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Today in History: June 5th, 1968

Photo Credit: Frank Carroll / NBC NewsWire / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Frank Carroll / NBC NewsWire / Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Is Fatally Shot During His Campaign Trail

On June 5, 1968, America was struck by a profound tragedy. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a promising candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, was assassinated. His death not only shocked the nation but also marked a turning point in American history.

The night began with a celebration at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy had just won the California primary, a crucial victory in his campaign for the presidency. In the hotel’s Embassy Room ballroom, he delivered a hopeful and inspiring speech to his supporters, who were filled with optimism about his vision for the future.

Robert F. Kennedy lying on the ground wounded, people surrounding him.
Clutching his rosary beads, Senator Robert F. Kennedy lies wounded on the floor of the Ambassador Hotel after being shot by an assailant following his victory speech in the California primary election. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images)

Tragically, the celebration quickly turned to horror. As Kennedy exited the ballroom through the service pantry, he was shot multiple times by 24-year-old Sirhan Sirhan. Sirhan, a Palestinian Arab, opposed Kennedy’s pro-Israel stance. The attack left Kennedy critically wounded and also injured five other people. Amid the chaos, Sirhan was subdued and taken into custody.

Despite emergency medical efforts, Kennedy’s injuries were too severe. He was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital, where doctors worked tirelessly to save him. Unfortunately, Kennedy succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 1:44 AM on June 6, 1968. The nation mourned deeply, and his funeral saw an outpouring of grief. He was laid to rest near his brother, President John F. Kennedy, at Arlington National Cemetery.

More from us: Inside The Kennedy “Curse” — The Family’s Strange Misfortunes Never Seem To Stop

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In the aftermath, Sirhan Sirhan was tried and convicted of first-degree murder. Initially sentenced to death, his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment after California abolished the death penalty. The assassination also spurred significant political action, leading to the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which aimed to regulate firearms more strictly.

Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination had a lasting impact on American politics and society. Known for his passionate advocacy for civil rights and social justice, Kennedy’s legacy continues to inspire. June 5, 1968, remains a somber reminder of the dangers of political violence and the enduring struggle for a more just and peaceful world.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News