IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY- THURSDAY JUNE 6, 1968- SENATOR ROBERT FRANCIS KENNEDY DIES AT AGE 42.

 

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At 1:44 AM PDT Senator Robert Francis Kennedy was pronounced dead after having been shot nearly twenty-six hours earlier. Kennedy spokesman Frank Mankiewicz met the news media at 2 AM PDT and gave the brief announcement-

I have, uh, a short….. I have a short announcement to read, which I will read, uh….. at this time. Senator Robert Francis Kennedy died at 1:44 AM, June 6, 1968. With Senator Kennedy at the time of his death were his wife Ethel, his sisters Mrs. Stephen Smith, Mrs. Patricia Lawford, and his brother-in-law Mr. Stephen Smith. He was 42 years old. Thank you.

I was seven years old when this happened. I found out on the bus going to school on what I think was the last day of my first grade year at school. I knew of course of President Kennedy’s assassination and that Bobby was his brother. A couple months earlier there was the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in the viewpoint of a seven year old- I was starting to think this seems to be the American way- killing your leaders.

below is Frank Mankiewicz’s announcement { you may know his son- Turner Classic Channel’s Ben – Frank’s dad wrote a little movie you may have heard of -Citizen Kane.}

 

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9 responses to “IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY- THURSDAY JUNE 6, 1968- SENATOR ROBERT FRANCIS KENNEDY DIES AT AGE 42.

  1. I admit I’m not the most political person but I know how traumatic 1968 was… My question is do you think Bobby would have won? If he would have lived and won the election that would have changed the early seventies…Watergate and the war possibly I would think.

    • LBJ was still in control of the democratic party machinery- i think 1968 Humphrey would have still been the democrat- Johnson and RFK hated one another no way does LBJ let RFK win the nomination.

    • Robert Caro’s still not finished series on LBJ -on my Mount Rushmore of favorite books. LBJ and RFK- there is a story in one of the Caro books about the first time they met- a witness said it was like two alpha dogs squaring off immediately..

    • LBJ didnt have a big voice in things as VP- but at that time a VP just didn’t have that kind of clout– LBJ and JFK respected one another but weren’t close friends or anything but they got along. The story on LBJ- RFK ‘s first meeting- it was in the mid 50’s LBJ was the Senator Majority Leader- RFK was just a fellow on Joe McCarthy’s committee– LBJ walks into the senate lunch room- everyone at the table gets up to greet him– since he was the most powerful man in the congress. RFK just sits there and doesn’t get up.. people there felt the tension immediately- and it only got worse…. After JFK picked LBJ to be VP- without JFK’s knowledge supposedly RFK pays LBJ a visit trying to get him to not accept… that didn’t go down well with LBJ-… the Kennedy people called LBJ behind his back “Rufus Cornpone..

    • Yes you are right. There is no way RFK would have gotten the nomination. I didn’t know it was that bad. I just looked this up…after RFK was killed… Though Johnson promised Kennedy’s family to do ”anything I can do to help,” he delayed their lone request — to finance a permanent grave site for the Senator at Arlington National Cemetery, next to his brother John’s. In 1969, a new President took the appropriate steps. As he signed the final authorization, Richard Nixon, who knew a thing or two about political grudges, must have smiled.

    • This hatred between RFK and LBJ and of course Nixon’s hatred for seemingly everyone got me thinking. Since Nixon exited I can’t really think of any big hatreds like that. There have been rivalries but nothing on the level of the ones mentioned above. Clinton beat GHW Bush- and now Dubya jokes about how close his dad is to Bill that Bill is his other brother… Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill disagreed on everything but there was no hatred there… I always loved the story from a decade ago- Bill Clinton late at night would call Newt Gingrich on the phone and they’d talk about the old times–until Hillary got wind of the phone calls and put an end to it because she was planning on running for POTUS- this was in 2008- and didn’t want this getting out… the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue seems to have so many opponents I don’t see his hatreds focused on any one person.,, He seemed to have it in for Jeb Bush- Ted Cruz- Little Marco– but I don’t really think it was deep hatred- they were just opponents in his way.

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