Monday, March 30, 2015

April 4 Talk at Pendleton Library

On April 4, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy arrived in Indiana to campaign in the state's Democratic presidential primary. As Kennedy prepared to fly from an appearance in Muncie to Indianapolis, he learned that civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had been shot outside his hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Before his plane landed in Indianapolis, Kennedy heard the news that King had died. Despite warnings from Indianapolis police that they could not guarantee his safety, and brushing off concerns from his own staff, Kennedy decided to proceed with plans to address an outdoor rally to be held in the heart of the city's African American community. On that cold and windy evening, Kennedy broke the news of King's death in an impassioned, extemporaneous speech on the need for compassion in the face of violence. It has proven to be one of the great speeches in American political history.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at the Pendleton Community Public Library, 595 East Water Street, Pendleton, Indiana, I will give a talk explaining what brought the politician to Indiana that day, and explore the characters and events of the 1968 Indiana Democratic presidential primary in which Kennedy, who was an underdog, had a decisive victory. 

For more information, contact the library at (765) 777-7527. The talk will be free and open to the public and will be in the library's Community Room. In addition, copies of my book, Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary, will be available for sale.

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