Dallas 1963, by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis
Steven L. Davis and Bill Minutaglio, co-authors of <em>Dallas 1963</em>. Minutaglio is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. His work has appeared in <em>The New York Times</em>, <em>Esquire</em> and <em>Newsweek. </em>
Nearly half a century later, the date remains difficult for many to forget: Nov. 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In grainy photographs and countless conspiracy theories, the day endures in our collective memory. What often gets submerged in these images and reports, though, is the story of the place that hosted Kennedy on that day, the city that saw his death firsthand: Dallas.
Mary Hamilton was found in contempt of court in Alabama, when she refused to answer questions after the prosecution addressed her only by her first name. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled in her favor.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling, its decisions can carry weight for generations. Think about decisions in the civil rights era regarding school segregation and the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama.
As part of our look back on the summer of 1963, we examine another Alabama case that had a subtle effect on the way courts treat defendants.
At a mock trial at Samford University in Birmingham, a student playing the role of a defense attorney questions his client on the stand: "To your knowledge, can a driver turning left turn on a yellow light?"
Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR's Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham's Dynamite Hill.