The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 26

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Farmer said, they were denied service. But the CORE director met with
the hotel management, and the next morning, he said, the barber's
union had provided barbers willing to comply with the newly enacted
law. "I ordered the works-shave and a haircut," Farmer said with a
hearty laugh in 1998. "The barber soaped up my face, and when he
got out his straight razor and put it up to my neck, I almost had sec-
ond thoughts. But as I remember that was the best shave and haircut I
ever got."69
Both Moyers and historian Max Lale, who was city editor of the
Marshall News Messenger in 1964, agreed that publisher Millard Cope was
conservative and ran a newspaper in what could only be described as a
typical small southern town. Cope knew Mrs. Johnson and Moyers were
from Marshall. He may well have known that Farmer was from Marshall,
since many people remembered that both Farmer and his scholarly
father had been at Wiley College. He could have even been aware that
Wright was a native of Marshall, since Cope and Mrs. Johnson were
friends, and it is likely she might have mentioned her cook or even
introduced Cope to her on one of his many trips to Washington.
Nevertheless, from the time the civil rights bill of 1964 was introduced
until its final passage six months later, Cope wrote no editorials either
endorsing or condemning it, nor mentioning the Marshallites who were
involved. If a story about the bill appeared on the Associated Press wire,
it was likely to run without comment in a prominent place, usually page
one, of the News Messenger. Thus, Marshall subscribers could read about
the clergymen who met at the White House, the steps toward passage of
the bill and the ending-for the first time in history -of the filibuster
that could have killed it. But never was an effort made to provide the
newspaper readers with information on the hometown involvement.
The missing CORE volunteers made it to the first page, as did the photo-
graph of their burned-out station wagon when it was found in a swamp
near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
From time to time an unsigned "analysis" would appear on the editori-
al page. Lale said they were all written by Cope.70 For the most part, each
would explain what it would take to stop the filibuster, or the importance
of keeping the bill out of committees dominated by ultra-Southern sena-
tors such as Mississippi's James Eastland if it was to pass. Two right-wing
editorial columnists, Holmes Alexander and David Lawrence, appeared
regularly on the editorial page, but so did an unsigned Associated Press
column called "Behind the Headlines." On May 21, "Behind the
19 Farmer to Beil, Jan. 13, 1998, interview. The account also appears on the front page of the
New York Times, July 3, 1964, under the headline, "First Test of Law "
70 Lale to Beil, September 1998, interview.


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