Senator Robert F. Kennedy and former Gov. Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown Sr. at a campaign event in 1968. California State Archives

Robert Kennedy wanted to unite the country. His killer was driven by hate.

On June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down in Los Angeles.

The 42-year-old senator had just won the California primary, a crucial victory in his quest for the U.S. presidency. Supporters believed Kennedy could heal a nation torn by divisions of race and the Vietnam War.

Senator Robert F. Kennedy and former Gov. Edmund Gerald “Pat” Brown Sr. at a campaign event in 1968.

California State Archives

Just past midnight, and moments after delivering a victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel, Kennedy was killed by a 24-year-old Jordanian refugee wielding a small caliber revolver. He died a day later.

The assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, had nursed a hatred of Kennedy over his support for Israel. He remains in California state prison today.

Kennedy died just five years after his brother, John F. Kennedy. As with the assassination in Dallas, conspiracy theories have swirled around the case.

Left, writings found in the Pasadena home of Sirhan expressed a desire to assassinate Kennedy. Right, his mugshot, dated June 5, 1968.

California State Archives

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was just 14 when his father was killed. He recently told the Washington Post that he’s unconvinced that Sirhan fired the fatal shot that night in 1968.

California’s state archives partnered with Google to create an online exhibit that tells the story of Kennedy’s California campaign and assassination with rare photos and other documents. Check it out here.

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