On Monday, May 18, 2015, at the Washington Hebrew Congregation’s Prime Timers Luncheon, Nick Kotz will discuss his latest book, The Harness Makers Dream: Nathan Kallison and the Rise of South Texas and talk about how to research and write your own family’s story.
To attend, send a check payable to WHC Prime Timers ($12 for Prime Timers, $15 for all others) to Sandra Grant, 4940 Sentinel Drive, #202, Bethesda, MD 20816.
For more information, go to http://www.whctemple.org/groups-and-activities/adult-groups/seniors
Join us as we illuminate unique perspectives on the history and future of the American West. All lectures held at the Jack Guenther Pavilion on the Briscoe Campus.
Nick Kotz was born in Texas during the Great Depression. He grew up in San Antonio, living with his maternal grandparents—Nathan and Anna Kallison—until he and his mother Tibe Kallison Lasser moved to Washington, DC in 1946 when she married noted physician Dr. Jacob Kotz.
As a reporter for the Washington Post and the Des Moines Register, and in six pathbreaking books, Nick Kotz won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, the National Magazine Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, and eight other renowned prizes. Among his works are exposés of government corruption and studies of national defense, civil rights, social justice, and labor unions. His most recent book, The Harness Maker’s Dream: Nathan Kallison and the Rise of South Texas, received a 2015 San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award. The Texas Institute of Letters named it a finalist for their Carr P. Collins Award for Non-fiction.
Tickets are $10; Briscoe Partners and UTSA University Members are FREE. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a Member here.
But if Johnson did not order the tapes be sent to Coretta King, Nick Kotz argues in “Judgement Days,” his sharp and illuminating book about the Johnson-King relationship, that Johnson was not ordering Hoover to stand down his long-term campaign against King, either. After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, “One of Johnson’s first calls after returning from Dallas was to J. Edgar Hoover [his long-time neighbor]. ‘You’re more than the head of the bureau,’ Johnson told Hoover. ‘You’re my brother and personal friend.’” Kotz explains. “Hoover answered Johnson’s flattery with a flurry of activity” focused at furthering his surveillance of King and keeping Johnson apprised of the results.
Johnson brokered a sit-down between King and Hoover after Hoover, incensed by King’s Nobel Peace Prize, started attacking King in the press, and King privately accused Hoover of indifference to crime against Southern African Americans and publicly issued a press release suggesting that Hoover ” apparently has faltered under the awesome burden, complexities and responsibilities of his office,” Kotz explains. But the Hoover-King meeting seemed more aimed at healing a public breach than providing Hoover with real accountability and new orders. And rather than confirming that Johnson would not tolerate attacks on King, King perceived the meeting as proof that President Johnson “had not come to his defense,” Kotz writes.
In fact, Kotz suggests, Deke DeLoach, Hoover’s liaison to the White House, repeatedly interpreted his meetings with Johnson aides and Johnson himself to conclude that Hoover could exercise discretion in planting reports about King. Some of Johnson’s calculation was due to what Kotz describes as a “cautious, tacit accomodation with Hoover: the FBI director would carry out extraordinary assignments for Johnson, including the covert spying campaign at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, and in return Johnson would not interfere with Hoover’s pursuit of his own special interests.” And some of it was due to the fact that “Johnson was also irritated by King’s constant maneuvering to seize the public spotlight and force his hand.”
Aside from the actual audio tapes, photos, etc., from the Presidential Library of President Lyndon Johnson, the seminal book on Selma and the respective roles of Dr. King and President Johnson preceding and during the events presumably depicted in the movie is Judgement Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Laws That Changed America by Nick Kotz.
About Project C
Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement is a three-year series of electronic field trips taking place throughout the civil rights fiftieth anniversary years of 2013-2015. Project C will focus on the role of citizenship in a democracy through the study of historical events and examine the past to teach the importance of civic engagement in support of a humane, civil and just society.
Project C Website:
Link to YouTube Promo:
More Project C information (PDF)
Join Nick Kotz at Dallas JCC/Dallas Jewish Historical Society: Aaron Family JCC of Dallas Thursday, November 20, at 7:00 PM. This event is part of the Dallas Jewish Book Festival
7900 Northaven Rd; Dallas, Texas 75230.
October 29: Congregation Beth Israel (7pm); 5600 N Braeswood Blvd; Houston, TX.
October 30: Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research (10:30am); Carriage House at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research; 5300 Caroline St; Houston, TX 77004.
November 20: Dallas Jewish Historical Society/Dallas JCC (7pm): Aaron Family JCC of Dallas; 7900 Northaven Rd; Dallas, Texas 75230.
December 3: Downtown Rotary Club (noon); Bright Shawl restaurant; 819 Augusta St; San Antonio, TX 78215.
December 5: The Alamo Research Center (formerly Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library)(2pm); Alamo Hall in the Alamo Complex; 300 Alamo Plaza; San Antonio, TX 78295-1401.