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Thu Jun 6, 2019, 09:48 AM

51 Years Ago Today; RFK succumbs to his wounds

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy



Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (November 20, 1925 June 6, 1968) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 64th United States Attorney General from January 1961 to September 1964, and as a U.S. Senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968. Kennedy, like his brothers John and Edward, was a prominent member of the Democratic Party and has come to be viewed by some historians as an icon of modern American liberalism.

Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the seventh child of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Kennedy. After serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a seaman apprentice from 1944 to 1946, Kennedy returned to Harvard University and graduated in 1948. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1951. He began his career as a lawyer at the Justice Department but later resigned to manage his brother John's successful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1952. The following year, he worked as an assistant counsel to the Senate committee chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy. He gained national attention as the chief counsel of the Senate Labor Rackets Committee from 1957 to 1959, where he publicly challenged Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa over the corrupt practices of the union and authored The Enemy Within, a book about corruption in organized labor. Kennedy resigned from the committee to conduct his brother's campaign in the 1960 presidential election. He was appointed United States Attorney General after the successful election and served as the closest advisor to the President from 1961 to 1963.

His tenure is best known for its advocacy for the civil rights movement, the fight against organized crime and the Mafia, and involvement in U.S. foreign policy related to Cuba. After his brother's assassination, he remained in office in the Johnson Administration for several months. He left to run for the United States Senate from New York in 1964 and defeated Republican incumbent Kenneth Keating. In office, Kennedy opposed racial discrimination and U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He was an advocate for issues related to human rights and social justice and formed relationships with Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez.

In 1968 Kennedy became a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency by appealing to poor, African American, Hispanic, Catholic, and young voters. His main challenger in the race was Senator Eugene McCarthy. Shortly after winning the California primary around midnight on June 5, 1968, Kennedy was mortally wounded when shot with a pistol by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, allegedly in retaliation for his support of Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War. Kennedy died the following day. Sirhan was arrested, tried, and convicted, though Kennedy's assassination, like his brother's, continues to be the subject of widespread analysis and numerous conspiracy theories.

Assassination
Kennedy scored a major victory when he won the California primary. He addressed his supporters shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in a ballroom at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Leaving the ballroom, he went through the hotel kitchen after being told it was a shortcut to a press room. He did this despite being advised by his bodyguard former FBI agent Bill Barry to avoid the kitchen. In a crowded kitchen passageway, Kennedy turned to his left and shook hands with hotel busboy Juan Romero just as Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, opened fire with a .22-caliber revolver. Kennedy was hit three times, and five other people were wounded.

George Plimpton, former decathlete Rafer Johnson, and former professional football player Rosey Grier are credited with wrestling Sirhan to the ground after he shot the senator. As Kennedy lay mortally wounded, Romero cradled his head and placed a rosary in his hand. Kennedy asked Romero, "Is everybody OK?", and Romero responded, "Yes, everybody's OK." Kennedy then turned away from Romero and said, "Everything's going to be OK." After several minutes, medical attendants arrived and lifted the senator onto a stretcher, prompting him to whisper, "Don't lift me", which were his last words. He lost consciousness shortly thereafter. He was rushed first to Los Angeles' Central Receiving Hospital, less than 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the Ambassador Hotel, and then to the adjoining (one city block distant) Good Samaritan Hospital. Despite extensive neurosurgery to remove the bullet and bone fragments from his brain, Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1:44 a.m. (PDT) on June 6, nearly 26 hours after the shooting.

Robert Kennedy's death, like the 1963 assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, has been the subject of conspiracy theories.

Funeral
Kennedy's body was returned to Manhattan, where it lay in repose at Saint Patrick's Cathedral from approximately 10:00 p.m. until 10:00 a.m. on June 8. A high requiem mass was held at the cathedral at 10:00 a.m. on June 8. The service was attended by members of the extended Kennedy family, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson, and members of the Johnson cabinet. Ted, the only surviving Kennedy brother, said the following:

My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: 'Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.'


Robert F. Kennedy's grave in Arlington National Cemetery

The requiem mass concluded with the hymn "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", sung by Andy Williams. Immediately following the mass, Kennedy's body was transported by a special private train to Washington, D.C. Kennedy's funeral train was pulled by two Penn Central GG1 electric locomotives. Thousands of mourners lined the tracks and stations along the route, paying their respects as the train passed. The train departed New York at 12:30 pm. When it arrived in Elizabeth, New Jersey, an eastbound train on a parallel track to the funeral train hit and killed two spectators and seriously injured four, after they were unable to get off the track in time, even though the eastbound train's engineer had slowed to 30 mph for the normally 55 mph curve, blown his horn continuously, and rung his bell through the curve. The normally four-hour trip took more than eight hours because of the thick crowds lining the tracks on the 225-mile (362 km) journey. The train was scheduled to arrive at about 4:30 pm, but sticking brakes on the casket-bearing car contributed to delays, and the train finally arrived at 9:10 p.m. on June 8.

Burial
Kennedy was buried close to his brother John in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Although he had always maintained that he wished to be buried in Massachusetts, his family believed Robert should be interred in Arlington next to his brother. The procession left Union Station and passed the New Senate Office Building, where he had his offices, and then proceeded to the Lincoln Memorial, where it paused. The Marine Corps Band played The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The funeral motorcade arrived at the cemetery at 10:24 pm. As the vehicles entered the cemetery, people lining the roadway spontaneously lit candles to guide the motorcade to the burial site.

The 15-minute ceremony began at 10:30 p.m. Cardinal Patrick O'Boyle, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, officiated at the graveside service in lieu of Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston, who fell ill during the trip. Also officiating was Archbishop of New York Terence Cooke. On behalf of the United States, John Glenn presented the folded flag to Senator Ted Kennedy, who passed it to Robert's eldest son, Joe, who passed it to Ethel Kennedy. The Navy Band played The Navy Hymn.

Officials at Arlington National Cemetery said that Kennedy's burial was the only night burial to have taken place at the cemetery. (The re-interment of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who died two days after his birth in August 1963, and a stillborn daughter, Arabella, both children of President Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, also occurred at night. After the president was interred in Arlington Cemetery, the two infants were buried next to him on December 5, 1963, in a private ceremony without publicity.)

On June 9, President Lyndon B. Johnson assigned security staff to all U.S. presidential candidates and declared an official national day of mourning. After the assassination, the mandate of the U.S. Secret Service was altered by Congress to include the protection of U.S. presidential candidates.

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Reply 51 Years Ago Today; RFK succumbs to his wounds (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Jun 6 OP
ProudMNDemocrat Jun 6 #1
MaryMagdaline Jun 6 #2
Mendocino Jun 6 #3
Historic NY Jun 6 #4

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 10:02 AM

1. I saw Bobby the day before he died.....

At a rally in San Jose, California.

I was a 16 year old High School Sophomore. My Social Studies Teacher, Mr. Connelly, took a handful of his BEST Students down to St. James Park where the rally was held. Bobby Kennedy spoke on an array of issues as to what he would do as President.

The next night,, he was gone. It was as if a member of the family had died.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 10:27 AM

2. My heart is still broken

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 11:12 AM

3. RFK

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 11:15 AM

4. What could have been......

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