Remembering Kennedy’s Visit To Beatrice

Beatrice–It was 50 years ago today that Senator Robert F. Kennedy made a campaign stop in Beatrice addressing a full crowd in Charles Park.  The New York Senator spoke about 20 minutes to the large crowd that had gathered to hear the Presidential candidate.

Fifty years later,  area residents remember being a part of the large crowd that gathered on that May 10th morning in Beatrice.

Ron Sutter was serving as the Chair of the Gage County Democrats at the time Kennedy visited Beatrice…

“were on time….very punctual”    :22

Sutter says even though 50 years has past, he remembers that day very well…

“it was quite a deal”    :30

Sutter recalls many students at Beatrice High School, which was located across the street from the park at that time, looking out the windows watching the event take place. Beatrice Public schools did not close for the day, however a number of parents took their children out of class so that they could attend Kennedy’s visit.

As the Chair of the Gage County Democrats, Sutter had the opportunity to welcome the Senator to Beatrice and visit with him for a short period of time before stepping up to the podium to address the crowd…

“going after that”     :25

Sutter says he often thinks about Kennedy’s visit to Beatrice when he passes by the park along sixth street….

“an emotional thing yet for me”   :12

Mark Schoenrock  was 12 years old when he traveled from Fairbury to Beatrice with his parents to see Kennedy….

“connection with him that day”    :15

Schoenrock says Kennedy’s visit had a big impact on his life. Hearing the Senator speak prompted Schoenrock to serve his country after graduating from high school…

“the United States Army”   :19

Former Beatrice resident Brad Horkey was 10 years old when he and a friend arrived at the park early and felt the excitement of the day as the crowd began to increase in size….

“it was sort of cool”    :26

News reports from that day reported approximately 3-thousand people were in Charles Park to hear Kennedy speak.

Horkey recalls how different Kennedy looked in person compared to photos on television and in newspapers…..

“and stuff like that”   :10

Following his speech in Charles Park, Kennedy made an unscheduled visit to the Beatrice State Home on his way to Tecumseh.

Kennedy was assassinated on June 6, 1968 in California.

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