A speech that forever altered the course of a major American city, and a shining example of leadership in a troubled time
On the evening of April 4, 1968, I finished my farm chores early so that I could watch the evening news. Even though I was only 13 years old, I was a well-read farmboy, and fully aware that our country was going through a very difficult time. Leadership was challenged. When I turned on the news I learned it had been a very difficult day.
Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated. Within hours, civil unrest had spread to every major city in the country. Burning. Looting. Rioting. Violence everywhere. Protesters assaulting police. Police beating protesters.
Senator Robert Kennedy happened to be in the City of Indianapolis that evening. He was asked by the Mayor to remain in his hotel room, telling Kennedy that the police could not guarantee his safety. Kennedy instead instructed his aides to take him to what was then the ghetto of Indianapolis. He mounted the back of a flatbed truck, and gave the speech you are about to hear.
Because of that speech, there was no violence in Indianapolis that night, the only major city in America where there was none.
To watch it is to see the raw power of words, a speech that forever altered the course of a city, and a shining example of leadership in a troubled time. May it inspire you to help heal a nation in pain.
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