The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 53 TEXAS, AUGUST 10, 1962 15c Per Copy Number 19 AUSTIN FEW ENTERPRISES have had the good fortuneor perhaps the bad fortuneto receive so much publicity in such a short period following their launching as the Forty Acres Club here. For the owners it may be a case of too much too soon. the Forty Acres Club, it may be a case of too much too soon. Since its opening in Austin this spring, the privately financed establishment which caters to the faculty, ex-students, and “friends” of the University of Texas, has been instrumental in losing a Peace Corps training program for the University, stirring a large number of the University faculty members to anger, and inciting a militant University integration group, Students for Direct Action, to picket it. All this in protest of the University’s connection to the Forty Acres Club’s policy of segregation. The Forty Acres Club is an $800,000 brick structure resting grandly at the corner of 25th Street and Guadalupe, across the Drag from the University. A guided tour of its interior was given this reporter by the membership secretary, Miss Judy Casimir. One’s first impression upon entering is that the club resembles a miniature Disneyland in its variety of unrelated entertainment facilities. On the ground floor, for example, decorated with pineappled wallpaper, are a number of offices and the Health Club a sanitary, spotless, miniature gymnasium complete with steam room, glass-walled “cooling off” room, massage and “siesta” tables, rowing machine, bicycle, whirlpool bath, and a friendly, handsome Negro masseur named Jim Lee who presides over the establishment with obvious pride. Lee identified some of the football players whose photographs adorn the walls. He pointed out that the Health Club is open all day Monday and on Thursday afternoons to women clients. On these days there are two masseuses who work by appointment only. Business is fair, Lee opined, and it includes some noteworthy clients. Darrell Royal, University football coach, had been in. We then ascended to the second floor by means of a red-and-orange-carpeted elevator into which was piped soothing canned music. We entered the International Room, which contains a number of green tables, and chairs upholstered in purple, green, and blue. It is intended for ladies’ card games and luncheons. The walls were decorated appropriately with colored photographs of foreign scenes. From there one can enter the adjacent Letterman’s Room, which is accessible to any member, not just former athletes. The sumptuous, lounge-type furniture is upholstered in a colorful fish motif. A television set occupies the most prominent position in the room. The dining room, where guests are served a leisurely meal by Negro waiters in crisp white jack ets, is adjacent to the cocktail lounge. Behind the bar is a colorful and edifying mosaic of the Yarborough And The Space Filibuster AUSTIN-WASHINGTON “THIS IS NOT the time to surrender the New Frontier to a Medieval monoply. The New Frontier must exist in deed as well as words, if the hope the pioneers bequeathed us is to become the fulfilment of the American d r ea m. William Faulkner, one of the giants of American literature, once wrote, ‘What happened to the American dream? We dozed, and it abandoned us.’ ” That was Senator Ralph Yarborough speaking last Saturday at the sesquicentennial celebration of Marietta, Pa. Nor were his words idle, spoken as they were during the worst storm within the Democratic Party since John Kennedy won the presidency. This week a band of liberal senators were scheduled to resume their filibuster against Kennedy’s officially approved bill to create a privately owned space corporation that would own space communications satellites. Such staunch Democrats as Yarborough, Estes Kefauver, Paul Douglas, Albert Gore, and Maurine Neuberg, as well as rebel-progressive Wayne Morse, were among the 20 or so senators wha drew the line at this bill and told Kennedy, “No.” The bill passed the House with only nine nays. One of these was cast by Congressman Henry Gonzalez of San Antonio, whom Kefauver singled out for special commendation during the first stage of the Senate filibuster. Kefauver called attention to Gonzalez’s statement in the appendix of the Congressional Record that, having reconsidered SHREVEPORT LATE TUESDAY NIGHT, July 31, a window-rattling shock was dismissed by most residents near the 6000 block of Creswell Drive in Shreveport as a sonic boom. It was, however, the sixth mysterious bombing of property owned by integrationists in the Shreveport-Bossier City area during the past year. A market center for North Louisianians and East Texans, and an oil and gas center, Shreveport is the second largest city in the state. It has the last airport in the nation to refuse to desegregate waiting-room facilities. It was once the stomping ground of Gerald L. K. Smith. The White Citizens Council, of which the city’s chief of police is a member, maintains a downtown office. The Ku Klux Klan is strong in Bossier City, across the Red River from Shreveport. There are similar organizations here that are very active, including the National Organization of Whites and the John Birch Society. It comes as little surprise, therefore, that nearly every facet of Shreveport’s public communication particularly the press is dominated by a single reactionary viewpoint, often wandering into the realm of the lunatic fringe. For example, one radio station carries “Lifeline,” “Dean Manion Forum,” “The Independent American,” “Operation W a k e u p,” “Christian Crusade,” and a White Citizens Council program. The afternoon newspaper has recently twice editorially praised the Birch Society; it also has ended news stories about the shipping out of area Negroes by the busload to New England with the address where contributions might be mailed to continue the “Freedom Rides North.” A Special Gumbo SINCE ORGANIZED resistance to school desegregation and Negro suffrage rights has evolved, the city’s many segregationists as nearly everywhere else in the Southhave concocted a special gumbo of conservatism, segregation, anti-communism, and chauvinism. The contents have become so thoroughly mixed that it is extremely difficult to isolate any one from the others. It has been made clear repeatedly that any soup-stirring liberals are not wanted in Shreveport. However, since there are those who will stir regardless, the last two years in Shreveport for liberals have been ones of occasional terror. In these 24 months, 25 crosses have burned in front yards; fire bombs have been hurled into a Negro church while a CORE meeting was in progress; one man who entertained Negroes in his home was severely beaten. There have been six bombings, causing a total of nearly $100,000 in dam, ages. Last April 25, three Negroowned buildings in Bossier and Webster Parishes were bombed. One of these belonged to a state NAACP official, Dr. C. 0. Simpkins, whose new home on the Jefferson-Paige Road was also blown up before it could be finished. When a prominent Bossier City banker spearheaded a fund FORTY ACRES CLUB Jim Crow Haven For UT ‘Friends’ SHREVEPORT: Fire Bombs and Flaming Crosses Public Schools and the Youth Crusade AUSTIN CHRISTIAN EVANGELIST Walter Kerr’s “Youth Force for God and Freedom,” which was granted an extraordinary endorsement by the Texas Education Commissioner in an official letter to 1,500 Texas school superintendents, has established contact with 150 school districts in the state, Kerr told the Observer this week in a long discussion about his project. J. W. Edgar, the commissioner, meanwhile denied to the Observer that he had intended to endorse the project. He said he had received objections to his letter predicated on a possible violation of the separation of church and state. Edgar was call to taw by several members of the State Board of Education. Kerr, a Methodist minister, asseverated to the Observer that his movement will be no part of the far-right, that the “wings” and “nuclea” organized through the public schools will not have a Christian bias, and that if the “Youth Force” crusade evangelizes for Christian converts, it will do so through churches, not the public schools. Kerr said he will keep the Youth Force’s ideological emphasis on “energy” and “motivation” so simple that neither Democrat nor Republican will be able to object. Despite Edgar’s present insistence that he did not endorse the project, his letter is very difficult to read as anything but an endorsement. He wrote it on the official letterhead of the Texas Education Agency, which includes the seal of the State of Texas. “For some time,” Commissioner Edgar wrote the 1,500 superintendents, “I have been hoping there would be an opportunity offering additional motivation to our students for our great way of life. I know this has also been a concern of yours. I feel now that a way has come. It will definitely assist our students in their citizenship preparation and will supplement and strengthen our present efforts. “The program is known as ‘The American Youth Force for God and Freedom.’ It is headed by sound and experienced youth leaders in our state. The director of the program is Dr. Walter K. Kerr of Tyler, who served for ten years on the Texas Youth Development Council and who knows and understands the needs of our youth. I am sure he is well known to many of you. Dr. Kerr is dedicat Youth Force FOR GOD AND FREEDOM ing his full time to this program. “Enclosed is a folder which will give you a perspective on what the program is . . . You will see it is sound as well as having a sense of the dramatic. “It is my hope that every student in our state will have opportunity to affiliate with the program . . . The Youth Force will encourage our students to use, in full, all of their talents. The effect, therefore, should be to strengthen our present teaching programs and youth organizations. “We sincerely hope,” the commissioner continued, “that you will be interested in studying this program with your staff with the view of having your school system participate in it. Will you please designate the person on your staff who will be responsi ble for directing the study? Please send the name to me on the enclosed card. The person designated will receive further information from the office of Dr. Kerr .. . “I feel that in this program a plan can be perfected whereby we can be of assistance nationally to our educational endeavor. Will you please give the program all the assistance you can? I believe we will find it most helpful in achieving our educational objectives.” Pandora’s Box IN JUNE the Human Relations News Letter of the Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’Rith in Houston charged that Kerr has participated in Christian AntiCommunism Crusade “Freedom Forums” and expressed fear that Edgar “may well have opened the Pandora’s Box,’ which will create an atmosphere of divisiveness and strife in a setting which should be used for educational and not indoctrinational purposes.” Kerr, in the Observer interview, denied any connection with Fred Schwarz’s Christian Anti-Communism Crusade. He said that crusade’s emphasis is negative, while his is positive; he said he does not intend to use the negative method. “I don’t think that is the approach. I don’t think this nation got great fighting communism. can do some good . . . Now understand I’ve got some good friends in there. I know some of them. But that approach is not my approach,” Kerr said. C. Ray Holbrook Jr., of Texas City, member of the State Board of Education for the ninth congressional district, sends a newsletter on education to various persons. In his letter for July 2, Holbrook referred to Edgar’s letter and said of the Youth Force: “I have received many comments and questions concerning this program, and most of them have been critical. I am in the process of obtaining additional information, and I believe that each of you should do likewise before instituting it in your local district. I have been assured by the commissioner that he plans no further activity by his office, and all further information must come from Tyler . . . I am skeptical of the value of such a program and believe it should be fully investigated . . . I am one who believes religion has some place in our schools, providing there is no ad
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