Wisconsin’s ‘Marshall Dillon of the troubled South’ gets his medal


Bob Dylan got most of the local coverage today when he received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. After all, he’s one of us.

But so is John Doar, who’s also in the group of medal recipients and who hasn’t gotten anywhere near the same attention.

Doar is a native of New Richmond. He’s receiving the medal because of his work handling civil rights cases for the Justice Department in the ’60s. That sounds interesting — maybe in a Minnesota way — but the description hardly fits Doar’s work.

He didn’t sit in Washington pushing a few papers and making the occasional court appearance. He put himself next to those in harm’s way during the civil rights movement’s most violent times.