Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

During one permanently consequential decade in the history of the United States and the world, United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson delivered three major lectures at the University of Buffalo. The last of these was Jackson's May 9, 1951, James McCormick Mitchell Lecture, "Wartime Security and Liberty under Law," which inaugurated this distinguished lecture series. Justice Jackson's first formal lecture at the University of Buffalo occurred on February 23, 1942, halfway through his first year as a Supreme Court Justice and just twelve weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. Jackson delivered this speech, entitled "Youth Faces 'The New Order,"' in Edmund Hayes Hall at the University's forty-second annual mid-year convocation. In the lecture, Jackson spoke very candidly as a high official of a country at war, facing uncertain, perhaps bleak prospects for the future. The second of Justice Jackson's three University of Buffalo lectures occurred on Friday, October 4, 1946, at the closing ceremony of the University's centennial convocation. Jackson, who wrote all of his own speeches gave this one no title. It did not need one. Who Justice Jackson was, and where he had come from at that moment--he came to Buffalo then directly from the just-completed international trial of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, which he had brought into being in fall 1945 and where he had served for the ensuing year as U.S. chief prosecutor--was obviously his identity and his topic, and it was part of what made his speech so powerful to its audience and very significant in its time.

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