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Recorded by: WRUF (Gainesville, Florida)
Title: Visit of Vice President Nixon to the University of Florida
Identification: Tape recording 141
File name: WRUF 37
Originally recorded on reel to reel tape at 7.5 ips
Digitally reformatted in February 2008
This tape documents the visit of Vice President Richard M. Nixon to the University of Florida campus in the fall of 1960. It begins with his arrival at the Gainesville airport where he is welcomed by UF President J. Wayne Reitz, student body president Joe Ripley, Hugh Edwards, and Gainesville mayor S. J. “Red” Atkins. The UF band plays and the announcer comments on the delay of the flight, Nixon’s itinerary for the evening, and what is occurring at the airport. Nixon speaks briefly to those gathered to greet him.
Nixon had been invited to the University of Florida as a part of the speakers’ series which was held in the Florida Gymnasium. Nixon tells the audience that with President Reitz’s approval he has asked that the format be changed and that he will answer questions from five distinguished panelists rather than give a speech as he felt it would be more informative. The five panelists included Dr. Lyle McAlister (the head of the History Department), Sandra Dennison (president of the Women’s Student Association), Ralph Turlington (state legislative representative), Joe Ripley, and Dr. Kenneth Black (professor in the College of Law). Each asks a question which is related to current events in the United States such as the Commission on Civil Rights, summit talks and world peace, the role of the World Court, the recent settlement of the steel strike, the role of the federal government in education, and civil rights. The questions and answers provide an interesting historical perspective.
The session concludes with Nixon mentioning his optimism about the role young people will play in the future and he thanks the audience for their patience. Reitz thanks Nixon and then presents Pat Nixon to the audience. The announcer, Rex Anthony, gives a few concluding remarks and further states that the broadcast was live from the Florida Gymnasium before an audience of about 10,000. He mentions that Nixon was accompanied on this trip by his wife and by Herb Kaplow of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).