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CNN Special Reports
1968: Tragedy Strikes. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired June 27, 2020 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just was worn out with all these heavy, heavy burdens.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, 36TH U.S. PRESIDENT: I shall not seek and I not will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I stood in the wings and - and cried.
JOHNSON: Good night and God bless all of you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I think it lifted a lot from his shoulders. And he said, I did the best I could. It was very hard. It was just very, very hard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of politics, it's still a long time. A lot of things can happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Richard Nixon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've come to Oregon. We've had a rather successful primary there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This campaign train is on a life or death mission.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Columbian University students barricade a university building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The students push forward and the police push back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Washington, Chicago, Detroit, New York, racial confrontation. I announce a state of emergency.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., AMERICAN MINISTER: Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say you want a revolution well you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please stop! Please stop! We all want to change the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're tired of full-time jobs for part-time income. You tell me that it's evolution well you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know nonviolence will work. We all want to change the world
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This what you want to do, destroy the country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll destroy a whole bunch of y'all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But when you talk about destruction
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American embassy is under siege.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't you know that you can count me out.
RICHARD NIXON, 37TH U.S. PRESIDENT: The country is going to get a New President next January.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know it's going to be all right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are planning today new marches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know where they are is worse, hoping to stay alive from day to day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right
JOHNSON: I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No question about it, this was a bombshell politically.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it will be a good thing for the party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to deal with our own problems within our own country, and we want peace in Vietnam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right
KING JR: Those who got out of hand the other day...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chaos has just broken out downtown.
KING: Have now been talked with sufficiently to guarantee that nothing will take place in terms of violence. I feel that we can still have a nonviolent demonstration, and that we will have a nonviolent demonstration here in Memphis. The important thing is we are not going to be stopped by mace or injunctions or any other methods the city plans to use. And I think they're making a grave mistake, because this will bring much more support to the movement. PENIEL JOSEPH, HISTORIAN: There had been violence the last time he marched. So King comes back to Memphis to prove he can lead a peaceful demonstration.
KING: We feel that this is something we have to do. The nation needs it. The movement needs it. Above all, the poor people of our country need a dramatic movement.
YOHURU WILLIAMS, HISTORIAN: There is a noticeable change in the mood in Memphis. People are concerned, and king gives his speech to galvanize his supporters.
KING: All we say to America is be true to what you said on paper.
JOSEPH: There is an injunction against marching, but King is very, very defiant in that speech. He's saying they're still going to march.
KING: Somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America gives the right to protest for our rights. We've got some difficult days ahead but it really doesn't matter with me now because I have been to the mountain top. And I have seen the promise land. I may not get there with you but I will walk you to the northern night that we as a people will get to the promise land.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: The next day, we had breakfast with all of us did, together. We were just talking about the next march.
TAYLOR BRANCH, HISTORIAN: Toward the end of the day, Dr. King is out on the balcony and he sees Jesse down there and James Bevel. All of a sudden, there was a built.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have information that King has been shot at the Lorraine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay. Advising King has been shot. 604.
REV. SAMUEL BILLY KYLES: We heard what sounded like a firecracker or loud, real loud shot. And I heard somebody holler, "Oh, Lord." And then I turned around and went back to where he was and he had fallen backwards.
JOSEPH BENTI, CBS NEWS: Police put out a bulletin for a young white man who witnesses saw flee immediately after the shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God knows this is the most tragic thing that has ever happened in my life.
JACKSON: It was so sudden and so powerful. I remember reverend Abernathy saying, back up, back up, my dearest friend has been shot. So I got up and went to the phone and called Mrs. King said Mrs. King, I think Dr. King has been shot, in the shoulder, I think. I couldn't say what I saw. WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS: His wife has notified tonight in Atlanta tonight, told only that he had been shot in the shoulder, to spare her any further concern and alarm as she flew back to Memphis. Whether she has arrived there or not, we have not been advised.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do they know about Martin Luther King?
JEFF GREENFIELD, SPEECH WRITER FOR ROBERT KENNEDY: That is the night that Robert Kennedy gave what is one of the more remarkable speeches any politician has ever given.
SEN. ROBERT KENNEDY, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, I have some very sad news for all of you and I think for all of our fellow citizens and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis.
JACKSON: Tennessee was on fire.
HARRY REASONER, CBS NEWS: Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, these are just a few of the cities in which the Negro anguish expressed itself in violent destruction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take my hand I've been through the storm lord. I've been don't want you to leave me alone.
RENEE GRAHAM, COLUMNIST, THE BOSTON GLOBE: For my parents' generation, King was the dream. And then he is gone. They were mourning the loss of the man, but also what he represented for them and what they hoped he would be able to achieve for their children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've lost something and we feel it deeply. We feel it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think Americans should mourn Martin Luther King. I think they should mourn themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 40th Annual Academy Awards Show.
GREGORY PECK, PRESIDENT, MOTION PICTURE ACADEMY: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Last Monday was the 40th anniversary of the Academy Awards.
GRAHAM: The academy awards were moved because of Martin Luther King's assassination.
PECK: This has been a fateful week in the history of our nation. We join with men of goodwill everywhere in paying our profound respects to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was his work that brought about the increasing awareness of all men that we must unite in compassion in order to survive. ANN HORNADAY, FILM CRITICS, THE WASHINGTON POST: The best picture nominees that year were genuinely controversial and influential. Movies like "Bonnie and Clyde" "The Graduate" "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" "In the Heat of the Night" "Both Trying to Address Racism and Race Relations".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Virgil, that's a funny name. For a Negro man. I heard you come from Philadelphia. What did they call you up there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They called me Mr. Tibbs.
GRAHAM: "In The Heat of the Night" Sidney Poitier was playing a black man who was strong, who was smart, who was decisive. The movie takes place in the Deep South.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me understand this. You two came here to question me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just trying to clarify some of the evidence. Was Mr. Colbert ever in this Greenhouse, say last night about midnight?
GRAHAM: This is 1968. You don't have black men hitting White Men in movies and getting away with it and living to tell the tale, anyway, and he does.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a time when I could have had you shot.
GRAHAM: Sidney Poitier completely holds his own not just as an actor, but as the character of Virgil Tibbs. At its core, it's a murder/mystery, but it's also about the way America is starting to change.
JULIE ANDREWS: The winner is "In the Heat of the Night".
BRINKLEY: In South Vietnam today, about 20,000 allied troops are pushing through on the ground to KHE SANH, the outpost held by 5,000 marines and now only accessible by air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of this is bound for KHE SANH, tons of ammunition and supplies to be parachuted in to the marines tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you been here two and a half months since the heavy shelling has been going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got here. I arrived at KHE SANH the 19th of January. We got hit the 21st. It's been a long two and a half months.
MARK BOWDEN, AUTHOR HUE 1968: President Johnson was absolutely determined to pull the marine base at all costs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 200 marines have died here, 800 seriously wounded.
BOWDEN: There was never the large clashing of forces they had expected. But the marines were subjected to just a brutal onslaught.
MICHAEL COHEN, AUTHOR AMERICAN MAELSTROM: In the spring of '68, you've got the most violent period of the entire war. The United States ramps up use of military force, ramps up airstrikes. About 500 Americans a week are being killed. And of course the backdrop for all of this is the draft.
PAGE: No one knows when peace will come. And so for all the young men facing the draft, it is not an easy time to be a young man in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel that every citizen, every male citizen has an obligation to his country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't see serving in the armed forces as meaningful in any way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hell, no, we won't go!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The draft has really mobilized young people.
MARK KURLANSKY, AUTHOR 1968: How many different ways can you say, hell no, we won't go?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Chris grounds from Jersey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Dover, New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gerald Hutchens, New York City.
PAGE: So far, since the draft resistance movement began last year, between 2,000 and 3,000 young men have burned their draft cards or returned them to the federal government. Another 4,000 to 6,000 have fled to Canada to avoid the draft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is just another example of American youth saying to adults, your values are not my values.
ROBERT F KENNEDY, JR. SON OF ROBERT F. KENNEDY: The mantra of that generation is that you don't have to believe anything that your parents told you, because, look what they got us into in Vietnam. You had a generation that was willing to question authority.
HENRY DILTZ, PHOTOGRAPHER: We had a feeling of us against them, you know, us against the government.
PHIL OCHS, MUSICIAN: This is a song I wrote against the military. It's a song called "I ain't marching anymore".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Phil Ochs had a song, "always the old who lead us into war, it's always the young who fall." It's always the old to lead us to the wars it's always the young to fall
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were aware of all that. You know, why would they send us somewhere and make us kill somebody? We're not going to do that. So, we sang anti-war songs. St. Peter said to Vietnam, I can't tell I know you'll go to heaven, son you served your time in hell it only takes a second for an everyday item to become dangerous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're messing ourselves up shows in many ways. It shows in the racial hatred in this country. It shows in the fact that at this very moment, 500,000 of our friends and our brothers are killing and dying in a jungle 10,000 miles away. And it shows in those cards we all carry in our pockets. Well, I'm finished. I'm a free man today.
THOMPSON: By 1968, colleges were kind of the front line place where much of the protest of this period plays out.
KURLANSKY: You saw the creation of SDS, students for a democratic society, which organized activist's college campus by college campus.
MARK RUDD, SDS MEMBER: In the spring of 1968, I found myself the chairman of the Columbia chapter of students for democratic society.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are interested in Columbia. We would like to change it. We would like to make it free of these racist elements.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The central issue was Columbia expanding into black neighborhoods and destroying them to build more of Columbia.
RUDD: Also, Columbia was involved in secret research for war strategies. We felt that it was our duty to stop it. The war research was symbolic of the war itself. The expansion to Harlem we called institutional racism.
JUAN GONZALEZ, SDS MEMBER: On April 23rd, there was a rally called, and all of these students showed up. And it turned out to be a huge crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: strike! strike! strike! strike! strike! strike! strike!
RUDD: It became kind of like a spontaneous mob, and we wound up occupying the main classroom building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At Columbia University, students barricade themselves into university buildings. Their leader is a 20-year-old ex-boy scout.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the politics of confrontation. The one way we keep going is by building this strike.
LANCE MORROW, ESSALYIST, TIME: The task was to keep topping yourself, to keep taking more and more risk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The student demands, no more secret military research. No more construction on land in Harlem and no punishment for occupying the buildings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People slept in sleeping bags. They slept on the floor. And we were constantly brought supplies and tossed them up to the windows. Within a couple days, we were occupying five buildings. Nobody could go to classes.
KIRK: We hope very much that some settlement can be worked out which will not require us calling on police assistance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grayson Kirk was the President of the university. He was a conservative guy who was under enormous pressure, and he wanted to end this thing, wanted to bring back order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, people, keep clear. There are cops. None of us will begin any violence. If there is any violence, it will be because of the police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, show them the sidewalk on the buildings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Grayson Kirk makes what he called a painful decision and invites in the police.
HAYDEN: The police came in on some kind of rampage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police brought out the students who had been holding about five buildings for the past few days. What everyone feared took place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what the cops did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We stood in front of low library with our arms locked, faculty and students singing "we shall overcome, we shall not be moved"
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look like you have a little blood on your face. What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think I was hit by a club, which started the bleeding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police grabbed him by the neck and smashed his face into a chair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I could never again trust this administration. I could never again trust it. If they didn't understand the kind of brutality that was going to be used on this campus, they should have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The young people were being attacked from everywhere. The United States ingested the violence of Vietnam. If there was death in Vietnam, there was going to be death in America.
HEBERT: In all, 696 arrests were made. 109 injuries were reported. Most of the injuries occurred outside the buildings.
TOM HANKS, ACTOR: There was this tide swelling across the country in which cities were burned to the ground. A voice was being raised by way of social consciousness and demonstration. And it was an angry voice. The revolution was televised and it was televised live.
RICHARD NIXON: Dissent is a necessary ingredient of change, but in a system of government that provides for peaceful change, there is no cause that justifies resort to violence. Let us recognize that the first Civil Right of every American is to be free from domestic violence. So I pledge to you we shall have order in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 1968, Richard Nixon comes up with the phrase, "The Silent Center".
NIXON: There are millions of people who do not demonstrate or who do not picket or protest loudly. This is the unspoken voice of America. This is "The Silent Center".
RICK PERLSTEIN, AUTHOR, NIXONLAND: What that referred to was how the media was holding up these young student insurgents as the paragons of morality, and Richard Nixon understood as no one else did that that made the people who were working hard and playing by the rules behind their white picket fences feel silenced.
PAT BUCHANAN, NIXON CAMPAIGN ADVISER: The message was extremely effective. We were sailing serenely on a calm sea towards the nomination.
NIXON: At this time in America's history, this watershed year, 1968, at a time when America has never been in more trouble at home and abroad, there is nothing wrong with this country that new leadership cannot cure, and we promise that leadership. Are you retiring soon?
JENNINGS: This very large crowd of students has come to greet Senator McCarthy at South Bend, Indiana. This is the state in which he is going to have to meet with Senator Robert Kennedy head-on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McCarthy proved himself as the genuine voice of the anti-war movement. So Robert Kennedy has to demonstrate how he could be superior, not simply an alternative to Eugene McCarthy.
MCCARTHY: You may recall, at least I do, you may not, but in those early days, there was regret that someone better than I had not offered himself, and I--
GREENFIELD: McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy were not pals. McCarthy had a rather biting wit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had some of the same regrets, I suppose. I didn't know who the other man was, but I had hoped there was someone better. I couldn't name him right offhand at the time.
KENNEDY, JR: My father didn't like McCarthy. He thought McCarthy was effete. He couldn't picture McCarthy at a Cuban Missile Crisis.
PATRICIA SULLIVAN, HISTORIAN: Eugene McCarthy was basically a one- issue candidate. He was a peace candidate. But Kennedy had a broader vision in terms of what's happening in the cities, what's happening around race and the issues of poverty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want Kennedy! We want Kennedy!
KENNEDY: We cannot separate ourselves no matter where we live from the problems and the troubles and the difficulties that face the whole of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the Vice President and the next President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey.
HUBERT HUMPHREY, U.S. PRESIDENT CANDIDATE: I shall seek the nomination of the Democratic Party.
MORROW: When Humphrey came in as a candidate, he was regarded as a Johnson surrogate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will run on the record of the Johnson/Humphrey administrations, but I will not rest on it.
MORROW: And it was very clear to everybody that Johnson controlled the party.
MERRIMAN SMITH, ASSOCIATED PRESS: President Johnson will do what he can to help Humphrey win the nomination and to see that Senator Robert Kennedy does not get the nomination.
LEONARD STEINHORN, AUTHOR, THE GREATER GENERATION: Who would be nominated by the Democratic Party wasn't necessarily going to be determined by the primaries. It would be nominated by the people who controlled the leave of power, and that was Lyndon Johnson and his political machine. And it was Vice President Hubert Humphrey who would be the beneficiary.
MORROW: Nevertheless, if McCarthy, Kennedy amassed enough delegates through the primary process, they might be able to put pressure on the democratic machinery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the May 7th primary is critical to the Kennedy strategy of demonstrating to party leaders across the country but he is the one democratic candidate who can win big.
KENNEDY: Indiana can decide who is going to be the nominee for the Democratic Party and therefore, who is going to be the next President of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McCarthy couldn't get any black vote. Bobby Kennedy managed to get black vote and also get a lot of the established democrats. So his support looked very broad.
CRONKITE: Well, Senator Robert Kennedy has won the first primary test in his attempt to secure the Democratic nomination for the presidency. KENNEDY, JR: My father really focused on the people in this country. His appeal was to really the most disenfranchised classes, people who lived in Appalachia, blacks who lived in the delta, people from Harlem, Watts, Oakland, and of course farm workers, very similar to Martin Luther King focusing on the poor and working people.
WILLIAMS: In the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination, it's Coretta Scott King who has the legacy of her husband to draw upon to make the case that change was needed now.
CORETTA SCOOT KING: My husband always said that if anything happened to him to carry on his work for his people.
CARSON: Coretta was always an activist. Before Martin was an activist. And she continued to be outspoken in order to make the point that you can kill my husband, but this movement is going to go on.
SCOOT KING: We have seen the power of nonviolence in the movement for Civil Rights. The campaign for the poor must go on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: King's Notion was to try to put pressure on congress to try to do something about the issue of poverty. He was proposing, to use modern terms, an occupy movement on the national mall, not for a day or two, but to stay.
REV. RALPH DAVID ABERNATHY: I declare this to be the site our new city, resurrection city USA.
C. GERALD FRASER, PBS: As Dr. King had dreamed, they built a shanty town to expose the nation's shame. They call it resurrection city and it sits on the lawn besides the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We come here for one purpose and we don't intend to leave here until we conquer what we came for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a CBS news special report. "Peace talks in Paris", the very first step.
REASONER: The very first step did begin today in Paris. It was about as small as it could be. All of the problems attendant to a meeting of sovereign enemies were present - who sits where, what language do you talk in, what do you agree to argue about?
RONALD SPECTOR, AUTHOR, AFTER TET: There were tremendous expectations on the American side about these talks. When the delegation first arrived, they just took hotel rooms because they thought, well, this is only going to be a few weeks and then we'll get a negotiated settlement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President is disappointed that the North Vietnamese today were unwilling to discuss anything of substance.
SPECTOR: And then after a while, they had to rent apartments because it was going to drag on a lot longer than they thought. REASONER: It is already Saturday in Vietnam, and the latest communist offensive is now in its sixth day. It may be that the communists are trying to remind the negotiators that the Vietcong must have a seat at the conference table when the future of Vietnam is discussed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's a real horse race out in Oregon, and in that Democratic primary there that could mean so much to the presidential hopes of Senator Robert Kennedy and Senator Eugene McCarthy, it's too close, a CBS news estimate says, to call. Senator Kennedy did make clear over the weekend that the outcome in Oregon he felt was crucial to his hopes for the nomination.
KENNEDY: I can't lose. I mean, I can't afford to lose if I'm going to remain a very viable candidate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oregon was just as bad a state as you could imagine for Bobby. Very few minorities, very suburban, middle class, was progressive but kind of polite, and he never clicked there.
SAM BROWN, JR, YOUTH COORDINATOR, SEN. MCCARTHY CAMPAIGN: Oregon was a McCarthy victory. We were certainly feeling euphoric that night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every Wagon train got as far as the Missouri river, but the real test began once you crossed the Missouri and started up the Oregon trial. And now, of course, we're on to California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shockwave is spreading slowly through this Kennedy Election headquarters. The only word adequate to describe the result appears to be catastrophic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kennedy had lost. What you saw on display is something that doesn't get talked about nearly enough, which is bobby's humor.
KENNEDY: Based on the return by taking an entirely new look at my whole organization and my whole campaign is in order, which I've done, and I've decided to send my dog freckles home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Oregon primary was the first time a Kennedy has ever lost an election. Bobby Kennedy knew he had to go into California and he had to win.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This campaign train is on a life or death mission. Robert Kennedy's fate as a Presidential Candidate now hangs on the outcome of the California primaries. His crowds have been good this Memorial Day in the sun drenched San Joaquin Valley.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bobby Kennedy, having lost Oregon, knew he had to win California, and that would be his ticket to the convention.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kennedy is back among his people, and after the satisfied prosperity of Oregon, which failed to respond to Kennedy's approach, the Senator is again turned on.
THOMAS: He was a rock star. It gave him a kind of courage and power to kind of keep going.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of our job, everybody had to wrap your arms around his legs so he wouldn't get pulled from the car by his admirers.
TIM NAFTALI, HISTORIAN: He campaigns so hard that his - his hand is swollen. He loses his voice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here in Los Angeles, and California, you have made it possible, and I will work with all of you. Give me your help, give me your hand. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ABC News Presents "Race To The White House," complete coverage of the presidential election year 1968. Tonight, the California primary, coverage of today's presidential primary in the golden state.
HOWARD K SMITH, ABC NEWS: An hour and a half after the polls have closed in California, the biggest primary of them all, a slate of delegates pledged to Senator Eugene McCarthy has established an a early lead over a slate of delegates pledged to Senator Robert Kennedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the last day, the early returns were not good. Bobby kind of sat, nervous like a little boy, worrying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That doesn't mean anything, 49 to 30? That doesn't mean anything. Los Angeles won't be counted until 10:00. Why does he have 49% and I got 38%?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably Hillsboro.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the returns got better, and Bobby was reassured he had at least a fighting chance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With almost a quarter of the precincts having reported in now, Kennedy does lead with 44% of the votes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who ever get's a plurality gets all of California's delegates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Gene McCarthy loses, what happens to your political life?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, if Gene McCarthy loses, I guess I'll have to vote for Kennedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Kennedy, 48%. Senator McCarthy, 41%.
KAISER: In what I considered to be the most poignant moment of the entire year, after the winning result has come in and before Bobby Kennedy goes to declare victory, he turns to one of the oldest Kennedy retainers and says, "I feel for the first time that I've made it on my own.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel that I'm finally out of the shadow of my brother.
KENNEDY: Thank you very much. I want to express my gratitude to my dog freckles, who has been maligned. As Franklin Roosevelt said, I don't care what they say about me, but when they start to attack my dog - but listen, and I'm not doing this in the order of importance, but I also want to thank my wife, Ethel.
KURLANSKY: It was tremendously exciting, because, for some time, he had been building towards this moment, getting an anti-war person in the White House. And now, My God, I think it's really going to happen.
KENNEDY: My thanks to all of you. Now it's on to Chicago, and let's win there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "On To Chicago and let's win there." I can just still hear him saying it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His aides want him to rush to a press conference. The press is waiting. They want him to give a statement. And so they take him by way of shortcut through the kitchen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator. Senator, this way. This way. This way. No, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's where Sirhan Sirhan (ph) was waiting for him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Kennedy has been shot. Is that possible? Is that possible?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh My God. Senator Kennedy has been shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, we have kept the air on because we've heard an alarming report that Robert Kennedy was shot in that ballroom at the ambassador hotel in Los Angeles. A very loud noise like a clap of thunder was heard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The great irony is for all the fear of crowds and tumult; it was trying to avoid crowds that took him through that kitchen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kennedy has been shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look out for the gun!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold him, hold him, hold him. We don't want another Oswald.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody, please stay back. Please stay back. We need a doctor here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there a doctor in the house? Please, it's very important. We need a doctor!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, please leave the room. Would you please leave the room?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot get medical aid to the Senator. Now would you please - proceed to the exits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a doctor in the house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After he is shot, he says to Ethel, how bad is it? And then he says to the ambulance attendant who comes in, please don't - please don't lift me, and those are his last words before he goes into a coma.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was very much the sentiment, how much is too much to take?
CRONKITE: Robert Kennedy's now undergoing a neurosurgical operation. He is said to be in very critical condition.
FRANK MANKEIWICZ, KENNEDY PRESS SECRETARY: Senator Robert Francis Kennedy Died at 1:44 a.m. Today, June 6th, 1968. He was 42 years old. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was really the death of hope. A loss of belief in the entire system.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, who saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today pray that what he was to us, what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I feel almost like hiding my face as an American that something like this could actually happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have a little too much violence in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They go after the good men like John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like Lincoln long before, Bobby Kennedy's body was taken in a train. It was a hot, humid, awful day, and the country mourned. They turned out all along those old Pennsylvania railroad tracks between New York and Washington as that funeral train slowly made its way down to Arlington cemetery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm heartbroken. I think it's a terrible waste of a good man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hurts me so bad to see him go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He stood for everybody, him and his brother. And what they tried to accomplish, it's just a shame how they just shot him down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More was being mourned than the shock and tragedy of another Kennedy assassination. What was being mourned was a vision for what 1968 was going to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The following is a special report from CBS News in Washington. The poor people's rally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the past six weeks, resurrection city has hung on through unprecedented rainfall and a dwindling population.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The poor people's campaign built resurrection city to finally address racial and economic injustice in the United States, but ends up a tragic disappointment. It's one of the rainiest months in the nation's capital. They are living under deplorable conditions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many of the poor who came see their high hopes trickle away in disillusionment. The campaign is at a virtual standstill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There appears to be a kind of insensitivity to our demands on the part of the congressmen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were completely taken aback by the response of legislators, many of whom were not moved by the spectacle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is negotiations for them to leave peacefully. They say no, they're going to continue. So the authorities come and swoop everybody out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Poor people like myself and other poor people, they can't get no kind of help from nobody. Look at Mr. Kennedy. Look at king. He was trying only to help the poor. He died. Kennedy was going to help the poor and they didn't give him a chance. They killed him. But there's one thing they forgot. King had a dream. They killed the dreamer but they couldn't kill the dream.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By late spring of 1968, a lot of Americans believed that things can't get any worse. But in many ways, we had some foreboding what was coming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Convention will come to order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did we come all this way or the this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Wallace's audience growing both in size and in emotional outbursts. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political Pigs, your days are numbered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is real advantage in being an underdog.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Troops arriving in Chicago in substantial numbers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All over the place there's a really big fray going on in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the mood of this convention on the floor.