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Kingman Brewster, Statement in Yale Daily News, May 12, 1972.
Kingman Brewster Papers. Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University.

Bharat Ayyar ’10, Kingman Brewster’s Leadership

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When Alabama Governor George Wallace, a segregationist, was invited to speak at the Yale Political Union in 1963, then-Provost Brewster asked the YPU to revoke its invitation for security reasons. Immediately afterward, a massive outcry broke out across campus. The Woodward Report on free speech, commissioned by Brewster in 1974, labeled the so-called “Wallace Affair” an outright failure.

In 1972, Brewster made a public statement, printed in full on the front page of the News, prior to a campus visit by Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State William Rogers. He is at once uncompromising about upholding free speech and unrestrained in showing his discontent for the Nixon administration. Brewster, on the one hand, threatened to expel students who bar Rogers from speaking. Still, he also said that he “expects” disciplined picketing and asked that students appropriately protest the Rogers’s appearance. In the end, Rogers unexpectedly canceled his appearance for unknown reasons.