Cape Cod, Nation Mark 50th Anniversary of RFK’s Assassination

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy holds his first news conference since taking office, April 6, 1961, in Washington, speaking to reporters and calling for powerful new weapons to combat organized crime and racketeering. (AP Photo/John Rous)

HYANNIS – 50 years ago today, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot by an assassin after winning the Democratic presidential nomination in California.

He died the next day on June 6, 1968. He was 42 years old.

For half a century, the questions have persisted: would he have become president? Would the world be different?

“I think he would’ve been a person of the people,” said John Allen, the Executive Director of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. “He would’ve also resonated well around the world. His messages and his themes were worldwide.”

“I would’ve been optimistic that the world would’ve been dramatically different with Robert F. Kennedy as President,” Allen said.

The story of John F. Kennedy cannot be told without Robert Kennedy, according to Allen.

“He fits in very prominently,” Allen said of RFK’s place in the story of the Kennedys.

The museum plans to open an exhibit on Robert Kennedy on July 2 called “Ripple of Hope.” Much of the display will focus on his run for President in 1968.

The exhibit is a collaboration between the museum, the RFK Human Rights organization, and the Kennedy family.

Friends and family of RFK will host a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday to honor him on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

The June 6 service will include remarks from former President Bill Clinton and Kennedy’s family members, including his daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and his grandson, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III.

Other elected officials, activists and social leaders whose lives have been influenced by Kennedy’s life and work will read selected quotes and excerpts from his speeches.

The suburban Boston house where Robert F. Kennedy was born is holding special events this week to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.

The John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site is holding an exhibition on Robert Kennedy’s life and offering neighborhood tours Wednesday.

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