Danny was involved in a precedent-setting landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
With tributes from friends John R. Herrera and Roger Baker
In September 2015, our mutual friend Roger Baker brought Danny Schacht to the KOOP-FM studio in Austin where we were preparing to broadcast a live Rag Radio interview with Austin-based progressive pundit and troublemaker Jim Hightower. Danny sat in the studio with us and then took a terrific photo of Jim and me afterwards. It’s on my wall. It was the first time in many years I had been with my old compatriot and family friend from the ‘60s.
Then I saw Danny again during launch events for Exploring Space City!: Houston’s Historic Underground Newspaper, a book that the New Journalism Project released in 2021. It was a delight to see him; he was funny and smart and always had that twinkle in his eye! But that would be the last time I would see him. Longtime Houston activist Daniel Jay Schacht, known to his many friends in the movement and local community as Danny, passed away on December 22, 2022, at the age of 77.
Danny was involved in a precedent-setting landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court after being arrested in September 1969, when he wore a military uniform as part of a street theater action at the Houston draft board. He was convicted for impersonating a military officer, but the Supreme Court reversed the case. We’ll discuss that case – and its significance — in more depth below.