Wichitans react 50 years ago to RFK's assassination

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

June 5, 1968, America along with Wichita, Kansas was on edge. Democratic presidential hopeful, Robert F. Kennedy was clinging to life after being shot in California.

"To me it's incredible that this could happen in the United States. It seems to me that this might be a part of the continuing and gradual breakdown of law and order in this country,” said one Wichita man.

Kennedy had just been in Kansas campaigning a few months earlier.

"Most Americans are concerned that the course we are following at the time, is deeply wrong," Kennedy said at a rally.

Kennedy had just won the California primary and after wrapping up his victory speech, he was gunned down in a Los Angeles hotel.

Wichitans were in shock.

"Well it was just a matter of disbelief that things like this can happen in the United States to leaders who are working in the best interests of the country,” a Wichita man said.

For 26 hours, the nation was hopeful the senator was going to pull through. Especially after just losing his brother, President John F. Kennedy, only 5 years earlier.

"Well I think that's quite a burden for one family to bear,” another Wichita man said.

As the world knows, Kennedy died one day after he was shot; now fifty years ago today.

I was particularly shocked as I know everyone was that heard the news that anyone who devotes themselves to public life, as Kennedy has, and as President Kennedy did, that these things happen in America. It’s just hard to believe.”

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