Roy Falls at Norris' gravesite

Roy Falls at Norris' gravesite

Books for Sale

Books for Sale

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sept. 2011 Letter to Editor, Times Union, New York

September 27, 2011

Times Union
Box 15000, News Plaza
Albany, N. Y. 12212

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the J. Frank Norris Historical Society, I wish to point out glaring erroneous assertions in the article by Rev. David R. Stokes which appeared in your publication on August 27, 2011.

I have done extensive research on this very subject which Mr. Stokes’ uses as the focus of his remarks. You will note that Mr. Stokes equates “Fundamentalism” as the fertile recruiting soil for the Ku Klux Klan. Scholarly research does not validate his assumption. If you, as Editors, will substitute the word “Protestantism” for the word “Fundamentalism”, you will get an entirely different take on the man Rev. Stokes tries to make out as the leader of the “pack”. Protestantism of all sectors, including main-line Southern Baptist churches were the core leaders of different factions of the Klan in this time period. The vast majority of Klansmen were members of protestant churches and most pastors were sympathetic supporters, although themselves not dues paying members of the Klan. It is not surprising, that Rev. Stokes has found evidence that one such Klansman was a member of the Norris church. Read the archives of the Dallas Morning News for an eye-opener. At best, any involvement in the Klan on the part of J. Frank Norris would be considered on the periphery.

Another inaccuracy in the article is the oft assertion that Norris shot an unarmed man. This assumption is based on hearsay and out-of the court’s sources. It’s a long story, but I’ve talked and knew personally most of the defendant witnesses. At age 91, I do have a closer view and understanding of the events in 1926, rather than from a distance of 75 years.

For the benefit of all New York Jewish constituents, the name of J. Frank Norris will, in the course of history, be remembered as the most ardent exponent of Jewish causes, namely Zionism. This one aspect of Norris’ legacy has led me to an appreciation of his legacy, thus my endeavor on the J. Frank Norris Historical Society is committed to factual reporting.

Roy Falls
3505 Cherokee Trail
Granbury, Tx. 76048

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