The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
Statement by the President Concerning Interference With the "Freedom Riders" in Alabama.
May 20, 1961

THE SITUATION which has developed in Alabama is a source of the deepest concern to me as it must be to the vast majority of the citizens of Alabama and other Americans. I have instructed the Justice Department to take all necessary steps based on their investigations and information. I call upon the Governor and other responsible State officials in Alabama as well as the Mayors of Birmingham and Montgomery to exercise their lawful authority to prevent any further outbreaks of violence. I would also hope that any persons, whether a citizen of Alabama or a visitor there, would refrain from any action which would in any way tend to provoke further outbreaks. I hope that state and local officials in Alabama will meet their responsibilities. The United States Government intends to meet its.

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Statement by the President Concerning Interference With the "Freedom Riders" in Alabama.", May 20, 1961. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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