Death of RFK
Kennedy, Robert F.
3400 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
On June 5, 1968 at 12.15 A.M., Senator Robert F. Kennedy
was making his way from the ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel
to give a press conference after winning the California
Primary. The prearranged route went through a food service
pantry. While walking through this area, a Palestinian Arab,
Sirhan Sirhan, stepped forward and fired a .22 revolver
at the senator. Although Sirhan was quickly subdued, Kennedy
and five others were shot, although only Kennedy was fatally
wounded. Sirhan as arrested at the scene, charged and convicted
of first degree murder. He was to have been executed, but
the U.S. Supreme Court voided the constitutionality of the
death sentence before the sentence could be carried out.
Sirhan has been incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison, California,
ever since. The Ambassador Hotel itself still stands, but
it has been closed since 1988 and there are no immediate
plans to re-open it. The ballroom looks much the same as
it did the night Kennedy was here, and there is an "X"
carved into an old tile in the pantry floor where Kennedy
lay slumped after being shot.
A few other historic moments at this
- Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles"
Robinson used to rehearse their dance numbers in one of
- The Oscar statuette was introduced
inside the Coconut Grove, during the 1930 Academy Awards.
- Buster Crabbe used the hotel’s
Olympic-sized Lido Pool to practice for the Olympics.
- F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald snuck
out of the Ambassador in the middle of the night after
setting fire to their bungalow and skipping out on the
- Physicist Albert Einstein called
the front desk once to complain about a honeymoon argument
between boxer Jack Dempsey and his wife.
- Russian Premier Nikita Krushev
threw a famous fit after hearing that, for security reasons,
he could not go to Disneyland. (To appease the Communist
leader, Walt Disney sent Mickey Mouse over to cheer him
- In the 1940s, Marilyn Monroe got
her start here with the Emmalean Snively’s Blue
- Richard Nixon composed and delivered
his famous "Checkers" speech from inside the
© 2003 Chris Epting