The Poetry Collection is happy to announce the opening for research of the Victor E. Reichert Robert Frost Collection. The collection came to UB early last year and chronicles a 24-year friendship between the beloved American poet and Victor Reichert, a Cincinnati rabbi who summered with Frost in Vermont. It was donated by the rabbi’s son, Jonathan Reichert, University at Buffalo professor emeritus of physics, and includes a Frost manuscript, letters, photographs, audio recordings, and ephemera, as well as many Frost-related items from other critics. The finding aid for the collection is available online here.
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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.
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Did you or someone you know hear the Kennedy speech? We invite you to share a memory about what it was like to attend the event.
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
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.
Surprise 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.”
Todds 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
Were you at any of these shows? Share your memories at firstname.lastname@example.org
See Pat Benatar, Peter Gabriel and more, online in the Prominent Visitors digital collection.