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tv   Headliners  MSNBC  June 3, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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reporting melania will not accompany the president to the g7. she's not going to singapore. i'm watching to see if she reassured soon. we will be back next sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern. for now, good night from washington. what i think is quite clear is the country wants to move in a different direction. >> a half century after his death, robert f. kennedy remains a hero to millions of americans. he was tough. >> whose back are you going to break? >> yet compassionate and idealistic. >> negro citizens are being treated as second class people. that's something that needs to be done about it. >> today as in 1968, america is deeply divided. >> what's going on in poor communities, what's happening to
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families that are struggling, that's what we ought to be looking at. >> robert kennedy's life was shaped by strength did i. >> he was overcome by the death of his brother. >> there's more we need to do. >> his passion for the underdog, from every background, made him want to unite people. >> i run to seek new policies to end the bloodshed in vietnam. >> he never got the chance. >> senator kennedy has been shot. >> is there a doctor in the house? >> it was a crushing blow. >> my grandfather was stolen not just from his family but from hiscoun >> giv me your help. if you gee your hand, then i will work with you and we will have a new america. thank you very much.
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what has violence ever accomplished? what has it ever created? no martyr's cause has of been stilled by an assassin's bullet. >> a funeral train carries his body from new york to arlington national cemetery. drawing americans black and white to the edges of the tracks. >> i was invited to ride the funeral train. i just wanted to keep going. you saw people all along the way holding their children, their little babies and people crying. some people carrying flowers. it was little america on that train. >> you see the imagery as his body passes on the train. they are wealthy and they are poor and they are black and they
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are write and th are white and they are young and they are old. it is amazing how many different types of people that my grandfather touched. >> different parts of america and different parts of robert kennedy. there's the part that cared deeply about poverty. there's parts that cared deeply about justice and there's parts that cared about how we could build a better world. >> his legacy is personal with me. bobby kennedy, i write that his message of building a better world is more relevant now than it was a half century ago. >> i want discrimination and injustice and prejudice to disappear from this country. >> bobby's advocacy, his sense of right and wrong drew upon what his ancestors experienced
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when they arrived in the united states. >> he was proud of his irishness. it had a lot to do with his identity. >> we remember where we came from. >> after opening a is a losaloo grandfather patrick kennedy known as pj launches a business career by lending money to recently arrived immigrants. >> he was a bank owner. he had a real estate company. he had a coal company. he served term in the massachusetts senate. >> the first kennedy to hold elective office raises the man who will open the path for his son's success. >> joseph p. kennedy is one of these absolutely remarkable people. he had been a hollywood producer. at 25, the youngest bank president in the country.
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he was a genius at the stock market. one of the richest men in the united states. >> joseph and his wife rose, the daughter of a beloved boston y mayor, will raise nine children. almost from the moment he is born, robert struggles to find his place in the large family. >> i think in any family where there's a lot of children, you are fighting with one another, competing with one another. >> he was the third son, ten years younger than joe junior, the oldest boy. eight years younger than jack. he idolized his older brothers, loved his older brothers. for them, he was a nuisance. >> my grandfather was the runt. so he was not raised to believe that he was going to be attorney general and run for president. those were positions that were set out for other brothers. >> he finds meaning in the devotions and writes the catholic church.
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>> he really listened to the church's teachings that you help the poor, you help the sick and that's how you do your good deeds. >> young kennedy shows his generous spirit from a young age, an underdog in the family, he roots for others overlooked. >> making money is fine, but you have do something with the money. make a commitment to the community for the greatest good. >> the angry flying of warplanes, bombs. >> with the united states entering world war ii, the three older kennedy sons volunteer for service. the war ends before robert can see combat, both joe junior and john are sent on dangerous missions. after joe junior is killed during a 1944 explosion over the english channel, robert takes the news particularly hard. joe senior had been grooming his older son to become america's first catholic president. >> once joe junior was gone, joe
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kennedy senior put heavy pressure on jack essentially saying, i want one of my children to be president of the united states and now it is your turn. >> the first step for john kennedy is securing a congressional seat in his native massachusetts. >> the family has to pitch in. b bobby shows up. jack is not happy to see him. jack sent him out to canvas in the most remote district to never be seen again. >> john perceives robert as a gloomy presence. he calls him black robert. he underestimates his younger brother's determination. along with his ability to touch other human beings. >> bobby was a worker. he knocked on every door. >> john wins the race and goes to congress. in the years ahead, his brother's talents are discovered by both allies and enemies alike. coming up -- >> whose back were you going to break? >> i don't know who i was
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my brother bobby, who managed the campaign, practically could give us some idea more up to date of what the final figures were. >> i think from what we got, up to 20 minutes ago, you were winning by 70,000. >> when massachusetts congressman john f. kennedy runs for u.s. senate in 1952, his brother robert gives up his promising career in the justice department to help him. he is no longer seen as an irritating younger sibling who needs to be hidden from public view. >> the campaign was a mess. it was going nowhere. bobby sort of kicks the laggards into shape and gets that campaign going. >> with his brother in charge, john wins the senate seat while robert stakes out a new role in the family hierarchy. >> bobby was the one who could be the enforcer. who could do the dirty work of
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the family. >> as tough as robert seems, he is a sensitive religious man who relies on the unwavering support he receives from his wife. together, the two will have 11 children. >> bobby was not a confident man. he was a fierce man, determined. but there was a kind of hollowness in him. she helped fill that hole. she was a true believer in bobby kennedy. >> their father is still steering his sons' careers. after jack's election, he convinces joe mccarthy to appoint reporter a staff council on the subcommittee investigating communist infiltration in american life. >> we should not give one dollar to any ally who is shipping economic and military strength to red china. >> joe mccarthy, who was this feared demagogue chasing
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communists all over the united states was a close family friend of the kennedys. >> ultimately, robert kennedy begins to view mccarthy's investigation as reckless and destructive. >> if the president deliberately promotes a man known to him to be a communist spy, the american people should know that. >> after working with the committee for approximately five months, i went to senator mccarthy and said i disagreed with the way the committee was being handled. >> he realizes what a bully mccarthy is and he doesn't have the facts. bobby switches sides. >> despite his disenchantment with mccarthy, he remains committed to public service. >> how did you and your brother become interested in government service? >> we have always talked about politics and government a lot at home. of course, my father was in government a long period of time. >> in 1957, he begins serving as chief counsel on a senate committee investigating corrupt
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labor unions. it is his idea. among the committee members, senator john f. kennedy of massachusetts. >> the kennedy men a, attractive, camera friendly, became a tag team. tv was in its infancy. people were starting to watch. this was good publicity. >> you have union members who have been convicted. >> when other mothers take their kids to the playground, my mother was taking me to the committee hearings. that was a different type of childhood. >> whose back were you going to break? >> i don't even know who he was talking abo ining about. >> of all the changes, none are so volatile or personal as those between kennedy and jimmy hoffa, the union boss kennedy considers a mobster. >> best of my recollection, i must recall on my memory, i cannot remember. >> one of the first phrases that
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i heard growing up was i refuse to answer that question on the grounds it may tend to inkrim -- incriminate me. >> i feel we have shown that mr. hoffa has made deals with employers, he betrayed union membership. >> there was a period of time we weren't allowed to leave school without my mother coming to pick us up because the bad guys had threatened to throw acid in our eyes. >> doesn't this seem a little bit like a personal vendetta that you and your brother are waging? >> no. it's not a personal vendetta to be against corruption and dishonesty. >> bobby wanted to go after mobbed up unions. bobby's father was not so sure it was a good idea. after all the unions were big supporters of the democratic party. >> supporters john kennedy needs when he runs for president in 1960.
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>> i am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the united states. >> he needed a campaign manager that he could trust. obviously, bobby. >> he managed my '52 campaign. i think he will play a very, i think, helpful role this time. >> it was the same setup. jack floated above the fray, was the golden prince, talking about great affairs of state. bobby was the guy doing all the tough stuff. disciplining people on the campaign, being angry at reporters. they were well matched. >> if someone did something malicious to john kennedy in politics, he didn't take it that personally. you would not say that about robert kennedy. if someone crossed him, it was something he would remember. >> by the time john wins the democratic nomination, robert compiled a number of grudges against lyndon johnson. >> bobby and lbj always hated
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each other. bobby kennedy thought lbj was a bully. lbj thought bobby was an annoying runt. a bad match. >> the kennedys need the big texan to carry the south. and appease voters uncomfortable with electing a catholic. >> there will be some non-catholics who will vote against senator kennedy because of his religion. the governor of the state of north carolina said he felt that this problem or difficulty would cost us maybe 200,000 votes in the state of north carolina. >> it feels so silly. it feels so remote. but it really wasn't that remote in the grand scheme of things. it's not that long ago. >> john is facing an opponent who has had eight years of experience on the world stage. there's one thing nixon lacks, the kennedy charisma. >> the story is told, who knows if it's true or not, that one of the nixon people at the first debate in chicago said to rfk, does nixon look okay in his
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makeup? rfk said he looked like death warmed over, said looks perfect, don't change a thing. >> with robert's assistance, his charismatic brother wins the first presidential televised debate. >> at 7:19 eastern time, senator kennedy was elected president. >> it was the turning point in the campaign. the prelude to the kennedy presidency which called itself the new frontier. >> it was a change of the generations. this was the beginning of the future. >> a future largely guided by the person who had come to be known as the number two one in the white house. coming up -- >> our citizens, our negro citizens are treated as second class people. that needs to be done about it. the wonderful thing about polident
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>> despite robert kennedy's open concerns, president john f. kennedy overrode his critics by nominating his brother for attorney general. >> in a sense, it was outrageous for president kennedy to pick his own brother as attorney general to enforce the laws. that could not happen today. in 1960, the rules were looser. they got heat for it but they got away with it. >> the second man of the government? i don't suggest that. >> robert kennedy was number two in the kennedy administration. it was not the vice-president by a long ways. jfk came to feel that bobby kennedy was the only person who had the president's interests completely at heart, not anyone else's. >> great danger in all of these matters in dealing with a dictator. he miscalculates, the world could be destroyed. >> both brothers are preoccupied with the nuclear threat posed by the soviet union whose leader
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now tests the young president. >> the overwhelming worry in the kennedy years was can we survive and prevail in our conflict with the soviet union. that permeated everything. children were told not to eat snow because the russians had put radioactive fallout in it. they were taught to crouch under their desk to prepare for nuclear war. >> it's a bomb. duck and cover. >> it was a big part of daily life. >> the risk of war is lessened when communist east germany begins constructing a wall through the middle of berlin in 1961. keeping its people from escaping to the west. behind the scenes, the president entrusts his brother to secretly communicate with the soviets to avoid armed conflict. >> robert kennedy worked out a quiet compromise that if the soviets build a wall that divided berlin, the united states would not challenge it with our military. john kennedy in private said at the time, a wall is a lot better
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than a war. >> a more terrifying crisis the next year when surveillance reveals the soviets are placing nuclear missiles in cuba, 90 miles from florida. they are capable of reaching nearly every major u.s. city. >> the presence of the large long-range and clearly owe february recei offensive weapons constitutes a threat to the peace and security of the americas. >> they were saying you have to innovate cuba. bobby kennedy was whispering in his brother's ear, let's see if we can find some kind of compromise. >> crisis. the word suddenly springs alive. >> with america on edge at the possibility of nuclear war, robert offers a secret solution. by promising to remove u.s. missiles from turkey if the soviet union does the same in cuba. >> robert kennedy's role in finding a compromise that solved
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the missile crisis without war and mass death was so important that at the end of it, john kennedy says, thank god for bobby. >> this fellow came running up to me. he said, i know who you are. i bowed my head modestly. said, you are the vice-president. i said i'm not. he said, you sure look like him. >> with robert's influence growing, the authority of joseph kennedy diminishes. after a massive stroke in 1961. following his heart, robert has immersed himself in causes important to him. most notably, civil rights. >> when the civil rights movement first began, the kennedys probably did not understand a lot about segregation and the plight of southern blacks. >> we are not going to march because the band has been made. we're here to enforce it.
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it's as simple as that. >> the long march toward equality has begun. they test a decision desegregating inter-state bus travel. freedom rers re south to goad local offials to enforce the ruling. they are assaulted by angry mobs. >> i question their wisdom. i thought they showed courage. >> the kennedys do have a conscience. the civil rights movement affects them. more bobby than jack. bobby starts to feel the moral imperative to do something about civil rights. >> how can you say you believe in the constitution of the united states or the declaration of independence if you show by your actions that you feel that one element of your population is inferior to another? >> when robert sends his friend to alabama to monitor the freedom riots, he is caught up in the violence. >> i in trying to help two young
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women was hit with a pipe. and hurt. and hospitalized. >> you had a concussion. he had damage to his inner ear. it showed the hate that existed for black people. it was overt. >> when his own close aide got clobbered over the head and was in the hospital, bobby took that personally. >> i remember him saying to me, the young people, the students have educated me. i saw the changes taking place in this man. >> in june of 1963, the civil rights movement is getting a lot of publicity. the kennedys realize that this is the moment to strike. this is the moment to go on national tv and ask for a service ill rights bill that will end segregation in the south. >> 100 years have passed since president lincoln freed the
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slaves. yet their grandsons are not fully free. now the time has come to this nation to fulfill its promise. >> the summer of 1963, when jfk sent a civil rights bill to congress, his poll ratings went down 20 points. >> the campaign season started. kennedy begins to think seriously about re-election. >> the reason why john kennedy was in texas in the fall of 1963 was he knew that he had to win texas if he was going to get re-elected. >> it's a fateful decision that will change the course of american history. >> it appears as though something has happened in the motorcade. something, i repeat has happened. several police officers are rushing up the hill. >> president kennedy was murdered in dallas, texas. he was shot by a sniper hiding in a building near his parade route. month after month,
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i'm richard lui. president trump's lawyer says he would go to court to fight any effort by robert mueller to subpoena the president. the comments come in the wake of a 20-page memo in which the trump legal team argues the president cannot be forced to testify. jimmy fallon tweeted out his marjory stoneman douglas high schoolgraduation. the post thanked the students for their bravery and activism in the wake of the deadly shooting. now back to "headliners, robert f. kennedy." the greatest leader of our time has been struck down. he lives on in the mind and memories of mankind. he lives on in the hearts of his
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countrymen. no words are sad enough to express our sense of loss. >> bobby had a very tough time after his brother's death. he would go lie on his brother's grave. he would wear his brother's overcoat. he was overcome by the ghost of his brother. >> the story i remember dad relaying to me was that bob kennedy talked to the president on the phone a day before, i guess, he was shot. but he couldn't remember what he had said. it kind of haunted him. >> in washington, the kennedy legacy continues, like robert kennedy, president johnson has become personally invested in the civil rights struggle. with kennedy watching, he signs the civil rights act into law on july 2, 1964. in a symbolic gesture, he hands the pen to kennedy. >> i thought that was a gracious act on lyndon johnson's part,
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because as you know, they have had a lot of challenges between the two of them. >> with johnson running for president in 1964, kennedy has hopes to be picked for vice-president. >> he felt he represented the kennedy wing of the party and that it deserved a place on the ticket. >> johnson harbors no affection for kennedy and chooses minnesota senator hubert humphrey as his running mate. >> if johnson had a choice for vice-president between kennedy and ho chi minh, he would have gone with ho chi minh. >> johnson is fearful that kennedy's appearance will stampede delegates at the democratic convention to pick him. >> like a shrewd politician, lbj moved rfk's appearance to the final night of the convention after the nominations had been done. >> it backfired. when rfk did speak, the hall went crazy.
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there was this forlorn bobby standingp there as the symbol the nation's loss. >> that ovation ran about 12 minutes. >> it was the last word. you may have just nominated president johnson, but we all miss and long for john f. kennedy. >> we must look to the future. what has been started four years ago, it has to be sustained, if that's to be continued. >> robert kennedy felt if he wasn't vice-president, he would like to be senator. >> with his younger brother ted representing massachusetts, robert decides to run in new york. >> he was the most unlikely political leader in a sense that he didn't have that kind of gift for oratory and the great style that his brother, president kennedy, had. >> combine that with the fact
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that he was in this profound depression. this was not even a year after jfk's assassination and he has to smile at people. not easy for him. >> his emotional accessibility endears him to voters. >> he had an intensity that came through, an authenticity that came through, integrity that came through. >> in 1965, he joins ted kennedy in the senate. >> that kind of brotherhood and bond really, i think, just helped both of them survive a very difficult time. >> as a legislator, kennedy can now further his agenda to aid the country's overlooked. >> the situations are worse now in the ghettoes than they were three, four, five years ago. i don't think that's satisfactory, particularly when we made promises to the poor and deprived. >> one thing a senator can do is have hearings. they can have them outside of washington. so bobby goes to mississippi to investigate poverty.
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>> there were children who were severely malnourished to the point that they had disease you don't find in the united states. we saw children who had swollen bellies, who had sores on their arms and legs that would not heal. it was just stunning. he said to me, i have never seen anything like this. then he went home. he said to his kids -- he banged on the table and he said to them, you have to do something about this. >> robert kennedy has become an activist senator, willing to take on causes that don't often translate to votes. >> no senator had come out to join the farm workers' struggle. hardly any local politicians for that matter. >> the movement is headed by a union leader. he has been organizing latino field hands and leading a boycott against california growers. like martin luther king junior,
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he is an ardent foe of the vietnam war seeing soldiers are minority and poor. kennedy is turning against johnson's war policy. >> bobby is pro war initially. as he becomes a u.s. senator, he starts to see the war turning bad. becoming more of a hopeless war. slowly but surely, he turns against the war. >> we spend more in a month in vietnam than on the poverty program. i think there's more we need to do within our local community. >> each our rfk spoke out against the war, it made johnson even more nervous and resentful. >> we are going to continue to press forward. >> lbj was always worried that the base of the democratic party loved the kennedys and not him and that at some moment, rfk would take it all away. >> indeed, kennedy is deliberating whether to challenge the president in 1968. to try to heal a country that's
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become deeply divided. coming up -- >> i run to seek new policies. policies to end the bloodshed in vietnam and in our cities. at e♪ ♪ he holds your house in the palm of his hand ♪ ♪ he's your home and auto man ♪ big jim, he's got you covered ♪ ♪ great big jim, there ain't no other ♪ -so, this is covered, right? -yes, ma'am. take care of it for you right now. giddyup! hi! this is jamie. we need some help. i'm begging you... take gas-x.ed beneath the duvet your tossing and turning isn't restlessness, it's gas! gas-x relieves pressure, bloating and discomfort... fast! so we can all sleep easier tonight. one picky customer shouldn't take all your time. need something printed? the business advisors at office depot can assist with exactly what your business needs to grow.
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new depend fit-flex underwear is guaranteed to be your best fit. get a free sample at depend.com ♪ as anti-war demonstrations flare in late 1967, minnesota senator eugene mccarthy takes the dramatic step of challenging a sitting president for their party's nomination. >> i think the time has come for us to say that in the name of america, we should try to bring an end to the killing, at least that for which we are responsible. >> lyndon johnson never thought
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that omccarthy had a chance. >> people in the anti-war movement come to bobby and they say, you have to run. bobby just doesn't want to do it. >> i'm not interested. i'm not going to run. it's a source of embarrassment. >> he is afraid of tearing up his own party. he is afraid he might not win and that would sully the legacy of jfk. >> when mccarthy stuns the president's by a strong showing in a new hampshire primary, getting 42% of the vote, kennedy starts to reconsider. >> the remarkable new hampshire campaign of senator mccarthy has proven how deep are the divisions within our party and within our country. >> four days later, kennedy enters the race. >> i run to seek new policies. policies to end the bloodshed in vietnam and in our cities. policies to close the gaps that
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now exist between black and white, between rich and poor, between young and old in this country and around the rest of the world. >> the mccarthy people are infuriated because they have done the advance work, so to speak. they have done well in new hampshire when bobby was hanging back. here comes bobby to steal his thunder. >> there was an ora about him. he was the brother of the assassinated president. he represented the hope that others had felt when jack kennedy was president. >> what was your response that you got back from president johnson when you sent word to him? was there any response? >> johnson recognizes that the mood of the country has turned against him. on march 31, he makes a stunning announcement. >> i shall not seek and will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your
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president. >> i don't know an analogy comparable to that. you had the president of the united states saying that he was retiring from politics. suddenly, the world opened. it was thrilling. >> emerson said that if a young man plants himself on his instincts and there abides, the world will come around to him. i ask for your help to chain ng the face of the united states and help mankind. thank you very much. >> i don't think they felt mccarthy would be elected president. but robert kennedy stood a pretty good chance in ending the vietnam war among other things. >> we want kennedy! we want kennedy! >> in addition to his opposition
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to the war, kennedy addresses the racial strife growing in the country. on april 4, 1968, he is on his way to campaign in an african-american section of indianapolis when he learns that martin luther king junior has been assassinated. the responsibility falls on kennedy to inform the crowd about the tragedy. >> i have some very sad news for all of you. and i think sad news for all of our fellow citizens and people who love peace all over the world. that is that martin luther king was shot and was killed tonight in memphis, tennessee. >> he got up on the bed of a truck, surrounded by angry people. that night he talked about why it was important for us to remember martin luther king junior's message of non-violence. people listened. >> for those of you who are
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black and are tempted to be filled with hate and distrust, i had a member of my family killed. but he was killed by a white man. >> the assassination of his brother was not something that he would easily talk about. the fact that he would bring that up was showing in a public way the depth of his pain. >> i ask you tonight to say a prayer for the family of martin luther king. but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country. >> one of the great speeches in american history, not one word provided by a speech writer. this came from his heart. >> mrs. king and her children left their home before midnight for one last look at her husband's body before the funeral this morning. there will be a small private service at the church. afterwards, about 60,000 persons are expected to march in a funeral procession through downtown atlanta.
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>> i will never forget bobby kennedy came to attend the services for dr. king. he was one of the few white politicians in america that lilt rally walked more than a mile following dr. king's body. no booing, people cheered him. >> kennedy then returns to the campaign trail where he continues to face a formidable challenge from mccarthy. on may 28, mccarthy defeats the new york senator in oregon making robert the first kennedy to lose an election. >> those results represent a setback to my prospects of receiving the presidential nomination of my party. >> robert kennedy said, i have to win the california primary. if i lose california, i'm probably out.
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>> kennedy throws himself into the crazed crowds who turn up for his rallies. >> we spent the last two weeks of that campaign in san francisco. he would ride through the streets in an open convertible. the crowds would come out of nowhere and grab him and grab his hand and try to pull him. he was mobbed. >> always looming over bobby's head was the possibility he would be another kennedy to die. >> there were firecrackers. a lot of people around him were worried it was something else. >> coming up -- >> senator kennedy has been shot. >> is there a doctor in the house? important stuff. like, say... your car. well good news, the esurance app
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lets you keep an eye on repairs when your car is in the shop. it's kinda like being there, without being there. which is probably better for everyone. that's insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call. ancestrydna can pinpoint where your ancestors are from and the paths they took to a new home. could their journey inspire yours? order your kit at ancestrydna.com one picky customer shouldn't take all your time. need something printed? the business advisors at office depot can assist with exactly what your business needs to grow. get your coupon for 20% off services, technology and more at office depot and officedepot.com.
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dependability award for its midsize car-the chevy malibu. i forgot. chevy also won a j.d. power dependability award for its light-duty truck the chevy silverado. oh, and since the chevy equinox and traverse also won chevy is the only brand to earn the j.d. power dependability award across cars, trucks and suvs-three years in a row. phew. third time's the charm...
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the country want stos mos tn a different direction. we want to deal with our own problems in our own country and peace in vietnam. >> despite his late entry, robert kennedy edges out a win in california, a crucial step on his party's nomination. >> i would like to take my time to express my appreciation to paul shrade. >> i gave him the sign, and he grabbed my hand and shook it. and he finished his speech -- >> my thanks to all of you. now on to chicago and let's win there. >> he's now moving out of the ballroom with his wife. >> kennedy is advised to take a short cut through the ambassador's kitchen. >> robert kennedy approached. >> he doesn't notice sirhan
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sirhan, the jerusalem born palestinian opposed to the senator's pro-israel positions. >> lock the doors! [ screaming ] >> is there a doctor in the house? >> everybody, please stay back. we need a doctor here. >> here comes the doctor. >> i got shot that night. i was the first one shot.
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i was shot in the head right here. i was just blinded, i didn't know what happened. i'm laying about three feet from bob's head. >> kennedy is shot three times. five other bystanders are also hit by gunfire. >> are there any more doctors? >> he said, bobby, you're going to be all right. >> i had been told to bring the car around outside the ambassador ballroom. all of the ambulances came up behind the car and i saw robert kennedy carried out of the ambassador into the ambulance. i saw that part of the tragedy take place right in front of me. >> the senator's sister looking on. and now, coming up, an
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interview. >> he was a lunatic. >> i didn't believe it could be anything but a firecracker. the other day in san francisco, there were firecrackers. >> the senator was staring at the ceiling, glassy eyed and blood seemed to be coming from the right side of his head. >> there is one would in the head by the right ear, and that that is critical. >> mrs. kennedy is with him. he's being taken up to surgery now. >> we have been waiting outside. >> with each passing minute, the news grows more grave until -- >> senator robert francis kennedy died at 1:44 a.m. today, june 6, 1968. >> my grandfather was stolen not just from his family but the country. >> it was a crushing blow.
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because he was still here and he was obviously committed to continuing the struggle. when martin luther king, jr. was killed, he was the one that calmed the crowd. so when he was killed, it was tough. it was tough to go on. >> as both allies and rivals joined together for the funeral, the last surviving kennedy brother, senator ted kennedy, delivers the eulogy. >> i want to express what we feel to those who mourn with us today in this ka reed ral, acat around the world. we loved him as a brother, a father, and a son. >> i knew my dad. and when i watch that video of him speaking at my uncle bobby's funeral and his voice cracking.
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>> those of us who loved him and take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us, what he wished for others, will some day come to pass for all the world. >> there's a moment there where he wants to weep. and america wants to weep. and yet you're not allowed to. >> as he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched, and who sought to touch him, some men see things as they are and say why? i dream things that never were and say why not? >> america lost hope. america lost its innocence again. america lost youth. america lost a passionate leader who cared deeply about the future of our country. and my father lost a friend.
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>> i still remember how i felt that grim day, watching robert kennedy's funeral train. as i write in my new book, the faces of those along the tracks are his legacy. black and white, many of them poor, they believed in him. his bravery elevated national optimism, and his death left america with a feeling of shared devastation. his brother's funeral displayed a terrible beauty. robert's farewell held no pageantry, only loss. >> i think my mother was really good about -- it happened with your life and you go on. >> at arlington national cemetery, his grave site reflects none of the splendors of his dreams, but visitors are
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faced with a plain white cross of sacrifice and of hope. >> i want to look at the 50th anniversary and talk about the issues of what he cared about, with family that are struggling with health insurance or lack thereof. that's what we ought to be looking at. it's not like it stopped in 1968. >> we fight with compassion and understanding. this is an msnbc special presentation. ♪

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