Papers of John F. Kennedy. Presidential Papers. President's Office Files.
This folder contains materials collected by the office of President John F. Kennedy's secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, concerning President Kennedy's radio and television address on civil rights. In his speech the President responds to the threats of violence and obstruction on the University of Alabama campus following desegregation attempts, explaining that the United States was founded on the principle that all men are created equal and thus, all American students are entitled to attend public educational institutions, regardless of race. He also discusses how discrimination affects education, public safety, and international relations, noting that the country cannot preach freedom internationally while ignoring it domestically. The President asks Congress to enact legislation protecting all Americans' voting rights, legal standing, educational opportunities, and access to public facilities, but recognizes that legislation alone cannot solve the country's problems concerning race relations. Materials in this folder include a memorandum, drafts by Special Counsel and speechwriter Theodore Sorensen with handwritten notations by the President, in addition to copies of newspaper clippings concerning civil rights articles and notes of suggested remarks handwritten by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.