Online Collection

Letter to Reverend William A. Holmes from M. A. Moore

Object Number: 2007.016.0255
Category: Documents
Original owner: Rev. William A. Holmes
Type of Object: Letter
Dimensions: 11 x 8 1/2 in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm)
Medium: Paper
Letter sent to Reverend William A. Holmes of Northaven Methodist Church in Dallas from M. A. Moore of Dallas.

Letter is typewritten on business letterhead and reads as follows:

"Metropolitan Office *** 605 North Ervay St. * RI 2-3251 * P.O. Box 1676
Dallas 1, Texas

Young Men's Christian Association of Dallas and Dallas County

November 27, 1963

Rev. Wm. A. Holmes
Northaven Methodist church
11211 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas

Dear Bill:

I am not in the habit of writing "crank" letters, and I hope you will not consider this in that category, but simply a very sincere expression of deep disappointment in a friend.

I heard with dismay and disbelief your statement last night on the Walter Cronkite program, which I presume was a partial repeat of your sermon on last Sunday. Your selection of incidents to emphasize and present to the world as "Dallas" was most unfortunate, and surely you do not believe it presents a fair picture of this fine city.

The fact that a known pro-communist chose Dallas as the site for his tragic act, is no reflection on the city of Dallas nor its fine people, and certainly gives no one the right to cast shame and disgrace upon us all. His selection of Dallas may in a way actually have been a tribute to Dallas, as a most unlikely place for it to happen, giving him an added safety in the element of surprise.

Each of the other incidents you used were of themselves minor and not typical of the feeling of the people of Dallas. In each case only one or a very few people were involved in any overt act. Certainly, you cannot limit or condemn the right of people to disagree with the prevailing government on specific issues. I am not specifically approving or condoning any one of the incidents to which you referred. I am simply saying that you blew them up all out of proportion, and in tying them together, gave the world a most unfair and distorted picture of this city that has treated both of us so magnificently.

From today's news reports, you apparently were misinformed on the school incident, but damage has been done around the world that can never be undone.

At a time when calm and sober judgment was needed as never before in our lives, you have distorted the picture and inflamed feelings in an amazing manner. I hope the people of Dallas can find it in their big and generous hearts to accept the apology I hope you are prepared to make to them.

Sincerely, your friend,
M A Moore 'Doc'"

Envelope is type-addressed to:
"Rev. Wm. A. Holmes
Northaven Methodist Church
11211 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas"

"Metropolitan Office
The Young Men's Christian Association of Dallas County
605 N. Ervay, Dallas 1, Texas"

Envelope is postmarked: "DALLAS, TEX. 2A / 330 PM / 29 NOV 1963" and stamped with a 5 cent U.S. postage stamp depicting the White House and the American flag.
Curator's Notes

When I first interviewed Rev. Holmes in March 2007, he was surprised to hear that there was still historical interest in his controversial sermon from the weekend of the Kennedy assassination. He and his wife soon decided to donate to the Museum the collection of more than 450 letters and cards that they received from around the world after excerpts of the sermon were broadcast on CBS.

Although several letters were critical of Holmes, the vast majority supported his beliefs as expressed in the sermon. Holmes was most proud of the letter he received from Christian philosopher Paul Tillich (1886-1965), while his children were thrilled with the letter from actor Hugh Brannum (1910-87), who played "Mr. Green Jeans" on the children's program "Captain Kangaroo." - Stephen Fagin, Associate Curator

All requests for permission to reproduce, publish or broadcast materials in this collection must be submitted to the Museum's registrar, using the Rights & Reproductions Request Form. Inquiries may be sent to