Houston Matters

Ten Dollars To Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan

In the 1920s, future Texas governor Dan Moody — then a 29-year-old district attorney — was the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully take on and convict members of the Ku Klux Klan. Patricia Bernstein tells his story in her book Ten Dollars To Hate.

Klan Initiation, Houston 1921

Last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va. was a reminder that white supremacist groups and racially charged violence are still very much an issue across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center actively monitors some 1,600 extremist groups operating across the country, and that includes familiar names like the Ku Klux Klan.

Members of the KKK had never been successfully tried and convicted for acts of violence in this country until Dan Moody came along.

Before he became the 30th governor of Texas, Moody was the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully take on and convict members of the KKK. In the 1920s, the 29-year-old Moody was the district attorney in Williamson County, north of Austin.

His story is told in the book Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan by Houston author Patricia Bernstein. She’s one of two Texas authors discussing their work at an event tonight (Aug. 16) at the Houston Chronicle. The other is Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson, who wrote a book in 2014 called Tomlinson Hill, whom we heard from on Tuesday’s program.

Today, we revisit our conversation with Patricia Bernstein and learn more about Dan Moody and the stand he took against the KKK.

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