Editorials published by father of novelist Harper Lee (2024)

MONROEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Excepts of editorials published by A.C. Lee, the father of “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee, while he was editor of The Monroe Journal from 1929-1947.

Sept. 26, 1929: On whether to establish the U.S. Department of Education:

“It is a matter of common knowledge among all informed people that where the federal government directs expenditure of large funds, or supervises its administration, no color or race lines are recognized.

“The only safe course for us is to insist that the states be not disturbed in their administration of public education: and in order to preserve this status it is necessary that we oppose every move designed to bring us nearer to a surrender of such a prerogative.”

June 4, 1931: On a reunion of Confederate veterans:

“What may be the last general reunion of those gallant sons of the sixties who fought so nobly for the preservation of their rights as they saw them, and for the protection of home and loved ones, is being held this week in the city of Montgomery.” …

“Let us upon whose shoulders has been placed the duty to carry on, and to maintain the lofty traditions handed down by those noble warriors who battled to maintain our southern ideals, both during the war of the sixties and the period of reconstruction following it, take fresh courage from their glorious examples of courage, valor and fidelity to duty, and rededicate ourselves to unselfish service in battling with the vexing problems of our day.”

April 13, 1933: On claims that death sentences for black defendants in the “Scottsboro boys” rape case resulted from racial bigotry by whites against blacks:

“This brazen insult was hurled at a jury of twelve representative citizens of Morgan County, Alabama, who listened patiently to the testimony submitted at the trial and returned their verdict under oath.

“At least indirectly it was aimed at the people of Alabama; and the most charitable comment that can be fairly made is that the perpetrator has forfeited any claim he may have had to the respect of thoughtful citizens in this state.

“It is greatly hoped that the interests of the other defendants under the same charge will be in the hands of attorneys with some conception of the proprieties.”

Jan. 20, 1938: On a proposed federal anti-lynching law:

“This legislation is not only unnecessary, but it violates the fundamental idea of states rights and is aimed as a form of punishment upon the southern people. We hope our Senators will not yield, but that they will fight until it has been disposed of definitely.”

July 24, 1941: On the treatment of German citizens in the United States:

“Our sympathy goes out to our loyal German citizens in this situation. But those who are genuinely loyal will readily understand that this sympathy can not be permitted to slow up in the least in our denunciation of Hitler and his program of subjugation and domination, nor in our fight against all forms of espionage and foreign isms, whether from Germans or anyone else.

“All American citizens appreciate and honor our loyal citizens of German ancestry.”

Feb. 20, 1947: On the liberalism of then-Alabama Gov. Jim Folsom:

“These ideals are directly opposed to that conception of democracy that made possible the organization of this United States of ours, and under which we grew into the greatest nation on earth. Indeed, those ideals of regimentation, if pursued, will lead to the inevitable overthrow of our government and the establishment of some sort of communistic rule.

“This statement may be challenged; but when the ideal of individual independence is gone it will be succeeded by some form of regimentation that emphasizes government, and reduces the individual to a status of servitude. The tendency toward this ideal is strong in the world, and reached its highest perfection in Hiterlized Germany.”

April 24, 1947: On the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt and labor unions:

“In his zeal for the bettermen (sic) of the masses Mr. Roosevelt permitted himself to become so thoroughly tied up with these organizations, and so deeply under their influence, that he found himself unable to take the lead in correcting the wrongs that had developed. Indeed, the Democratic party, under his leadership, had found itself in the same situation.

“Is it not fair to say that he had accomplished his work, and when the time came that his leadership was unable to cope with the new demands of justice for humanity, a sympathetic God took him on to make room for another leader?”

June 26, 1947: On leaving the newspaper business:

“As we are bowing out of the newspaper field it is but natural that we allow our thoughts to go back over the years of our service for the purpose of a critical review. And with the added experience of the years we are unable to recall any position we have previously taken on any important question that we would wish to change.

Editorials published by father of novelist Harper Lee (2024)
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