Today marks the 36th anniversary of the unsolved murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. As a Social Democrat, Palme didn’t hire bodyguards or armored cars; he felt that it was important not to create distance between himself and the people of Sweden. On Friday night, February 28, 1986, Palme and his wife Lisbet were walking home from dinner in Stockholm when an unidentified gunman fired a single round in the Prime Minister’s back.
Since then, Olof Palme’s grave in central Stockholm has become a place of homage. To many Swedes, Palme was more than a politician, he was a hero who was responsible for creating Sweden’s healthy welfare system, among other leftwing policies that also made him despised by the right.
To this day, Palme’s grave is marked by red roses, a symbol of Social Democracy.