Posts tagged Kennedy
Posts tagged Kennedy
By Aaron Pressman
BOSTON (Reuters) - Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffrds received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Sunday, asking the U.S Congress to act more courageously on the issue of gun control.
“We all have courage inside,” Giffords, who herself survived being shot in 2011, said at the Kennedy Library in Boston. “I wish there was more courage in Congress. Sometimes it’s hard to express it.”
The remarks come just a few weeks after the U.S Senate voted down a measure to expandbackground checks for gun buyers, a step favored by U.S. President Barack Obama and most Americans.
An online Reuters/Ipsos poll released in January showed that 86 percent of those surveyed favored expanded background checks of all gun buyers.
Giffords, a Democrat, was shot in the head when a gunman opened fire on a congressional outreach event in Tucson in January 2011, killing six people and wounding a dozen others. She resigned from Congress a year after the shooting to focus on her recovery.
Following the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 26 people at an elementary school in December, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, founded a lobby group aimed at curbing gun violence and challenging the political clout of the well-funded gun lobby.
Before the awards ceremony on Sunday, Giffords and Kelly visited victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing who are recovering at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
The award, named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Profiles in Courage,” was presented to Giffords by foundation president Caroline Kennedy.
Remembering Michael Kennedy (1958-1997)
In his memoir ‘True Compass’ Ted Kennedy mentioned a moment when he was sitting next to Bobby and Ethel’s fourth son in the car and when he looked to him the shadow just fell over his face and for one second he thought it was Bobby..
Young Bobby Kennedy
By Conor Kennedy: Clean oceans and clean energy advocate
Mark Zuckerberg has not yet issued any response to public criticism that his political action group, FWD.us, is funding advertisements supporting construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Gulf of Mexico. FWD.us, co-founded by Zuckerberg with additional donations from a host of his fellow Silicon Valley superstars, has right-wing and left-wing subsidiaries working on parallel tracks to pass bipartisan immigration legislation. Those subsidiaries run advertisements for vulnerable Republicans and Democrats pledged to support that legislation. The ads generally don’t mention immigration reform — which is politically unpopular among conservatives — and some of them include ringing endorsements for Big Oil’s pet projects including Keystone XL. While immigration reform is an important cause, many Americans, particularly those of my generation, are uneasy with a strategy that seems to advocate sacrificing our planet’s future as an iffy wager for the bill’s passage.
Mr. Zuckerberg — a hero to many young people — has in the past been eloquent in his support for transitioning from fossil fuels to knowledge-powered and New Energy economies.
Now that his financial ties to the pro tar sands advertisements are public knowledge, many of us who want a brighter, cleaner future for America and who admire his other accomplishments hope Mr. Zuckerberg will disassociate himself from their dubious content. There are already enough billionaires advocating for Keystone XL and Big Oil’s other criminal enterprises. Anti-Keystone XL activists have written a million letters to President Obama. We have appeared, 40,000 strong, to demonstrate against Keystone in Washington, D.C. and we have engaged in peaceful civil disobedience by the thousands in locales from Texas to the White House gate. It’s disheartening to see all the billionaires, including leaders of our own generation, lined up against us.
It’s our great and only hope that President Obama will listen to the voice of democracy and — acting as a trustee for the future generations —- kill the pipeline. He promised in his rousing inaugural address, to make the battle to save the planet from climate chaos the centerpiece of his second administration. The Keystone decision is one of the few climate change issues solely under his control. To plug Keystone, President Obama needn’t genuflect to a Congress awash in democracy polluting oil money. He can do it while sitting alone in the Oval Office. We worry that President Obama, instead, will simply count the fat cats and weigh their furor — or their indifference — rather than reading his mail.
If Mr. Zuckerberg favors or is genuinely ambivalent about Keystone, here are seven reasons why he should reconsider:
1) The Keystone XL Pipeline will never be safe. Tar sands oil, sometimes known as bitumen, causes corrosion and the industry has not figured out how to stop it from bursting even the most state-of-the-art pipelines such as the first Keystone pipeline that leaked over a dozen times in its first year of operation. On March 31, an Exxon pipe carrying 95,000 barrels per day of Alberta tar sands oil from Illinois to Texas refineries burst and flooded a Mayflower, Arkansas, suburb beneath a river of heavy crude and lighter diluents, added by oil companies to move the gelatinous bitumen through the pipe. Arkansas taxpayers were shocked to learn that thanks to a loophole artfully created by the industry’s political allies, they — not the oil kingpins — will have to pay for much of the cleanup.
That same week, a Canadian company spilled 30,000 gallons of Alberta crude in Minnesota. In 2010, an Exxon pipeline in Michigan spewed a million gallons of Alberta dilbit into the Kalamazoo River, causing the worst and most expensive pipeline oil spill in U.S. history. Experts are still wondering how to restore the Kalamazoo. Clean-up crews who commonly use floating booms to remediate aquatic oil spills learned that tar sands oil doesn’t float! Instead, the toxic tar sands sludge permeated and sealed the Kalamazoo River bottom ravaging the foundation of its aquatic ecosystem.
In fact, even oil and gas companies shipping conventional oil, experience thousands of oil spills each year. In June, an Exxon pipe that runs parallel to the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline burst, spilled upwards of 42,000 barrels, at a crossing on the iconic Yellowstone River killing life in that blue ribbon trout fishery and national treasure for 25 miles.
Given the industry’s abysmal record, it’s safe to say that Keystone XL will experience a major spill and, due to its planned route, that spill will almost certainly contaminate the Ogallala aquifer, the sole water supply for millions of middle state Americans as well as the breadbasket of American agriculture and the ranching industry in seven states.
2) Keystone XL will not create significant American jobs. According to the State Department’s study, Keystone will provide only 35 full time jobs following the construction period. We could more beneficially create permanent jobs by incentivizing solar and wind development. Even with the current anemic federal incentives, solar and wind companies are creating each year, more new generation capacity than all the incumbents (oil, gas, coal and nuke) combined. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are already 93,000 jobs in solar and 85,000 in wind, and those numbers are growing exponentially.
3) Keystone XL will neither improve energy security nor lower gasoline prices.Virtually all of Keystone’s Alberta tar sands oil is destined for overseas markets. Canadian and mostly non-U.S. owned oil services companies, the Koch Brothers, and Asian plutocrats will profit from the pipeline but there will be little value to the U.S. in terms of security or lower oil prices. In fact, U.S. oil prices will actually increase as the result of Keystone as that pipeline relieves the current glut of the landlocked tar sands in the US Midwest and Canada. Top economist Philip Verleger estimates that the average cost of American gasoline could actually rise upward of 5¢-10¢ per gallon if Keystone is constructed. The Pipeline will therefore hurt the U.S. economy, not help it.
4) If we kill Keystone, the oil companies will not build a pipeline elsewhere in Canada. Contrary to what the oil industry claims, alternative pipelines elsewhere in Canada are not moving forward. Resistance among Canadians in British Columbia, especially salmon-dependent First Nations, is even greater than here in the United States.
5) Without Keystone, the oil companies cannot simply haul their tar sands out of Alberta by rail and truck. The $7 billion Keystone pipeline will transport 1.1 million barrels each day — far more than could be transported economically by rail and truck traffic. If we stop Keystone, we lock most of this carbon underground.
6) We don’t need oil-based fossil fuels while we ramp up clean energy alternatives.Renewables like solar and wind are proven and market-ready technologies. Their widespread deployment is only being impeded by multibillion dollar annual subsidies to oil, coal and gas. And a mixture of fuel efficiency standards, transit, smart growth and alternative fuels has U.S. use of oil on a downward slope. In any case, the Keystone XL Pipeline is not a stop-gap measure. Instead the pipeline will entrench our use of fossil fuels for generations.
7) Keystone XL will have a catastrophic impact on climate change. The amount of carbon in the tar sands is equivalent to all the carbon in all the oil ever removed from Saudi Arabia. Burning the vast oceans of oil beneath Saudi Arabia has gotten us where we are today; ice caps melting, glaciers retreating on every continent, water supplies drying up, continent wide droughts disrupting agriculture and global food supplies, acidified oceans and rising sea levels, and climate chaos flooding our greatest cities. According to a new study published last week by Oil Change International, “Cooking the Books: How the State Department Analysis Ignores the True Climate Impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the pipeline will emit 181 million tons of carbon every year — the equivalent of 37.7 million cars or 51 new coal plants. There are 561 tons of carbon locked in Alberta’s tar sands, more than twice the amount, according to former Goddard scientist James Hansen, than all the oil and combustion have released in the history of mankind. We can double that sum by burning Alberta’s tar sands, but what genocidal politician or oilman, would want to do that to future generations? We could better solve our energy problems by scuttling the pipeline, cutting incentives to big oil, and leveling the playing field to let the cleaner, cheaper technology prevail in the free market.
Americans who want to stop Keystone XL Pipeline may outnumber those who favor the pipeline but we will never out-money them — particularly when Mr. Zuckerberg and his legions of 21st century technology moguls take the side of Big Oil’s 19th century robber barons. Without some disavowed, young clean energy advocates who regard Mr. Zuckerberg as an iconic leader of our generation are apt to view his investment in the opposition to be not only disheartening, but treacherous.
(Source: The Huffington Post)
To the most graceful, compassionate and fun-loving 85-year-old I know… happy birthday Grandma!
Caroline Kennedy enjoys a relaxing beach holiday with her family in St. Barts just weeks before her expected announcement as a U.S. ambassador in Japan.
(Source: Daily Mail)
He recalls sitting around the dinner table at his grandmother’s house listening to his aunts and uncles and older cousins debate the issues of the day. At the age of eight, he “pretty much watched”, he says. “It was one of those valuable experiences for me to listen and observe.” This would be the average experience for any child growing up in a large family. But when the family is that great American political dynasty, the Kennedys, and around the dinner table are the many children and grandchildren of the late Robert F. Kennedy, it makes the act of speaking up by one of the youngest members of the family that bit more daunting.
The exposure to these wide-ranging debates clearly rubbed off on the young Joseph P. Kennedy III, the grandson of Bobby; he is the only member of the Kennedy clan currently holding political office in the United States. “You saw how passionate people were, that even in the midst of the same family you could have a spirited debate about various issues,” Kennedy, sitting in his congressional office on Capitol Hill in Washington, says of those regular family dinners.
“We have got a big family and people were going off all over the country, all around the world doing different things. No one is shy. They all had the courage to be able to stand up and speak their minds.”
Kennedy was elected to the House of Representatives for Massachusetts ’ fourth congressional district last November, winning an impressive 61 per cent of the vote against Republican nominee Sean Bielat.
The self-effacing and intelligent 32-year-old is the son of Sheila Rauch and Joseph P Kennedy II, the second of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy’s children and himself a Democratic congressman from 1987 to 1999. Joseph P Kennedy III and his twin brother, Matt, have been immersed in politics from an early age. They were born in October 1980, around the time when his father was working on the presidential campaign of then US senator Ted Kennedy. Some of his earliest memories were of the campaign trail when his father first ran for Congress. He and his brother were six years old and enjoyed playing with campaign confetti at rallies.
“I have snapshots of that very first campaign. There are still some photographs up in my dad’s house. Both my brother and I got married last year so there were rather embarrassing photographs of us at various campaign events when we were yay tall,” he says, holding up a hand.
The freshman congressman, just two months in elected office, is deeply proud of his family’s long-standing service to public life in Massachusetts and the US. He understands the weight of the family name he carries in political office but equally he wants to plough his own furrow.
Kennedy ran an aggressive campaign last year, wearing out shoe leather meeting voters in a district spanning Brookline near Boston in the north to the southern Massachusetts coast. He says he wanted constituents to “come out and kick the tyres” – to meet him and to understand first hand his policies and values.
“It was extraordinarily important for me to give people that opportunity so they understand who they are voting for and supporting,” he says.
“I am extraordinarily proud of my family but it is important for people to know the real me and not just what they might think of when they think of various members of my family.”
Polite, eloquent and considered, Kennedy speaks with great authority and bears a striking resemblance to his grandfather. He has been busy working at his desk, despite wearing a heavily supportive sling on his right arm – the result of treatment to fix an old sporting injury. He played lacrosse while studying at Stanford University in California. A teetotal, his teammates nicknamed him “The Milkman” after one party when he matched every beer his friends drank with a glass of milk.
Kennedy studied management science and engineering at Stanford. After graduating he worked in the peace corps (founded by his great-uncle, then US president John F Kennedy, in 1961) in the Dominican Republic and East Timor. It was in East Timor that he came across Tom Hyland, the former Dublin Busdriver from Ballyfermot who became a campaigner for Asia’s poorest country – “an incredible guy”, says Kennedy.
After years of travelling, Kennedy wanted to be closer to home so he enrolled in Harvard Law School and later worked as an intern for a Republican district attorney before taking a full-time job as a prosecutor. Prosecuting cases made Kennedy look differently at every file on his desk, each one being “somebody’s life”, he says. He saw them as problems to solve rather than “another person to prosecute”, and that brought him into policy discussions about what could have been done earlier to help the person being charged. “It starts to get you looking further upstream to what caused that crime to be committed.”
In his new job, one of the biggest challenges facing Congress is the long-overdue reform of immigration laws to tackle the US’s 11 million illegal immigrants – the so-called “undocumented” of which there are thousands of Irish, including many in Kennedy’s congressional district in Massachusetts.
Kennedy’s great-uncle Ted tried and failed to push through an immigration Bill with Republican senator John McCain in 2006. But Kennedy believes there is a strong likelihood of legislation passing this time as momentum builds around broad principles on tightening border control, a pathway to citizenship, and simplifying the legal route to a visa to attract job-creating talent to the US.
“We need to get this done now. Not only do I believe it is the right thing to do morally, it is the right thing to do economically. It is the right policy decision. We have got an immigration system that I quite simply believe is broken.”
Another hot political topic is US president Barack Obama’s plans to overhaul gun ownership laws, including a ban on military-style assault weapons. Kennedy unsurprisingly supports the pressure the president is exerting on Congress to vote on the White House’s proposals; his family has experienced its own share of gun violence
“My family, yes, has a personal history with this; far too many other families have as well. I think this is something the president said very eloquently – they deserve a vote,” says Kennedy.
Passing laws through Congress is difficult when a Democratic president is continuously clashing with a House of Representatives led by Republicans, particularly over divisive budgetary issues. For a new Democratic congressman in a Republican-controlled chamber, Kennedy admits this can be “frustrating”.
“There is a party in charge here that largely wants smaller government … so fewer days in session and less legislation passed isn’t necessarily a defeat for them – that is in fact what they are looking for,” he says.
Kennedy believes government “can be a source for good” and that Congress has to “start taking on some of these problems in a real and big way”.
One of the few occasions when Democrats and Republicans put aside their differences is St Patrick’s Day. This year, Republican House speaker John Boehner will host the traditional Irish-American lunch on Capitol Hill for the Taoiseach, his visiting party and members of Congress.
Kennedy is not sure whether the congeniality that gets a small country access to the corridors of power in Washington is unique to Ireland, but it is very powerful, he says, and something he values.
“People like to be around folks who are friendly, jovial, who like to laugh and have a joke and enjoy themselves. That’s one of the great things whenever you see the St Paddy’s Day up in Boston and around the country. It is a time of joy, a time of reflection, a time of friends coming together, a time of enjoying each other’s company.”
Kennedy’s Irish heritage is “extremely important” to him, he says, acknowledging the service of his great-aunt Jean Kennedy Smith as US ambassador to Ireland, the role Ted Kennedy played in the Northern Irish peace process, and his father’s commitment to Ireland while serving in Congress. He visited Dublin a year and a half ago and is “trying to find a way back this summer”.
“The roots are so deep and, for so many members of my family, despite the fact that we might be gone a while, it is still considered by so many of us a home away from home and looked on very fondly.”
Two other prominent Irish-Americans in US politics, congressmen Stephen Lynch and Ed Markey, are fighting it out to be on the Democratic ticket in the June election for the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by former presidential nominee John Kerry after Obama installed him as secretary of state.
Kennedy declines to say which of his congressional colleagues he will be backing. “Both of them are extraordinarily impressive individuals who will serve Massachusetts really well in the Senate or Congress,” he says.
And would this be a seat he would have an eye on in the future? “My friend, the only seat I have an eye on is the one I am sitting in right now,” he says, flashing that famous Kennedy smile
Marta’s photo album
After a harrowing overnight flight across the Atlantic and a rain-delayed puddle jumper from New York, Marta Sgubin arrived very late on the evening of September 7th, 1969 in Newport, Rhode Island for her first day of work. Born and raised in Italy, she was to be the governess for the then 11-year-old Caroline and 8-year-old John Jr., the children of Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy and the late President John F. Kennedy.
That night, Marta made a bold decision. The family’s dogs would no longer sleep in the shed, she told her new bosses.
“No, those are our dogs, they’ll sleep with me from now on,” Marta recalls saying to Jackie’s mother, Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss.
Her immediate spunk was well-received by family, and almost 45 years later, Marta is still with the Kennedys. Past governesses had lasted only a year or so, but Marta has always been unique.
“I’ve never been intimidated,” she said. “But I was happy that they chose me.”
Marta, who was in her mid-30s when she joined the family, quickly became Jackie’s close friend and companion, transitioning into the family’s cook when the kids grew too old for nannying. She also took care of Caroline’s children, Rose, Tatiana, and Jack Schlossberg, who are now in their 20s and consider Marta a grandmother figure. But Marta’s real baby is the family’s dog August, who she walks around Central Park every morning and affectionately calls “Mama’s Boy.”
An immigrant from a 400-person village in northern Italy, Marta dreamt of leaving her small town of San Valentino as a child to be an actress in Rome. Instead, she would grow up to work as a governess for most of her life, first for the children of a French diplomat family in Paris, and then for the Kennedy children, six years after their father’s assassination. Marta taught herself to speak five languages while living and working in France, Greece, and the US. She also taught herself how to cook, simply by watching chefs hired to cook for the family.
“I’m the opposite of Paula Deen. I use vegetable juices and lean meats instead of butter,” she said. “I shouldn’t say it though, because I’d like to go on her show someday,” Marta joked.
Marta won’t tell anyone her real age, but is most likely in her late 70s, according to Caroline Kennedy’s younger daughter Tatiana Schlossberg, who joined us in Marta’s apartment last week to learn how to cook her staple truffle risotto.
Marta is marked by her playful sense of humor and her honesty, according to Tatiana.
“She always tells people what she thinks about them, even if it’s not a nice thing all of the time,” Tatiana said.
When her nephew had an issue with his visa a few years ago, Marta called up Immigration Customs & Enforcement to tell the agents that they “give America a bad name” and when a man was rude to her last year in a grocery store, she admonished him by telling him that he was an “orangutan, a man of the woods.”
But Marta isn’t all sass. “She’s a saint,” she’s selfless, she’s kind, she’s regimented, and she’s loyal,” according to Tatiana.
Journalist Christiane Amanpour met Marta through her college friendship with John Kennedy Jr. and the two women have stayed very close for more than 30 years, frequently visiting each others’ houses for dinner. Amanpour says Marta’s thoughtfulness and her love for animals has made all the difference when her own dog Mindu has wandered off in the park.
With John’s wife Carolyn (and Friday) on December 25, 1998.
When [Marta] was over at my house for dinner, she noticed that my dog did not have a collar with a name tag. So she took his name and my home phone number, and the next thing I knew, she sent me a beautiful red dog collar with his name and number sewn into it,” she said said. “And thanks to that collar, I’ve found my dog several times after he’s wandered off in Central Park!”
Evidenced by the many generations of people that speak fondly of her, Marta has a great ability to relate to individuals of all ages.
“Today, she’s very fond of my own son, whose second name is John after my friend John Kennedy [Jr.]. It’s great to see how she’s really embraces all the generations. Old people and young people alike feel great in her company,” Amanpour said.
Marta has a soft spot in her heart for children, but also for animals, ladybugs, four-leaf clovers, Italy, and now the United States (she became a citizen nine years ago.) Cats and dogs seem are her favorite in the animal kingdom, and she frequently croons to them in languages she’s invented specifically for each one.
She’s given all of the important animals (and children) in her life multiple nicknames. Marta explained that her seemingly-random naming system is simply her way of showing affection and that the names are actually just “whatever words comes to mind.”
Take Donald, for instance, her sturdy Scottish Fold cat who has tiny ears due to a genetic mutation that makes his cartilage crumple over itself. Marta is certain that “he is regal” and feeds him a fresh turkey breast every day. While Donald is his name “on the papers” he also goes by Moose, Mooseboy, Rusticone, Musellon, Palomino, and Puffer.
As for the Kennedy grandchildren, Rose goes by Moma or Lola. Jack by Momo or Lolo. And Tatiana by Lolita, Momina or “The Golden Child.” Anybody and everybody goes by “Ponky.”
Marta says she loves the three grandchildren, who she helped raise, as if they were her own. But there are some things from their childhood, like having to watch cartoons such as Ren & Stimpy with them, that she doesn’t miss.
“[Ren & Stimpy] was disgusting, it was a guy who keeps his eyes on his hands,” Marta said. “But the children liked it. All of them. And we all had to watch one program at the same time.”
Marta also recalled the trials of raising John Jr., who adored teasing her when he was little. “He was a little rascal, always ready to do something to you, that you didn’t expect. It was mischief.”
As a kid, John once let loose seven black water snakes from the Everglades in the house in order to spook Caroline and Marta. The snakes got into the house’s plumbing system, to Marta’s frustration.
“They were going from toilet to toilet in the house,” Marta explained. “When I picked him up from school, he was just laughing hysterically.”
Marta loves talking about the happy times — the kids, the animals, and Madam — but there were also very sad times, including the deaths of John Jr. and Jackie. The losses were tantamount to losing a best friend and a child, for her.
“It affected me as much as it affected them. I work for them, but I love them. I love all of them,” Marta said. “They were all very dear to me. To lose them was always a big loss. And that you have to deal with by yourself.”
But Marta says undergoing hardship has made her closer to the family
It’s not to be together everyday that brings you close. It’s the way that you feel about someone that makes you close, and the hard times you go through that make you close,” she said.
Marta is adored by the many generations of people whose lives she has impacted. When Marta missed her dog Pucci in France, ‘Madam’ gave her a portrait of a long-haired Dachsund and told her that they would have him sent across the Atlantic if she wanted him. When Marta wrote a cookbook in 1998 called “Cooking for Madam” about the recipes she cooked for Jackie, John Jr. wrote the foreword, in which he described her as “part of our family.” Tatiana has a her own way of showing her affection — by imitating Marta’s English.
“I like calling you on the phone and talking as you, and you’re also talking as you,” Tatiana said to Marta. “Ayo Ponky!” Tatiana exclaimed, to Marta’s delight. “She’s great. I don’t even have to talk anymore,” Marta said.
Christiane Amanpour describes Marta as the “ultimate Italian Mama.”
“You know when you’re around Marta, you’re going to get great love, great care, great friendship… and great food,” she said.
Fifty years ago, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy went for a walk — a 50-mile walk, to be exact — trudging through snow and slush from just outside Washington, D.C., all the way to Harper’s Ferry, W.Va.
He had no preparation, and no training. And in spite of temperatures well below freezing, he wore Oxford loafers on his feet.
In honor of the 50th anniversary, the Kennedy March is being reprised by a group of walking enthusiasts this weekend. Ray Smith, one of the walk’s organizers, says, “I think it’s our little way of trying to respect that legacy that the Kennedys left us.”
No Laughing Matter
The impetus for Kennedy’s strange and incredible feat was a challenge issued by his brother, John — then president of the United States. The Kennedys were notoriously athletic, and JFK in particular was concerned about the decline in American “vigor.”
The White House had discovered a 1908 executive order from another fitness fanatic — President Theodore Roosevelt — who had said that all Marines should be able to hike 50 miles in three days. President Kennedy agreed, and reissued the challenge to the Marines of his own time. Not to be outdone by his predecessor, the president asked that his Marines complete the 50 miles in just one day, joking that perhaps his staff should take on the challenge as well. For his brother Robert, though, it was no joke.
“Bobby told me just as I was leaving the office, ‘I’m going to see you tomorrow at 5 in the morning,’ ” recalls James Symington, who was Robert Kennedy’s administrative assistant at the time. He laughs as he remembers Kennedy’s determination.
“I said, ‘Why would you want to do that?’ Bobby had no — [never] had any sense — that there was anything he couldn’t do,” he says.
Keep On Walking
So Kennedy set out, along with four of his colleagues and his dog, Brumis — a Newfoundland weighing more than 100 pounds. Symington joined him, with Brumis jumping on him playfully, several times knocking him into the canal that they were walking along.”He wasn’t trying to kill me, but he damn near did,” Symington says, laughing.
After 25 miles, the group was ready to give up. But the press had caught wind of what Kennedy was doing, and a helicopter arrived soon after with photographers and journalists. So Kennedy set off again, this time accompanied by just two of his aides. The last of them left him around 35 miles in. Kennedy is rumored to have said to him, “You’re lucky your brother isn’t president of the United States.”
The so-called Kennedy March earned a lot of media attention and sparked a nationwide obsession with extreme walking and hiking. Ordinary people from around the country took on the challenge, and for a brief moment, Americans got serious about physical fitness.
The fad of the 50-mile walk was short-lived, however, and more grave concerns soon overtook the American people. The Kennedy March was replaced by the March on Washington, and the extraordinary feat performed by Robert F. Kennedy was quickly forgotten.
The Kennedy Legacy continues - Joe Kennedy II and Joe Kennedy III on the House floor during swearing-in ceremonies on Capitol Hill, January 2013.
Young Bobby Kennedy in Palm Beach