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Forty-five years ago today, America was hanging on hourly reports from Good Samaritan Hospital over the condition of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, gunned down on his way out of a celebration in honor of his winning the California Presidential Primary only a few hours earlier.
As news spread regarding the events in Los Angeles, a sense of crushing familiarity became apparent – Martin Luther King had been cut down by an assassin less than two months earlier. Bobby Kennedy’s brother President John F. Kennedy had been cut down by an assassin only five years earlier. And five years to the day since Civil Rights worker Medgar Evers was cut down by an assassin in the driveway of his home. America was in the grips of killing public figures. America was in danger of spiraling out of control.
While President Johnson ordered Secret Service protection for the remaining candidates in this Presidential election year, hopes were pinned on a complete recovery for the Senator. And at the time of this broadcast (7:30-8:30 am PDT), Robert Kennedy was reported to be in stable condition, having just come out of several hours of surgery.
At the time there were hopes for recovery, but fears the wounds would result in permanent brain damage persisted. But at 7:30 on the morning of June 5th 1968, no one knew. But people were too much in shock to speculate.
We just wanted everything to be okay.
Here is that complete hour, uncut from local radio station KFWB-AM in Los Angeles (having just switched to an all-news format only weeks earlier), as it happened on June 5th 1968.
- Medgar Evers: Assassin’s gun forever changed a family (usatoday.com)
- New City Stage Presents Robert F. Kennedy’s Speech at the 1968 California Primary, Exactly 45 years Later as a Fundraiser for RFK 2013 (prweb.com)
- Photos: On this day – June 5, 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy assassinated (photos.denverpost.com)
- Robert Kennedy Remembered (envisioningtheamericandream.wordpress.com)
- RFK: What we lost, what we learned (news.yahoo.com)
- 45 years ago, a boy’s joy…then grief (cnn.com)
- New City Stage Presents Robert F. Kennedy’s Speech at the 1968… (prweb.com)