40 Years Ago Today   2 comments

40 Years Ago Today

BULLETIN (AP)
(LOS ANGELES) – AN ASSAILANT – APPARENTLY STANDING AT POINT-BLANK RANGE GUNNED DOWN NEW YORK SENATOR ROBERT KENNEDY AND FOUR OR FIVE OTHER PERSONS EARLY TODAY IN LOS ANELES.  KENNEDY HAD JUST CLAIMED VICTORY IN THE CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL RACE OVER SENATOR EUGENE MCCARTHY.  HE WAS STANDING IN AN ANTI-ROOM OF THE AMBASSADOR HOTEL WHEN THE GUNMAN CUT LOOSE WITH A VOLLEY OF SHOTS.  KENNEDY WAS SHOT IN THE HEAD – ALTHOUGH FIRST REPORTS SAID HE WAS SHOT IN THE HIP.

This is the actual copy from an AP Teletype machine just to the right of the one I was working in the STRACOM tech control room, Sukiran, Okinawa, 4:35 PM J.S.T., June 5, 1968.  Like many, I had been following the primary closer and was shocked by what I was reading.  A few hours later, the following came over the AP Teletype:

AP38
BULLETIN
LOS ANGELES – SENATOR KENNEDY DEAD. . .

AP38
MORE BULLETIN
AN AIDE OF THE NEW YORK SENATOR ANNOUNCED AT 5 A-M (EDT)
THAT KENNEDY DIED AT 1:40 A-M (PACIFIC TIME).
HE WAS 42 YEARS OLD.
WITH KENNEDY AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH WAS HIS WIFE, ETHEL AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY

AP40
-CORRECTION–
KENNEDY DEATH AP38 MAKE TIME OF DEATH 1:44 (NOT 1:40).

R.F.K.    “Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others. Or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”

“Whatever people may say and whatever history may write about Bobby, and whatever history may write about Bobby, he had a genuine compassion, a real love of people, humble people, poor people – I think the word now, is underprivileged people – not in a pompous or pedantic way, but genuine.” The words of former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (74 at the time) has appeared on television

History shows that Richard Nixon went on to be elected president and we only speculate what the last forty years would have given us if Bobby Kennedy had been elected.  Would we have chosen faith in people over fear?  Would we have required sluggish bureaucracies to respond more rapidly to social needs?  The following is shared from a June 14, 1968, Time Essay:

“John W. Gardner put it best at Cornell’s commencement earlier this month when he imagined himself as a 23rd-century thinker. He had discovered, he said, that ‘20th-century institutions were caught in a savage crossfire between uncritical lovers and unloving critics.  On the one side, those who loved their institutions tended to smother them in an embrace of death, loving their rigidities more than their promise, shielding them from life-giving criticism.  On the other side, there arose a breed of critics without love, skilled in demolition but untutored in the arts by which human institutions ate nurtured and strengthened and made to flourish.  Between the two, the institutions perished.”

Now, forty years later Joy and I are getting ready to travel to Austin to attend the Texas Democratic Party Convention at another historical time in American political history.  Hopefully, this will in time be looked back upon as a time in which our nation’s leaders restored reason over emotion.

(The items contained in this entry came from scrapbooks I kept during 1967-68.)

kenne

Posted June 5, 2008 by kenneturner in Commentary, Information

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2 responses to “40 Years Ago Today

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  1. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:

    Unless we begin to stand-up like many of today’s youth are doing, we will be looking back in another 50 years wondering why compassion has not won out over guns. — kenne

    Like

  2. So sad that our nation is still ignoring the violence.

    Like

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