Another veteran of the Kennedy-Johnson era, Nicholas Katzenbach, has died at the age of 90.
Not as well remembered as others, partly because he wished to avoid the spotlight, Katzenbach was actually an extremely important figure, as Under Secretary of State, Deputy Attorney General, and Attorney General.
The author has the memory of Katzenbach confronting Alabama Governor George Wallace in June 1963, at the University of Alabama, when Wallace tried to block the registration of two black students, and Katzenbach took a firm stand, and Wallace stepped aside. Few more dramatic moments have occurred in a public place, with no one sure what would happen!
But Katzenbach was also involved in the integration of the University of Mississippi by James Meredith in 1962; the defense of the Vietnam War before congressional committees; the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy; advice during the Cuban Missile Crisis; passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and struggles with J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, but supportive of Robert F. Kennedy, the Attorney General before him.
The 1960s era fades ever more in history with the death of Nicholas Katzenbach.