John Kenneth Galbraith & Johnnie Rebecca Carr

March 31, 1996
7:30 p.m.
Irma B. Moore Hall Auditorium

The only defense against a bad idea is a good idea.

 Clifford J. Durr

John Kenneth Galbraith

World Renowned Economist, Harvard Professor, Writer and Lecturer, Advisor to Presidents

Johnnie Rebecca Carr

President of Montgomery Improvement Association, Montgomery Advertiser 1996 “Citizen of the Year”

John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith is the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics Emeritus at Harvard University. He is internationally known for his development of Keynesian and post-Keynesian economics, the economics of the modern large firm, as well as for his writing and his active involvement in American politics.

Professor Galbraith has received some forty-five honorary degrees from universities worldwide, including Harvard University, Oxford University, the University of Paris, Moscow State University, and the University of Toronto.
Professor Galbraith has had a distinguished career in American and international politics. A Democrat, Galbraith served as President John F. Kennedy's ambassador to India from 1961 to 1963. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Galbraith served as the deputy administrator in the Office of Price Administration in the early 1940s, where he organized and administered the wartime system of price controls. He also served as director of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in 1945. For his public service, Galbraith was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1946.
Professor Galbraith, known for his lucid, persuasive writing style, has published many books and articles. The Affluent Society(1958), for which he won the Tamiment Book Award and the Sidney Hillman Award, challenged the myth of the U.S. economy's reliance on the gross national product for its social stability, positing instead that consumers' taste for luxury goods dictated the economy's focus at the expense of the common welfare. The New Industrial State (1967) and Economics and the Public Purpose (1973) continued the examination of this thesis, to critical and popular acclaim.

Johnnie Rebecca Carr

The Montgomery Advertiser's 1996 Citizen of the Year, Johnnie Rebecca Carr was one of the first people called when former classmate, Rosa L. Parks, was arrested in 1955 for defying segregated seating rules on municipal buses. Out of the arrest came the bus boycott and the Montgomery Improvement Association, which Mrs. Carr has led since 1967. She is the fourth president of the association, which was first led by the Rev. Martin Luther King. The Montgomery Improvement Association was instrumental in supporting many lawsuits in the 1950s and 1960s, including Mrs. Carr's suit to enroll her own son in Sidney Lanier High School.
Mrs. Carr has been a voice of reconciliation and wisdom for over forty years of involvement in the continuing struggle for Civil Rights. She is the guiding spirit of many organizations, including The Friendly Supper Club and One Montgomery, and is a member of Leadership Montgomery. Mrs. Carr has been a bridge between the conflict of segregation and the promise of integration for many years.

I Remember Clifford Durr

Without batting an eye or complaining about his situation, Cliff Durr knowingly sacrificed a promising career and wealth to near-poverty and the wrath of his colleagues in favor of making America a better place.

— Walt Lyon

My father had two heroes, Jesus Christ and Thomas Jefferson. In my mind those heroes stood for the two parts of my father's view of the world. He believed that our nation would be a just and moral place for men and women to live if every citizen would abide by the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." But Daddy knew that we could not depend on men and women abiding by God's law to make sure we lived in a society that protected the basic rights of every American. Like Jefferson, he believed that there must be a Constitution and a Bill of Rights to protect our rights and give everyone access to the courts if those rights were threatened.

— Lucy Durr Hackney

I am my father's third daughter, and he is not dead. His spirit and his dream of the protection of the civil liberties of everyone is alive. My father was an advocate for the poor, the oppressed, and the average American. My father was willing to mentor and teach Constitutional law to new and unseasoned lawyers for no fees and no recognition. My father was willing to stand up and say "this is wrong" knowing it would affect his pocket book. I hope the Durr Lectures at AUM will inspire others to address the issues that threaten free speech and civil liberties in our society. Clifford Durr was a most forgiving and loving man, however, he was never hesitant to proclaim his distaste for hypocrisy.

— Tilla Durr

Cliff Durr was happiest at Pea Level. The house he built there, mostly by himself, had a narrow door leading from the dining room to the living room that a fat person barely could slide through. He loved his garden. The last time I saw him in the Wetumpka Hospital, he was anxious to know how his garden was doing.

— Bettina Jenkins

As the only child for eight years I felt pretty special and I adored my father. He made me feel good about myself by listening with interest to whatever I was about, giving me confidence to grow and explore. He never talked down to me even as a child and was wonderful at explaining complicated issues, a great teacher. No rigid expectations were imposed, and I was encouraged "to be myself" and do my best. He praised my less than "ladylike" athletic skills. He loved his work and told us about it at home. I loved discussing with him the "new" ideas from college. By example he taught me about tolerance, dignity and fair play in relationships with all people. On long walks in the woods and gardening, I learned to know and respect the land and share his awe and wonder of nature, which was his spiritual home.

— Ann Durr Lyon

Every Sunday in the First Presbyterian Church my father would rise with the congregation and recite the Apostle's Creed. During the part that said, "I believe in the Virgin Birth," he would become silent and then continue. I asked him once why he never recited that part, and he said the act of love as the creation of life was a miracle, and to diminish it by saying virginity made it more of a miracle was absurd. I found it reassuring that even while reciting the Apostle's Creed, which my father had thousands of times, he could only recite it in a way that reflected his personal sense of truth.

— Lulah Durr Colan