Robert F. Kennedy Speech Collection

Robert F. Kennedy played a pivotal role in the history of the University of Mississippi. As U.S. Attorney General, he directed the U.S. Marshals to accompany James H. Meredith on campus in 1962 as Meredith became the first African American to register at the state’s flagship university. After rioters attacked the Marshals, President John F. Kennedy ordered in federal troops to restore order.

In 1966, Senator Robert F. Kennedy accepted an invitation from the Speaker’s Bureau of the University of Mississippi Law School to address the students. Although protests preceded the event, Kennedy’s speech before a crowd of 6,000 proved successful, generating much goodwill and enthusiasm.

As the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Relations and Marketing, Ed Meek took photographs of the day's events, including the Kennedys' arrival at the airport, a buffet luncheon, and the speech itself.

The digitization and preservation of recordings in this collection are the result of a project supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Image Credit: Bobby Kennedy delivering speech at the University of Mississippi, image 6 / Ed Meek Collection



Robert F. Kennedy Speech at the University of Mississippi (18 March 1966), Robert F. Kennedy and Ed Ellington