Telegram to Governor Wallace Concerning the Admission of Negro Students to the University of Alabama.
I AM gratified by the dedication to law and order expressed in your telegram informing me of your use of National Guardsmen at the University of Alabama. The only announced threat to orderly compliance with the law, however, is your plan to bar physically the admission of Negro students in defiance of the order of the Alabama Federal District Court and in violation of accepted standards of public conduct. State, city and University officials have reported that, if you were to stay away from the campus, thus fulfilling your legal duty, there is little danger of any disorder being incited which the local town and campus authorities could not adequately handle. This would make unnecessary the outside intervention of any troops, either State or Federal. I therefore urgently ask you to consider the consequences to your State and its fine University if you persist in setting an example of defiant conduct, and urge you instead to leave these matters in the courts of law where they belong.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
[George C. Wallace, Governor of Alabama, Montgomery, Ala.]
Note: Governor Wallace's telegram, dated June 9, was released with the President's reply.
John F. Kennedy, Telegram to Governor Wallace Concerning the Admission of Negro Students to the University of Alabama. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236663