(LEX 18) — Today marks 50 years since presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. Just months before his death, he visited Eastern Kentucky.
"In some cases it was shock, to see someone in a business suit and a gray topcoat getting out of a car. And some people rushing to him and some people wondering, ‘who is this, what does this mean?’ " LEX 18 Political Analyst Bob Babbage said.
Babbage said that it was a trying time for the U.S. when Kennedy visited several Eastern Kentucky towns grappling with poverty, a struggle that is still felt today.
"There’s much conversation about why, but more conversation about what to do next. Tracing that back 50 years and 50 plus to President Johnson’s visit to Senator Kennedy’s visit and those were attention-getters for our part of America," said Babbage.
Robert Kennedy was gunned down by an assassin and died on June 6, 50 years ago, leaving many in the Bluegrass clinging to the sense of hope he left behind.
"It created an emotion for sure, in eastern Kentucky. And an emotion that exists today in a very strong sense. Eastern Kentuckians have a strong sense of place, a strong sense of tradition, and a strong desire to grow the region," said Babbage.