Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Waking up one morning in June 1968


Image result for robert f kennedy shot newspaper images

We were still in school.   As I recall, we had finals or something else going on in school the next day.   So my parents told us to shut off the TV and hit the pillow early.

I did catch the 10 pm news and specially the baseball scores. 

Aside from the California primary, there was a huge baseball story in LA. 

The LA Dodgers' Don Drysdale had just pitched another shutout.   He was in the tail end of throwing 58 consecutive scoreless innings.

We didn't have ESPN back then. You had to get information from a lot of places, including the TV news, the newspapers and the weekly The Sporting News. 

At 10:30 pm, I saw a bulletin that Kennedy was ahead but it was still early.  

So I went to sleep.

My parents were supporting Nixon in 1968.    I did not really have a favorite on the Democrat side.   As I recall back then, there was a lot of talk about how George Wallace's defection from the Democrats would impact the election in the fall. 

My dad woke us next morning. He mentioned that Robert Kennedy had been shot in LA.   It was a shock. It confused my little sister who said: It was his brother who was killed!

What if Robert F Kennedy had lived? Would he have won the nomination?

Nobody knows for sure. My guess is that RFK would have lost to VP Humphrey in the first ballot.

Why? Sound familiar? VP Humphrey had the delegates. He also had President Lyndon B. Johnson on his side.   I can't imagine President Johnson doing anything to help Senator Kennedy.

RFK's death was very tragic. It was a terrible moment in a pretty tough political year that included the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King two months before.

Looking back, the biggest change is in the Democrat Party itself.   None of those Democrats would recognize the party today.

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