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Robert F. Kennedy on University at Buffalo Campus – 1964

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Robert F. Kennedy delivering a 1964 campaign speech on the University at Buffalo Campus.

Robert F. Kennedy on Buffalo Campus

50 Years Ago

On Saturday, October 3, 1964, an enthusiastic crowd of more than 3,000 students heard Robert F. Kennedy deliver a 1964 speech from the terrace of Norton Union (now Squire Hall) on the University at Buffalo’s Main Street campus.

Kennedy was campaigning for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Kenneth B. Keating, who visited the U.B. campus the previous day.

Kennedy made an immediate hit with the Buffalo students when he was asked who he was rooting for in the Buffalo/University of Massachusetts football game to be played later that afternoon.  The Massachusetts-reared Kennedy quickly replied, “I’m for the University of Buffalo” while flashing a wide grin.  The University of Massachusetts won the game 24-22.  (see “Kennedy Attacks Goldwater” Spectrum Newspaper, 9 October 1964)

The Robert F. Kennedy photos are part of the Prominent Visitors to Buffalo digital collection and come from the University at Buffalo Archives.

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Robert F. Kennedy delivering a 1964 campaign speech on the University at Buffalo Campus. Audience at Robert F. Kennedy's 1964 speech on the University at Buffalo campus. Robert F. Kennedy delivering a 1964 campaign speech on the University at Buffalo Campus. Robert F. Kennedy delivering a 1964 campaign speech on the University at Buffalo Campus.

Kennedy Attacks GoldwaterKennedy Attacks

Last Saturday, Democratic candidate Robert Kennedy
spoke to the student body as the second part of the
Convocations Committee’ s program.

The bulk of his speech was an attack on Barry Goldwater.
Following his talk there was a question and answer period.
When asked how he felt about the afternoon football game
he said, “I’m for the University of Buffalo.” When asked if
he had ever run for elected office before he said, “No. Have you?”
When asked why he chose the State of New York he replied,
“I lived in New York State longer than any place else. I have
ties here. We pay taxes in the State of New York.”

Before leaving Mr, Kennedy added a little friendly advice.
He said that we are dependent upon an educated people
and that we must “face up to the problem and do something
about them.” While discussing the role of the educated
person he said that, “we have an opportunity and a responsibility.”
When asked if the Senatorial seat was a stepping stone for the
Presidency Mr. Kennedy remarked, “Then New York State
is going to get a very nice Senator.”

Spectrum Newspaper, October 9, 1964


1964 Buffalo Bulls Football

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1964 Buffalo Bulls Football

Buffalo Bulls Football coaching staff, 1964 season

Buffalo Bulls Coaching Staff

The 1964 football season marked Dick Offenhamer’s 10th year as the University at Buffalo’s head coach.

A coaching shake up was rumored during the summer of ’64.  Speculation persisted that Dick Offenhamer would pass the head coaching duties over to Buddy Ryan, who turned down an assistant coaching post with the Buffalo Bills.  But the rumors turned out to be false.

1964 NCAA College Football Regional Game - U.B. vs. Boston UniversityBuffalo rocketed into the 1964 football season bullying Boston University, 35-0, in an impressive display of power and personnel. Offenhamer’s forces converted two pass interceptions and a blocked punt into scores and otherwise manhandled the Terriers.

The Buffalo-Boston University football game represented a “first” for the University at Buffalo as the September 19, 1964 game was televised from Boston by Buffalo’s NBC affiliate.

Buffalo Quarterback Don Gilbert - 1964

Quarterback Don Gilbert

Earlier in March, Buffalo asked the NCAA for permission to televise six of its home football games during the 1964 season—via WNED-TV, Buffalo’s educational channel. But the request was denied.

In mid-October, an estimated 21,000 spectators watched in War Memorial Stadium as the Bulls struck for two 4th quarter scores to edge the Virginia Military Institute Keydets. Jim Duprey’s pass interception keyed Buffalo’s comeback as Buffalo defeated V.M.I., 14-10.

Shortly after the victory, the Bulls’ head coach Dick Offenhamer expressed confidence in the programs direction. (see “Bulls are Close To ‘Big Time’” Buffalo Courier-Express, 19 October 1964)

In November, senior quarterback Don Gilbert lead Buffalo to victory over the University of Richmond, 28-13. Don Gilbert blossomed his senior year for the Bulls. He set a school record for total yardage (rushing and passing) in 1964, and was 19th in the nation in total offensive yards. These accomplishments earned him the 1964 Dom Grassi Award as UB’s Athlete of the Year.

After graduation, Gilbert played in the Canadian Football League, as a defensive back for the Ottawa Roughriders from 1965-67 and later was a highly successful coach at the University of Ottawa.  Gilbert is a member of the Bennett High School Hall of Fame, University at Buffalo Hall of Fame and the University of Ottawa Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

The 1964 football season came to an abrupt and snowy conclusion two hours before the scheduled finale with Villanova when it was decided that snow-covered Rotary Field was unplayable.  An early season lake-effect snowstorm dumped heavy, wet snow throughout Western New York.  It was the second time in 11 years that a Bulls’ final football game has been snowed-out.

For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.

1964 Buffalo Bulls Football Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
Sat, 9/19/19641 Boston University 0 – 35 Buffalo W Boston, MA
Sat, 9/26/19642 Cornell University 9 – 9 Buffalo T Ithaca, NY
Sat, 10/3/19643 Buffalo 22 – 24 University of Massachusetts L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/10/19644 Marshall University 14 – 12 Buffalo L Huntington, WV
Sat, 10/17/19645 Buffalo 14 – 10 Virginia Military Institute W Buffalo, NY*
Sat, 10/24/19646 Buffalo 14 – 20 Holy Cross L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/31/19647 Buffalo 27 – 0 University of Delaware W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/7/19648 Buffalo 28 – 13 University of Richmond W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/14/19649 Buffalo 6 – 7 Colgate University L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/21/196410 Buffalo canceled Villanova University Buffalo, NY


Home: Rotary Field, Bailey and Winspear Avenues. *Game played at War Memorial Stadium, Jefferson Avenue and Best Street.
Coach: Dick Offenhamer

  • 1 – “UB Shows Power, Routs Boston, 35-0Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 20 September 1964.
  • 2 – “Cornell Rally Ties UB, 9-9Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 27 September 1964.
  • 3 – “Redmen Beat UB, 24-22; Buffalo Miscues Are CostlyBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 4 October 1964.
  • 4 – “Marshall Jolts UB, 14-12 Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 11 October 1964.
  • 5 – “Bulls Beat VMI, 14-10, Before 21,000Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 18 October 1964.
  • 6 – “Lenti, Cunnion Pace Crusaders Over Bulls, 20-14Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 25 October1964.
  • 7 – “Buffalo Bulls Shock Delaware, Win 37-0Niagara Falls Gazette Niagara Falls, NY, 1 November 1964.
  • 8 – “Don Gilbert Paces UB’s 28-13 VictoryBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 8 November 1964.
  • 9 – “Alert Colgate Defense Downs UB, 7-6Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 15 November 1964.
  • 10 – “UB Ends Season Idle; Snow Blocks Villanova ContestBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 22 November 1964.

Bulls Are Close to Big TimeCommon Foes Compared

Bulls are Close To ‘Big Time’

By Bob Powell

How far from that mystic strata of “big time” football is the University of Buffalo? The Bulls’ coach Dick Offenhamer is convinced that it isn’t too far, basing his thesis on the results of recent games.

The Buffalo eleven downed the Virginia Military Institute, 14-10, Saturday in War Memorial Stadium and John McKenna, coach of the Keydets, rated the Bulls on a par with another one of his team’s conquerors, the University of Virginia.

McKenna was speaking with the vivid authority of having just lost to Buffalo and having suffered a 20-19 setback the previous Saturday to the Cavaliers.

At the time UB was staging a rallying triumph before 21,000 spectators. Virginia was unpatriotically sabotaging the U.S. Military Academy football team, 35-14.

McKenna, whose team hasn’t outscored an opponent yet, also is an expert on the powers of Villanova. Predicting a Villanova victory in its meeting (Nov. 21 at Rotary Field) with UB. McKenna observed that the Wildcats probably have the best starting eleven in the east.

Competition Is Tough

“It just goes to show, that you don’t have to play Penn State or Syracuse to be in tough competition,” Offenhamer said Sunday as he prepared to review the UB-VMI game on film.

But, the question then presents itself: How long will it, be before the Bulls get into play against the likes of the East’s Big Five-Army, Navy,Syracuse, Penn State and Pittsburgh?

It certainly would be a foolishly ambitious move to do it on a basis of comparative scores, but history (cia football brochures) shows that Syracuse, for instances, played Villanova, Holy Cross, Colgate, Cornell, Boston University and other equally rated teams only a few years.

Future Buffalo football schedules, far from fully filled with teams, already includes the likes of Boston College and Iowa State. What’s to prevent a few additional name schools like Vanderbilt, Tulane, Rice and West Virginia from showing up?

On the Bulls’ victory Saturday, Offenhamer still expressed satisfaction with his team’s showing. If there was one disappointing feature, according to the coach, it was in the passing game.

Passing Was Off

“I’m not unhappy with the passing, but our receiving was below par. There were four passes that should have been caught. Don(Gilbert) hit on only four of 15 of his throws, but it wasn’t his fault at least four times.”

Buffalo Courier-Express, October 19, 1964

Gustin L. Reichbach Papers

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Gustin L. Reichbach PapersGustin Lewis Reichbach (1946-2012) B.A. ’67 was a proud Brooklynite, University at Buffalo alumnus, law student activist, lawyer, respected New York State Supreme Court Juris and international judge.

Reichbach attended the University at Buffalo and studied political science during the tumultuous 1960s. He later studied law at Columbia University where he was active with the Students for a Democratic Society. After establishing a private legal practice, Reichbach was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York and the Supreme Court of the State of New York. He also served as an International Judge for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo.

After his premature death from cancer in 2012, his wife, Ellen Meyers, donated Reichbach’s personal and professional papers to the University at Buffalo Archives.

The Gustin L. Reichbach Papers digital collection contains various items from the donated material.

Elizabeth Taylor on University at Buffalo Campus

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Elizabeth Taylor on University at Buffalo CampusSurprise Appearance of Elizabeth Taylor

On September 20, 1957, actress Elizabeth Taylor and her third husband, Hollywood movie producer Mike Todd, spent the day on the University at Buffalo campus. Elizabeth Taylor’s presence was a delightful surprise as only Mike Todd had been expected.

Mike Todd was invited to Buffalo, NY to give a boost to the city of Buffalo’s 125th Anniversary World Port Celebration going on that month.

Taylor and Todd were the guests of honor at a luncheon at the University at Buffalo, attended by local college officials and theater groups. In the afternoon, Todd delivered a lecture on “the spirit of showmanship” at U.B.  (see “Todds Score Hit in UB Appearance” Buffalo Courier-Express, 21 September 1957)

Later that evening, Taylor and Todd were on hand to open the Buffalo World Port Celebration at Buffalo Civic Stadium. After being introduced, Todd jokingly told the crowd he was grateful to be introduced as Mike Todd and not as “Mr. Elizabeth Taylor.”

The Elizabeth Taylor photos are part of the Clifford C. Furnas Collection digital collection and come from the University Archives.

Sparkle Furnas and Jane Keeler with Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd  Chancellor Clifford C. Furnas holds umbrella for Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, Mike Todd Jane Keeler with Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd

Todds Score Hit in UB AppearanceTodds Score Hit in UB Appearance

A lecture on the spirit of showmanship by Mike Todd received the full treatment at the University of Buffalo yesterday. It turned out to be a Hollywood production starring Elizabeth Taylor, Chancellor Clifford C. Furnas and a variety of deans, professors and students acting as extras.

The script — if there was any — and the formalities were tossed aside as soon as the Todds and their party arrived on the campus. Only Todd had been expected.

Chancellor Furnas, who admits having been a good athlete but a poor bit player in his days, gave a superb performance as host. Enjoying the role to the hilt. Dr. Furnas gallantly escorted Miss Taylor under his umbrella, opened car doors and shooed pursuing students hungry for autographs.

The first scene took place in the faculty club. Faculty members came down from their ivory towers to chat with the Todds.

“It’s the first time I came along with Mike on one of his lecture,” Miss Taylor confided. She explained she was sick last year when Mike went to Harvard, Yale and Oxford while movie making. But, she added, she was duly filled in on his activities and speeches.

Todd, a product of the consolidated schools of Bloomington, Mo., hobnobbed with the UB professors to the everlasting glory of both institutions. He explained that though he never went to college, he picked up plenty of postgraduate education on the streets of Chicago and Minneapolis.

Scene Two found the Todds, Chancellor and Mrs. Furnas, the deans, professors and about 60 theater and TV personalities together for an intimate luncheon in the new Tower Residence. Todd was presented an honorary membership by the Blue Masquers, the UB drama club.

He has already grossed $16 million with his “Around the World.” His next Todd-AO movie “Don Quixote” will be filmed in Spain starting next Spring. Miss Taylor and Todd then rushed to Capen Hall for Scene Three — and Todd’s lecture on showmanship. Dr. Furnas watched warily as dozens of students skipped their classes to have their beanies, textbooks and notebooks autographed by their dream girl.

At this point, Miss Taylor was told to stand so that everyone in the overflowing hall could take a good look. She stood up, revealing to all her simple silk taffeta two-piece dress with crossover high V-neckline  and her black silk and velvet hat hugging her head with white appleblossoms. The audience cheered. Mike glowed.

Mike took over after being introduced by Prof. Stanley D. Travis, chairman of the department of drama and speech, as the “superlative showman and fantabulous Mike Todd.” In a rambling discourse on film and moneymaking, Todd passed along the following comments:

Not everyone can get out of school, make ‘Around the World in 80 Days” and marry Elizabeth Taylor.

If you make $50 doing something pleasant, you are better off than making $100 at something you don’t like.

Movies are on the way out unless they keep up with the changing tastes of the public.

Buffalo Courier-Express, September 21, 1957