Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just before a sad moment in history

In a Daily Bulletin article, David Allen noted that Robert F. Kennedy visited Pomona and Ontario on May 20, 1968. He actually visited several cities that day, starting his day at the Ambassador Hotel.

Allen noted the following about Pomona:

As the Progress-Bulletin described the scene: "A crowd of 3,500 greeted the presidential hopeful in a frenzied appearance on the Pomona Mall."

Illuminating one source of Kennedy's appeal, a poignant photo caption read: "Senator Robert F. Kennedy gazes briefly at a Pomona man Monday who shouted, arm outstretched, `I knew your brother! We talked once!"'

I wonder if Bobbymania was comparable to Obamamania. I was too young in 1968 to know.

Enter Howard Snider, former mayor and former bagel-man:

At about 1:30 p.m., after the luncheon, Kennedy's motorcade headed back up Garey to the 10 and east to Ontario. His guest for the ride: Ontario Mayor Howard Snider.

"The driver and Kennedy were in the front seat and I was in the back with his dog," Snider, now 79, told me with a chuckle last week.

Because it was an open car, and he had a dog to contend with, Snider couldn't really have a conversation with the candidate. But it was a memorable ride.

And you can't say that we in Ontario don't have a sense of humor.

One jokester waved a sign reading "Mrs. Kennedy for Secretary of Labor," referring to her and her husband's 10 children.

I was going to supplement this post with other Internet accounts of Kennedy's visit here, but I couldn't find any. Sounds like David Allen has the exclusive on this story.

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