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This Day in Georgia History

May 07, 1968

Maddox Bashed Kennedy

Responding to U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy’s big win in the Indiana presidential primary, Georgia Governor Lester Maddox said the win “shows you can buy an election if you have untold millions behind you … . He would have been bottom man if he had spent the same as other candidates… . I hope for America’s sake that he doesn’t win the nomination. Mr. Kennedy says he wants a new America, but I would like to keep the one we got.” There had previously been friction between the two men - as U.S. Attorney General Kennedy had brought a discrimination suit against Maddox for refusing to serve blacks in his Pickrick Restaurant in Atlanta. Maddox had opened the restaurant in 1947 and operated it until 1965, when he chose to close it rather than serve blacks as required by a federal court order pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.