Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Robert F. Kennedy ~ November 20, 1925 ~ June 6, 1968

Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (November 20, 1925–June 6, 1968), also called RFK, was an American politician. He was United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964 and a United States Senator from New York from 1965 until his assassination in 1968. He was one of the younger brothers of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and also one of his most trusted advisers, working closely with the president during the Cuban Missile Crisis After his brother's November 1963 assassination, Kennedy continued as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson for nine months. After breaking with Johnson over the Vietnam War, he resigned in September 1964 and was elected as a Senator from New York that November.
After Eugene McCarthy nearly defeated Johnson in the New Hampshire primary in early 1968, Kennedy announced his own campaign for president, seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party. Kennedy defeated McCarthy in the critical California primary but was shot shortly after midnight of June 5, 1968, dying on June 6. On June 9, President Johnson assigned security staff to all Presidential candidates and declared an official day of national mourning in response to the public grief following Kennedy's death.
At the end of my freshman year at Yale, I returned home to Harrisburg for just a few days, and then went back to New Haven. I was one of three freshmen invited to join the Yale Glee Club on a six-week tour around Latin America.
I never had been very good at writing Mother and Dad on a regular basis– both at Mercersburg and Yale. But when I got the invitation from Fenno Heath, I wrote a very detailed, engaging letter. Even the penmanship was decent. I probably had written two rough drafts. Although, I did not directly say that I would like to go, it was very clear from my careful letter. I think my expenses were about $600. But that was a lot of money then.
Back in New Haven, we rehearsed for the upcoming tour, gave a concert, and sang at the baccalaureate service in Woolsey Hall – for George W. Bush!
Robert Kennedy had been facing a critical primary in California. He had to win to stay in the running. I supported him and had done some volunteer work in his New Haven campaign office. The morning after the primary, I had breakfast at the Yankee Doodle on Elm Street. Somebody mentioned that RFK had been shot – I thought she meant that he had been shot down – had lost the winner-take-all primary. But soon I learned that he had joined his brother, John, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yet again!!! The King assassination had been one of the major political events of my freshman year, along with the Tet offensive, McCarthy’s unexpectedly strong showing in New Hampshire, and LBJ’s sudden announcement not to seek another term. Oh how we rejoiced, and thought the war would soon be over. Little did we know that almost half the names on the Vietnam War Memorial— designed by Yalie Maya Lin—would be added after the election of Richard Nixon, who had yet to announce his secret plan to end the war.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Titian in the Frari (Venezia)