55 years ago, on 23 October, Senator John F. Kennedy spoke at the Field House on the UW-Madison Campus as part of his campaign for the Presidency, included in his remarks was the following statement:
I said on the first debate that I was concerned as an American when two children are born in two houses next door to each other, one is white and the other is a Negro. That Negro baby has one-half, regardless of his talents, statistically has one-half as much chance of finishing high school as the white baby, one-third as much chance of finishing college, one-fourth as much chance of being a professional man or woman, four times as much chance of being out of work in his life, one-third as much chance of owning his own home, about one-fourth as much chance of putting his child through college. I believe that there are, of course, people who are not equal in talent, people who are not equal in motivation. But if there are going to be inequalities, it should be on the grounds of their ability and dedication, not on the grounds of their color. That is what we wish to wipe out.