Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 20, Number 2, Fall, 2008 Page: 55 of 68
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Bill and Fran McElvaney, seen here at their home in January 2008, remain prominent social activists in the Dallas
late 1960s. He even dusted off his original fivepoint
argument for Vietnam, drafted in
September 1967, for use at 2007 public appearances.
He continues to have his critics, and he
responds, "So what? People have different
opinions. They will be expressed, and my concern
is just expressing what I believe in the best
possible way I can. It will offend some people
but . . . we both claim to be coming out of
Christian faith .... That's just the way it is."99
In the end, despite whether or not an individual
agrees with McElvaney's progressive
positions, few can seriously doubt his commitment
to his faith, his city, and his country-and
the passion of his social activism. In May 2007,
the SMU Daily Campus Editorial Board named
McElvaney one of their "Persons of the Year,"
citing his courage in publicly opposing the proposed
Bush Library and his effort to launch a
serious discussion within the SMU communi
ty.'0 On that subject, as with the Iraq War,
McElvaney continues to remain stoic in his
opinions, and even at age 80, he remains prominent
at Dallas meetings and speaking engagements.
Looking back on his activism through
the prism of history, McElvaney has no regrets:
"I don't think I've ever taken a position that I
thought was too strong," he concludes. "As a
matter of fact . . . I always thought it wasn't
'"Eugene McElvaney: No Limit on Giving," The Dallas
Morning News,July 12, 1959.
2The Reverend Bill McElvaney. Interview by Stephen
Fagin, February 10, 2006, Oral History Collection/The
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
4"History of St. Stephen." St. Stephen United Methodist
Fall 2008 LEGACIES 5 3
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Dallas Heritage Village. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 20, Number 2, Fall, 2008, periodical, 2008; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46806/m1/55/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.