RFK’s life of public service

Legacy reverberates through the generations

HYANNIS — Now open for the summer, the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum is commemorating the life and legacy of Robert F. Kennedy with “Ripple of Hope,” an exhibit whose title comes from his most famous and powerful speech, delivered in Cape Town, South Africa.

“It’s a fitting title for our exhibit as well, because that’s exactly what his life of public service created – a ripple of hope that continues to reverberate through the generations since his passing,” said the exhibit curator, Rebecca Pierce-Merrick.

The exhibit begins with Robert Kennedy’s early years within the Kennedy family, including rarely seen images of his time on Cape Cod.

However, its focal point covers his time serving as the U.S. Attorney General, his election to the U.S. Senate, and culminating with his inspirational presidential campaign, which began on March 16, 1968 and ended with his death on June 6, 1968.

One particularly poignant part of the exhibit highlights an impromptu speech he gave before a large group of greatly distraught onlookers the night Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April 1968, just weeks after RFK announced his bid for the presidency.

The exhibit includes 45 images and excerpts from Robert Kennedy’s speeches that “convey the boundless energy he showed on the campaign trail, often with Ethel and his children at his side,” Pierce-Merrick said.

“Ripple of Hope” also has very moving, eight-minute video narrated by Kathleen Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy III.

Tickets are available online at www.jfkhyannismuseum.org for specific visit times, since State Dept. of Health occupancy limits are in place for daily admissions for health and safety of museum guests.

A collaboration with the RFK Human Rights Foundation in New York, the exhibit will remain on display in Hyannis through 2022.