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New exhibit looks at famous visitors to UB, Buffalo

Muhammad Ali speaking in Norton Union Dec. 1967

Muhammad Ali spoke in the Norton Union — now Squire Hall on the South Campus — in December 1967, not long after he was exiled from professional boxing for his refusal to be drafted into the armed forces. Photo: UB Archives

By CORY NEALON

Published July 17, 2014

From political icons to landmark punk rock groups, the UB Libraries’ latest exhibit, Prominent Visitors, examines some of the most influential people to visit the university and the city of Buffalo during the past 50 years.

The exhibit, which emphasizes the 1960s through the 1980s, features photographs from University Archives, along with original articles published in The Spectrum and UB Reporter, as well as related items.

It is on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at UB Libraries’ Special Collections, 420 Capen Hall, North Campus

It includes stunning black-and-white photographs of Muhammad Ali, who spoke at UB in December 1967, not long after he was exiled from professional boxing for his refusal to be drafted into the armed forces.

Also featured is poet Allen Ginsberg, who made several appearances at UB beginning in 1960s, and Robert F. Kennedy, who spoke at UB in 1964, less than a year after his brother, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. —

Other political figures to appear at UB who are part of the exhibit include, but are not limited to, former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; former Vice President Dick Cheney (he visited in 1993 after serving as U.S. Secretary of Defense); and past presidential candidate and noted consumer advocate Ralph Nadar.

Other leaders included in the exhibit who visited Buffalo include former President Richard M. Nixon and Martin Luther King Jr., who spoke at Kleinhans Music Hall in 1967, months after race riots occurred on the East Side of Buffalo.

The exhibit also features music acts that performed at UB, including The Clash, Nirvana, the B-52s, The Police and The Talking Heads.

The exhibit, which includes a companion digital collection, was curated by Joseph Patton, graduate assistant in University Archives.