HMRC Thursday: RFK at Rice, 1959

We’re all familiar with the pictures of John F. Kennedy delivering his moonshot speech at Rice stadium. They’re iconic images. But today in the Houston Post photo archives at the HMRC I was surprised to find pictures of his brother Bobby visiting campus in the fall of 1959. He was best known at the time as the chief counsel for the Senate Labor Rackets Committee, a post he would soon resign to work on his brother’s presidential campaign. He was on campus to speak at the Rice Associates dinner, which was held that year in Cohen House. Before the dinner he visited with President Houston in what was then the president’s conference room:

(I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention that I’ve talked about those chairs before.)

And of course you have to have your picture taken by the fireplace in Dr. Houston’s office:

Media coverage:

Bonus: The Julia Ideson Building lampposts are similar but not identical to ours. I wouldn’t be surprised if they came from the same manufacturer. It might be possible to figure that out.


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3 Responses to HMRC Thursday: RFK at Rice, 1959

  1. Jessie says:

    Should be a makers mark on lamppost
    Just like manhole covers

  2. Nancy Moore Eubank, 1955 says:

    In 1959 when I was Advisor to Women, my husband Tom Eubank ’51 and I attended this Associates Cohen House dinner. Bobby Kennedy had visited the LBJ Ranch as a guest of Senator Lyndon Johnson on the way to Houston. In the middle picture of Bobby, standing with President Houston, I can detect a faint mark over his left eyebrow. When we went through the receiving line, we could see that mark was really a gash over a swollen eye, which is not readily apparent in the picture. Rumors flew about the source of that eye injury! All the rumors died when Bobby himself during his talk explained the cause of the injury. Lyndon had taken Bobby deer hunting at the ranch, and Bobby had scoped himself! Nancy Moore Eubank ’55

  3. Nancy H. Bowen, BA '58, MA'60, Ph.D'74 says:

    Frank Vandiver, my thesis supervisor, offered me the job of “coat check” girl at the dinner for RFK. The night was cool and several ladies wore not one but two furs. Many of Houston’s big
    money men were there to hear LBJ’s opponent’s brother discuss JFK’s policy positions. My
    memory fades, but I really don’t recall any earth-shaking minutes. I did understand, however, that I had witnessed a special gathering (and touched more mink than I knew existed).

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