1961 June 6

Notre Dame President Hesburgh: Civil Rights More Important Than Anti-Communism


In a speech to the Columbia University Alumni Federation, Notre Dame University President Rev. Theodore Hesburgh stated that the denial of human rights was a more dangerous threat to the U.S. that Communism.

Hesburgh was a strong supporter of civil rights, and was a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission (September 9, 1957) from its founding in 1957 until 1969, when he was removed by President Richard Nixon because he opposed the president’s policies.

Hesburgh died February 26, 2015 on at age 97.

The Rev. Theodore Martin Hesburgh: The most dangerous subversion in America is the denial of the “human dignity, the human liberty and the human opportunity that we profess in our conflicts with Communism abroad.”

Learn more about Father Hesburgh’s career:  Theodore Hesburgh, God, Country, Notre Dame (1990)

Learn more: Hugh Davis Graham, The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development of National Policy, 1960 – 1972 (1990)

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