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President Hails Roy Wilkins of NAACP

Jan. 1, 1962 - President Kennedy hailed Roy Wilkins (pictured center in 1959 with Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall) of the NAACP this evening for “his work for freedom of all Americans.” The President sent a message to a Roosevelt Hotel dinner in New York at which 1,000 persons paid tribute to the NAACP executive secretary for 30 years’ service on the staff. “It is the nation as a whole,” the President said, “which should be congratulated tonight — for having a man like Roy Wilkins to spur it on to the essential goal of securing the full constitutional rights of all our citizens.” Mr. Wilkins became assistant secretary of the NAACP in 1931. He has been secretary since 1955.

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