Justice Douglas, 04/03/66: Supreme Court Justice William Orville Douglas attends a public reception at the Liberty city auditorium. Liberty Mayor Dempsie Henley leads Douglas into the building. The event attracted a crowd of more than 500 civic leaders and citizens. Douglas served on the Supreme Court for over 36 years, making his term the longest in the court's entire history. He was a well-known conservationist, leading protests, securing legal environmental protections, and jump-starting the modern environmental movement. He visited Liberty in the spring of 1966 as part of his tour of the Big Thicket region. Henley hosted a three-day safari into the forests. Douglas came to see one of Big Thicket's most prized possessions, a 1000-year old magnolia. However, by the time he arrived, an unknown person had injected the tree with a metallic poison until it died. Douglas was appalled at the lack of public lands in Texas and even wrote a book one year later titled, Farewell to Texas: A Vanishing Wilderness.