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U.S. Day


Steve Thomas
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Does anyone have any press clippings concerning U.S. Day held on October 23, 1963 at the Dallas Municipal Auditorium?

General Walker would tell the WC that 1,300 to 1,400 people were in attendance

The Stevenson incident would take place the next day on the 24th.

Steve Thomas

****************

Hi Steve:

I have no clippings, but this information on the US Day Rally may be of some interest to you...

It is from some work I did looking into this area at one time....it is rewritten from a book.

"Dallas Public & Private" by Warren Leslie, 1964..though you may have it...if so old news...

B..

Before the Assassination:

The jostling of Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird had raised some eyebrows in 1960, when the right-wing had accosted them.

The Ambassador Adlai Stevenson incident brought Dallas national and international attention in terms of its far right movement, he arrived on Oct.24th 1963, to address a U.N Day meeting in Dallas, Stevenson had been twice a candidate for his countries Presidency.

Just before the United Nations Day, and extremist right-wing organization called the National Indignation Committee, headed by Frank McGeehee, set aside a day and called it United States Day. A United States ceremony was scheduled in the Dallas Memorial Auditorium Theater, which seated about 2,000, and set exactly for 24 hours before the United Nations Day, approximately 1,200 people attended.

About 2,400 people attended the U.N. Day. Before it was over, the Ambassador had been spat upon and struck over the head with a placard, and Dallas was front page news throughout the world.

“We booked Memorial Theater for the Stevenson meeting” Jack Goren, chairman of the U.N. Day committee, said, “because we were hopeful that one of the Dallas TV stations would televise the occasion. KRLD-TV (CBS) responded and agreed to televise the program”.

“We had a press conference some two and a half to three weeks before U.N Day. We announced in the newspaper what we were proposing to do. From my conversations with the people at Memorial Theater, General Edwin Walker, upon hearing of our meeting (about one week prior to this) booked the same auditorium ,for the evening before the U.N Day. About a week prior to the U.N Day celebration we became concerned that there might be picketing at Memorial Theater."

This concern was brought about by the fact that some young students who were out at the state fair were entertained at the home of a local person and one or two of them had reported to their parents that they observed some pickets derogatory to the United Nations at the home of General Walker. Whether this was actually true or not we were never sure, and we have no proof of it. However, we did observe that there were cars with signs on the Dallas streets reading, U.S Day Or United Nations Day---There Must Be A Choice; You Cannot Ride Both Horses, or words to that effect. This was the propaganda circulating on the Dallas streets, apparently put out by General Walker’s supporters. General Walker was billed as the feature speaker for U.S.Day the night before the U.N Day.

"All you, probably know, U.S Day was designated two or three years ago by the ultra-right wing groups in the United States but primarily in a few selected areas such as Arizona, Texas and California. Out of 365 days of the year, they picked the day before the U.N Day celebration, which had been in effect since 1948. The reason for the selection of that date was obvious, but so far as we were able to determine, U.S Day had not gotten off the ground anywhere but the three areas that I mentioned and mostly in a few parts in Texas and Arizona.”

At this point, the supporters of the U.N Day suffered a real shock when Governor John Connally of Texas issued an official proclamation of United States Day in Texas. (U.N had been proclaimed long before in 1948).This provoked some immediate correspondence between Jack Goren and Governor Connally’s office. Goren expressed his dismay that the governor had apparently given respectability to an occasion drummed up (by the ultra-right wing), for the purpose of discrediting U.N.Day and the United Nations itself. He questioned whether the governor had known before issuing the proclamation that Major General Edwin Walker, a clear-cut representative of the far right wing, was to be the principal speaker.

The governor replied that he had not, as Goren suspected, but that he had been encouraged by some, a number of people to issue a proclamation for the occasion, that in fact some kind of observance had been in effect before his time. He gave Goren the definite impression that he was not in any way trying to encourage General Walker and his supporters.

“It was a nice letter from the governor,” Goren said, “and it made me feel a good deal better. The major thing worrying me was not that something called United States Day should be proclaimed, as an official observation. The curse of this town has been that these things get into the hand s of the extremists. Then, one way or another, through the newspapers, public statements or whatever, the actions of the extremists get to seem all right, defensible, respectable. Nobody blasts them and tells them that their actions are impossible in civilized communities. I think that’s the basic difference between Dallas and other places. Anyway, I venture that there will be no further proclamations of U.S.Day so long as it is in control of the extremists elements which run it now.”

During this time before the Ambassador’s visit, the premonition of some kind of trouble began to build. This was partly built on what kind of man Stevenson was, and the feelings he inspired. This man intellectual, internationalist, brilliant speaker --- seemed capable of arousing an emotion in Americans that is almost unique. His supporters some of whom were militant, as evidenced at the Democratic National Convention of 1960. His detractors were no less so. He was not a man who provoked a mild reaction.

Goren’s task was to do everything he could to prevent the premonition of trouble from turning into reality.

“I asked a security representative, Mr. William de Gan (a former agent for the FBI, now employed in Dallas), who knows Police Chief Jesse Curry, to go down to the police department and to tell them of our concern about picketing. I was anxious to make sure that we would have adequate police protection at the theater because of what we had already learned. Also, we were sure General Walker would stir up his meeting in opposition to United Nations Day and to Mr. Stevenson.”

“Mr. de Gan went there personally and spoke to Jesse Curry and was assured that there would be adequate police protection. A few days later reports began to come back to us that picketing might be extreme and de Gan again went down to the police station and made arrangements for more extensive protection. The extra police were supposed to arrive at approximately 7.30pm.”

“U.S Day drew nearly 1,200 people. We monitored the meeting. This made us extremely aware that there would be a large scale attempts to picket and possibly do other things at our meeting the next night. We realized this from the tone of General Walker’s speech, which aroused his audience to a high pitch about United Nations Day, that it was a part of the world-wide communist movement, the usual stuff with which you are familiar”.

“We were, of course, concerned, but we had confidence that the police protection would be adequate. When I arrived at about 7.30pm, I found that the theater had already been infiltrated with numerous supporters of U.S Day. ---complete with flags, complete with their signs, complete with their noise makers, which we were of course, not aware that they would even attempt to use. The pickets did not show up in force until approximately 7:45. The police protection at the early stages was inadequate and in my judgment was never adequate or timely. If I had to say what the really terrible thing was I would say that as bad as the picketing was, as bad as the mob action that took place as a part of the picketing was, and as bad as the spitting and hitting incident was----even worse was the hooting, the yelling, the noise makers, the waving of the flags, the waving of the signs, the attempt to break up the meeting itself by followers of General Walker, the John Birch groups, and the supporters of Mr. Frank McGeehee of the National Indignation Committee. This was totally undemocratic and un-American. The attempt to deny the American Ambassador to the United Nations the opportunity to express his ideas and the ideas of the United States government on world peace---this to me was the terrible sad thing.”

Fortunately, it was all photographed. It was all heard by several hundred thousand people on live television. Coupled with the terrible incident that took place afterward, the Dallas community was faced with the fact that the extreme right wing had gone too far.

After the meeting, we had a reception in the Memorial Theater on stage for the UN people. There was no attempt made to infiltrate that, but the pickets remained outside in numbers of seventy-five to 150 and they were an organized group. About forty-five minutes after the meeting, roughly 9:45, we left with police escort to try to go to the cars. Apparently there was a woman screaming at Mr. Stevenson. He walked into the crowd, leaving the line of the police escort, merely to ask her what she was screaming at him about and to try to quiet her down. The result was the hitting incident by the woman and the spitting incident by the young student. When Mr. Stevenson was rescued by the police, he was brought back to the limousine. He was in a state of shock, so to speak. He just could not understand that in America this sort of thing would happen, certainly not to him or to anyone. He had been used to picketing, but never to violence of this kind against representatives of the American government by Americans. He could not understand this. While he was wiping off the saliva with his handkerchief, his only comment was, “Are these human beings or are these animals?”

The woman who struck Adlai, was the wife of an insurance man who was quite prominent, he was not present at the meeting. When it was all over he told a friend, he could not make an outgoing call on his phone for two or three days after the incident as the line was constantly jammed with calls coming in, protesting his wife’s actions. She claimed someone pushed her, but the television tape indicated no such thing.

The man who spat on him was a college student, Robert Hatfield of Irving; Stevenson did not prefer charges against either person.

But Hatfield also made the mistake of spitting on one of Dallas’ finest,

Patrolman L.R.Larsen and according to the asst D.A that was a much more serious offence. During the meeting Mr. Stevenson kept control, though stunned at the reactions and actions by those within the assembly.( Some who went as far as to march up and down the aisles carrying their American flags upside down, some carrying signs, jeering and heckling (with noise makers sounding.) When the police finally did escort Frank McGeehee to a side door, Mr.Stevenson said “For my part, I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance”.

(The actions by these people were not the actions of the majority of citizens, many were stunned, but the mood of the stage had been allowed to be set, for the Presidential visit that was to occur within a month.)

On Oct. 28th the Dallas City Council shocked and embarrassed by what had happened, unanimously adopted an anti-harassment ordinance to protect visiting speakers. It prohibited any person or group from “interfering with a public or private assembly by the use of insulting, threatening or obscene language or intimidation.”

The City Council and Mayor Cabell apologized to Stevenson on behalf of their city. But Texas right-wing Congressman Bruce Alger stated the city had no reason to feel disgraced. Young Hatfield he said “ lost his head because of his resentment against the UN that threatens his freedom and his country’s freedom.” Alger did not state that he approved of hitting people nor spitting on them, but he did feel that people of Dallas should not be “throttled” in expressing their dislike of the UN.

Ironically at this time Dallas was engaged in the middle of a promotion program to invite the world to visit it. Brochures printed in German, French, English and Spanish had been distributed to fifty-one major cities throughout Air France’s Offices. They told of Dallas, a jet-age city with old fashioned southwestern hospitality.

At the same time, the fervor of the far right reached an extraordinary

Pitch, A handbill was distributed around town, it was dropped into cars, and scattered over parking lots.

It cast President Kennedy in the role of a wanted criminal and profiled J.F.K. classic full faced, and profile shot of a fugitive poster, and titled “Wanted For Treason”.

"Dallas Public and Private" Warren Leslie ..1964-

P: 188 to 198.

Edited by Bernice Moore
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Bernice,

Hi Steve:

I have no clippings, but this information on the US Day Rally may be of some interest to you...

It is from some work I did looking into this area at one time....it is rewritten from a book.

"Dallas Public & Private" by Warren Leslie, 1964..though you may have it...if so old news...

Thank you.

Oswald attended this rally.

“We booked Memorial Theater for the Stevenson meeting” Jack Goren, chairman of the U.N. Day committee, said, “because we were hopeful that one of the Dallas TV stations would televise the occasion. KRLD-TV (CBS) responded and agreed to televise the program”.

This concern was brought about by the fact that some young students who were out at the state fair were entertained at the home of a local person and one or two of them had reported to their parents that they observed some pickets derogatory to the United Nations at the home of General Walker. Whether this was actually true or not we were never sure, and we have no proof of it.

Warren Commission Document #320 is a memo from SS Agent Rowley. On page 162 of that Report there is a newspaper article from October 27, 1963 - I can't make out which paper - concerning the Stevenson incident.

In the article, Bobbie Joiner said there was no preplanning for Stevenson incident, but that, “some of the signs used were stored at former Major General Edwin A. Walker’s headquarters on Turtle Creek Blvd.”

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=162

Steve Thomas

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Hi Steve:

I think these are the newspaper articles, I split and lightened them but, not clear copies, It may not

help... I cannot make out the paper either, but if perhaps the writers name then perhaps

that could be checked into..with the Dallas newspaper archives..?

Perhaps if posted on here they may be clearer..... :lol: ?

Second time, a bit larger ??

They do not appear any clearer. sorry.... :angry:

B..

Edited by Bernice Moore
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