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Article:Robert F. Kennedy
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{{other people|Robert Kennedy}}
 
{{other people|Robert Kennedy}}
 
{{Infobox officeholder
 
{{Infobox officeholder
|birthname = Robert Francis Kennedy
+
|YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa were in many ways tied to an upcoming summit with Khrushchev and De Gaulle, believing the continued international publicity of race riots would tarnish the President heading into international negotiations.<ref>Schlesinger, Arthur (2002). Robert Kennedy and His Times, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, p. 298.</ref> This reluctance to protect and advance the Freedom Rides alienated many of the Civil Rights leaders at the time who perceived him as intolerant and narrow minded.<ref>Thomas, Evan (2002). Robert Kennedy: His Life, Simon and Schuster, p. 298.</ref>
|image = Robert_F_Kennedy_crop.jpg
 
|caption = Robert Kennedy appearing before the Platform Committee, 1964
 
|order = [[List of United States Senators from New York|United States Senator]]<br/> from [[New York]]
 
|title =
 
|term_start = January 3, 1965
 
|term_end = June 6, 1968
 
|predecessor = [[Kenneth Keating]]
 
|successor = [[Charles Goodell]]
 
|order2 = 64th
 
|title2 = [[United States Attorney General]]
 
|president2 = [[John F. Kennedy]]<br/>[[Lyndon B. Johnson]]
 
|term_start2 = January 20, 1961
 
|term_end2 = September 3, 1964
 
|predecessor2 = [[William P. Rogers]]
 
|successor2 = [[Nicholas Katzenbach]]
 
|birth_date = {{birth date|mf=yes|1925|11|20}}
 
|birth_place = [[Brookline, Massachusetts|Brookline]], [[Massachusetts]]
 
|death_date = {{death date and age|mf=yes|1968|6|6|1925|11|20}}
 
|death_place = [[Los Angeles]], [[California]]
 
|resting_place = [[Arlington National Cemetery]]<br/>[[Arlington, Virginia|Arlington]], [[Virginia]]
 
|resting_place_coordinates = {{Coord|38.88118|N|77.07150|W|region:US-DC_type:landmark}}<!-- {{Coord|LAT|LONG|display=inline,title}} -->
 
|spouse = [[Ethel Kennedy|Ethel]] (''née'' Skakel)
 
|children = [[Kathleen Kennedy Townsend|Kathleen H.]] (b. 1951)<br/>[[Joseph Patrick Kennedy II|Joseph P. II]] (b. 1952)<br/>[[Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.|Robert F., Jr.]] (b. 1954)<br/>[[David Kennedy|David A.]] (1955–84)<br/>[[Courtney Kennedy Hill|M. Courtney]] (b. 1956)<br/>[[Michael LeMoyne Kennedy|Michael L.]] (1958–97)<br/>[[Kerry Kennedy|M. Kerry]] (b. 1959)<br/>[[Christopher G. Kennedy|Christopher G.]] (b. 1963)<br/>[[Max Kennedy|M. Maxwell T.]] (b. 1965)<br/>[[Douglas Harriman Kennedy|Douglas H.]] (b. 1967)<br/>[[Rory Kennedy|Rory E.K.]] (b. 1968)
 
|nationality = [[United States|American]]
 
|relations = [[Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.]] <small>(father)</small><br>[[Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy]] <small>(mother)</small><br>[[Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.]] <small>(brother)</small><br>[[John F. Kennedy]] <small>(brother)</small><br>[[Ted Kennedy]] <small>(brother)</small>
 
|religion = [[Catholic Church|Roman Catholic]]
 
|signature = Robert Kennedy Signature.svg
 
|party = [[Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic]]
 
|alma_mater = [[Harvard College]] <small>([[A.B.]])</small> <br/> [[University of Virginia School of Law]] <small>([[LL.B.]])</small>
 
|branch = [[United States Navy Reserve]]
 
|unit = {{USS|Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.}}
 
|battles = [[World War II]]
 
|serviceyears = 1944–1946
 
|rank = [[File:E2 SM USN.png|15px]] [[Seaman Apprentice]]
 
|footnotes =
 
}}
 
'''Robert Francis '''"'''Bobby'''"''' Kennedy''' (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also referred to by his initials '''RFK''', was an [[United States|American]] politician, a [[Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic]] [[United States Senate|senator]] from [[New York]], and a noted [[American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968)|civil rights]] activist. An icon of [[Modern liberalism in the United States|modern American liberalism]] and member of the [[Kennedy family]], he was a younger brother of [[President of the United States|President]] [[John F. Kennedy]] and acted as one of his advisors during his presidency. From 1961 to 1964, he was the [[U.S. Attorney General]].
 
 
Following his brother [[Assassination of John F. Kennedy|John's assassination]] on November 22, 1963, Kennedy continued to serve as Attorney General under President [[Lyndon B. Johnson]] for nine months. In September 1964, Kennedy resigned to seek the [[United States Senate|U.S. Senate]] seat from [[New York]], which he won in November. Within a few years, he publicly split with Johnson over the [[Vietnam War]].
 
 
In March [[United States presidential election, 1968|1968]], Kennedy began a campaign for the presidency and was a front-running candidate of the [[Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic Party]]. In the [[California]] [[United States presidential primary|presidential primary]] on June 4, Kennedy defeated [[Eugene McCarthy]], a U.S. Senator from [[Minnesota]]. Following a brief victory speech delivered just past midnight on June 5 at [[Ambassador Hotel (Los Angeles)|The Ambassador Hotel]] in [[Los Angeles]], [[Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy|Kennedy was shot]] by [[Sirhan Sirhan]]. Mortally wounded, he survived for nearly 26 hours, dying early in the morning of June 6.
 
 
==Early life, education, and military service==
 
Kennedy was born on November 20, 1925, in [[Brookline, Massachusetts|Brookline]], Massachusetts, the seventh child of [[Joseph P. Kennedy]] and [[Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy|Rose E. Fitzgerald]].
 
 
In September 1927, the [[Kennedy family]] moved to [[Riverdale, New York|Riverdale]], New York, a neighborhood in the [[Bronx]], then two years later, moved {{convert|5|mi|km}} northeast to [[Bronxville, New York|Bronxville]], New York. Kennedy spent summers with his family at their home in [[Hyannis, Massachusetts#Hyannis Port|Hyannis Port]], Massachusetts, and Christmas and Easter holidays with his family at their winter home in [[Palm Beach, Florida|Palm Beach]], Florida, purchased in 1933. He attended public elementary school in Riverdale from kindergarten through second grade; then [[Bronxville Union Free School District|Bronxville School]], the public school in Bronxville, from third through fifth grade, repeating the third grade;<ref name="oppenheimer307">Oppenheimer, Jerry. ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=pLFNINq53NUC&lpg=PA307&dq=kennedy%20repeated%20third%20grade&pg=PA307#v=onepage&q&f=false The Other Mrs. Kennedy]'', p. 307.</ref> then [[Riverdale Country School]], a private school for boys in Riverdale, for sixth grade.
 
 
In March 1938, when he was 12, Kennedy sailed aboard the {{SS|Manhattan|1931|6}} with his mother and his four youngest siblings to England, where his father had begun serving as [[United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom|U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom]]. Kennedy attended the private [[Gibbs School for Boys]] at 134 [[Sloane Street]] in [[London]] for seventh grade, returning to the U.S. just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
 
 
In September 1939, for eighth grade, Kennedy was sent {{convert|200|mi|km}} away from home to [[St. Paul's School (Concord, New Hampshire),|St. Paul's School]], an elite private [[university-preparatory school|preparatory]] school for boys in [[Concord, New Hampshire|Concord]], New Hampshire. However, he did not like it and his mother thought it too [[Episcopal Church in the United States of America|Episcopalian]]. It was for these reasons that—after two months at St. Paul's—Kennedy transferred to [[Portsmouth Abbey School|Portsmouth Priory School]], a [[Benedictine]] boarding school for boys in [[Portsmouth, Rhode Island|Portsmouth]], Rhode Island, for eighth through tenth grades. In September 1942, Kennedy transferred to [[Milton Academy]], a third boarding school in [[Milton, Massachusetts|Milton]], Massachusetts, for eleventh and twelfth grades.
 
 
Six weeks before his eighteenth birthday, Kennedy enlisted in the [[United States Navy Reserve|U.S. Naval Reserve]] as an [[Seaman Apprentice|apprentice seaman]], released from active duty until March 1944 when he left Milton Academy early to report to the [[V-12 Navy College Training Program]] at [[Harvard College]] in [[Cambridge, Massachusetts|Cambridge]], Massachusetts. His V-12 training was at Harvard (March–November 1944); [[Bates College]] in [[Lewiston, Maine]] (November 1944 – June 1945); and Harvard (June 1945 – January 1946). On December 15, 1945, the [[United States Navy|U.S. Navy]] commissioned the [[destroyer]] [[USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850)|USS ''Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.'']], and shortly thereafter granted Kennedy's request to be released from naval-officer training to serve starting on February 1, 1946, as an apprentice seaman on the ship's [[shakedown cruise]] in the [[Caribbean Sea|Caribbean]]. On May 30, 1946, he received his [[honorable discharge]] from the Navy.
 
 
In September 1946, Kennedy entered Harvard as a junior, having received credit for his two and a half years in the V-12 program. Kennedy worked hard to make the Harvard [[varsity team|varsity]] [[American football|football]] team as an [[end (American football)|end]], was a [[starting lineup|starter]] and scored a [[touchdown]] in the first game of his senior year before breaking his leg in practice, earning his [[varsity letter]] when his coach sent him in for the last minutes of the [[Harvard-Yale football games (The Game)|Harvard-Yale game]] wearing a cast. Kennedy graduated from Harvard with an [[Bachelor of Arts|A.B.]] in [[political science|government]] in March 1948 and immediately sailed off on {{RMS|Queen Mary}} with a college friend for a six-month tour of Europe and the [[Middle East]], accredited as a correspondent of the ''[[Boston Post]]'', for which he filed six stories. Four of these stories, filed from [[Palestine]] shortly before the end of the [[British Mandate of Palestine|British Mandate]], [[Robert Kennedy in Palestine (1948)|provided a first-hand view of the tensions]]. He was critical of the British policy in Palestine. Further, he praised the Jewish people he met there "as hardy and tough". Kennedy held out some hope after seeing Arabs and Jews working side by side but, in the end felt the "hate" in Palestine was too strong and would lead to a war.<ref>Schlesinger 2002 (reprint), pp. 73–77.</ref> His prediction came to pass with the [[1948 Arab-Israeli War]].
 
 
In September 1948, Kennedy enrolled at the [[University of Virginia School of Law]] in [[Charlottesville, Virginia|Charlottesville]]. On June 17, 1950, Kennedy married [[Ethel Kennedy|Ethel Skakel]] at St. Mary's Catholic Church in [[Greenwich, Connecticut|Greenwich]], Connecticut. Kennedy graduated from law school in June 1951 and flew with Ethel to Greenwich to stay in his father-in-law's guest house. Kennedy's first child, [[Kathleen Kennedy Townsend|Kathleen]], was born on July 4, 1951, and Kennedy spent the summer studying for the Massachusetts [[bar exam]].
 
 
In September 1951, Kennedy went to [[San Francisco]] as a correspondent of the ''Boston Post'' to cover the convention concluding the [[Treaty of San Francisco|Treaty of Peace with Japan]]. In October 1951, Kennedy embarked on a seven-week Asian trip with his brother John (then [[Massachusetts's 11th congressional district|Massachusetts 11th district]] [[United States House of Representatives|congressman]]) and his sister [[Patricia Kennedy Lawford|Patricia]] to Israel, India, Vietnam, and Japan. Because of their eight-year separation in age, the two brothers had previously seen little of each other. This {{convert|25000|mi|km|sing=on}} trip was the first extended time they had spent together and served to deepen their relationship.
 
 
==Early career until 1960==
 
In November 1951, Kennedy moved with his wife and daughter to a townhouse in [[Georgetown, Washington, D.C.|Georgetown]] in [[Washington, D.C.]], and started work as a lawyer in the Internal Security Section (which investigated suspected Soviet agents) of the [[United States Department of Justice Criminal Division|Criminal Division]] of the [[United States Department of Justice|U.S. Department of Justice]]. In February 1952, he was transferred to the [[Eastern District of New York]] in [[Brooklyn]] to prosecute fraud cases. On June 6, 1952, Kennedy resigned to manage his brother John's successful [[United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 1952|1952 U.S. Senate campaign]] in [[Massachusetts]].
 
 
In December 1952, at the behest of his father, he was appointed by [[Republican Party (United States)|Republican]] Senator [[Joe McCarthy]] as assistant counsel of the [[United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations|U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations]].<ref>Schlesinger (1978) p. 101</ref> He resigned in July 1953, but "[[Joseph McCarthy#Support from Catholics and Kennedy family|retained a fondness for McCarthy]]."<ref>Schlesinger (1978) p. 106</ref> After a period as an assistant to his father on the [[Hoover Commission]], Kennedy rejoined the Senate committee staff as chief counsel for the Democratic minority in February 1954.<ref>Schlesinger (1978) p. 109.</ref> When the Democrats gained the majority in January 1955, he became chief counsel. Kennedy was a background figure in the televised [[Army-McCarthy Hearings|McCarthy Hearings]] of 1954 into the conduct of McCarthy.<ref>Schlesinger (1978) p. 113, 115</ref>
 
 
Kennedy worked as an aide to [[Adlai Stevenson II|Adlai Stevenson]] during the [[United States presidential election, 1956|1956 presidential election]] to learn for a future national campaign by John. The candidate did not impress Kennedy, however, and he voted for incumbent [[Dwight D. Eisenhower]].<ref name="leamer2001">{{cite book | title=The Kennedy Men: 1901-1963 | publisher=HarperCollins | author=Leamer, Laurence | year=2001 | isbn=0-688-16315-7}}</ref>{{rp|416-417}} Kennedy soon made a name for himself as the chief counsel of the 1957–59 [[United States Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management|Senate Labor Rackets Committee]] under chairman [[John L. McClellan]]. In a dramatic scene, Kennedy squared off with [[Teamsters]] union President [[Jimmy Hoffa]] during the antagonistic argument that marked Hoffa's testimony.<ref>Schlesinger (1978) pp. 137–91</ref> Kennedy left the Rackets Committee in late 1959 in order to run his brother John's successful presidential campaign.
 
 
In 1960, he published the book ''The Enemy Within'', describing the corrupt practices within the Teamsters and other unions that he had helped investigate; the book sold very well.
 
 
==Attorney General of the United States (1961–1964)==
 
[[File:Robert Kennedy CORE rally speech2.jpg|thumb|right|Kennedy speaking to a Civil Rights crowd in front of the [[United States Department of Justice|Justice Department]] building on June 14, 1963.]]
 
John F. Kennedy's choice of Robert Kennedy as Attorney General following his election victory in 1960 was controversial, with ''[[The New York Times]]'' and ''[[The New Republic]]'' calling him inexperienced and unqualified.<ref name="Schlesinger"/> He had no experience in any state or federal court,<ref name="Schlesinger"/> causing the President to joke, "I can't see that it's wrong to give him a little legal experience before he goes out to practice law."<ref name="All He Asked">{{cite news |title= New Administration: All He Asked|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=1961-02-03|publisher= TIME|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,872026,00.html}}</ref> There was precedent, however, in an Attorney General being appointed because of his role as a close adviser to the President,<ref name="Schlesinger"/> and Kennedy had significant experience in handling organized crime.<ref name="Schlesinger"/> After performing well in the Senate hearing he easily won confirmation in January 1961.<ref name="Schlesinger"/> To compensate for his deficiencies Kennedy chose an "outstanding"<ref name="Schlesinger"/> group of deputy and assistant attorneys general, including [[Byron White]] and [[Nicholas Katzenbach]].<ref name="Schlesinger"/>
 
 
Robert Kennedy's tenure as Attorney General was easily the period of greatest power for the office; no previous [[United States Attorney General]] had enjoyed such clear influence on all areas of policy during an administration. To a great extent, President Kennedy sought the advice and counsel of his younger brother, resulting in Robert Kennedy remaining the President's closest political adviser. Kennedy was relied upon as both the President's primary source of administrative information and as a general counsel with whom trust was implicit, given the familial ties of the two men.
 
 
President Kennedy once remarked about his brother that, "If I want something done and done immediately I rely on the Attorney General. He is very much the doer in this administration, and has an organizational gift I have rarely if ever seen surpassed."
 
 
Yet Robert Kennedy believed strongly in the [[separation of powers]] and thus often chose not to comment on matters of policy not relating to his remit or to forward the enquiry of the President to an officer of the administration better suited to offer counsel.
 
 
=== Berlin ===
 
 
As one of President Kennedy’s closest White House advisers, RFK played a crucial role in the events surrounding the [[Berlin Crisis of 1961]]. Operating mainly through a private backchannel connection to Soviet spy [[Georgi Bolshakov]], RFK relayed important diplomatic communications between the US and Soviet governments. Most significantly, this connection helped the US set up the Vienna Summit in June 1961 and later defuse the tank standoff with the Soviets at Berlin’s [[Checkpoint Charlie]] in October.<ref>{{cite book|last=Kempe|first=Frederick|title=Berlin 1961|year=2011|publisher=Penguin Group (USA)|isbn=0-399-15729-8|pages=478–479}}</ref>
 
 
===Organized crime and the Teamsters===
 
As Attorney General, Kennedy pursued a relentless crusade against [[organized crime]] and the [[American Mafia|mafia]], sometimes disagreeing on strategy with [[J. Edgar Hoover]], [[Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation|Director]] of the [[Federal Bureau of Investigation]] (FBI). Convictions against organized-crime figures rose by 800 percent during his term.<ref name=jfklib>{{cite web|title=Robert F. Kennedy|url=http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Biographies+and+Profiles/Biographies/bio_kennedy_Robert_F.htm}}</ref>
 
 
Kennedy was relentless in his pursuit of [[Teamsters]] union President [[Jimmy Hoffa]], resulting from widespread knowledge of Hoffa's corruption in financial and electoral actions, both personally and organizationally. The enmity between the two men was something of a [[cause célèbre]] during the period, with accusations of personal vendetta being exchanged between Kennedy and Hoffa. Hoffa was eventually to face open, televised hearings before Kennedy, as Attorney General, which became iconic moments in Kennedy's political career and earned him both praise and criticism from the press. When a key witness surfaced, [[Edward Grady Partin]] of [[Baton Rouge, Louisiana|Baton Rouge]], Hoffa was convicted of [[jury tampering]].
 
 
===Civil rights===
 
====As Attorney General====
 
Kennedy expressed the administration's commitment to civil rights during a 1961 speech at the [[University of Georgia Law School]]: {{cquote|We will not stand by or be aloof. We will move. I happen to believe that [[Brown v. Board of Education|the 1954 Supreme Court school desegregation decision]] was right. But my belief does not matter. It is the law. Some of you may believe the decision was wrong. That does not matter. It is the law.}}
 
 
In 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who hated civil-rights leader [[Martin Luther King, Jr.]] and viewed him as an upstart troublemaker,<ref name="american public radio">{{cite news |title= The FBI's War on King|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=|publisher= American Public Radio|url= http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/king/d1.html}}</ref> presented Kennedy with allegations that some of King's close confidants and advisers were [[Communist#Cold War years|communists]]. Concerned that the allegations, if made public, would derail the Administration's civil rights initiatives, Kennedy warned King to discontinue the suspect associations, and later felt compelled to issue a written directive authorizing the FBI to wiretap King and other leaders of the [[Southern Christian Leadership Conference]], King's civil rights organization.<ref name="'70s 41">{{cite book |title= How We Got Here: The '70s|last= Frum|first= David|authorlink= David Frum|coauthors= |year= 2000|publisher= Basic Books|location= New York, New York|isbn= 0-465-04195-7|page= 41|pages= |url= }}</ref> Although Kennedy only gave written approval for limited wiretapping of King's phones "on a trial basis, for a month or so",<ref>Herst, Burton (2007). Bobby and J. Edger, Carroll & Graf: New York, New York. ISBN 0-7867-1982-6. p. 372</ref> Hoover extended the clearance so his men were "unshackled" to look for evidence in any areas of King's life they deemed worthy.<ref>Herst, Burton, (2007) pp 372–374</ref> The wire tapping continued through June 1966 and was revealed in 1968, days before Kennedy's death.<ref name="the atlantic">{{cite news |title= The FBI and Martin Luther King|last= Garrow|first= David J.|authorlink= David Garrow|coauthors= |date= 2002-07/08|publisher= The Atlantic Monthly|url= http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200207/garrow}}</ref>
 
 
Kennedy remained committed to civil rights enforcement to such a degree that he commented, in 1962, that it seemed to envelop almost every area of his public and private life—from prosecuting corrupt southern electoral officials to answering late night calls from [[Coretta Scott King]] concerning the imprisonment of her husband for demonstrations in Alabama. During his tenure as Attorney General, he undertook the most energetic and persistent desegregation of the administration that Capitol Hill had ever experienced. He demanded that every area of government begin recruiting realistic levels of black and other ethnic workers, going so far as to criticize Vice President [[Lyndon B. Johnson]] for his failure to desegregate his own office staff.
 
 
Although it has become commonplace to assert the phrase "[[Presidency of John F. Kennedy|The Kennedy Administration]]" or even "President Kennedy" when discussing the legislative and executive support of the civil rights movement, between 1960 and 1963, a great many of the initiatives that occurred during President Kennedy's tenure were as a result of the passion and determination of an emboldened Robert Kennedy, who through his rapid education in the realities of Southern racism, underwent a thorough conversion of purpose as Attorney General. Asked in an interview in May 1962, "What do you see as the big problem ahead for you, is it Crime or Internal Security?" Robert Kennedy replied, "Civil Rights."<ref>Bob Spivack, Interview of the Attorney General, May 12, 1962; published in "Robert Kennedy and His Times," by Arthur M. Schlesinger, p. 313, Ballantine Books (1996).</ref> The President came to share his brother's sense of urgency on the matters at hand to such an extent that it was at the Attorney General's insistence that he made his famous address to the nation.<ref name="Schlesinger">{{Cite journal|last=Schlesinger|first=Arthur Jr.|title=Robert Kennedy and His Times|year=1978|postscript=<!--None-->}}</ref>
 
[[File:RFK and MLK together.jpg|thumb|Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., 22 June 1963, Washington, D.C.]]
 
Robert Kennedy played a large role in the Freedom Rides. After the Anniston bus bombings, Kennedy acted to protect the Riders in continuing their journey. Kennedy sent John Seigenthaler, his administrative assistant, to Alabama to attempt to secure the riders' safety there. He also forced the Greyhound bus company to provide the Freedom Riders with a bus driver to ensure they could continue their journey.<ref>Rucker, Walter, Upton James (2007). Encyclopedia of American Race Riots. Greenwood Publishing Press, p. 239.</ref> Later, during the attack and burning by a white mob of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama, at which Martin Luther King Jr. and some 1,500 sympathizers were in attendance, the Attorney General telephoned King to ask his assurance that they would not leave the building until the force of [[United States Marshals Service|U.S. Marshals]] and [[National Guard of the United States|National Guard]] he sent had secured the area. King proceeded to berate Kennedy for "allowing the situation to continue". King later publicly thanked Robert Kennedy for his commanding of the force dispatched to break up an attack that might otherwise have ended King's life.<ref name="Schlesinger"/><ref>Ayers, Edward. Gould, Lewis. Oshinsky, David. (2008). American Passages: A History of the United States: Since 1865, Vol. 2, Cengage Learning, p. 853.</ref>
 
 
Kennedy then negotiated the safe passage of the Freedom Riders from the First Baptist Church to Jackson Mississippi, where they were arrested.<ref>Arsenault, Raymond (2006). Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. Oxford UP. ISBN 978-0-19-513674-6.</ref> He offered to bail the Freedom Riders out of jail, but they refused. This upset Kennedy, who went as far to call any bandwagoners of the original freedom rides "honkers".
 
 
Kennedy's attempts to end the Freedom Rides early were in many ways tied to an upcoming summit with Khrushchev and De Gaulle, believing the continued international publicity of race riots would tarnish the President heading into international negotiations.<ref>Schlesinger, Arthur (2002). Robert Kennedy and His Times, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, p. 298.</ref> This reluctance to protect and advance the Freedom Rides alienated many of the Civil Rights leaders at the time who perceived him as intolerant and narrow minded.<ref>Thomas, Evan (2002). Robert Kennedy: His Life, Simon and Schuster, p. 298.</ref>
 
   
 
In September 1962, he sent U.S. Marshals to [[Oxford, Mississippi]], to enforce a federal court order allowing the admittance of the first African American student, [[James Meredith]], to the [[University of Mississippi]]. Kennedy had hoped that legal means, along with the escort of U.S. Marshals, would be enough to force the Governor to allow the school admission. He also was very concerned there might be a "mini-civil war" between the U.S. Army troops and armed protesters.<ref>Schlesinger 2002 (reprint), pp. 317–320.</ref> President John F. Kennedy reluctantly sent federal troops after the situation on campus turned violent.<ref>{{cite journal |last= Bryant |first= Nick |year= 2006 |month= Autumn |title= Black Man Who Was Crazy Enough to Apply to Ole Miss |journal= [[The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education]] |volume= |issue= 53 |page= 71 |url= |quote= |doi= }}</ref> Ensuing [[Ole Miss riot of 1962|riots]] during the period of Meredith's admittance resulted in hundreds of injuries and two deaths. Yet Kennedy remained adamant concerning the rights of black students to enjoy the benefits of all levels of the educational system. The Office of Civil Rights also hired its first African-American lawyer and began to work cautiously with leaders of the [[American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968)|civil rights movement]]. Robert Kennedy saw voting as the key to racial justice, and collaborated with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to create the landmark [[Civil Rights Act of 1964]], which helped bring an end to [[Jim Crow laws]].
 
In September 1962, he sent U.S. Marshals to [[Oxford, Mississippi]], to enforce a federal court order allowing the admittance of the first African American student, [[James Meredith]], to the [[University of Mississippi]]. Kennedy had hoped that legal means, along with the escort of U.S. Marshals, would be enough to force the Governor to allow the school admission. He also was very concerned there might be a "mini-civil war" between the U.S. Army troops and armed protesters.<ref>Schlesinger 2002 (reprint), pp. 317–320.</ref> President John F. Kennedy reluctantly sent federal troops after the situation on campus turned violent.<ref>{{cite journal |last= Bryant |first= Nick |year= 2006 |month= Autumn |title= Black Man Who Was Crazy Enough to Apply to Ole Miss |journal= [[The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education]] |volume= |issue= 53 |page= 71 |url= |quote= |doi= }}</ref> Ensuing [[Ole Miss riot of 1962|riots]] during the period of Meredith's admittance resulted in hundreds of injuries and two deaths. Yet Kennedy remained adamant concerning the rights of black students to enjoy the benefits of all levels of the educational system. The Office of Civil Rights also hired its first African-American lawyer and began to work cautiously with leaders of the [[American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968)|civil rights movement]]. Robert Kennedy saw voting as the key to racial justice, and collaborated with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to create the landmark [[Civil Rights Act of 1964]], which helped bring an end to [[Jim Crow laws]].
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