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Harold Barefoot Sanders, Jr.

Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders was born on February 5, 1925 to attorney Harold Barefoot Sanders, Sr. and May Elizabeth Forrester Sanders in Dallas, Texas.  Sanders told of growing up during the Depression, working odd jobs to raise money for the family.  He and his father were both named for Dennie Barefoot, Judge Sanders’ paternal grandmother.  She was the granddaughter of Daniel Barefoot, of Tennessee, who had settled in Montague County, Texas in the 1800s.  Dennie’s father Jonathan Barefoot had served in the Civil War.  Judge Sanders talked about the name Barefoot and explained in a 1971 newspaper article that it was not a nickname and was his grandmother’s maiden name.  He also clarified that it was not a Native American name, as some might have supposed.

Sanders served in the United States Navy on a destroyer in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  After the war ended, he enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1949 and a law degree in 1950, both from the University of Texas at Austin. After his graduation, Sanders joined his father’s Dallas law firm in 1950, Storey, Sanders, Sherrill and Armstrong.

Early on, he went by his initials, H. B.  Although the name Barefoot may have caused him to be teased as a youth, it proved to be beneficial when it came to name recognition when he was campaigning for public office. While at the University of Texas, he campaigned for student body president.  He and his supporters are believed to have painted footprints around campus on election day.  He also wore a gold footprint pin on his robes when he became a judge.  In later campaigns, his supporters would sometimes give out sugar cookies in the shape of a foot, complete with toes.

On November 22, 1963, the day of President Kennedy’s assassination, Sanders was serving as United States attorney for the Northern District of Texas.  Sanders and his wife were passengers in the motorcade behind the President and Governor Conally.  He told of having warned the officials on Kennedy’s staff against appearing in the motorcade.  After the news broke about the death of the President, it became necessary for Sanders to locate Judge Sarah T. Hughes in order to administer the presidential oath of office to Vice President Johnson.  After calling her office and her home, he was able to locate Judge Hughes who had already headed for a luncheon that was to have featured the President after the motorcade.  She rushed to the airport and administered the oath aboard Air Force One while it sat at Love Field.

He served three terms as in the Texas legislature from 1953 to 1959 and was defeated in 1958 in a bid for the United States House of Representatives by the incumbent, Bruce Alger.  During Kennedy’s presidential campaign, he served as campaign manager for Dallas County.  Kennedy appointed him to serve as United States Attorney for Dallas and he went on to serve several years with the Justice Department for the Northern District. During the Johnson administration, he served as counsel to the President and was considered to be influential in the promotion and passage of the Civil Rights Act.  He also served from 1965 to 1967 as assistant deputy attorney general.  He later served as a federal judge for twenty-eight years.  During his career, Sanders was nominated twice for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but was not selected either time.  After defeating former Senator Ralph Yarborough in the Democratic primary, Sanders campaigned unsuccessfully for the United States Senate in an effort to gain the seat of Senator John Tower.

Judge Sanders was appointed as a federal judge by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and presided over the Dallas ISD desegregation case until 2003.  Sanders served as senior judge from 1989 to 1995 and retired in 2006.  Some of his decisions included approval of targeted learning centers and magnet schools as an academic alternative to the prior focus on student busing.  One of his later major cases was to oversee the restructuring of Texas hospitals for the mentally ill.

BarefootSanders_statebaroftexas

(Image credit: State Bar of Texas)

His honors include receiving the “Outstanding Fifty Year Lawyer Award” from the Texas Bar Association.  After his long career, Sanders passed away in 2008 at the age of 83.

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Posted by on August 22, 2019 in biography, jfk assassination

 

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Dr. “Pepper” Jenkins

Dr. Marion Thomas Jenkins was the anesthesiologist who attended President John F. Kennedy at Parkland Hospital after the President was fatally wounded.  He was born in 1917 to Dr. Homer Jenkins, a country doctor, and Mrs. Ella Brooks Keasler Jenkins.  His father came from an unusually talented family of seven brothers, six of whom became doctors.  “Pepper” was a boyhood nickname that stayed with him throughout his career.

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Posted by on October 18, 2018 in biography, jfk assassination

 

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Abraham Zapruder

Abraham Zapruder’s name became quite familiar to those of us who were old enough to remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.  Zapruder had been on the street at the exact time the attack occurred.  He and his employees had stopped work to enjoy the presidential parade and had been filming the event with his personal home movie camera.

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Posted by on September 13, 2018 in biography, jfk assassination

 

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Sara T. Hughes

Sara Augusta Tilghman Hughes was a pioneer in the legal profession.  She was born in 1896 in Baltimore, Maryland to James Cooke and Elizabeth Haughton Tilghman.  Her father was a shipping clerk in the dry goods business.  She grew up in Baltimore where she attended Western Female High School, Salem Academy in North Carolina and then Goucher College, graduating in 1917 with a degree in biology.  After graduating from college, she taught school for two years before enrolling in night law school classes at George Washington School of Law.  During the day, she worked as a police officer in Washington, D. C. and she received her law degree in 1922.

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Dr. Red Duke

Dr. James Henry Duke, Jr. was more likely known to most of us as the charismatic Dr. “Red” Duke.  He was born in Ennis, Ellis County, Texas to James Henry (Sr.) and Helen Marion Donegan Duke.  He graduated from high school in Hillsboro, Hill County, and then received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 1950.  In connection with his degree at A&M, he did a two year tour of duty in the Army where he served as a tank officer in the 67th Medium Tank Battalion of 2nd Armored Division, spending some time in Germany.  Dr. Duke then earned a divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  While at Southwestern Seminary, he read a book by the pioneer physician Albert Schweitzer that changed his life’s focus and inspired him to pursue a career in academic medicine.  He then earned an M. D. from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1960 and served as an surgical intern in Dallas at Parkland Hospital until 1965.

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Posted by on June 21, 2018 in biography, jfk assassination

 

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Will Fritz

John William Fritz was born on June 15, 1896 to Blake and Ada Hamilton Fritz in Dublin, Erath County, Texas.  Will was the oldest of four boys.  In 1900, Blake was a farmer in Erath County.  By 1910, the family had moved to Chaves County, New Mexico in or near a small community by the name of Lake Arthur where Blake was trying to make a living as a horse and mule rancher.  Lake Arthur was small back then.  Even now, it is only about ten streets north to south and east to west.  By all accounts, Will had a normal childhood for the son of a rancher and grew up around the ranch, acquiring cowboy skills from Blake and other workers.

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Posted by on June 14, 2018 in biography, jfk assassination, president

 

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