Today in Texas History – November 20

From the Annals of Journalism – In 1941, writer Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker gave a speech at Southern Methodist University in which he advocated for United States entry into World War II.  After his address, HRK engaged in a heated debate with students who opposed his views.  Knickerbocker was born in Yoakum, Texas and graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown.  He moved to New York and began a distinguished career in journalism. HRK later relocated to Munich, Germany, with the intention of studying psychiatry, but witnessed Adolf Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923.  He resumed his journalism career becoming chief Berlin correspondent for the New York Evening Post and the Philadelphia Public Ledger. In 1931 Knickerbocker won the Pulitzer Prize for his articles describing and analyzing the Soviet Five-Year Plan. With the Nazi takeover in 1933, however, due to his strong opposition to Hitler, he was expelled from Germany.  He forecast the coming conflagration in his book Will War Come to Europe and after the outbreak spent much of his energy attempting to convince Americans that the U.S. should join in the fight against Nazism.

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