If things had worked out a little differently, the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where Robert Kennedy was gunned down in 1968, might have become a Wal-Mart or one of Donald Trump’s gaudy creations. Instead, it is now a center of education, home to two elementary schools and, next year, the new Robert F. Kennedy High School.

Progress, sure, but there’s something sad about the passing of the Ambassador. The hotel was a Hollywood hot spot dating back to 1921. Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks cut the rug there. It was the home of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, where Frank Sinatra and the Supremes performed. Presidents stayed there. It was the site of the Academy Awards a half-dozen times. So much history. 1921 may not be that old for America, but it’s ancient for Los Angeles.

Here’s hoping those kids who never heard of Errol Flynn learn something about the spirits haunting their classrooms. — PS

Los Angeles Daily News:

Among obstacles that had to be overcome were Donald Trump’s dream to build five towers at the site, one of them 125 stories tall, plans by Wal-Mart to put a store at the location and a movement by the Los Angeles Conservancy to preserve the landmark.

“Robert Kennedy told us what makes life worthwhile is the health of our children and the quality of their education,” Schrade said.

Kennedy was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel just minutes after winning the Democratic Party’s 1968 California primary, an attack in which Schrade was also wounded.

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