RFK's Birthplace Opens Doors in Somber Remembrance of His Assassination

Anecdotes and remembrances of John F. Kennedy's younger brother on the 50th anniversary of his death highlighted a special "Jack and Bobby'' tour at the former president's birthplace on Wednesday.

Robert Kennedy died June 6, 1968, a day after the U.S. Senator and presidential candidate was shot by an assassin as he left a Los Angeles hotel after winning the California primary.

The John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site hosted visitors who fondly recalled Bobby Kennedy's impact on civil and human rights. The 75-minute walking tour went from JFK's birthplace in Brookline, a Boston suburb, to the family's second home in Brookline where RFK was born. Now a private residence, the Kennedys lived there from 1920-1927.

"As a young child, I remember the assassinations of Jack Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby,'' said Aurelie Catherine Cormier, 61, of Needham, Massachusetts, one of about 15 people in the tour group. "They were my heroes, and they had a great influence on this country.''

Cormier later remarked Bobby was her "favorite'' Kennedy.

Jason Atsales, a park ranger at the 35th president's birthplace, said Bobby Kennedy was shy, pious, rule-abiding and a deep-thinker, as a child. He said Bobby was known for being his mother's "Little Pet.''

"There was great competition in this family,'' Atsales said. "Bobby's biggest challenge growing up was asserting himself with his older brothers and sisters.''

Atsales shared several Bobby Kennedy anecdotes. He said the future confidant of President Kennedy once worked a newspaper delivery boy, except instead of delivering the papers by biking or walking, Kennedy used the family's chauffeured Rolls Royce.

In another story, Bobby's father Joe Kennedy promised to give the children $1,000 each if they made it to age 18 without smoking cigarettes. Joe promised the children an additional $1,000 if they made it to 21 without consuming alcohol.

"Bobby was the only one of the brothers who got the money,'' Atsales said.

Robert Kennedy was U.S. senator from New York when he began his presidential campaign and had served as attorney general in his brother's administration. He was fatally shot at the Ambassador Hotel by Sirhan Sirhan.

If you missed Wednesday's exhibition of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, it is open Wednesdays through Sundays until October if you're interested in seeing the Kennedys birthplace.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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