|"New Kid in the Neighborhood" by Alfred Buescher for King Features, May, 1968|
The Democratic nomination was still up for grabs when Kennedy won the California primary on June 5. After giving a victory speech to his supporters in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, he started through the kitchen toward the press room but was shot three times by Sirhan Bishir Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian. (Yes, I know that RFK Jr. thinks that Sirhan was innocent. George Plympton is no longer with us, but someone can ask Rosey Grier or Rafer Johnson who it was that they wrestled the gun away from.)
Kennedy died of his injuries some 25 hours later at the age of 42.
|"The Brothers' Tragic Reunion" by Cy Hungerford in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 7, 1968|
|"Bookmarks" by Bill Mauldin in Chicago Sun Times, June 6, 1968|
|"He Must Be Stopped," possibly by Ted Shearer in Baltimore Afro-American, June 8, 1968|
|"Tell Me Again about Keeping the World Safe for Democracy" by Pat Oliphant in Denver Post, June, 1968|
Our soldiers were not the only ones overseas taking notice.
|"American Folklore: Choose Your Candidate" by Rob "Opland" Wout in De Vollskrant, Amsterdam, June, 1968|
|"Violence" by John Yardley-Jones in Toronto Telegram, June, 1968|
|"Always There Is a Black Spot in Our Sunshine..." by Stanley Franklin in Daily Mirror, London, June, 1968|
"It did not matter if Senator Kennedy's assailant was first believed to be a Mexican, and then a Cuban and then an Arab. The fact remains that in Harlem and Watts and every other Negro community... [assassins] exist as perpetual enemies, while the one figure who might have provided hope was removed forcibly from the arena."
|Untitled, by Andy Donato in Toronto Telegram, June, 1968|
|"The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed" by Frank Benier in The Sun, London, June, 1968|
|"How's Business?" by John Pierotti in New York Post, June, 1968|
|"In Cold Blood" by Paul Conrad in Los Angeles Times, June, 1968|
|"I Just Don't Know What This Country Is Coming To" by Herb Block in Washington Post, June, 1968|
|"So You Heard Another Shot..." by Bill Sanders in Milwaukee Journal, June 6, 1968|
Even among liberals, however, there was a recognition that America had a problem not just with guns, but with a culture that glorified violence.
|"Make Your Move, Ringo..." by Jules Feiffer for Publishers-Hall Syndicate, June, 1968|
|"Dick Tracy" by Chester Gould in Chicago Tribune, June 7, 1968|
Any counter-protests from the National Laser Association fell on deaf ears.
On second thought, there is a better way to end this post, and that is with a few words from Robert Kennedy's final speech to the crowd at the Ambassador Hotel:
"What I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis, and that what has been going on within the United States over the period of the last three years — the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society — the divisions, whether it's between Blacks and Whites, between the poor and the more affluent, or between age groups, or on the war in Vietnam — that we can start to work together. We are a great country, an unselfish country, a compassionate country."