University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Barefoot Sanders Papers, 1940s-2009

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Sanders, Barefoot, 1925-2009
Title: Barefoot Sanders papers
Dates: 1940s-2009
Abstract: Barefoot Sanders, born Harold Barefoot Sanders, Jr., was a Federal Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas from 1979-2006, nominated by Jimmy Carter. Correspondence, news clippings, printed materials, photographs, notes, campaign material, and speeches document Barefoot Sanders personal and public life.
Identification: urn:taro:utexas.cah.01360
Extent: 23.17 linear feet
Language: English .
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Barefoot Sanders, born Harold Barefoot Sanders, Jr., was a Federal Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas from 1979-2006, nominated by Jimmy Carter. He is most well known for overseeing the lawsuit to desegregate the Dallas Independent School District. Sanders had a long and distinguished career serving as a congressman in the Texas legislature, as a U.S. Attorney, as an assistant deputy attorney general, as legislative counsel to President Lyndon B. Johnson, and as a Federal Judge.

Barefoot Sanders was born in 1925, attended North Dallas High School, graduating in 1942. Sanders served in the Navy during World War II (1943-1946) on a destroyer in the Pacific Theater. He underwent training at Mercer University in Georgia and Notre Dame in Indiana. Following, his time in the military, Sanders received an A.B. (1949) from the University of Texas and a J.D. (1950) from the University of Texas School of Law. While attending UT, Barefoot was elected student body president in 1947. Furthermore, Sanders was associated with many different organizations including, Phi Delta Theta, Blue Key, Phi Delta Phi, Phi Delta Kappa and the Texas Cowboys.

Following his graduation, Sanders went into practice with the Dallas law firm Clark, West, Keller, Sanders and Butler (1950-1961, 1969-1979). Sanders married Jan Scurlock in 1952 and they had four children together. He served on the Texas Legislature for three terms from 1953 to 1958. In 1960, Sanders was instrumental in helping the Kennedy-Johnson ticket win Texas. After the election, Kennedy appointed Sanders a United States attorney. During President Johnson's terms, Sanders was Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General (1965-1967), and legislative counsel to President Johnson (1967-1968). Sander played a small part in the transfer of power from President's Kennedy to Johnson, when he was asked to find Federal Judge Sarah Hughes to administer the oath of office to Johnson. As legislative counsel to the president, Sanders helped shepherd many Great Society initiatives through Congress, such as the Voting Rights Act. In 1968, before leaving office, President Johnson appointed Sanders as a Federal Appellate Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. However, Johnson's term expired before Sanders' confirmation by the Senate and Nixon nominated George McKinnon instead. In 1969, Sanders returned to private practice in Dallas. He ran for the United States Senate in 1972, but lost to John Tower as part of the Nixon landslide. In 1978 Sanders contemplated running again, but eventually decided against it.

Sanders returned to public service, in 1979 when President Carter appointed him to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Furthermore, he served as chief judge of the court from 1989-1995. During his time on the bench, Sanders oversaw the Tasby litigation, a desegregation plan for the Dallas Independent School District that lasted for decades until it was finally settled in 2003. During the litigation he ordered the construction of magnet schools and made most busing voluntary. Sanders also supervised the restructuring of the state hospitals for the mentally ill after a civil rights reform lawsuit, R.A.J. vs. TDMHMR. The restructuring improved living conditions and the treatment of patients in Texas' eight state psychiatric hospitals. Sanders retired in 2006 and died of natural causes September 21, 2008 at the age of eighty-three.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, news clippings, printed materials, photographs, notes, campaign material, and speeches document Barefoot Sanders personal and public life. The bulk of Sanders' papers consist of news clippings concerning his various careers as a lawyer, Texas congressman, U.S. attorney, assistant deputy attorney general, legislative counsel to the president, and federal judge. The papers include material from Sanders' time in the Navy and at the University of Texas. Furthermore, the papers document Sanders' campaigns for various public offices, such as his 1972 campaign for U.S. senator as well as his deliberations about running again in 1978. The material from Sanders' time as a federal judge consists mainly of clippings, printed material, and speeches.


Conditions Governing Access

A portion of this collection is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Access to artifacts by appointment only; please contact repository for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
Kennedy, John F. John Fitzgerald 1917-1963
Sanders, Barefoot, 1925-2009
Corporate Names
The University of Texas at Austin
United States. Navy
University of Texas. School of Law
Military campaigns
World War (1939-1945)
United States
Washington, D.C.

Related Materials

Barefoot Sanders' other professional papers have been archived at the following institutions:

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum- all papers related to his service in the LBJ administration.

Tarlton Law Library, the University of Texas School of Law- all judicial papers from his career as a United States Federal District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.

Southern Methodist University Law Library- all judicial papers related to the Tasby case surrounding the integration of the Dallas Public Schools.

Separated Material

Artifacts have been separated to the Material Culture unit.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Barefoot Sanders Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Accession Number(s)

2009-220; 2009-295; 2009-359; 2010-009; 2010-092

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Megan Mummey, November 2009. The collection was revised by Ryder Kouba, October 2010.

Detailed Description of the Collection


[Stored off-site at LSF]
2009-220/1 North Dallas High School
Mercer College and Notre Dame
Mercer and the Navy
Navy – Military, 1944
Diary, 1946
Navy – Photographs
University of Texas
General Correspondence, 1947-1949
Telegrams, 1948
"Texas Ranger,", 1943, 1949
History Notes
Travel in Central America, 1946-1947
Hildebrand Moot Court Contest, 1949
General Papers
Dallas, 1950s
Attorney Barr Association work
Correspondence with Jan Scurlock, 1950-1951
Texas Congress, 1952-1959
Kennedy Campaign
Planning Campaign, 1960
U.S. Attorney
U.S. Attorney, 1960s
LBJ Inauguration, 1965
Legislative Counsel
Legislative Counsel on LBJ's staff
2009-295/2 Failed Federal Judgeship
Congratulatory Mail – Judgeship – Vol. One, 1968
Coming Back to Texas, 1969
Speech File – Barefoot Sanders, August 1, 1969
LBJ Library, 1971
Speech Notes
Speech Material
Speech File, January 17, 1975
1972 Senate Campaign
1972 Senate Campaign Material
Jan Sanders' Campaign Notes, 1971
Itineraries, 1972
Press Release Pool to Barefoot
Barefoot Sanders – Campaign Manual, 1971
Campaign Chairmen, Address Book, 1972
Senate Campaign Photographs, 1971-1972
Campaign Ephemera – bumper stickers, invitations, flyers, and envelopes, 1972
Ephemera, 1970s
Federal Judgeship
Printed Materials
Case Material
Clippings, Court Cases
Portrait unveiling, 2009
Memorial Service – Research by Larry Temple, Oral History Interview from LBJ Library
Memorial Materials, 2008-2009
Tribute to the Sanders, 2008-2009
2009-220/3 Federal Judgeship
Speech notes, 1979-2005
U.S. Constitution
Speech outline, 1987
Notes – Material, September 1987-2005
Black History Month Speech, February 26, 2004
Info-References: Other material for speeches
"Complex Litigation: - State Bar Talk, March 18, 1888
Dallas Bar Association – Future of Business Dispute Resolution, December 8, 1997
Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar – speech notes, October 1988
Kennedy Assassination
Kennedy Dedication, November 22, 1993
Notes regarding assassination, November 22, 1963
Federal Rules Amendments Speech outline, December 1, 1993
The Brethren: Book review info
Larry Temple: Lecture "Higher Education ,", November 1986
DISD Learning Centers Remarks, 1995
Commencement Ceremony Science/Engineering Magnet, May 12, 1995
DISD Townview Ribbon Cutting, August 13, 1995
Federal Bar Association – Installation and Update Remarks, June 1995
Honors, articles, reunions
Barefoot Sanders Endowed Presidential Scholarship, UT, 1994
Martin Luther King Justice Award, 2006
University of Texas Justice Award, November 3, 2005
SMU Reception, January 12, 2005
SMU Degree of Doctor of Law, honoris causa, May 16, 1999
2009-220/4 Hispanic Bar Association Award, 2007
DISD Luncheon, Magnet School Award, October 30, 2003
CASA Dinner, etc.
Dallas Bar Association Professionalism Award, 2002
Texas Bar Foundation, Outstanding 50-year lawyers, 2002
Legal Legends, 2000
American Bar Association Litigation Article (Portia and Barry McNeil)
Westward Portrait article
Dallas City Herald, June 1, 1986
High profile, Dallas Morning News, June 19, 1988
American Bar Association Journal, February 1987
Dallas Bar Headnotes Profile, 1988
American Board of Trial Advocates, Honor the Judiciary, November 1989
UT Law School, 50th Reunion, April 14-15, 2000
Legal Services of North Texas Annual Equal Justice Award Event, June 25, 2002
Law School Honor, April 17, 1999
"Barefoot Sanders Award," Greater Dallas Crime Commission, November 1999
UT 50th Reunion, April 12, 2008
Reunion, 2004
SMU Dedication Ceremony, (pictures), January 2005
Murnane, Thomas G., NOHS Award Nomination Information
UT alumni Awards Dinner, March 20, 2002
UT 100 years celebration, April 6, 2002
NDHS Homecoming Parade, 2001
50th Reunion (non-law school), April 6 – 7, 2000
Texas Cowboys Alumni Association
Class of 1949, University of Texas Reunion, Steering committee, 1999
UT Law School Reunions, 1990, 1995
USNSA Anthology Project, December 1997
UT Cheerleader Alumni
Kennedy Reunion, November 15, 1994
North Dallas High School Directory, 1995
Law School Honors, 1999
North Dallas High School Distinguished Alumnus, March 1995
2009-220/5 1972 Senate Campaign
Senate Campaign Supporter's Numbers, 1972
Senate Campaign Supporters, 1972
Calendars, 1970-1972
Barefoot's Tower Cards
Calendar, 1963
Calendar, 1969
2010-009/1 Senate Campaign, 1972
Out-of-State Campaign Contributions correspondence
Press Releases (by date of release)
Press Releases (by subject matter
Tower, John information about
Significant absences
Vote Registration
County Lists
Washington D.C. correspondence
2010-009/5 Senate Campaign, 1972
State Headquarters Mailing Lists
Bentsen Managers
County and District Clerks
Dallas County Precinct Chairman
Fairmont Luncheon
State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) contacts
State Convention Delegates and Alternates
Texas Motor Transport Association
University of Texas (UT) Law Graduates, 1949-1951
Young Democrats
Media Buys
Television Stations
Mexican-American Affairs
Advance man, etc
Campaign manual
Manager mailings
Rental Agreement
Strategy meetings
Senate Campaign, 1972
Itinerary #2
Itineraries - General election
Bentsen Mailing list
Campaign Materials
Other races, Yarborough manual
Ad copy - Spots
Barefoot's positions
Sanders biographies
Election results
Primary and runoff
November 7
Tower-Bush analysis
Financial reports
Mailing lists
Johnson, Lyndon B, 1964
2009-359/3 Campaign Contributors correspondence, 1972
By county (Texas)
Washington D.C.
Miscellaneous out-of-state
Pre-primary contributions
Dallas County campaign, 1972
2009-359/1 Campaign correspondence by county, 1972
Anderson-Dallas #3
2010-009/3 Dallas #4-Gregg
2009-359/5 Grimes-Lampasas
2009-359/2 La Salle-San Jacinto
2010-009/4 San Patrico-Zavala
2009-295/1 North Dallas High School, Debate Team, 1940-1942
"The Mercer Cluster,", 1944
Navy Record and I.D., 1940s
University of Texas
Annual Roundup Rodeo, 1947
Rodeo Photographs, 1940s
Photographs and Ephemera, 1940s, undated
Central America
Dallas 1950s
Award of Merit Application, 1951
Personal, 1950s
Texas Congress, 1952-1959
Scrapbook – Clippings – Texas Congress, 1950s
Campaign Speeches and Radio, 1952
Texas Legislative Directories, 1950s
Clippings and Printed Material, 1950s
Texas Legislature, 1952-1957
U.S. Attorney
Clippings, Printed Material, and Ephemera, 1960s
Personal, October-December 1963
Personal, April 1-June 30, 1963
Personal, January-March 1963
Printed Material, 1970s-1960s
Political Pre-Judgeship Material, 1950s-1970s
1972 Senate Campaign
Clippings from George Christian, 1972
Political Pre-Judgeship Clippings, 1970s
2009-295/2 Political Pre-Judgeship Clippings, 1972
Barefoot's Press Releases
Press Release Pool, 1972
Barefoot Press II
Run-off Releases
Duplicate Clippings
Campaign Materials, 1972
Clippings, Photocopies, 1972
Clippings, 1972
Federal Judgeship
News clippings – Judgeship, 1979-2006
Judgeship Material, 1980s-1990s
Judgeship, 1979-2006
Historic Dem. 06
Oral History – (Dallas Public Library) (Draft), 1984
Judicial, 1979-2006
Judge – Poems – Clerks
Correspondence, 1990s
Judgeship, photos, 1990s
Judgeship, 1990s
Texas Exes Membership, 1994
November 6 Luncheon, Judges list plus Clerks
2010-092/1 Political files, 1961-1978
Political correspondence, 1975
Political correspondence, 1976
Political correspondence, 1977
Gary Weber for Mayor contributions, 1976
Election Analyses, 1976
John Tower info (empty)
Bob Krueger info, 1977
Press clippings, 1977
Energy-President's program, 1977
Ralph Yarborough's record (including financial disclosure, 1972
Congratulatory letters, 1965
Personal file-Corresondence, 1961-1964
Travel around state prior to 1978 campaign
Tarrant-Fort Worth
Gregg County-Longview
John Hannah-East Texas
Valley (Harlingen, McAllen, Raymondville, etc
Nueces County and Area
San Antonio
El Paso
Wichita Falls
2010-009/6 Correspondence, 1958-1960
Dallas County, re: Congressional campaign, 1958
Sanders' Personal, 1959
Thank you letters and congratulations, 1958
Miscellaneous campaign, 1958
Truman Diamond Jubilee, 1959
Correspondence, 1958
Miscellaneous, 1960
Texas Mental Health Code, 1957
Sanders' Personal correspondence, 1957
Sanders' Personal correspondence, 1966
2010-009/2 Correspondence, 1957-1964
Dallas Grand Jury, 1962
Southern Methodist University (SMU) Seminar, 1962
Vice President's visit, 1963
Federal Grand Jury-Lubbock, 1963
Federal Grand Jury-Wichita Falls, 1963
Sanders' Personal, October 1961-January 1962
Texas Bar Joural-Civil Rights Article, 1964
Briefs, 1961-1962
Correspondence with Senator Ralph Yarborough, 1963
Summary Witness-Criminal Tax Trial-Testimony by Joe Houston
Federal Grand Jury-Amarillo, 1963
Lists-Personal, 1962, 1964
Luncheon Lists, 1963
Class Cocktail Party-Bar Convention, 1963
Archibald Cox Reception, 1963
2009-359/6 1950-1986, 2000
Miscellaneous material
Christmas cards
Letters from VIPs
Article on name "Barefoot"
US Attorney
Law Clerks
Lyndon B. Johnson photos
3S182 Lyndon B. Johnson oversized photo
2009-359/6 1940-1950
Campaign/Congress, 1958
Campaign, 1960
Campaign/Senate, 1972
Portrait photo of Sanders
Attorney General's visit, 1961
Sanders' Personal-Industrial Investments, 1962
Rambler Road Roofing Repairs, 1963
Sale of Newcombe Property, 1963
Speech file, 1961-1962
Congratulatory mail-Judgeship, Vol. II, 1968
Sanders' Personal, 1961
Sanders' Personal-Oil Venture (Schneider and Murray Well), 1963
Sanders' Personal, July-September 1963
Speech file, 1963
Sanders' Personal, 1957
Card catalogs of various individuals throughout Texas related to Sanders' career and campaigns. There is also a photograph of a WWII Destroyer, possibly the one Sanders served on.
2010-009/7 Card catalogs
2010-009/8 Card catalogs
[Stored on-site at SRH]
2AA13 [SRH1230020344] Oversize Materials
Clippings – "Bare Facts" and Mercer University, 1944
Oversize photos, circa 1940-circa 1949, circa 1970-circa 1979, circa 1990-circa 1999
Clippings, 1950s
University of Texas Diploma and Seal, 1949
Clippings, 1940s
U.S. Congressional campaign, scrapbook pages, 1958
U.S. Congressional campaign, 1958
2AA14 [SRH1230020343] Clippings, Kennedy-Johnson Campaign, 1960
Sketch, U.S. attorney, 1960s
Clippings, U.S. attorney, 1960s
Clippings, Washington D.C., 1960s
2AA15 [SRH1230020347] Clippings, 1970s
Clippings, Senate Campaign, 1972
2AA16 [SRH1230020348] Federal Court Improvement Act, 1994
Obituaries, 2008
Clippings on Appointment, 1978-1979
Clippings, non-case related
Clippings, DISD de-segregation Case, 1981-2005
Clippings, Hunt, R.A.J. Cases
Clippings on Cases
OD1316 U.S. Senate Campaign Posters, 1972