Some Texas Labor History Up to 2003

“Maverick” Means “Freedom” in Texas

According to the Dallas paper, Maury Maverick, Jr, died on January 28, 2003. He had helped thousands of Texans with history-making legal problems. He often worked on civil liberty cases free of charge. He is described as an “ardent pacifist who defended conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War.” He also took on, and won, important civil rights cases. He stood up against the anti-communist witch hunters in Texas.

As a State Representative 1950-56, Maverick helped stop a bill that would have imposed the death penalty on anybody “convicted” of being a communist! Many lawyers consider that winning a case before the Supreme Court is the high point of a career. Maverick won a case in 1964 in which a San Antonio bookseller had been accused of having books by Karl Marx and Jean-Paul Sartre. The writings were called, “seditious papers.”

Maury Maverick Jr was the son of the Mayor of San Antonio who distinguished himself by allowing the pecan shellers to use a municipal building for a strike rally. The KKK surrounded their house and threatened the family for having dared to help the Spanish-speaking pecan workers, according to the paper. The Maverick name had become a household word when Sam Maverick, Maury Jr’s grandfather, was a cattle king who refused to brand his cattle; thus all unbranded (nonconformist) cattle were called “mavericks.”

We are invited to wonder at the many lesser-known but actual accomplishments of Maury Maverick Jr, after the Dallas paper has chosen these well-known highlights.


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