London, U.K. (JFK+50) More than 160,000 Allied troops from the decks of 5,000 ships took part in the largest amphibious assault in history 70 years ago today, June 6, 1944.
The landings, which were made in Normandy on the northern coast of France, were preceded by airborne assault landings by 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French troops.
A beachhead was established along a 50 mile stretch of beach divided into five sections code named...
Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.
The Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, said in a radio address to the troops before the historic day began:
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade toward which we have striven these many months.
The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you."
RFK DIED 46 YEARS AGO
Los Angeles, California (JFK+50) New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy died 46 years ago this morning, June 6, 1968, at the Good Samaritan Hospital here inn Los Angeles.
The Senator's death at 1:44 a.m. came more than 25 hours after he was shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel* following a speech celebrating his California primary victory.
Doctors operated on RFK for 3 hours and 45 minutes but were pessimistic due to the extent of bullet and bone fragments they found scattered through the brain.
Senator Kennedy had been walking through the hotel kitchen pantry and was shaking hands with some employees when 24 year old Sirhan Sirhan** opened fire.
The assassin fired 8 shots from a 22 caliber Iver Johnson pistol. 3 shots hit RFK. One entered at point blank range behind the right ear while the other two entered behind RFK's right armpit.
Five other people were struck by bullets but all survived. They included...
With the Senator at the time of death were his wife Ethel, sister-in-law Jacqueline Kennedy, brother Ted, Peter Lawford and Steven Smith.
Robert F. Kennedy was 42 years old.
Last year, as reported by Brad Johnson and Michael Martinez of CNN, eyewitness Nina Rhodes-Hughes, who was standing a few feet behind RFK when he was shot, offered to testify at the next parole hearing that she heard 12 to 14 shots.
SOURCE: "RFK assassination witness willing to testify for Sirhan Sirhan's lawyers," by Brad Johnson and Michael Martinez, www.cnn.com/.
Robert F. Kennedy on Campaign
Photo by Evan Freed (1968)
"Bobby is now in the realm of legend and myth, and even in death inspires an effort to improve the lot of humanity."
William J. Eaton, 1969
*The Ambassador Hotel (1921-1989) was located at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Designed by Myron Hunt and offering 500 rooms, it was frequented by many Hollywood celebrities. Six Academy Award ceremonies were held there.
The hotel was the home of the famous Coconut Grove night club. It closed in 1989 and was demolished in 2005.
The Ambassador Hotel
Los Angeles, California (2004)
**Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born in Jerusalem in 1944 and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12. Described as a Palestinian Christian with Jordanian citizenship, he was tried for the murder of RFK in 1969
Sirhan was convicted and sentenced to death but received a commutation to life imprisonment in 1972. He has been held in solitary confinement at the Pleasant Valley State Prison in Colinga since October 2009.