On June 5, 1968, shortly after midnight, Senator Robert Kennedy was shot dead at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after his victory in the California presidential primary. Immediately after announcing the victory to his supporters, Kennedy was shot several times by a 24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy died the next day. Robert was the president’s brother John Kennedywho was shot five years before, on November 22, 1963.
The summer of 1968 was a tumultuous time in American history. The war in Vietnam and the anti-war movement reached a peak. A fighter for the rights of blacks Martin Luther King Jr was killed in the spring, which caused riots in the country. In the face of these disturbances, the president Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for a second term in the upcoming presidential elections. Robert Kennedy, John’s younger brother and former US attorney general, decided to run for president.
At that time, many considered Kennedy to be the only person in American politics capable of uniting the country’s citizens. Minorities loved him for his honesty and dedication to civil rights. After winning the primary election in California, Kennedy got the opportunity to run for the Democratic nomination and fight the Republican candidate. by Richard Nixon at the elections.
When star athletes Rafer Johnson and Roosevelt Grier escorted Kennedy through the rear exit of the Ambassador Hotel, Sirhan stepped forward with a rolled-up advertising poster, concealing a .22 caliber revolver. He was only 30 cm away when he shot Kennedy several times. Grier and Johnson wrestled Sirhan to the ground, but not before five bystanders were injured. After that, Grier went crazy and spent the rest of his life blaming himself for allowing Kennedy to be shot.
Sirhan, who was born in Palestine, confessed to the crime at trial and was sentenced to death on March 3, 1969. But since the California Supreme Court overturned all death sentences in 1972, Sirhan spent the rest of his life in prison.
According to the New York Times, he has since said that, in his opinion, Kennedy played an important role in the oppression of the Palestinians. He ran for the Democrats in 1968 Hubert Humphreybut lost to Nixon.