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RFK Sweeps Through Warsaw

June 28, 1964 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy swept irresistibly through Warsaw today, with masses of cheering Poles and harried officials trailing behind him.

At midday, Mr. Kennedy’s private sightseeing tour had the aspects of a politician’s campaign swing through a sure election district.

“I am not a candidate for the Vice-Presidency,” he told a euphoric crowd of 500 at Warsaw University, “but if you were in America and could vote for me, I would be.”

By midafternoon, a violent summer thunderstorm and measures of the Polish authorities had dampened an impromptu triumphal progress through the city. While it lasted, it was a spectacular show.

The Attorney General and his wife, Ethel, and three of their children began the day with a walk to church, there presence still unannounced by press or radio.

They had not moved 100 yards before a crowd of cheering, bouquet-bearing citizens enveloped them. The spontaneous procession had grown to a throng of 2,000 by the time the Kennedys slipped into St. John’s Church, the Warsaw cathedral, through the sacristy door.

The Kennedy family received Holy Communion from Msgr. Waclaw Majewski, an Auxiliary Bishop of Warsaw.

The crowd had swollen to 5,000 as the Kennedys emerged onto the market square of the old city of Warsaw. The single police captain assigned to the group sent a hurried call for a motorcycle escort as the crush in a narrow street leading into the square reached alarming proportions.

The Attorney General and Mrs. Kennedy climbed onto the roof of Ambassador John Moors Cabot’s limousine to acknowledge the massive greeting. The square echoed with cries of “Long live Kennedy” and strains of the Polish drinking song, “May You Live a Hundred Years.”

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