Forty-two years and more than 300 miles took Robert H. Jackson from Warren County to Washington, D.C., and from there the journey was just beginning.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, the Robert H. Jackson Center and Warren Public Library, with support from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Community Foundation of Warren, will debut "Liberty Under the Law: The Robert H. Jackson Story", a documentary film on the Spring Creek native's life by filmmakers Richard and Lisa Gensheimer.
According to Jackson Center Development Coordinator Debra Pacos, the film will be shown in its pre-edit cut entirety.
"It's been a long time in filming," Pacos said.
The film, which features on-location scenes in northwestern Pennsylvania, will, "Explore how Jackson's early life in rural Pennsylvania and southwestern New York influenced his character and, ultimately, his contributions to the world."
Jackson was born in Spring Creek in 1892 before his family moved to Frewsburg, N.Y., five years later. At age 21, he took the New York state bar exam and went on to practice as a trial lawyer in Jamestown, N.Y., and later in Buffalo.
In 1934, Jackson was appointed as General Counsel of the United States Treasury Department's Bureau of Internal Revenue. In 1936, Jackson became Assistant Attorney General overseeing the the Tax Department of the Department of Justice. In 1937, he moved to overseeing the anti-trust division.
In 1938, Jackson became U.S. Solicitor General.
He was considered a trusted member of President Franklin Roosevelt's inner circle of advisors and was appointed U.S. Attorney General in 1940.
In 1941, Jackson was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, just seven years after his first public appointment.
In 1945, Jackson took a leave of absence from the court to accept President Harry Truman's appointment to serve as U.S. Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Nazi war criminals and helped draft the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal. The charter would go on to serve as the legal basis for the Nuremberg trials.
He served as U.S. chief prosecutor at the international Nuremberg trial.
A discussion panel will be featured at the film. Members of the panel include Jackson scholar and biographer John Q. Barrett, former chief prosecutor for the Special Court of Sierra Leone David M. Crane, Jackson's grandson Thomas Loftus, who is also an attorney, and a surviving law clerk who served under Jackson E. Barrett Prettyman.
Admission to the Struthers Library Theatre is free to the public.