I’ve been in a Kennedy state of mind. It’s been going on long before this recent JEOPARDY clue in the category EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSE for $200: Born in Boston in 1890, she had 9 children, including John, Robert, Edward & Eunice.
ITEM: This is the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Robert Francis Kennedy. I’d expressed my reservations about Bobby back in 2008. I was no fan when he ran for US Senator from New York -the carpetbagger! – in 1964. Tom Lehrer quipped the following year that Massachusetts was the only state with THREE Senators.
ITEM: This year, August 28, marks the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom. This discussion is informative. “SNCC chairman John Lewis’s speech… on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial criticized the Kennedy administration…, which caused considerable difficulties. “
A draft of Lewis’ speech was circulated beforehand. “The speech… directly confronted Robert F. Kennedy’s Justice Department for its refusal to pursue and prosecute racist assaults on activists and black Southerners. The original speech, written by a committee of SNCC activists, included the rhetorical question, ‘I want to know, which side is the federal government on?'”
ITEM: I recently saw a question on a website about whether RFK would have become president in 1968 if he had not been killed. Almost certainly, yes.
From this 2021 article: “There was empathy in him that grew, especially after his brother’s assassination. He attacked childhood poverty, faced down the generals who wanted to attack Cuba with nuclear weapons, and broke with his Democratic president over the Vietnam War, opposing it not only on political grounds but morally.”
Just before he got shot, he said, “On to Chicago.” From Larry Tye, author of Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon: “Sure, Bobby Kennedy was talking about his hope of capturing the nomination at that summer’s Democratic National Convention in this Windy City. But he had no intention of waiting until August to wrap things up.
“This master of political maestros was planning to stop in Chicago on his way back East from Los Angeles. And he felt sure that a planned meeting with Mayor Richard J. Daley would yield both an endorsement and a critical leg up on the only rival who still mattered, Vice President Hubert Humphrey.”
With RFK as the Democratic nominee, there would not have been violent clashes between police and demonstrators in Chicago. Despite a splintered party, Humphrey almost beat Nixon in November; RFK whips RMN.
Like father, like son?
ITEM: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announced in April 2023 that he is running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2024. I shan’t be voting for him.
“He’s suing Daily Kos, trying to force the entity to reveal the identity of a pseudonymous community writer who criticized his participation in a Berlin rally organized and attended by Nazis. He mourned the loss of Tucker Carlson’s right-wing hatefest of a TV show.
“In May 2019, Kennedy‘s siblings said he had ‘helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines.’ But COVID was the anti-vax movement’s ‘moment to shine,’ where he grew in profile, getting nearly a million Instagram followers before it was shut down for misinformation.”
ITEM: JFK was killed on November 22, 1963, also sixty years ago this year. From the National Archives: “Nearly 30 years after his death, Congress enacted the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The Act mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection in the National Archives and Records Administration.
“The resulting Collection consists of more than 5 million pages of assassination-related records, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings, and artifacts (approximately 2,000 cubic feet of records).”
You have the opportunity to facilitate history. “Visit the JFK Assassination Records Collection Transcription Mission to get started. Various Citizen Archivist missions have been created featuring records from this collection. Select a mission and get started transcribing to help make the records more searchable and accessible.”