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From the Public Education Network:
40 YEARS LATER: REMEMBERING SENATOR ROBERT F. KENNEDY
On the 40th anniversary of the death of Robert Francis Kennedy, the NewsBlast pauses to remember his legacy of fighting to reduce poverty and improve the health, education and welfare of children. Senator Kennedy died in the early hours of June 6, 1968 at the age of 42 years old, shortly after claiming victory in California’s crucial Democratic primary. He leveraged his political talents and moral voice to address the needs of the dispossessed and powerless in America — the poor, the young, racial minorities and Native Americans. He sought to bring the facts about poverty to the conscience of the American people, journeying into urban ghettos, Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta and migrant workers’ camps. “There are children in the Mississippi Delta,” he said, “whose bellies are swollen with hunger… Many of them cannot go to school because they have no clothes or shoes. These conditions are not confined to rural Mississippi. They exist in dark tenements in Washington, D.C., within sight of the Capitol, in Harlem, in South Side Chicago, in Watts. There are children in each of these areas who have never been to school, never seen a doctor or a dentist. There are children who have never heard conversation in their homes, never read or even seen a book.” He challenged the complacent in American society and sought to bridge the great divides in American life — between the races, between the poor and the more affluent, between young and old, between order and dissent.