On June 5, 1968, the United States and much of the world were taken by tragic surprise when Robert F. Kennedy, a sitting U.S. Senator, was suddenly gunned down in the midst of his nascent presidential campaign and pronounced dead just 26 hours later. Subsequent images and reports of the horrific event were widely televised at all times of the day.
Concerned about how children would respond to these television reports, Fred Rogers produced a prime-time special to help parents guide their children through the grieving process. Mister Rogers gently advised parents to ensure that the children felt welcome and included in whichever way the family chose to process the tragedy.
There is just so much that a very young child can take without it being overwhelming… I’ve been very frankly quite concerned about it. …The best thing in the world is for your children to be included in your family ways of coping with the problems that that present themselves anytime but particularly now, in this very difficult time in our nation.