Letters: Dallas in 1963 And The Government Shutdown

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel take a moment to read from listener comments about the Dallas of 50 years ago, and today's government shutdown.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Just a quick moment for some of your comments. Yesterday, I talked with Bill Minutaglio about his book "Dallas 1963." In it, he describes the intense level of distrust, even hatred there toward President Kennedy in the years and months before his assassination.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The interview struck a chord with Eleanor Cowan(ph) of Georgetown, Texas. She was teaching in Dallas 50 years ago and she says she wrote a letter to Time magazine, saying Dallas set the stage for the assassination. She tells us, I had not mentioned I was a Dallas teacher, only a teacher. Someone saw it and contacted the superintendent. As a result, I almost lost my job had it not been for a caring lawyer who came to my defense. Yes, Dallas was a pit of vultures at the time, and that's what children were hearing. Is it not the same today with all the hateful rhetoric flying around?

BLOCK: And Kevin Haroff(ph) of Burbank, California, took issue with a line in my introduction to that interview. I said Dallas in the early '60s was a stew of super-patriotism, fueled by anti-communist paranoia, fierce racism and anti-Semitism. Mr. Haroff writes: These people were in no way patriots, and I deeply resent the suggestion that they love America more than liberals or Democrats. The words you wanted are reactionaries or jingoists or atavists, but they do not deserve any suggestion of being patriots.

SIEGEL: Please keep your comments coming. You can reach us at npr.org. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on contact.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLOCK: This is NPR.

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