A Portrait of America: Watching Robert F. Kennedy's Funeral Train Pass By

Following the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, his body was taken to New York City for a funeral mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. After the completion of the mass, Kennedy’s coffin was transported by a private funeral train from New York to Washington, D.C., to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on June 8.

It was a Saturday, and mourners came out by the hundreds of thousands to line the tracks along the 225-mile journey. A trip that would normally have taken four hours ended up lasting more than eight hours. On board the train that day, on assignment for LOOK magazine, was staff photographer Paul Fusco, who ended up taking thousands of photographs of mourning faces, tributes, and patriotic displays along the way. The collection of photographs ended up becoming more than a document of Kennedy’s final journey; they became a powerful collective portrait of America at a pivotal moment in history. Gathered below, images of that trip from the LOOK Magazine Collection in the Library of Congress.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Smithsonian Institution

    Photos of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

    In April 1904, St. Louis opened its doors to the world, welcoming millions to see the fascinating buildings and exhibits of art, technology, and history on display at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

  • Randall Hill / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Baobab Alley, Armed Mob, River Rescue

    A beard-and-mustache battle in Los Angeles, a sleepy young rhino in France, a shepherd among Turkish foothills, the Corso Zundert flower parade in the Netherlands, the “Futurium” in Berlin, and much more

  • Scott Olson / Getty

    Photos: The Wreckage Left by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

    Early images of the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Dorian’s slow crawl across the Bahamas

  • Justin Reznick Photography / Getty

    A Photo Trip to Washington State, Dedicated to My Parents

    After a difficult month, a time when I lost both my mother and my father, I’ve collected images of the place they loved and called home, as a tribute to them.