Remembering When Robert Kennedy’s Funeral Train Passed Through Delco

David Bjorkgren
By
People wait on a train platform to pay respects as the Robert Kennedy Funeral Train passes by.
Image via jfk.blogs.archives.gov.
People on a train platform wait for Robert Kennedy's funeral train to pass 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 on April 4, 1968, when civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Kennedy gently broke the news to a mostly Black crowd.

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

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