The assassination of Bobby Kennedy and his time in Buffalo

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

It was 50 years ago today, only weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy died of gunshot wounds suffered moments after a victory speech celebrating a win in the California Primary…

As New York Senator, Bobby Kennedy spent plenty of time in Buffalo.

Robert Kennedy’s campaign car takes him through Buffalo’s East Side and up Broadway, 1964. The late Buffalo photographer Jack Tapson personally sent Senator Kennedy a copy of this photo. “I received a thank you note from Kennedy after fulfilling his request to send this photo and others….similar.”

Buffalo in the 60s: Robert Kennedy running for Senate; first stop: Buffalo

It wasn’t necessarily a “done deal” that U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy would be allowed to run for a U.S. Senate seat in New York. He was not a New York State resident and wasn’t registered to vote here; the state Democratic Committee had to give him permission to run.

On this day 50 years ago, September 1, 1964, state Democrats gave Bobby Kennedy the green light to enter the race for Senate, 10 months after the assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

It was then quickly announced that Kennedy would begin his campaign for Senate at a rally at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo.

While Erie County Democratic Chairman Peter Crotty was one of the state power brokers who helped ensure Kennedy’s nomination, other local big-name Democrats, like Niagara Falls Mayor E. Dent Lackey, weren’t as impressed with Kennedy. Dent called the nomination an act of “extraordinary bad taste,” adding that a man from Massachusetts who doesn’t live in New York shouldn’t represent New York.

“The overwhelming defeat of Robert Kennedy in the November election would be the best thing that could happen to the Democratic machine in New York,” Lackey told The News.

“Bobby’s NY race OKd by committee”

“Mr. Kennedy in a two-day whirlwind campaign tour will also meet with the top leaders of business and labor and do a lot of handshaking with workers in industrial plants.”

 

Torn-Down Tuesday: Broadway at Pratt, 1973

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Sadly, a drive down Broadway east from downtown is largely a lesson in urban decay. Many worn-out buildings left uncared for, many lots where buildings that formerly fit that description once stood.

Buffalo News archives

Shown here in a 1972 photo, these structures at 400 and 404-08 Broadway no longer stand.

The wholesaling business run by Noah Mandelkern, and then his son Albert, first opened on Broadway in 1916.

Buffalo Stories archives

Mandelkern’s was a well-known seller of bulk seasonal items like school supplies, small Christmas gifts, Easter novelties, etc.

At one time, they were also dealers of one of America’s most famous shoe polishes — proving they did know almost anything from Shinola.

Next door, August Meyer opened his manufacturing and distributing business in 1915. At first, A.F. Meyer & Sons dealt in store and bar fixtures, soda fountains and beer pumps.

By the time son Edward Meyer took over the business in 1933, they were also the area distributor for Green River pop, a lime flavored soda that was the second most popular soda in the Midwest and Chicago for much of the first half of the 20th century.

The business was sold to the owners of Tops Friendly Markets in 1967.

The homes now occupying the lot were built in 2002, according to city records.

Buffalo in the ’80s: Smell of pierogi at Broadway Market

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Can you still get homemade duck soup at the Broadway Market?  This story could have been written this week:

April 21, 1984: Smell of pierogi, road of crowd greet market Easter shoppers

“Under a heavy aroma of pierogi, 99 varieties of cheese and all manner of fish, the shoppers maintained a dull roar all afternoon. The aisles were flush with people of all ages, housewives pushing baby strollers, stockboys struggling with mobile racks laden with the kind of breads and cakes that could be bought nowhere else.”

Back to the glory days of 3¢ beer in Buffalo!

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Everyone loves a cheap beer, right?

Buffalo-Beer-wars-Buffalo-photo-Copy-300x211

But 3¢ beer? Now that’s news!

As newspapers around the country struggle, maybe they need to take a page from the 1935 Courier-Express, and report the news the people want– Namely, find the city’s cheapest schupers and kimmelwecks, and print that. Print it everyday.

Buffalo-Beer-wars-Buffalo-N

After reading this, I’ll never pay a nickel for a beer again!

This page originally appeared at TrendingBuffalo.com