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greg parker
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Grier Raggio & Louise Raggio

on Sat 23 Dec 2017, 8:38 pm
Grier Raggio & Louise Raggio

·         1938: Louise Ballerstedt joins the American Friends Service Committee and spends that summer working in Galena, Illinois for the Society of Friends

·         1939: Louise graduates from the University of Texas and is awarded a Rockefeller Foundation grant for a one-year internship at the White House. Here, she meets the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, befriends LBJ and dates John Connally. While in Washington, she also works for the National Youth Administration (NYA)

·        1940: Louise returns to Austin still with the NYA, working under Jake Pickle

·        April 19, 1941: Grier Raggio and Louise Ballerstedt marry after a short courtship. Grier, a lawyer, is working for the Department of Agriculture investigating misuse of food stamps for purchase of alcohol and other illegal substances (hardly the type of work one would expect from a subversive bleeding-heart lefty he was later painted as)

·         December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese resulting in the US entering WWII and Grier is drafted

·         March 1942: Grier is sent to Pacific Theater after initially being sent to New Orleans to attend Officer's Training School for Intelligence where he is rejected on security grounds (maybe he would have had better luck if he had been a member of the Young Communist League like Julius Rosenberg and David Greenglass?). He serves with the 386th Air Service Group in the Pacific. Throughout the course of the war he would send many letters home highly critical of the US army

·         August 6, 1942: First son Grier, Jr is born

·         September 1945: Grier returns from the war and works for the Veteran's Administration Board

·         1946: Second son Tom is born

·         1947: At the insistence of Grier, Louise enrolls in Southern Methodist University Law School

·         1947: Third son Kenneth is born. Louise drops out of law school

·         1948: Grier is relieved of duties while answering 8 charges of "Un-American activities" including; being a member of the Communist Party; a member of the American Spanish Aid Committee; a member of the American Civil Rights Union; that he had advocated and praised the Russian system of government to co-workers and; that on another occasion had advocated the overthrow of the government by force. He and Louise travel to Washington where Grier appears before the Veterans Administrations Loyalty Board. He denies all charges except one - telling a fellow worker that “there is no difference between Stalin forcing Communism on the countries of Europe and the US forcing democracy on them”. This statement he asserts, had been taken out of context. He is cleared by the board and returns to work. Throughout this period and perhaps beyond, the Raggio's claim their phone is tapped and that they are under constant surveillance

·         1949: Louise and Grier join the Unitarian Church

·         1950: Louise returns to law school

·         1952: Louise graduates and does volunteer work for the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Alliance of the Unitarian Church while practicing law part-time from home. Meanwhile, Grier is again the focus of government interest in his activities

·         1953: Louise obtains a job as an assistant DA under Henry Wade through the help of friend and mentor, Judge Sarah T Hughes. Judge Hughes would, after the assassination of JFK, administer the oath of office to LBJ

·         March 1, 1954: Grier is guest speaker at a meeting of the Peace and World Relations Group of the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood. His subject is, "Are We in Danger of Losing Our Civil Rights and Liberties?"
·         1955: Grier Raggio opens a law office in the Rio Grande Building in Dallas.
The last entry warrants further comment. This building is the home of the 112th Military Intelligence Group. We thus have an allegedly embittered Army Intelligence reject who claims to be under constant surveillance, sets up his humble little divorce practice right under the noses of Army Intelligence. He either had a perverse sense of humor, or there is more to the story than we have been told.
Raggio’s “rejection” for intelligence work does remind me a little of the situation concerning Russell Langelle who had resigned from the CIA on the grounds of being embittered about his postings. This was however, just a cover story so that he could work at the US Embassy in Moscow. When he was finally kicked out for running agent-in-place, Popov, he would eventually return to the CIA with no break in his entitlements.
Was Grier’s “rejection” for military intelligence work a similar sham? I think that is very, very possible and plausible.
·        April 1956: Louise quits DA's office to join her husband's law practice. Firm is now known as Raggio & Raggio

·         1957: Louise's former employer, Jake Pickle, becomes director of the Texas State Democratic Executive Committee. Holds that position until 1960

·         1960: Louise serves on the newly organized Family Law Section of the State Bar

·         1961: Jake Pickle becomes a member of the Texas Employment Commission

·         1961: Sarah Hughes becomes a Federal District Judge

·         January 27, 1963: Grier debates Wyatt W Lipscomb, city attorney in Garland for the Soroptimist Club of Dallas at the Baker Hotel. Subject of debate is "Does Membership in the United Nations Serve the Best interests of the United States?" Louise is a club member

·        November 13, 1963: Ruth Paine files a petition for divorce stating she separated from Michael 
SepSeptember 1, 1962, and that for 6 months prior to separation, she had suffered a course of "unkind, cruel harsh and tyrannical treatment and conduct" at the hands of her husband. Ruth's attorney in this filing was Louise Raggio. Note that Mike Paine (and Ruth?) attend the same Unitarian church as the Raggios.

·        November 22, 1963 Morning: Grier and Louise are at the Trade Mart for the luncheon

·         November 22, 1963 Evening: Grier gets a call either from an ACLU member in Austin (according Greg Olds) or from Washington (according to Louise) concerning either finding out if Oswald was being denied counsel (according to Olds) or asking that he witness Oswald's arraignment (according to Louise). Grier phones Olds about this. In turn, Olds phones police, then calls Grier back. Grier suggests they go down and check out the situation

·         November 22, 1963, 11:15 PM: Olds, Raggio and 2 other DCLU members meet across from City Hall at the Plaza Hotel, then try to talk to Earl Cabell without success before speaking with Prof. Charles Webster outside the office of Captain Fritz

·         November 22, 1963, 11:40 PM: Webster takes delegation to Captain King

·         November 22, 1963, 11:50 PM: According to Wade, Grier Raggio and Charles Webster are both at a meeting just prior to the midnight press conference regarding the arraignment in the JFK case. David Johnston however, only named himself, Curry, Fritz, Wade and 2 or 3 assistant DAs as being present

·        Midnight: According to Olds, the others in the delegation go home at the time he goes down to watch the press conference.

Main source for the Raggio biographical data is Louise’s autobiography Texas Tornado. I do find the following short Amazon review for the book extremely tantalizing:
“Since I live in Texas and was acquainted with Mrs Raggio, I will never belittle all the good she did for women. But sometimes there is more to someone's story that that person wants to write.”

Ruth’s divorce petition, unless Mike had a hidden dark side, is further proof that Ruth was more than capable of stretching the truth.

Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
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Re: Grier Raggio & Louise Raggio

on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 3:49 am
Grier Raggio pic and newspaper clippings

Last edited by barto on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 4:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Grier Raggio & Louise Raggio

on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 4:00 am
Louise Raggio newspaper clippings.

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Re: Grier Raggio & Louise Raggio

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