As bloggers have pointed out in the recent discussions over the prospect of Vice-President Cheney speaking at BYU, Senator Robert F. Kennedy spoke at BYU on March 27, 1968.
Here’s the 1968 Dialogue that published a transcript of Kennedy’s speech: “RFK at BYU,” Dialogue, Vol. 3:3 (Autumn, 1968), 163-167.
Here’s a photo and the 1982 reprint of the speech from BYU’s off-campus magazine, Seventh East Press , in “RFK at BYU: The Day the Fieldhouse Rocked.” [note: link has been removed]
Here’s a photo of the Senator signing BYU student autographs. (Thanks, Justin, at #133 on Julie’s “Cheney at BYU” Times and Seasons blog .)
And then, Bergera and Priddis, in Brigham Young University: House of Faith, discuss the RFK visit in chapter 5, “Partisan Politics & the University,” in the “The Development of a Speakers Policy” section. It’s available online at Signature Books. Here’s an excerpt relevant to the RFK visit:
“When television reporter Howard K. Smith, who had also been invited during [BYU Pres.] Wilkinson’s absence, spoke favorably of U.S. president Lyndon Johnson’s New Society, Wilkinson promised that Smith would not be invited again [cite].. “Wilkinson also argued that the joint appearance of nationally syndicated columnists Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson would “have serious repercussions with certain members of my Board of Trustees [presumably ETBenson?], who are acquainted with what they consider to be the unethical conduct of these two gentlemen” [cite]. Following the appearance of U.S. vice-president Hubert Humphrey in October 1966, Wilkinson complained that he had been pressured by Democratic General Authorities into allowing the vice-president to speak on campus [cite]. He was particularly annoyed that he had not had enough time to provide an articulate Republican rebuttal. Less than two years later, Wilkinson refused to cancel classes for the campus appearance of presidential candidate and U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy (D–Massachusetts). Still, more than 15,000 students packed the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse to hear the charismatic Kennedy quip, “I had a very nice conversation with Dr. Wilkinson, and I promised him that all Democrats would be off the campus by sundown.” The next week, Republican senator Charles H. Percy (Illinois) attracted fewer than 5,000 students. In late 1970, Wilkinson accompanied Senator Barry Goldwater and Utah’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, Laurence J. Burton…During the late 1960s, trustees expanded the speakers’ policy to prohibit speakers who were “engaged in…”