My ol’man used to (somewhat proudly) tell the story about how he got suspended from South Park High School for ditching class to go see Lyndon Johnson speak in Niagara Square.
LBJ and Lady Bird with Buffalo Mayor Frank Sedita and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in Buffalo in 1966.In the 40 years or so I’ve had to let that story sink in, I think I have two takeaways.
The first is… When common sense dictates breaking a rule, do it. (There was nothing being taught at SPHS that day that could compete with seeing a President.)
The second is… common sense also dictates that you do your best to find an amiable solution to the breaking the rule. I’ve done plenty of things like skipping class to go see the President… but not while giving the finger to the guy who will paddle my ass and suspend me for doing it.
So thanks Dad and LBJ for the life lessons on this President’s Day.
Vice President Hubert Humphrey was the Democratic nominee for president in 1968 when he lost to Richard Nixon in the general election. In 1971, as he contemplated another run at Nixon the following year, he stopped in Buffalo for a pre-campaign visit and to take in the Buffalo Braves home opener at The Aud.
Senator Humphrey appears to be having a better time than Mayor Frank Sedita as the former VP gets ready to lob the ball out onto the court.
Humphrey visits quickly with the Braves cheerleaders. No record of whether an “ooh, ahh… Hubert on the warpath” chant broke out.
Fans directly behind them in the golds and reds don’t seem too interested in the courtside conversation going on between Braves owner Paul Snyder, Braves Captain Walt Hazzard, Vice President Humphrey, and Mayor Sedita. That night, Hazzard, in his first game with the Braves after being acquired from the Hawks in the offseason, led the Braves with 14 points as they were pounced by the Seattle Supersonics, 123-90.
Everyday Buffalonians, groundskeepers at War Memorial Stadium, and the mayor (helped by a future mayor) were featured getting outdoor spaces ready for summer in The Buffalo Evening News on April 25, 1969.
War Memorial was the home of the Bisons from 1960 to ’69 and from 1979 to ’87.
Mayor Frank Sedita and the man who followed him as mayor, Stanley Makowski, planted a tree in front of City Hall in celebration of Arbor Day.