Remembering Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King


By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter

Dr. Gary Highlander Photo/submitted
Dr. Gary Highlander

Marlborough – Fifty years ago, two nationally prominent men who were following parallel paths in opposition to racism, poverty and the war in Vietnam were assassinated. The tireless dedication of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. to bring peace to the world was the subject of a lecture presented recently by Dr. Gary Highlander, a professor at Stonehill College in North Easton. The historical lecturer spoke at the Marlborough Senior Center, engaging many who remembered the historical events that stunned them and their families.

In promoting non-violence and peaceful resistance, King urged all not to strike back when someone is violent. Highlander related and repeated King’s plea: “We are all children of the Lord and need to work together in a non-violent way.”

Kennedy was assassinated June 6, 1968, several hours after being declared winner in the South Dakota and California presidential primaries, he noted.

Some of the information included in the presentation was taken from two books, “Hellhound on the Trail” by Hampton Sides, which relates the stalking of Martin Luther King Jr. and the international hunt for his assassin, and “The Making of a Liberal Icon” by Larry Tye, about Kennedy’s life and demise. Highlander suggested all to read the books which he found informative and entertaining.

“It is always a pleasure to have Dr. Highlander at the Senior Center,” said Lisa Martino, program coordinator. “He is an outstanding public speaker who engages the audience and keeps you interested from the first sentence to the last. His programs are always informative and well attended.”

Highlander’s summer series of lectures also included a talk on the 50th anniversary of the TET Offensive, attacks staged by North Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War.