John F. Kennedy

50 years on: RFK's death "was the death of hope"

In his last hours, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy talks with reporters at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. (Bill Eppridge/LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Tuesday marks 50 years since the assassination in Los Angeles of senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, age 42, who had been attorney general for his brother, President John F. Kennedy. David M. Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and former Washington bureau chief of The Boston Globe, has a Globe front-pager today:

"For 12 weeks he traveled the country, up and down the coasts, to Indiana the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed; to Nebraska, where he won a vital primary in a devoutly conservative state; to Oregon, where he suffered the first political loss by any member of his family; and then to California, where he vowed to go on to the Democratic convention 'and let’s win there,' only to walk through a hotel kitchen where it all — the campaign against a long war, the campaign for a new sense of national purpose — tumbled to an end with an outstretched arm and spray of gunfire."

50 years after RFK's visit to Appalachia

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.) stoops to chat during a visit to a one-room schoolhouse on Feb. 13, 1968, during a two-day tour of eastern Kentucky's poverty pockets. Photo: Bettmann Archive

Starting in 2004, Appalachian counties filled with Kennedy Democrats began to shift Republican during presidential races. "And in 2016, Donald Trump carried each with 70% to 80% of the vote," USA Today's Rick Hampson writes from Barwick, Kentucky.

Why it matters: "What was Kennedy country is Trump country. Children of Kennedy Democrats are Trump Republicans."