This Day in History: Dallas Diocese Pays $23M in Sexual Assault Settlement; MLK’s Chicago Freedom Movement Demands

MLK Chicago Soldier Field Speech
Bernard J. Kleina

Dallas Diocese pays $23.4M in sexual assault case

On July 10, 1998, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas agreed to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys, or their families, who say they were sexually assaulted by a priest in the 1980s and 1990s.

That priest, Rudolph Edward Kos, was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to life in prison.

In 1997, a jury awarded almost $120 million to 11 plaintiffs, but the amounts were adjusted upon appeal.

The New York Times reported the plaintiffs agreed to take much less than what was originally awarded because the diocese could not afford more and “it [had] never been the intention of these individuals to destroy the diocese.”

Bishop Charles V. Grahmann of the Dallas Diocese issued this apology, which was published in the Times: “To the victims and their families, I once again want to apologize on behalf of the diocese. Based on what we know now, the decisions made concerning Rudy Kos were errors in human judgement.”

Dr. King leads 60k in the Chicago Freedom Movement

At the young age of 37, Martin Luther King Jr. led another civil rights battle - this time against segregated housing in Chicago.

That battle – part of the Civil Rights Movement and more specifically the Chicago Freedom Movement – is considered one of the biggest civil rights campaigns in the northern half of the United States. Some credit it with inspiring the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

On July 10, 1966, King gave city leaders of Chicago a list of demands for fair housing access. Those demands included the end of predatory lending and mortgage polices by banks; improved sanitation efforts by the city for Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods; and for the city to revoke contracts with businesses that allow discrimination.  

The Chicago Tribune has more on Dr. King’s demands here.

Other July 10 History:

After almost 32 years as a United States territory, on July 10, 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state in the union.

The temperature in Death Valley (California) was recorded at 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 degrees Celsius). That is the hottest atmospheric temperature ever recorded on earth, although some meteorologists dispute its accuracy.

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