On May 19, 1968, the minister of the Congregational Church of
Watertown, Wisconsin, was fired. Alan Kromholz was 29 when he came
to Watertown with his wife and two small boys. Kromholz began his
ministerial duties in February 1967, seven months before Father
James Groppi began marching in Milwaukee. In the middle of
September Watertown's city attorney received a model fair housing
ordinance from the state, with a recommendation that it be adopted.
Thus the polarization began. It was sharpened by the publication of
an underground newspaper and the establishment of a coffee house,
by feelings that Kromholz was neglecting his pastoral duties and
providing a subversive example for the young, by rumors of a black
invasion. On May 19, 1968, Reverend Kromholz was fired. Visiting
Watertown two years later, Lynn Eden captured the voices of protest
and approval voices that you have heard in your own town, in your
own neighborhood, in yourself. The result is Crisis in Watertown: a
true and remarkable document of our times.
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