Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Interview with John Seigenthaler

Seigenthaler was aide to Robert F. Kennedy during the 1960 Presidential campaign and Administrative Assistant to the Attorney General, Department of Justice (1961).  At the request of Kennedy, he joined the Freedom Riders in Birmingham and escorted them to New Orleans on May 15, 1961.  A few days later, unable to convince Diane Nash to call off the continued pursuit of interstate travel through Alabama, Seigenthaler flew back to Birmingham to join the SNCC riders.  In this interview he tells of his experience negiotiating with state and city officials for the safe passage of all interstate travelers.

Excerpt of Siegenthaler Interview

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