Times Remembers Eagle’s Dennis Holt, Civil Rights Hero

In the Sunday New York Times Metropolitan section, Kevin Baker remembers his friend of many years, Dennis Holt, who died last month. Baker paints a colorful portrait of Holt as “a classic New York eccentric” who once chased an intruder from his Boerum Hill townhouse while brandishing a Civil War era dress sword.

Baker also discloses that, as a student government leader at the University of Alabama in 1956, Holt faced down thugs who rioted when an African American woman, Autherine Lucy, attempted to enroll there. He later sponsored a resolution “that mob violence be denounced at the University of Alabama and that means be found to protect the future personal safety of the students, white or Negro — and the faculty and the reputation of the university.” He was also a national collegiate debating champion. Who knew?

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