The "Wanted For Treason" Flyer Distributed in Dallas Before JFK's Visit

Historical Treasures, Oddities, And Delights
Nov. 15 2013 1:00 PM

The "Wanted For Treason" Flyer Distributed in Dallas Before JFK's Visit

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This flyer, around 5,000 copies of which were distributed around Dallas in the days before President Kennedy’s November 22, 1963 visit, accused Kennedy of a range of offenses, from being “lax” on Communism, to “appointing anti-Christians to Federal office,” to lying to the American people about his personal life.

General Edwin A. Walker, a Texan who served in World War II and the Korean War, had resigned his Army post in 1961 after a Kennedy-ordered investigation found that he had violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity on the job, by distributing John Birch Society literature to his troops. Walker moved to Dallas and became a leader of right-wing activity in the city (more on the full range of that activity here). The ex-General led resistance to James Meredith’s 1962 enrollment at the University of Mississippi and unsuccessfully ran for the position of Texas governor

After the assassination, Walker’s organization was briefly under suspicion, and the Warren Commission investigation tracked these flyers to Walker’s aide Robert Surrey. Surrey had overseen the distribution of the sheets in the days prior to JFK’s arrival; members of Walker’s organization, acting on his behalf, placed them under windshield wipers and in newspaper racks.

Walker’s group was exonerated of involvement with the assassination, but the Warren Commission did turn up a bizarre coincidence. On April 10, 1963, Walker was sitting at his desk in his home study when a bullet fired from outside the house narrowly missed his head. According to Marina Oswald’s testimony, which the Commission found convincing, Lee Harvey Oswald had carefully planned and executed this attempted murder, months before his November assassination of the President. (The Warren Commission’s examination of that evidence is here.)

TreasonFlyer

Wikimedia Commons.