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Dukakis Talks Mayor White And Busing, Segregation Crisis

Boston Mayor Kevin White, right, greets Democratic vice presidential candidate Sargent Shriver while Sen. Edward Kennedy's then-wife Joan Kennedy looks on in 1972, at City Hall in Boston. (AP)

Mayor Kevin White’s early connections with the city’s minority communities were tested during the busing crisis of the mid-1970’s. Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, former transportation adviser Fred Salvucci, and Boston Architectural College president Ted Landsmark join Radio Boston to talk about White’s reaction to that crisis, as well as his legacy in Boston.

Guests:

  • Michael Dukakis, former Massachusetts governor
  • Ted Landsmark, president of Boston Architectural College
  • Fred Salvucci, former transportation adviser to Kevin White; lecturer at MIT
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  • Petergriffith5

    Admittedly I’m not an on either Kevin White or busing in Boston, but I did live through the time and have read extensively about it.  IMO, an important work is former Globe columnist, Alan Lupo’s “Liberty’s chosen home”, which describes White’s efforts during the summer in 1974 between Judge Garrity’s court order for the city to desegregate and the beginning of school in September.

    The school committee was actively suggesting that the city could ignore or resist the court order rather than planning how it would implement it.  There was a real question as to whether the largely Irish police force would maintain the peace if protest should arise.

    Lupo describes how Kevin White worked tirelessly at neighborhood meetings and made himself the point man for responsible behavior.  The city is in his debt for his bravery at a time when many leaders took a walk on this issue.

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