Saturday, June 7, 2008

Robert F. Kennedy- 40 Years Later

“I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” by Robert F. Kennedy.

The United States was engaged in an unpopular war halfway around the world. Richard Nixon was well on his way to claiming the Republican nomination and the Democrats were locked in a struggle to determine whether to continue the policies of the sitting Democratic president or to choose a candidate who opposed the war and other key administration policies. The year 1968 was somewhat like today, forty years ago a candidate was trying to convince the nation that a new way of conducting its business was in order.

That was Senator Robert F. Kennedy. On June 6, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy won the California presidential primary defeating Democratic Sen. Eugene McCarthy. That night, Kennedy thanked a crowd of supporters at the ballroom of his headquarters hotel, the Ambassador. After finishing his speech to the cheers of his audience, he stepped down from the podium, not knowing that an assassin awaited him. He died the next day. America was stunned by the tragedy, many mourning a leader they had hoped would have gone on to the White House to carry on the tradition of another slain Kennedy- his brother, John.

A new book “The Last Campaign” written by Thurston Clarke, takes a look at the engaging, evocative glory of Bobby Kennedy’s 82 days of running for the Presidency. Newsweek’s Evan Thomas has released the biography, “Robert Kennedy: His Life” and we also have Robert Kennedy in his own words on audio CD. You can hear the important speeches of his life. The movie “Bobby” that came out last year is a look at 22 individuals at the Ambassador Hotel that night and how the assassination changed their lives forever. These are just some of the items we have on Bobby Kennedy, check out our display of books on him and the rest of the Kennedy Family.

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