50 years later: the power of a magazine article

Photo taken from the funeral train which brought the remains of Robert Kennedy from New York to Washington DC

Early june 1968. Robert Kennedy, democratic candidate for the American presidency, was killed in a Los Angeles hotel. People all over the World mourned the 42-year old senator. In his last speech he had said: ‘We are a great country, an unselfish country, a compassionate country. And I intend to make that my basis for running’. Especially in the Trump era these words speak volumes about the promises lost that night.

In my collection of historical magazines I found the june 1968 edition of ‘Ladies Home Journal’ published days before the Kennedy assassination. The widow of murdered black civil rights activist Medgar Evers describes her feelings while attending the funeral of Martin Luther King two months earlier. Medgar Evers’ brother Charles sat beside her and he cried in despair. ‘Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who had also lost a brother to an assassin’s bullet, came to sit beside him and comfort him. They sat, side by side, two men joined in bereavement, one black, one white, weeping for their lost brothers and for the man who had spent the last dozen years of his life trying to make us all brothers’. Heartbreaking words from a year when a lot of people felt that the nation permanently lost its innocence.


About Me

Klaas Kornaat is freelance historicus, in te huren voor publicaties, exposities, educatieve projecten, websites, lezingen en diverse activiteiten op historisch terrein.


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