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Dallas City Leaders Apologize to Adlai Stevenson

Oct. 25, 1963 - Dallas city leaders, reacting with indignation and shame, apologized today to Adlai Stevenson, who was struck and spat on yesterday. One hundred civic and business leaders sent a telegram to Mr. Stevenson, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. They said the city was “outraged and abjectly ashamed of the disgraceful discourtesies you suffered at the hands of a small group of extremists.” A copy of the telegram, which included the signatures of Mayor Earle Cabell and the Chamber of Commerce president Robert Cullum was sent to President Kennedy, who plans to visit the city next month. The telegram apologized on behalf of more than one million “sane and patriotic citizens who, regardless of political affiliation or belief, recognize you as a distinguished American and are happy to have you in our midst.” In Austin, Governor John Connally. called the demonstration “an affront to common courtesy and decency.” Mr. Stevenson was spat upon by a young man and struck with a sign last night as he emerged from a U.N. Day celebration speech. The police said that 22-year-old Robert Hatfield, who spat on Mr. Stevenson, had been wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, and charged with aggravated assault on a policeman. Mrs. Cora Frederickson (right), 47, who was holding the sign, said she had not deliberately struck Mr. Stevenson but had been pushed by the crowd. At Mr. Stevenson’s request, she was not arrested. Mayor Cabell said the demonstration was “not characteristic of the general feeling of the people of Dallas.” Today, Mr. Stevenson lightly dismissed last night’s incident in Dallas. “I don’t want to send them to jail,” he said of the demonstrators. “I want to send them to school.”


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