On Thursday, October 24, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson visited Dallas to make a speech at the Dallas Municipal Auditorium to celebrate United Nations Day. The event was hosted by federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes and businessman Stanley Marcus, of Niemen-Marcus.
Of the seventeen hundred people in attendance, there were two dozen or so protestors and what they lacked in numbers, they made up for in volume, interrupting his speech with heckles and boos. Frank McGehee, a Dallas resident who founded the National Indignation Convention, was escorted from the hall for creating a disturbance. McGehee was carrying a sign demanding “Get the U.S. out of the U.N.!” Stevenson interrupted himself to ask “Truly my dear friends, I don’t have to come here from Illinois to teach Texas manners, do I?” His rhetorical question drew cheers.
Exiting the stage, he was mobbed by protesters, at least one of whom spit on him. The spitter was later identified as Robert Edward Hatfield of Dallas. One woman, carrying heavy placard, bopped Stevenson on the head with her sign that read “Who Elected You?”
She was Cora Frederickson, a 47 year old resident of Dallas. When Stevenson asked her what was wrong she exclaimed “”Why are you like you are? Why don’t you understand? If you don’t know what’s wrong, I don’t know why. Everybody else does.”
As for striking Stevenson with her placard, Frederickson claimed she “was pushed from behind a negro.”
Business leaders sent Stevenson a telegram of remorse. Dallas Mayor Earl Cabell criticized “Right-Wing Fanatics” and Stevenson himself urged President Kennedy to skip Dallas on his trip to Texas.