1968: Murder of Robert F. Kennedy

1968: Murder of Robert F. Kennedy
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Senator Robert F. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office, 1966

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 5 June 1968
  • Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated less than five years after his older brother, President John F. Kennedy, and only two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King

Less than five years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot on this day.

The brothers came from the most famous American political family. Kennedys were known for their Irish origin and Catholic faith.

Their father was Joseph Kennedy, politician and United States ambassador to London. Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald had as many as nine children.

One son became president of the United States, two were senators, one daughter was the American ambassador to Ireland, the other founded the Special Olympics, and the third was married to an English aristocrat Marquis of Hartington.

The mother of the family – Rose Fitzgerald – received the title of countess from the Pope for her humanitarian work and exemplary motherhood.

After the assassination of J.F.K., it was precisely Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy (his middle name was actually mother’s surname) who became head of the family.

During his brother’s presidential term, Robert served as Attorney General. At this position he was noticed for his fight against organized crime.

He remained in office for nine more months after his brother’s death, and then resigned to run for senator from the State of New York. He was successful in the elections and entered the Senate.

Thus he joined his younger brother Edward, who was already a senator, so there were two Kennedy brothers sitting in the Senate at the same time.

Robert, however, had even greater ambitions, so he ran for the American presidency in 1968. He was a leading candidate for the Democratic Party when, on this day, he was shot at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

The killer was Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian Arab, born in Jerusalem, who hated both Jews and Americans who helped them.

It is interesting that Sirhan was not a Muslim but a Christian. He shot Robert while he went through the hotel kitchen to exit the ceremonial hall where he just gave a speech.

He was hit with two bullets in his back and one in the head. Robert died 26 hours later in Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.

It is interesting that Martin Luther King was killed only two months earlier.

Many conspiracy theories are woven around all these assassinations, and some think that they aren`t conspiracy theories at all.

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