Robert Kennedy’s Funeral Train Passed Through Darby Borough

David Bjorkgren
By

When the funeral train carrying the body of Robert F. Kennedy traveled from New York to Washington, D.C. on June 8, 1968, it passed through Darby Borough, writes Steven M. Gillon for history.com.

Gillon, from Darby, caught a glimpse of the train a few hundred yards from his house.

 “I will never forget the scene, a snapshot of unity: old and young people, African American and white, standing shoulder-to-shoulder,” Gillon writes.

“As the train passed below, I spied Edward Kennedy, the last surviving brother, astride a platform on the last car waving gently to the crowd. Behind him sat the flag-draped coffin.”

The train’s eight-hour journey attracted a million people to the sides of the tracks.

Kennedy, was a New York senator and presidential candidate running against President Lyndon Johnson.

He was assassinated June 5, 1968, and died at age 42.

Robert Kennedy had a profound bond with minorities, the downtrodden and the dispossessed during his 82-day campaign.

That culminated April 4, 1968, when civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Kennedy gently broke the news to a mostly Black crowd.

For many Black Americans at the time, Kennedy represented their last hope after King’s murder.

Read more at history.com about the Robert Kennedy funeral train.

Advertisement