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Robert F. Kennedy’s Visit to UA

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Did you know that Robert F. Kennedy gave a speech at the University of Alabama in March of 1968, just months before he was assassinated? Kennedy was invited to the University to speak as part of the Emphasis Program, which was an annual symposium on contemporary issues that was sponsored by the University of Alabama Student Governement Association and ran from 1967 to 1971. Audio recordings of all of the speeches made at the symposium are available in Acumen.

Robert F. Kennedy with James Hood, one of the first African-American students admitted to the University of Alabama

Robert F. Kennedy was the keynote speaker for the 1968 symposium, in which the topic was “America at the Crossroads.” His speech was given on March 21, 1968, just five days after announcing his candidacy for president. Kennedy speaks about the lack of unity in the United States at the time. He believes there are too many conflicts dividing the people. He discusses the United States’ military involvement in Vietnam, Kennedy also discusses the timely topic of the struggle for civil rights and expresses his desire for a national action to ensure equality. Kennedy’s speech is introduced by astronaut John Glenn, who will later enter politics himself. The introduction and Kennedy’s entire speech can be heard here.

This entry was posted in Audio, UA History, Vietnam War and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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