John Lewis

Pitts: RFK and the nation we might have been

Pitts: RFK and the nation we might have been

It made my mother scream.

That's what I remember. I had been lying in bed, but at the sound of her, I scrambled into the living room. She was standing before the television watching an image of chaos in a hotel ballroom.

Although I grew up in the 1960s, very few of the signal events of that tumultuous decade managed to penetrate my childish, oblivious world. I have little firsthand memory of the Watts uprising, the 1968 Democratic convention, or the moon landing. But I remember the night, 50 years ago this week, when Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot.

I remember that scene in the ballroom. I remember a crude graphic on TV news showing where a bullet had entered his...

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