55 years ago today - Sep 28, 1965

The NAACP issued an official statement which tried to instill calm in Utah but also accurately identified Birchers (headed by Ezra Taft Benson's son Reed) as responsible for the September 1965 race-war hysteria in Utah. "The NAACP deplores the malicious and totally irresponsible rumors circulating in many sections of the state to the effect that Negroes are planning a riot at the LDS conference," the statement began. Then the statement continued that the NAACP had "reason to believe the rumors started with certain right-wing societies that make a practice of scaring people."

[The first part of quote is from the version of the statement in "NAACP Chapter Claims Riot Report 'Malicious,'" Ogden Standard-Examiner, 28 Sept. 1965, A-6; the second part is from the version in "Rumors of Riot Hit By Area NAACP," Deseret News, 28 Sept. 1965, B-l; "NAACP Assails Rumors of Protest at LDS Meet," Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Sept. 1965, 18. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

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