Labor, about 130,000 Texas farm workers, almost a third of the 442,000 farm workers in Texas, “may be attributed to the production of farm products that were exported in 1960-61.” The Texas share of U.S. farm exports: about half a billion of the total $49 billion. One out of every six acres of American cropland harvested produce for export. From Texas in 1960-1961, exports of field crops totaled $404 million, fruits and nuts $3 million, vegetables $4 million, and livestock and agricultural products $35 million. Leading individual commodities among Texas’ exported field crops were cotton, wheat, sorghum, rice, and corn. Generally speaking, Texas agricultural exports were equivalent to three times the competing imports. ABOUT FOUR-TENTHS of Tex as production of sulphur, salk, and talc, mineral products, were exported. About 1,500 workers are employed in mines that produce these things. Total value of Texas exports in 1960 was estimated at $837 million, with 242 establishments, each of which export $25,000 or more reporting $651 million of this. Exports represented about nine percent of these 242 establishments’ total value of shipments. Texas led all the states in the export of chemicals and allied products, and also in petroleum and coal products. This state was the fourth largest exporter, among the states, of food and kindred products, and the ninth largest exporter of non-electrical machinery. AUSTIN Attorney general candidates Tom Reavley and Tom James this week called on front-runner Waggoner Carr to satisfactorily answer James’ charge that he tried to squelch a 1960 investigation of Gulf Coast vice or withdraw from the race. James was in charge of the House committee which conducted a little Kefauver hearing on organized vice in Beaumont and Port Arthur. He claims that Carr, Lubbock attorney who was speaker of the House at the time of the investigation, tried to sidetrack the probe. Carr has “categorically” denied it all on several occasions and James countered with a request that Carr submit to a lie detector test. Carr said he didn’t see any reason to drop his campaign for such a test “since all members of the investigating committee and its general counsel say Mr. James is lying.” He called James a “hatchetman.” Reavley jumped into the fracas The best customers for chemicals and allied exports \(notably basic chemicals, fibers, plastics, West Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan. Principal basic chemical exporting companies in Texas are American Cynamid \(Fort Port Arthferson Chemical, and Natural Gas rich-Gulf exports butadiene rubber and butadiene from Port Neches. Only 25 business establishments reported $148 million of the total $177 million in exports of petroleum and coal products from Texas in 1960. Exports represented over five percent of these establishtotal value of shipments. Standard of Texas, Humble, Gulf, Shell, Mobil, and other oil firms export products mainly to the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Canada, and Mexico. REST CUSTOMERS for U.S. I” food products of the kinds produced in Texas are the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembour g, Switzerland, West Germany, U.K., Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Venezuela. International Milling Co. exports wheat flour, rye flour, feeds, and flour; Corn Products Co., Corpus Christi, exports bulk milo starches; Burrus Mills, in Fort Worth, San Antonio, Galveston, McKinney, and Dallas, ex.ports wheat flour. Cottonseed oil is manufactured and exported by several Texas businesses. In the primary metals field, Alcoa, at Point Clear and Rockdale; American Smelting and Refining, in Amarillo and Corpus Christi \(aluminum, brass, bronze ingots, type metals, lead and tin Smelting, in Dumas; Sheffield division of Armco Steel, Houston; Great Lakes Carbon Corp., in Port Arthurthese and other companies engage in exporting from Texas. Best customers were Italy, West Germany, France, U.K., Mexico, and Canada. FIGURES of this kind, of course, emphasize the elements in the economy that might benefit from freer trade policy. Industries that are protected from cheaper imports by trade barriers might stand to lose; in many cases producers who export some of their products are interested in restricting imports that would compete with the portion of their production they market domestically. at this point, declaring from a campaign outpost in El Paso County that the charge made against Carr “is a tragic and serious one. The truth demands to be heard. If Carr cannot satisfy the people of Texas fully on this, he should immediately resign from the attorney general’s race.” James agreed wholeheartedly, adding that Carr also owed him an apology for calling him a liar campaign workers an apology too. James, a young Dallas attorney, went on television in Austin Thursday night and showed letters and pictures which he said verified his charge against Carr. One newspaper picture showed Carr with Jefferson County officials he said were involved in the organized vice down there. And Reavley continued to insist that everybody stop running until Carr “steps forward with proof the charge is false.” The other contestants in the race were ignoring the triangular hassle, in their press releases at least. MISSISSIPPI MEMOIRS