Forty-five years ago today, on June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, as he left the ballroom after giving his victory speech following his win in the California Presidential Primary. Many believed his primary victory would lead to securing the Democratic nomination for President, and the Presidency.
Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, minutes before he was shot; the football player Rosie Greer, behind him on the left, helped apprehend the gunman, Sirhan Sirhan.
This was one of many assassinations which rocked the country in 1968, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s just two months earlier. In the midst of the tumultuous events of this most turbulent year in modern American history, and following his brother’s assassination just three and half years earlier, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination led to profound mourning and intense soul-searching on the part of many Americans.
Mourners await the RFK funeral train on June 8 as it headed from New York to Washington D.C.
Kennedy’s body was transported by train from New York City, where it had lain in repose in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to Washington D.C. for burial near his brother, President John F. Kennedy, at Arlington National Cemetery. Thousands of mourners silently lined the train route and stations to pay their respects as his body passed. Images of the crowds, consisting of young and old, rich and poor, white and black, rural and urban, were transmitted across the globe, and stood as testament to Kennedy’s broad appeal and the deep devotion he inspired across the country.
One of many places where Kennedy was mourned was Greenwich Village. Kennedy represented the Village, and the rest of New York State, in the U.S. Senate from 1965 until his death. His strongly anti-war, pro-civil rights, anti-poverty platform resonated strongly in the Village. But Kennedy had another important connection to Greenwich Village.
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