On the Extreme Right
In a political commentary from February 1962 on what he saw as the dangers of the extreme right, Roger provides a message that resonates 55 years later.
The Loud Silence
Four days after the assassination of President Kennedy, Roger’s commentary on complacency in the political environment leading up to the shocking event is still compelling today.
Roger had long been inspired by the idea of the Peace Corps. In 1964 he joined up with student newspaper editors at Harvard, University of Minnesota, and Washington State to create a special national supplement for college newspapers, promoting and reporting on the work of the Peace Corps.
As the civil rights movement gained strength in the early 1960s, organizations that sought to bridge the racial divide were often subject to charges of being subversive. Roger’s April 15, 1964, column calling out the racist whispering campaign that had targeted the Champaign Youth Council remains important reading in today’s environment.
As a University of Illinois graduate student, Roger remained active in the causes he had followed in his days on The Daily Illini. In December 1964, he urged on a campus protest called in solidarity with University of California, Berkeley students who had been arrested after demonstrating on behalf of free speech.
Even as Roger headed off to the University of Chicago, he was working for continued action on campus causes about which he cared. While editor of The Daily Illini, Roger took up the cause of recreating the Lily Pond that he had explored as a child, launching a “coupon” drive in May 1966.