Somber Speech

On the night of April 4, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy arrived in Indianapolis for a scheduled presidential primary campaign rally. But as he reached the largely black crowd gathered at 17th and Broadway, he disregarded his speechwriter’s notes.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated, and Kennedy delivered the news to a response of gasps and cries in the audience. For less than five minutes, he continued to speak, and in that time he expressed great sorrow and encouraged understanding and compassion in the vein of King’s teachings.

As other major cities broke into riots, Indianapolis remained relatively peaceful.


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