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June 5, 1968


After having been projected as the winner of the 1968 California Democratic Primary, New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot early this morning at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Senator Kennedy won the California Primary over Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota.

RFK had just completed a victory statement to his supporters in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel.  He was walking through the hotel kitchen when shots rang out.

             The Ambassador Hotel
      Los Angeles, California (2004)

It  was 12:15 a.m. PDT, as Kennedy was shaking hands with hotel employees, when he was approached by a “guy who…came out of the corner near the ice machine” according to a witness.

LA Times reporter Boris Yaro said:

“Kennedy backed up as the gunman fired at him from point blank range.”

One of the shots hit Senator Kennedy in the head.  He fell to the floor of the kitchen with his head laying in a pool of blood.

Later the bushy haired 24 year old would-be assassin was identified by Los Angeles Mayor Samuel Yorty as Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, a Jordanian immigrant born in Jerusalem.  Sirhan came to the US in 1957.

The weapon was recovered & identified as a 22 caliber Iver-Johnson Cadet pistol.

In addition to RFK, 5 others were wounded:  Paul Schrade, a UAW official, William Weisel of ABC News, Ira Goldstein of Continental News, Elizabeth Evans & Irwin Stroll.  

The Senator was taken by ambulance to Central Receiving Hospital & then transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital.

Mr. Kennedy was taken into surgery at 2:45 a.m. (PDT).

RFK’s Press Secretary, Frank Mankiewicz, kept reporters up to date on the progress of the surgery.  

He announced that RFK’s condition is listed as “extremely critical as to life.”*

*Source: “Triumphant Victor-Tragic Victim” by Jack V. Fox.  The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, by the editors of UPI & Cowles Education Corporation.

          RFK’s Victory Speech
        The Ambassador Hotel
        Los Angeles, California

June 4 & 5, 1968

John White’s Diary

I have been recording the audio of television & radio coverage of the California Primary this evening.  

Election officials in California were having some problems getting the returns counted, so it was to be a long night.

Finally, I was pleased to hear them announce that Robert Kennedy was projected to win. 

 Although it was getting very late, I wanted to stay up & listen to the Senator’s victory speech.

As soon as RFK finished speaking, my local television station played the National Anthem & signed off.  It was 3:15 a.m. in Knoxville, Tennessee.  I went to bed.

About 8 a.m., a friend telephoned & woke me up.  He said “Robert Kennedy was shot last night.”
I told him he must be mistaken because I stayed up until TV sign-off  at 3:15 a.m. & at that time he was fine.*

*I had been watching ABC-TV coverage of the California Primary & although their feed continued to be available nationwide, the local Knoxville affiliate signed off the air immediately after the victory speech.

          1960s Television Test Pattern


“What has been going on in the United States…the division, the violence….whether its between black & white, between the poor & the more affluent or between age groups or over the war in Vietnam…..we can start to work together.”

June 5, 2004


Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989),  passed away today at his home in Bel Air, California.

President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in August 1994.

Ronald Reagan, former Governor of California, defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980.  He promised to restore national pride & strengthen the economy.

Shortly after his inauguration, President Reagan was shot but survived.

Reagan’s high moment as President came on June 12, 1987 when he visited Berlin & said these words:

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate.  Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.  Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
        President Reagan in Berlin
                   June 12, 1987

June 5, 1961


President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy attended the christening this afternoon of Anna Christina Radziwill, the daughter of Prince & Princess Radziwill.

The mother of the child, Lee Radziwill, is Jacqueline Kennedy’s sister.

The President of the United States became the child’s godfather.

A reception was held at the Radziwill residence following the ceremony.  

Later in the evening, the Kennedys attended a dinner given by Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace.

Mr. & Mrs. Kennedy departed for the Washington, D.C. at 11:40 pm London time.

Mrs. Kennedy, JFK & Princess Radziwill
    Crypt Chapel, Westminster Abbey
            Photo by Jacques Lowe

June 5, 1963


President Kennedy spoke today at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He said that the US plans to build supersonic transport planes for commercial use.  

The visit to the AF Academy begins a 5 day tour of the Western states for JFK. 

        US Air Force Academy Air Gardens
             Colorado Springs, Colorado

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