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May 27, 2004
Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated
on the first anniversary of the Six-Day War in 1968.
Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Robert Kennedy on the first anniversary of the Six-Day War "willfully, premeditatively, with 20 years of malice aforethought." He also assassinated modern U.S. history.
by Denise Noe
Sirhan Sirhan did not set out with any grand plan to change U.S. history. He simply wanted to kill Robert F. Kennedy in revenge for Kennedy's support of Israel. As it turned out, Sirhan's assassination of Robert F. Kennedy -- on June 5, 1968, the first anniversary of the Six Day War -- would do more to alter the flow of U.S. history than even the assassination of President John Kennedy accomplished four years earlier. Although both assassinations would have profound and untold impact for decades to come, Sirhan's killing of Robert Kennedy would lead in a matter of months to the election of Richard Nixon as president, the escalation of the Vietnam War and eventually to the national nightmare of Watergate.
Kennedy, who was gunned down within minutes of winning the California Democratic presidential primary, would have gone on to win the Democratic presidential nomination and would, with little doubt, have soundly defeated Nixon in the general election in November. It is impossible to know what Kennedy would have accomplished as president, only that the next four to eight years and beyond would have unraveled in a far different manner.
Sirhan did not just assassinate Robert Kennedy. He assassinated modern U.S. history.