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a Harvard undergraduate, and four Negro high school students from Huntsville, Andy Pope, Larry Jones, Karen Davison, and Gerald Davison. The latter two are children of Kermit Davison of Huntsville, who assisted at the conference as a labor staff representath .re; Jones is the son of the NAACP leader in Huntsville, Willie Jerry Jones. When a group of students expressed an interest in going to Mississippi after the conference, a small kitty was raised among interested Austin liberals to defray their gasoline costs, and off they went. The group stopped by Rev. Oliver’s in Beaumont and picked up a Negro youth who had not attended the conference, J. D. Gregory. While these matters were happening in July, Oliver was in communication with what might be called the civil rights activist wing of the Coalition. Various plans and various cities, all in East Texas, were discussed. Wendell Baker, the Negro chemist who commutes from Huntsville to Beaumont, was not happy with continuing segregationist folkways in his home town and wanted to do something there. Those involved in this dialogue agreed that the thing needed was a catalyst. Previous efforts in 1963-’64 to find such a catalyst in the form of field secretaries of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee had failed because of SNCC’s preoccupation with Mississippi. If anything was to be done in Texas, it would have to be done with Texas students. Huntsville, like other East Texas cities where the Coalition has good information, was alive with Negro disillusionment about the slow pace of change. What might be designated as the candidate-oriented wing of the Coalition was also unhappy with East Texas. Unsatisfactory voter turnouts and the absence of an organized political structure in rural Negro communities were being turned by traditionalist Dixiecratic politicians to the continuing detriment of liberal candidates. Unless something was done, the prospects were not promising that future statewide candidates with liberal records on civil rights would poll the kind of vote among Negroes that might otherwise be expected. Oliver, as spokesman for the activists, approached a group of Houston liberals with a plea for a small investment so some students could go and live at Huntsville frr a month. The money was forthcoming, although not without some vocal skepti. cism from the donors, who considered one labor conference plus one week in Mississippi as something less than overwhelming qualification for what would doubtless be called “outside agitators.” So it was that J. D. Gregory and Tom Lichten, safely home from Mississippi after a week’s stay, came to Huntsville on Thursday, July 15. Within hours Lichten was in jail in adjoining Trinity County and within 72 hours demonstrations had begun in downtown Huntsville. Lichten’s Story Tom Lichten is a quiet, almost shy young man from Dallas, now a second-year history major at Harvard. Arriving in Huntsville, he looked up his friends from labor’s youth conference and found 17-year-old Gerald Davison. “Shortly thereafter,” Lichten recalls, “Gerald and I and Larry Massey and Larry Massey’s father went over to Trinity to have a mechanic there install a new exhaust pipe. We went through the middle of town, passing the post office where two police cars were parkedone was the highway patrol and the other the chief of policeand on to the Negro section to a place called ‘The Shade Tree Garage.’ About 15 seconds later, the chief of police rolled up and asked me what I was doing here. I told him they were my friends. One of the officers said that a lot of auto parts have been stolen, so Mr. Massey pulled out a bill of sale he had for the tailpipe. The chief of police motioned me to follow him to the car. He asked for my identification and I didn’t want to give it to him. He told me to get in the car. So I gave it to him. Then he got on the radio to check on me. I told him I was from Dallas and staying in Huntsville and he said I was under arrest for investigation of burglary. It was a little before 6 p.m. Then we went to jail. “On the way to jail, he told me that ‘the nigger situation being what it is,’ I shouldn’t be with them. Just before I stepped into the jail cell, I asked him if I could call a lawyer. He didn’t answer; he pushed me into the cell and locked it.” After Lichten was arrested, Massey, his son, and Davison returned to Huntsville and notified Gregory. The latter, a May graduate of Lamar State College in Beaumont, put into effect an emergency phone operation Oliver had established as a precaution, and Davison soon was in touch with Theodore Johns, law partner of Elmo Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see It. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. Subscription Representatives: Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 PEcos, HO 5-1805; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; EI Paso, Mrs. Jeanette Harris, 5158 Garry Owen Rd., LO 5-3448; Fort Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4-9655; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffwood Dr., PA 3-8682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Odessa, Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; Rio Grande Valley, Mrs. Jack Butler, 601 Houston, Willard, a primary civil rights lawyer on the upper Gulf Coast. According to Oliver, Johnson phoned the Trinity chief of police, who, not realizing Johns was Negro, told him, ” ‘I’ve got this guy in jail because he was riding with niggers. You’re not supposed to do that. I’m going to hold him 72 hours.’ ” They discussed the matter “with some heat,” according to Oliver. About this time, Kermit Davison also talked to the police chief, explaining that Lichten was a guest in his home and had met his children at the labor conference. Sometime after these calls, and approximately two hours after he was arrested, Lichten was released and returned to Huntsville. He reported the incident to the FBI office in Houston, was invited down for an interview, and spent Friday on that task, returning the same night to Huntsville. HA-YOU Formed The catalyst, it turned out, had been the police chief of nearby Trinity. Lichten’s arrest seemed to galvanize some of the Negro students in Huntsville. Friday was a day of great activity. The students, led by the same trio of boys who had attended the labor conference, Gerald Davison, Andy Polk, and Robert Jones, plus Larry Massey, cleaned up an office in a building owned by the elder Davison. They then joined in a meeting that evening of ten youngsters and ten adults of the Voters League at the house of Baker, the chemist. A consensus was reached that something should be done in Huntsville. By this time Oliver was back in the city, bringing with him another August 6, 1965 3 McAllen, MU 6-5675; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583; Tyler, Mrs. Erik Thomsen, 3332 Lynwood, LY 4-4862; Cambridge, Mass., Victor Emanuel, 33 Aberdeen Ave., Apt. 3A. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present is is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.00 a year; two years, $9.50; three years, $13.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin 5, Texas. Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Texas Observer Co., Ltd. 1965 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 59th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 57, No. 15 August 6, 1965