Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary

October 30, 2020
Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary

On April 4, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., arrived inIndiana to campaign for the Indiana Democratic presidentialprimary. As Kennedy prepared to fly from an appearance in Muncie toIndianapolis, he learned that civil rights leader Dr. Martin LutherKing, Jr., had been shot outside his hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.Before his plane landed in Indianapolis, Kennedy heard the newsthat King had died. Despite warnings from Indianapolis police thatthey could not guarantee his safety, and brushing off concerns fromhis own staff, Kennedy decided to proceed with plans to address anoutdoor rally to be held in the heart of the city's AfricanAmerican community. On that cold and windy evening, Kennedy brokethe news of King's death in an impassioned, extemporaneous speechon the need for compassion in the face of violence. It has provento be one of the great speeches in American political history.Marking the 40th anniversary of Kennedy's Indianapolis speech,this book explains what brought the politician to Indiana that day,and explores the characters and events of the 1968 IndianaDemocratic presidential primary in which Kennedy, who was anunderdog, had a decisive victory.