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Daily History

June 5 1968 Robert F Kennedy assassinated


Robert F Kennedy talking at the Ambassador Hotel shortly before being shot

On June 5th 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. Immediately after he announced to his cheering supporters that the country was ready to end its fractious divisions, Kennedy was shot several times by the 22-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. He died a day later.

The summer of 1968 was a tempestuous time in American history. Both the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were peaking. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated in the spring, igniting riots across the country. In the face of this unrest, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided not to seek a second term in the upcoming presidential election. Robert Kennedy, John’s younger brother and former U.S. Attorney General, stepped into this breach and experienced a groundswell of support.

Kennedy was perceived by many to be the only person in American politics capable of uniting the people. He was beloved by the minority community for his integrity and devotion to the civil rights cause. After winning California’s primary, Kennedy was in the position to receive the Democratic nomination and face off against Richard Nixon in the general election.

As star athletes Rafer Johnson and Roosevelt Grier accompanied Kennedy out a rear exit of the Ambassador Hotel, Sirhan Sirhan stepped forward with a rolled up campaign poster, hiding his .22 revolver. He was only a foot away when he fired several shots at Kennedy. Grier and Johnson wrestled Sirhan to the ground, but not before five bystanders were wounded. Grier was distraught afterward and blamed himself for allowing Kennedy to be shot.

Sirhan, who was born in Palestine, confessed to the crime at his trial and received a death sentence on March 3, 1969. However, since the California State Supreme Court invalidated all death penalty sentences in 1972, Sirhan has spent the rest of his life in prison. According to the New York Times, he has since said that he believed Kennedy was “instrumental” in the oppression of Palestinians. Hubert Humphrey ended up running for the Democrats in 1968, but lost by a small margin to Nixon.

This Day In History

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “June 5 1968 Robert F Kennedy assassinated

  1. Scary thing this … personal I had more time for Robert than John F – so so sad! Same with Olof Palme -great men who’d life’s was shorten. 3 outstanding men !!! Thanks for reminding us.

    Posted by viveka | June 5, 2012, 19:30
  2. Craig, this was truly a sad day in history

    Posted by jazfagan | June 5, 2012, 22:26
  3. I vividly remember this incident. I was at Bobby’s campaign headquarters in our small Nebraska college town when the news bulletin came over the radio. We were all stunned. Bobby had been in town on a campaign swing not too many weeks before his death.

    Posted by swabby429 | June 5, 2012, 23:42
  4. So the young man thought that another young man was “instrumental” in oppressing a group of people. No doubt he was addressing a problem that neither young man had a hand in creating. As the world turns.

    Posted by cmoneyspinner | June 21, 2012, 00:43

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  1. Pingback: Prison Planet.com » The Shadow Patsy Rises Again: How Mind Control Is Connected To Gun Control « CITIZEN.BLOGGER.1984+ GUNNY.G BLOG.EMAIL - July 30, 2012

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