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31. 1961: Guests at Merle McCurdy’s Swearing In Ceremony

@ Kent State University


A crowd of two hundred gathered to attend Merle McCurdy’s swearing ceremony. As Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, was on the West Coast, and unable to attend the ceremony, Assistant Attorney General, William A. Geoghegan was present. Georhegan stated that, “Mr. McCurdy did not receive this post because of his race. Nor was there any thought that he might be passed by because of it. He was named only after full investigation had determined that he was well qualified” (The Plain Dealer, 1961, p. 6). Also in attendance, was Andrew T. Hatcher (left), Associate White House Press Secretary and Dr. Robert Weaver (standing next to Merle), administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. President John F. Kennedy attempted to name Dr. Weaver to a full position within his Cabinet, but was he blocked by southern politicians who objected to an African American serving the White House. President Lyndon Baines Johnson elevated Robert Weaver to a full cabinet position in 1966, naming him Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Sources 200 Attend Swearing in of McCurdy. (1961, October 7). The Plain Dealer, p. 6. Gates, H. (2013, November 11). How Black Was JFK’s Camelot? The Root. Retrieved from
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Kent State University

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