1960s Civil Rights Advocates, Doar '44, Katzenbach '45, and Goldin '57 to Speak at "John F. Kennedy and Civil Rights: Fifty Years After," March 2
Audience:Open to the Public
"John F. Kennedy and Civil Rights: Fifty Years After" will be the topic of discussion among three key Civil Rights advocates who, during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, played a pivotal role in ending racial segregation and securing civil rights for African Americans, at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.
The event will feature John Doar ’44, former assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, civil rights prosecutor in the “Mississippi Burning” trial; Nicholas Katzenbach ’45, former U.S. attorney general and participant in many critical civil rights initiatives who drafted and secured passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act; and Harrison Jay Goldin ’57, former attorney in the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights assigned to be roommate and protectorate of James Meredith as he became the first African American student to attend the University of Mississippi. Thomas Putnam MPA ’87, Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, will moderate the discussion.
John Doar, ‘44 served as first assistant and then assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1960 to 1967. He was a key government litigator in several federal civil rights cases, successfully prosecuting the milestone case against Ku Klux Klan members accused of murdering three American civil rights activists, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, the events of which were later depicted in the movie Mississippi Burning. In 1962 Doar was assigned with escorting James Meredith, along with federal marshals, as Meredith became the first African American student to enroll at the then all-white University of Mississippi. Doar is also credited with diffusing a near riotous crowd in Jackson, Miss., after the assassination of the NAACP’s Medgar Evers in 1963. Doar later contributed to drafting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He is currently senior counsel at the New York based law firm, Doar Rieck Kaley & Mack.
Nicholas Katzenbach, ‘45 joined the Department of Justice in 1961 as assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel. In 1962 he became deputy attorney general and worked with Attorney General Robert Kennedy in overseeing the desegregation of the South. In 1963 he was charged with delivering Johnson’s order to integrate the University of Alabama and allow two African-American students to attend. It was here that Katzenbach confronted then-governor George Wallace who symbolically barred the doorway of the school auditorium in what came to be known as the “stand in the schoolhouse door” incident. Katzenbach drafted and, serving as the president’s liaison to Congress, secured passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. In 1965 President Johnson named him Attorney General of the United States. After leaving the Justice Department in 1966, Katzenbach served as Under Secretary of State until 1969.
Harrison Jay Goldin, ‘57 was an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights during the Kennedy administration. In 1962 he was assigned to room with James Meredith and safeguard the first African American student as he entered a segregated University of Mississippi. He went on to teach and hold public office, serving for16 years as Comptroller of The City of New York. From 1966 to 1973 he was a member of the New York State Senate. After leaving public office in 1989, he founded Goldin Associates, a financial advisory and turnaround consulting firm.
Thomas Putnam, MPA ‘87 joined the Kennedy Presidential Library in 1999 as Director of Education. In 2003, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Library. Putnam was instrumental in the launch of a new web site and the building of new digital archives and has also overseen the planning and design of a proposed $22 million building addition project which will provide the Kennedy Presidential Library with an additional 30,000 square feet of storage required for the safe preservation of President Kennedy’s papers. In September, 2006, he was appointed Acting Director of the Library, as was named Director in January, 2007.
This event is free and open to the public. It will be videotaped and available for viewing on the Woodrow Wilson School’sweb media site. To receive notification about all our events, please sign up for our events e-newsletter.