Corrupt Cops! Voter Fraud! Hookers at Fort Stewart!

In his posthumous memoir, investigative reporter Jack Nelson recalls his early days as a Southern muckraker at the Atlanta Constitution.

This excerpt originally appeared in our January 2013 issue.

In the 1960s, as Atlanta and its boosters jostled with other cities for attention, staffs of the rival Journal and Constitution hustled for scoops. A new memoir from veteran newspaperman Jack Nelson recalls the heyday of Atlanta journalism and his experience working for Ralph McGill, the Constitution editor who wrote seven columns a week, many excoriating the South’s institutionalized racism. Nelson, who won the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for his investigation into the state-run mental hospital in Milledgeville, worked at the Constitution for twelve years, specializing in uncovering corruption and abuses of power. He then spent thirty-six years with the Los Angeles Times, first as Atlanta bureau chief covering the civil rights movement and later as Washington bureau head reporting on the Watergate scandal and its aftermath. Nelson, who died of pancreatic cancer at his Bethesda, Maryland, home in 2009, had been working on a memoir. This excerpt is from the book Scoop: The Evolution of a Southern Reporter, which was completed under the direction of his wife, journalist Barbara Matusow, working with the University Press of Mississippi; it will be published this month. In this selection, Nelson recalls learning on the job in the newsroom of the Atlanta Constitution.

For an ambitious reporter like me, going to work for the Constitution seemed like a good fit, but I wanted certain assurances first. I flew to Atlanta to discuss the offer with [managing editor] Bill Fields, and told him I was willing to work long hours, but that I also wanted to go to college. He said he understood but expressed doubts that my going to college would work well for the Constitution.

“We’ll pay you $85 a week if you don’t go to college because you’ll be available to us, if needed, twenty-four hours a day,” he said. “But we’ll pay you $75 if you do go to college because we won’t be able to call on you when you’re in classes.”

In an unheard-of burst of generosity, Fields decided to pay me $85 a week anyway, which, he gave me to understand, was a major concession on the part of the paper. Stories about penny-pinching at the Journal and Constitution in those days were legion, and Fields in particular was known as a tightwad. A wiry, balding ex-Marine who had no use for small talk and seldom smiled, he saw eye to eye with the publisher, Jack Tarver, who was so tightfisted we used to joke that he sat in his office squeezing nickels until they turned into dimes.

In spite of its penurious ways, the Constitution was an invigorating place to work in those days. We competed fiercely for scoops with the Atlanta Journal, the afternoon paper, even though both papers had the same owner: former Ohio governor James M. Cox. My archrival at the Journal was John Pennington, who was one hell of a reporter. I was obsessed with beating him.

The Constitution staff of about thirty reporters and editors was close-knit and populated by an assortment of colorful characters, some of them brilliant. One of my favorites was Celestine Sibley, a big-boned, warm-hearted country girl who wrote like a dream, even though her personal life was full of tragedy. She was the original sob sister. She’d write the kind of stories that would bring tears to your eyes, then turn around and produce a razor-sharp article on the state legislature.

Then there was Eddie Barker, another great storyteller and phrasemaker who liked a nip or two. Once, assigned to cover a Jaycees convention at a hotel in Downtown Atlanta, he availed himself of the open bar, came back, and wrote that the Jaycees were just a “bunch of mice training to be rats.” (If I remember correctly, his story was pulled after the first edition.)

The biggest laugh we ever had made the paper look a little silly. I was still a junior reporter working nights when three guys walked into the newsroom carrying a two-foot hairless creature. They told us they had been driving around rural Cobb County when they saw what looked like a spaceship in the road and three small space aliens walking around. Two of the creatures hopped back on their craft and zoomed away, but the men claimed they accidentally ran over the third.

We thought the tale was pretty far-fetched, but the night editor called in a veterinarian who examined the critter and said, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not of this earth.” Somebody—I don’t remember who—wrote a tongue-in-cheek story which ran on page one the next day, complete with a staff photo. This was in 1953, when the UFO craze was at its zenith, so the story was picked up all over the world, causing phones in the newsroom to ring nonstop. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation took a more skeptical view and interrogated the men—two barbers and a butcher—at length. They finally broke down and confessed to what ever after would be known as the Great Monkey Hoax. One barber had bet the others he could get his picture in the paper. So they got hold of a monkey which he shaved and chloroformed. The butcher then killed it before lopping off its tail. It made for quite a correction the following day. (I’m told the GBI still has the beast in formaldehyde somewhere.)

Atlanta itself was exciting in those days—a bustling city expanding outwards in all directions, far more cosmopolitan than Georgia as a whole. The city fathers had begun courting Northern investment as early as the twenties, promoting Atlanta as a business-friendly center of manufacturing, transportation, and banking. Although segregation was rigidly enforced until the sixties, the town had a reputation for racial moderation, which helped attract businesses and out-of-town conventions. William Hartsfield, who served six terms as mayor and owed his longevity to the black vote, dubbed Atlanta “the city too busy to hate.”

The rest of Georgia, still heavily agrarian, regarded Atlanta as an outpost of Gomorrah. Jimmy Carter once said that when he was growing up in Plains, making a trip to Atlanta was like going to Moscow or Beijing. But Atlanta was proud of its reputation as the capital of the New South, and boosterism was the order of the day.

The Atlanta papers, members in good standing of the establishment, joined in with editorials extolling the city’s attractions. An exception was Ralph McGill, already a towering figure in American journalism and a man whose moral force was equaled only by the eloquence of his writing. His column, which ran on the front page of the paper seven days a week, frequently on the theme of racial justice, was must-reading, even for those who hated him. A few years later, when Eugene Patterson, another brilliant writer and commanding presence, joined the editorial staff, publisher Jack Tarver likened the duo—accurately, to my way of thinking—to Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

The paper, distributed statewide, wielded enormous clout in Georgia, especially in the realm of politics. I used to see politicians of all stripes—the mayor, city aldermen, state legislators—drop by the editorial offices just to chat. The Constitution newsroom was election central. Everyone—radio, TV, the candidates—came to our newsroom because we had the most complete information, including at least one reliable person assigned to almost every county. Their job was to give us the returns before they could be altered and an election stolen—a not uncommon event in Georgia. The returns would be projected on the side of the building, drawing a good-sized crowd.

McGill himself could alter the outcome of an election. He is generally credited with installing Ellis Arnall, a relative moderate, as governor in 1942, ousting the notorious race-baiter Gene Talmadge. (Talmadge, not surprisingly, loathed McGill. One of his flunkies once threatened to kill the editor.)

McGill, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his columns on civil rights in 1959, had a great sense of moral outrage, especially at the injustices inflicted on minorities and other disadvantaged people. I was tremendously proud to be associated with him. Often described as the “conscience of the South,” he was constantly being quoted in Time magazine, the New York Times, and other national publications.

Being known as one of McGill’s reporters could be good or bad, depending upon where you were and whom you were talking to. Outside of the South, his name was magic. In 1961–1962 when I attended Harvard University on a Nieman Fellowship, just mentioning that I worked for Ralph McGill’s paper opened doors for me. It was often the opposite in the South, where many considered him a traitor to the region.

With violence never very far from the surface in those days, his columns provoked vicious reactions from racist whites. They shot buckshot through his windows, dumped garbage on his lawn, and called him “Rastus” and “Red Ralph.” (McGill, who had a great sense of humor, named his schnauzer Rastus, and sometimes when he got hate calls at home asking for Rastus, he’d say, “Wait a minute. I’ll call him.”)

Like everyone else, I was in awe of the man. A stocky, rumpled figure with black hair and a gravelly voice, he was adored by people who were close to him. His deputy, Gene Patterson, called him Pappy and thought he was a saint. But to us reporters, he seemed a somewhat distant figure, too wrapped up in national and international issues to be very interested in our work. He did not appear in the newsroom very often. He traveled a lot, and when he was in town he wrote his columns in a large office just down the hall.

At the same time, McGill was intensely loyal to his friends, and he became keenly and personally interested in a couple of investigative stories I worked on when they involved friends of his.

One of those investigations centered on a police-protected lottery ring in Atlanta. I’d been trying, without success, to chip away at the story for two years when, in 1957, I got my first real break. I heard that an Atlanta policeman had been shifted off his beat after reporting on the existence of a lottery ring. I started pounding his old beat, asking residents and store owners if they knew anything at all. Finally a woman pointed me to the auto repair garage next door, owned by a man named Horace Ingram, where she said there was a lot of coming and going but not much in the way of auto repairing. I began working closely with a federal agent—something which wouldn’t happen today—and the woman let us watch what was going on from her upstairs kitchen window. I sat up there for eleven days, just ten feet from the asphalt apron of the garage, watching as two police cars with their numbers clearly painted on their front doors stopped by the garage nearly every day. Using binoculars, I could also see Ingram, the lottery operator, handing money to the officers. At one point, I was joined by Tom McRae, the assistant managing editor, who took moving pictures of the transactions which were later used in the trial.

The Constitution splashed my story and McRae’s photos across page one. That was gratifying, but the stories and photos clearly upset McGill and his close friend, Mayor Hartsfield, both of whom took great pride in the Atlanta police.

Hartsfield was especially upset about the story because he was coming up for reelection. He came storming into the newsroom, saying, “After the election, there’s going to be some changes around here.” But there never were, of course. As colorful and profane as he was canny, Hartsfield had a talent for alliteration, especially when it came to cursing. He referred to Bill Fields as “a beady-eyed bastard” and called Journal editor Jack [Spalding] a “supercilious shit-ass.”

Ralph McGill was not happy about our disclosures either. Although he seldom voiced opinions about the news side, when he heard we were planning to run the lottery story, he dropped by my desk and asked me whether we had “the deadwood” on the police.

“Oh yeah, we got the deadwood, no doubt about that,” I assured him.

McGill shrugged and went back to his office and wrote a lead editorial that downplayed the seriousness of the lottery investigation, declaring that “a few rotten apples don’t spoil the barrel.”

I was only twenty-eight years old and was dealing with a Great Man who was older and who was my superior. But I was upset because it seemed to me he wasn’t facing facts. I thought he’d been blinded by his friendship with Hartsfield and his pride in the Atlanta police, whose popular and highly regarded chief, Herbert Jenkins, was also a friend of McGill’s. I didn’t say anything to McGill, but in the newsroom I had a lot to say about my displeasure, which I’m sure got back to him. However, he never brought it up with me again.

My exposé did not exactly have the expected impact. Some of the racketeers were found guilty of bribing the policemen, but the policemen were all acquitted of accepting bribes. That was bad enough in my view, but I also had to contend with some serious harassment from angry police and their supporters. People would call up and say, “How are you and your family doing? I hope you are going to have a merry Christmas, because there are policemen and their families who aren’t because of you.” The police in DeKalb County, where I lived, joined in the vendetta. Several times late at night, I would hear a commotion and look out the window to find cops coming towards the house with their flashlights in one hand and their pistols in the other, claiming they had received reports that I had killed my wife. Other times, fire trucks roared up with sirens screaming. It was frightening, and obviously upset my wife, although she accepted it as part of the job, the same way a policeman’s or fireman’s wife would.

A few months after joining the Constitution in 1953, I got an urgent telephone call that sent me off on a major investigation and one of my most harrowing experiences as a reporter.

Brigadier General Richard Mayo, who had succeeded General Armstrong as commander of Camp Stewart, told me that gambling, drinking, and prostitution, under the protection of Liberty County officials, were victimizing soldiers and seriously hampering their training for combat duty in Korea.

Most of the soldiers were young inductees who were lonely and easily led astray. Teenaged barmaids, many from out of town, were luring the trainees into gambling joints and fleecing them of their money. And prostitutes were beckoning them into whorehouses where they were contracting venereal diseases at an alarming rate.

Mayo said he had spoken to local authorities about the problems to no avail and asked that I investigate and expose the corruption. From my time at Camp Stewart I knew that Hinesville and Liberty County were rough-and-tumble places where a courthouse gang headed by Sheriff Paul Sikes and his brother-in-law, Judge Paul Caswell, ruled with an iron hand. But I told the general I would do what I could.

While I already knew something about Liberty County politics and gambling, I didn’t know much about the prostitution, the high incidence of VD, and the way officials colluded to protect the vice establishments. Mayo’s call was also the first I had heard of the military’s concern that soldiers’ training was being undermined.

I returned to the Camp Stewart area with gusto, surveying the scene in detail and interviewing numerous soldiers and others who had intimate knowledge of both the gambling and prostitution. Soldiers were losing their paychecks in gambling joints situated so close to the camp that you could stand next to one of them and touch it with one hand while touching the fence surrounding the camp with the other hand.

There were gambling machines of various types in almost every establishment in Hinesville, including a dozen stores on the courthouse square in the center of downtown. Scantily clad girls, some obviously minors, plied soldiers with drinks as they gambled, and in some cases sold them sexual favors after closing.

I wrote about the extraordinarily high venereal disease rate at Stewart and about the whorehouses—including one house that turned out to be operated by a deputy sheriff. The stories touched off a firestorm, and a Liberty County grand jury was quickly impanelled to investigate.

After three days of testimony, during which several witnesses from Camp Stewart were put under military police protection because of threats, word that indictments were about to come down spread throughout the county. As night fell the jury returned forty-three indictments and charged Sheriff Sikes of knowingly failing and neglecting to enforce state liquor laws, a charge that could result in his ouster.

A crowd of forty or fifty people—some who had been indicted and others who were friends or relatives of those who had been indicted—milled around the courthouse lawn. Among them was Deputy Sheriff E.E. Dykes. I did not know the deputy’s name at the time, but he was indicted for operating a gambling joint. He also operated a tourist court that had been placed off limits by Camp Stewart as a house of prostitution. Dykes’s nickname was “Slim,” but he was anything but. He was close to six feet four inches tall and weighed about 220 pounds.

I was standing at the edge of the courthouse lawn, feeling rather proud about the grand jury’s investigation and the indictments my stories had spurred, when suddenly I saw a hulking figure approaching me. It was the deputy sheriff, cursing and clenching his fists as he barreled toward me, rasping, “You no-good little son of a bitch.” He grabbed me by the throat and spread-eagled me over the hood of a car in front of the courthouse. I struggled to get away, afraid he was going to choke me to death. I finally managed to break away and ran toward the courthouse.

Several people pushed me and I heard people murmuring things like “the little bastard got what he deserved.” I made my way through the crowd to the foot of the courthouse steps where a Hinesville policeman I knew as David Carter was standing. I asked him to arrest the man on an assault and battery charge.

Carter, who obviously knew the man’s name and had seen him attack me, said I’d have to know the man’s name and swear out a warrant before he could arrest him. I turned to the attacker, who had followed me through the crowd and was standing nearby grinning, and said, “What’s your name?” “Bill Jones,” he said, obviously giving me a phony name, and grabbed me again. While others yelled, “Kill the little son of a bitch,” Carter pulled him away from me, grabbed me by the arm, and escorted me into the courthouse.

We walked into the chambers of Judge Caswell, the sheriff’s brother-in-law. “This guy wants to swear out a warrant for assault and battery, says he got attacked outside the courthouse,” Carter said.

Caswell didn’t try to conceal his contempt. He pulled a warrant out of a desk drawer and in a sneering way asked, “What’s the name of the man you say attacked you?”

“I don’t know,” I said, “But he attacked me in front of Officer Carter and about fifty other people. Officer Carter must know his name.” Carter said nothing.

The judge said, “You don’t know his name, you can’t swear out a warrant,” and he held the warrant over his head and crumpled it, letting it fall to the floor. Now I was really scared and walked quickly out of his office closely followed by Carter.

As I started down the courthouse steps the crowd became boisterous again with people yelling that they’d like a crack at me. I told Carter I was afraid for my life and that if he didn’t protect me, the FBI would hold him personally responsible. He grabbed me by the arm and said, “Come on, let’s go.” He led me through the crowd to a police car, shoved me in the backseat, and drove off at a high speed to Camp Stewart. There the provost marshal put me into protective custody of the military police.

Military officials had monitored the courthouse confrontation, and it had been so ugly and lasted so long that they alerted Georgia Governor Herman Talmadge that I was being endangered by a mob in Hinesville. Talmadge later told Constitution editors he had considered calling out the National Guard until learning a Hinesville policeman had safely escorted me from the scene to Camp Stewart.

At Camp Stewart the military police learned that Deputy Dykes and R.V. Sikes, son of the sheriff, had sworn out a warrant charging me with “disorderly conduct.” Liberty County officials were demanding that I be returned to be arrested. Although I wasn’t eager to return to Hinesville, Bill Fields, in a telephone conversation from Atlanta, said it would not look good for me or the Constitution if I avoided arrest.

I agreed to return to Hinesville, but Camp Stewart officials were still so concerned about my safety that they had the governor’s office arrange for a prominent local citizen, Major General Joseph B. [Fraser] of the Georgia National Guard, to guarantee my safety. Military police escorted me to the camp gate at Hinesville and [Fraser] was there to meet me. He had arranged to sign my bond at the gate so I wouldn’t have to go into Hinesville where people were still milling around the courthouse lawn. After he signed my bond, MPs escorted me back to safe quarters in Camp Stewart.

Later, when I attended some of the trials that resulted from the indictments, a witness for the defendants, a B-girl from one of the gambling joints, testified that I had tried to rape her during my investigations. The charge was outlandish, of course, and I never faced any such criminal charge. And the “disorderly conduct” count brought by Dykes and the sheriff’s son was dismissed. But the episode had been one of the closest calls in my career.

As the Constitution’s investigative reporter, a role I carved out for myself at a time when there were few investigative reporters anywhere in the South, I became well known as a muckraker throughout Georgia in the 1950s and early 1960s. In those days, muckraking was still looked down on in many quarters after flourishing briefly at the turn of the century, in the Progressive era. (It was Theodore Roosevelt who first applied the term to the press, quoting a line from The Pilgrim’s Progress about a man with a muckrake in his hand who rejected salvation to concentrate on filth.)

Despite such criticism, my enthusiasm for muckraking, or, if you prefer, investigative reporting, has never wavered. I still think it’s the greatest service a free press can perform and—I hope this doesn’t sound pompous—I believe it is indispensable to the well-being of society. While others may shy away from it, I was in my element, perhaps because of some quirks in my nature. Where the average person sees grey, I tend to see black and white. Not being terribly introspective may help too. My stories would often cause anguish to others, but it’s not in my nature to dwell on the consequences. I focus all of my attention on the job I think needs to be done and leave the hand-wringing to others. I also have a low tolerance for official malfeasance. It’s been said of me, and I guess it’s true, that I get personally offended by wrongdoing. In my view, the police and government officials are supposed to do the right thing, and whenever I’ve found them engaging in shenanigans, I’ve never hesitated to report it.

While at the Constitution, I didn’t have to look far. Corruption in Georgia was so ingrained and so brazen, it offered an embarrassment of riches for someone of my bent. Over the next dozen years, I wrote about speed traps in Ludowici, gambling parlors in Savannah, police-protected whorehouses in Athens, criminally negligent conditions at Milledgeville State Hospital, election fraud in Telfair County, truck stop brothels in Rome, marriage mills on the Georgia-Florida border, state payroll padding, embezzlement of tax funds, use of convict labor for private work, and on and on.

Sometimes the corruption was positively laughable, like the purchasing scandal I covered in which the state was purchasing boats with no bottoms for lakes with no water. Another time, I turned up a missing road scraper belonging to the state that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had been trying to find for two years. The Constitution helpfully published a map showing the GBI where the scraper was located. The next day, a sheepish GBI retrieved it and fined the contractor who’d been using it several thousand dollars for “borrowing” state property.

The Constitution played the hell out of my stories and they ran full-page house ads with my photo, listing the prizes I had won. I don’t think I realized it then, but it now seems clear that the editors were using my prominence to promote the paper—an early exercise in what’s now known as branding. It was also a way of snatching bragging rights from the Journal, which had its own crackerjack investigative reporter, namely John Pennington. (It was Pennington who set Carter on the road to the presidency by uncovering the massive vote fraud that had led to him losing a primary election for state senator in 1962. Carter sued and was ultimately declared the victor and went on to win the general election.)

All of the publicity was turning me into something of a personality in the state—a rarity for a newspaper reporter in those days before TV began minting celebrity journalists by the dozen. I enjoyed the attention, but there was a bigger payoff. The more well known I became, the more it made people eager to cooperate with me. Some of my best stories started with phone calls from people who’d read my exposés and were upset about corruption of one kind or another. They knew there was not much point in going to the authorities, because so many officials were corrupt themselves.

It was also extremely gratifying to see how many of my articles—dozens of them over the years—resulted in major reforms and/or investigations by state and federal grand juries. Knowing that my work was having so much impact as well as attracting wide readership drove me to work long hours, usually to the exclusion of anything else.

There was, of course, a bigger story at the time, but it didn’t occur to me that I could be using my investigative techniques to expose the harsh system of white supremacy in the Deep South. All of this, as I mentioned, was fine with my editors at the Constitution, who were determined to ignore “the situation” as much as they could.

Later, after I went to work for the Los Angeles Times and was covering civil rights out of Atlanta, I got to know Ralph McGill better, and we became friends. He used to invite me, Gene Roberts, and other national reporters based in Atlanta up to his office to brief him on what we’d been hearing and seeing out in the field. And while we never became intimates, I respected and admired him greatly, especially for his courageous, sensitive writing and strong stands on civil rights and other issues of fairness. I consider him one of the great American editors of the twentieth century.

I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t always read McGill’s column while I worked for the Constitution. I was not writing about racial problems and was not especially sensitive to them at the time. The Constitution’s power structure was equally indifferent. The battle for racial justice that McGill waged in his column and on the editorial pages generally got little or no support from the rest of the paper.

McGill’s successor, Gene Patterson, who also won a Pulitzer Prize for editorials attacking racism, did not have much influence over news coverage either. As a result, the Constitution’s coverage of the civil rights movement, except for minimal reporting of state and local developments, consisted primarily of wire service stories that not only were relatively superficial but were usually heavily edited. Constitution reporters seldom wrote about the overall movement, even when it was the biggest story in the country and despite the fact that Atlanta was the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and that Daddy King, his father, still preached every Sunday from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church.

For my part, I was covering corruption in government, staying away from civil rights stories except in rare cases. In part, this was a deliberate decision. Fields reasoned that my getting involved would alienate sources, especially in the field of law enforcement, and would hamper my investigations. I could see the wisdom in this and went along with him. Later, when I became deeply involved in covering civil rights, I would look back with great regret over the opportunities I had missed in covering the early years of what was, in my opinion, the greatest story of the twentieth century.

Hank Klibanoff, former managing editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and co-author of The Race Beat, a Pulitzer Prize–winning account of civil rights–era press, wrote the foreword to Nelson’s memoir. Klibanoff, James M. Cox Jr. chair in journalism at Emory, discussed Nelson’s legacy.

What makes Nelson’s work so exceptional in the context of Atlanta and the South? Jack, above all else, was an ideal investigative reporter. In the 1940s in Mississippi and 1950s and 1960s in Atlanta, no one could shake the trees, work a source, or tap rumor mills the way Jack could. None were as consistent in finding and liberating tightly held documents or as persistent in claiming a journalistic (if not divine) right to information. He had guts, for sure, but he had good sense and a salesman’s gift for gab. Most of all, he had integrity, so much that his targets became his sources. There wasn’t a city, state, or national government he covered that didn’t become more honest because of his coverage.

Nelson refers to the civil rights movement as the “greatest story of the twentieth century.” What was his role in that story? Jack acknowledges in his memoir that he was slow to see the realities of racism and the possibilities of desegregation. But once he realized that the culture of white supremacy, purposeful violence, and perverted justice had become institutionalized evils and corrupt forces, he turned his investigative firepower against them. In Orangeburg, Meridian, Selma, and all across the South, Jack’s scrutiny of historic actors, many of them in law enforcement, changed the journalistic dynamic.

You’re both newspapermen raised in Alabama. How do you see Nelson’s “evolution” as a Southern reporter? Jack’s book, full of delightful stories, answers this question better than I ever can. You see a young reporter who tended to trust in people and believe authority get duped, fooled, and flattered into compromising positions. Then, just in time to take on the wily demagogues rising across the South, you see him come out wiser, tougher, infinitely more skilled, and tenaciously skeptical—but never cynical.

Nelson worked in newspapering’s glory days. What would he think of today’s AJC? Living in Washington, he would say, approvingly, that he has heard of the newspaper’s tilt toward investigative reporting projects. As an admirer of such projects, however, he would grouse that he can’t see most of them because doesn’t run or adequately display them. Also, Jack liked a lucid, explanatory, courageous editorial page and would be unhappy the newspaper’s own editorial voice is silent six days a week.

On January 16, the Carter Library and Museum will host a panel discussion about Jack Nelson’s life and work, featuring former President Jimmy Carter; Nelson’s wife, Barbara Matusow; former National Geographic editor and Nelson colleague Terry Adamson; and others. For information: