Special Sub-Topic: The Assassination of Robert Kennedy
|How had Kennedy fared in his most recent primary before California?
Lost the Oregon primary. Kennedy lost the Oregon primary on May 28 to Eugene McCarthy, the first election defeat a Kennedy had ever sustained. Kennedy was said to remark afterward that he was destined to lose because Oregon didn't have slums.
|Where had Kennedy spent most of his time on the day of the California primary?|
At the home of director John Frankenheimer. Frankenheimer, who had directed the 1962 film "The Manchurian Candidate," was a close friend of Kennedy's. The candidate and his family stayed with Frankenheimer the night before the primary, after a marathon day of campaigning in the three major cities of California. He spent his day swimming and relaxing. The Kennedys and Frankenheimer dined together on election night, before being driven by Frankenheimer to the Ambassador Hotel. Frankenheimer was to have taken the Kennedys to a nightspot after Kennedy met with the press. The director watched Kennedy's victory speech from backstage and went to retrieve his car, learning of the shooting from the radio.
|What prompted Kennedy to chide Roger Mudd about his language during a television interview on election night?|
Mudd's asking if delegates were "squeezable.". Kennedy knew that he was in a tight race and that he would need every possible delegate to win at the convention. He had been privately speculating about "squeezing" some of Hubert Humphrey's delegates in hopes of getting them to shift their support. When Mudd asked him on the air about "squeezable" delegates, Kennedy replied "Roger, your language!" In wrapping the interview up a few minutes later, Mudd promised Kennedy to watch his language in the future.
|Of the following, who was NOT mentioned by Kennedy in his victory speech on election night?|
Richard Nixon. In the lighthearted moments of Kennedy's victory speech, he congratulated Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale, who earlier that evening had pitched his sixth consecutive shutout and set a new record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He also thanked "my dog Freckles, my wife -- this is obviously not in order of importance." Winding up the speech, he joked that Los Angeles mayor Sam Yorty, an outspoken critic of the Kennedys, had sent word that he had to leave.
|Why did Kennedy go into the kitchen pantry after making his speech?|
As a shortcut.. After his speech to campaign workers, Kennedy was to have met with the press in another part of the hotel. The original plan was for him to move forward off the stage and walk among his supporters while shaking their hands. But he was already behind schedule and the room was too densely packed to move through easily. The hotel maitre d' directed him behind the stage into a pantry, that would enable him to leave the room and get to his next engagement more quickly.
|What were the last recorded words spoken by Kennedy?|
"I think it goes back to the struggle for it.". As Kennedy left the podium after his speech, Andrew West, a reporter for Mutual Radio News, had a chance to ask him, "Senator, how are you going to counter Mr. Humphrey and his backgrounding you as far as the delegate votes go?" Kennedy spoke the above words into West's tape recorder. Seconds later, after the shooting began, West switched the tape recorder back on, capturing the roughly one-minute-long struggle for the gun.
|What was the name of the photographer who may have taken pictures of the shooting itself?
Scott Enyart. Bill Eppridge and Boris Yaro took famous and award-winning pictures of Kennedy after he was shot. Richard Drew was a young photographer early in his career that night, who later took memorable pictures of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. But perhaps the photographer with the most interesting story was Jamie Scott Enyart. Enyart was a high school student on the night of the assassination. Using pilfered press credentials, he was able to photograph Kennedy's victory speech. He then followed Kennedy, taking pictures before and after the shooting. He believed that he was taking a picture the moment that Kennedy dropped from his viewfinder. This picture would have been the most critical piece of evidence in the trial against Sirhan Sirhan, who was arrested on the spot. However, the police confiscated Enyart's film and held it until 1988. When he won a lawsuit to get the pictures returned to him, the courier returning the pictures mysteriously had the envelope containing them stolen from his rental car after a minor accident. Those possibly critical photos of the assassination have never been found.
|Which of the following people was farthest from Kennedy at the moment he was shot?
Ethel Kennedy. At the moment Kennedy was shot, his wife Ethel, with NFL star Rosey Grier at her side, had been unable to enter the crowded pantry. Sirhan Sirhan was placed by most witnesses as being roughly three feet in front of Kennedy. Hotel maitre d' Karl Uecker was holding Kennedy's wrist guiding him through the crowded and dark pantry. Eugene Cesar, a security guard, was following Kennedy off his right shoulder.
|Besides Kennedy, how many other people were hit by gunshots in the assassination?
5. Most seriously injured was union leader Paul Schrade, shot in the head. Also injured were an ABC director shot in the stomach, a reporter wounded in the hip, a teenager shot in the knee, and a woman shot in the head. All survived.
|What are generally believed to be Kennedy's last spoken words?
"Oh no, no, don't.". Kennedy was shot in the brain and soon lost coherence, then consciousness. One of the first things he was heard to say after being shot was "Is everyone else all right?", suggesting to some that he may not have been the first person hit. By most accounts, when being loaded into the ambulance, Kennedy moaned "Oh no, no, don't" and permanently lost consciousness at that point.
|Although it is widely agreed that Sirhan was firing a gun in Kennedy's presence, not everyone believes he killed Kennedy. Other than Sirhan, who is most frequently mentioned as Kennedy's killer?
A security guard. Thane Eugene Cesar was a security guard assigned to keep the pantry area clear for Kennedy. As Kennedy walked through the pantry, Cesar was immediately behind him on his right side. Autopsy results and other analysis indicated that the shots that hit Kennedy came from a few inches away, hitting his right rear side, and were fired at a sharp upward angle. Cesar was behind Kennedy's right side, close enough to touch him. He said later that he crouched behind Kennedy as the shooting began. And he drew a gun that he had been carrying. By all known witness accounts, Sirhan was never closer to Kennedy than three feet, was always in front of Kennedy, and was firing in a straight line, not upward. However, Cesar passed a 1994 polygraph examination related to the possibility that he shot Kennedy.
|Who credited Robert Kennedy with saving his life on election day?
Kennedy's son. While the Kennedy family was with John Frankenheimer on election day, they went swimming in the ocean. His son David was knocked over by a wave and trapped on the bottom by the undertow. Kennedy dove under the water to rescue David, scraping and bruising his own forehead in the process.
|From the hotel, where did the ambulance take Kennedy?
Central Receiving Hospital. Kennedy was rushed to Central Receiving, 18 blocks away. He was quickly checked there, but there was no neurosurgeon on staff, so he was transferred immediately to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he died 24 hours later.
|Taking into account Kennedy's wins in the June 4 primaries in California and South Dakota, at the time of his death, what was the ranking of the three leading Democratic candidates in the 1968 race, from the one having the most delegates to the one having the fewest?
Humphrey, Kennedy, McCarthy. Of the 1968 Democratic primaries up until that time, Johnson had won NH before withdrawing from the race, McCarthy had won Wisconsin (where Kennedy wasn't a candidate) and Oregon, and Kennedy had won the rest. However, Humphrey had won more delegates than either of them through caucuses or direct committing of delegates to him. Author Dan Moldea cited the figures 561 1/2 delgates for Humphrey, 393 1/2 for Kennedy, 258 for McCarthy. By all accounts, no matter what the totals, the three candidates were in that order at the time of Kennedy's death.
|In his eulogy, Senator Ted Kennedy used a quote that his brother had often spoken on the campaign trail, "Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not." From what writer was this quote paraphrased?|
George Bernard Shaw. The original Shaw quote was: "You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'" Kennedy used it on and off in the early part of the 1968 campaign; eventually, reporters kiddingly asked him to conclude every speech with it, so that when they'd hear him say "As George Bernard Shaw once said..." they could race for the buses or telephones.
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