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."
The author of this particular letter, Rev. Richard Deats, later played a key role in one of the most prominent Vietnam War demonstrations in Dallas. As the Dallas representative of "Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam", Deats organized a sixteen-mile march on April 27, 1969, in opposition of the U.S. Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) program. The march led demonstrators through Dealey Plaza to a rally in nearby Ferris Plaza across from The Dallas Morning News building. - Stephen Fagin, Associate Curator