RFK on the street in L.A., hours before the Ambassador

Photo copyright Paul Jacobs; used with permission

Author Chip Jacobs' older brother Paul was a USC student in downtown Los Angeles on June 4, 1968 — election day — when Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's motorcade rolled by. As you can see, the candidate's car stopped and he was greeting people — perhaps shockingly unprotected even without knowing what would happen about seven hours later in the kitchen passageway of the Ambassador Hotel. Chip blogs that the pic was taken just west of the Biltmore Hotel, and has not been published anywhere until today. Can anybody ID the Kennedy aides standing to the left and in the car? I don't believe there was routine Secret Service protection for presidential candidates until, well, a day later.

Below: YouTube videos of Kennedy's victory speech that night in the crowded ballroom — so crowded a last-minute decision was made to exit through the kitchen instead of through the room. Part 1: Kennedy comes to the podium

Part 2: Victory speech continues and Kennedy exits. At about 5 minutes in, the room begins to realize something has happened

Part 3: "You can help us most by clearing the room please. Everyone leave."

Part 4: Interviews with supporters still in the ballroom:

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