The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Christmas past

Dec. 27, 1932
Los Angeles


Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

A crush of 3,500 newsboys gather in the Ambassador Auditorium at the 11th annual banquet for youths who sell newspapers on the corners of Los Angeles.

The Times said that by 9 a.m., tens of hundreds of newsies had arrived at City Hall for the trip to the Ambassador. "Twenty-five cars provided by the Los Angeles Street Railway took them to the auditorium," The Times said. "They made a regular Yellow Car parade down Spring Street and out 9th with about every occupant yelling along the way."

"They raised the roof of Ambassador Auditorium," The Times said, "their joyous enthusiasm finding expression at times in sailing paper plates through the air and even in an occasional byplay of fists. Two bands provided music but at times it could not be heard."

Mayor Porter helped take tickets and the prominent guests included Judges Roth and Taplin, both former newsboys.

Entertainment was provided by the Police Band, James Moreno's Hollywood Carolers and Jack Smaltz, the singing waiter of the B.B.B. Cellar Cafe.

In addition, there was "William Borsage with his power-driven accordion," The Times said. 

Attorney Isadore Gralla, a former newsboy, loaded his car with food and took it to the young vendors who were unable to leave their corners, The Times said. Other leftover food was given to the Salvation Army, Midnight Mission, St. Joseph's Church and the Rev. Ethel Duncan.

Bonus fact: Ray Bradbury used to sell newspapers at the corner of Norton and Olympic.

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