The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: June 2008

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June 27, 1908

Dropcap_l_napoleonong ago, I lost track of how many highway maps The Times has run over the years. Here is yet another one, giving us a trifecta with the map from Ed Ainsworth's traffic series of 1938 and the one that appeared with Ray Hebert's 1958 update.

Even a casual glance shows the beginnings of what we know a century later as the freeway system: It's easy to pick out what will become the Santa Monica and Foothill Freeways, the Golden State and the Pasadena.

At left, The Times' Harry Carr files a story on Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.
This will give you an idea of the style of political coverage 100 years ago--and these are just samples of Carr's critical, dismissive piece:

"There is something peculiarly shifty and, to me, untrustworthy, in his face. His personality is agreeable but I don't feel that compelling quality of charm manifested by so many big men....

"As you interview him, you can't screw your imagination up to seeing the man as president of the United States. You can't see him negotiating treaties with great nations, compelling peace conferences and naming Cabinet officers."

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Bonds slams the Dodgers

June 26, 1968

By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

Dropcap_its_1922 difficult to imagine a better debut than Bobby Bonds' first game for the Giants against the Dodgers.

Bonds, described in Dan Hafner's story as a tall, rangy youngster from Riverside, hit a grand slam in his first major league game, a 9-0 victory in San Francisco. Only once before had a player hit a grand slam in his first game.

"I couldn't believe I had hit a home run. I just ran around the bases," Bonds said in The Times' story. "Maybe it will dawn on me tomorrow."

Hafner mentioned that Bonds was considered the eventual replacement for Willie Mays, still playing center for the Giants and the face of the franchise. Nothing like a little pressure. Bonds was a three-time all star with the Giants, but he was traded to the Yankees in 1974 for Bobby Murcer, who had been expected to be the next Mickey Mantle.

Bonds bounced around after that, playing for the Angels, White Sox, Rangers, Indians, Cardinals and Cubs before ending his career with the Yankees. His son, Barry Bonds, of course, is currently out of baseball after setting the major league career home run record.

June 26, 1938

A panel from "Buck Rogers," Sunday, June 26, 1938.

Dropcap_h_1902 arry Raymond finally goes home after 163 days in the hospital, The Times says. He promises a $1-million lawsuit against Mayor Frank Shaw, Joe Shaw, Police Chief James Davis, several subordinates and members of the police intelligence squad.

"It's swell to be home," Raymond says.

Also, 140 Civil War veterans leave Los Angeles by train for a reunion marking the 75th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. More than 1,600 Union and Confederate veterans are expected to attend the event. The travel expenses are being paid by the U.S. government, The Times says. 

On the cover of Part 2, a group of Methodist ministers supports the recall of Mayor Shaw, criticizes Joe Shaw and Chief Davis, and censures the governor and attorney general for failing to help expose corruption in government.

And federal narcotics agents confiscate 50 pounds of marijuana seeds from Japan marked as "prepared food."

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June 26, 1938

The home of the week, above, and below, via Google maps' street view.

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Jackie Robinson, track star

June 26, 1938

By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer


Dropcap_i_1914_3 It might be the shortest newspaper notice in Jackie Robinson's career.

A two-paragraph item in The Times announced that Robinson, described as the "sensational all-around Pasadena Junior College athlete," would be leaving for Buffalo to compete in the AAU track and field championships the following month.

Robinson had been the recipient of a campaign to raise money for the train trip. The Times said that Charles W. Paddock, a former world-record sprinter, had started the campaign and Robinson's "school mates" had raised most of the $239. The story also mentioned that a local newspaper conducted the campaign, which must mean it was some other paper. Paddock worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and Pasadena Star-News, according to websites such as

Robinson also came up in a June 21 Los Angeles Angels game story. The Times reported that Robinson would participate the next night in an exhibition race as part of "Track Night" at Wrigley Field to raise money for the Buffalo track meet. The next night's story mentioned the race but not Robinson. Readers did learn, however, that one of the runners from Riverside Junior College forgot to bring his track shoes and had to borrow a pair of baseball spikes.

June 26, 1908


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Above, Normandie and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, "Home of the Garbage Burrito."

Dropcap_t_1910 he Times' Harry Carr, fresh from the Republican National Convention in Chicago, heads to Lincoln, Neb., to interview William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic presidential candidate.

"When he is on the stump, Bryan is the simple child of the people who helps baggage smashers handle his trunks. Today, in fact, he brought out a humble request that plain alpaca coats be worn at a banquet to be given him here in place of dress suits.

"Bryan, you good, old faker, if you can get away with that and also pose as the influential, rich country squire, you are a wonder, and I guess you can."

Glen Curtiss flies his Curtiss No. 2 airplane 41 seconds at an altitude of 40 feet for a distance of 2,175 feet. A record ... President Grover Cleveland is laid to rest ... And turmoil in Tehran ...

On the jump, an armed mob hunts a man who robbed and beat a woman at Normandie and Santa Barbara (now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) and attacked another woman during his escape. 

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June 25, 1958



1958_0625_webb_3 Someone apparently doesn't like Dorothy Adamson's fox terrier, which is missing after her apartment at 1034 Hilldale was bombed. An unidentified caller had complained about the dog's barking, The Times says. Alas, the paper never followed up on this story.

And wedding bells ring for Jack Webb and former Miss USA Jackie Loughery, who met when Webb was casting "Pete Kelly's Blues." The couple are going to live on the Republic Studios lot, The Times says. They divorced in 1964.

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June 25, 1938


Dropcap_w_1934 e have more fallout from Earle Kynette's conviction in the Harry Raymond bombing. On the jump, The Times reports that seven officers will face a police board of rights on charges of obstructing the Raymond investigation.

Mayor Frank Shaw sends a letter to members of the county grand jury noting the achievements of the Police Department ... but more important, he also tries to remove Police Commission Vice President Charles W. Ostrom. An attorney, Ostrom has clients who include Milton "Farmer" Page, a leading underworld figure. Shaw says Ostrom should either quit the commission or stop representing Page. Ostrom, however, says he will "go out fighting." 

Shaw was unable to remove Ostrom, who remained in office. But the victory was temporary... (Bonus fact: Ostrom died in 1959 at the age of 77).


Milton "Farmer" Page, above, was a major underworld figure in early Los Angeles and was among the defendants in the case against Tony Cornero's gambling ship, the Rex. I'm going to have to dig up more about him; he sounds like quite a character.

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June 25, 1908



Dropcap_t_1908 rue confession: I mixed up June 26, 1908 and June 25, 1908. I suppose that happens more often that one might suspect--or not. Readers either politely didn't bring it to my attention or didn't notice. Thank you for your diplomacy.

To get to the point: The Times notes that the death of Grover Cleveland leaves the United States without a living ex-president. That will change when Theodore Roosevelt is succeeded by William Taft, but I'm trying to think of the next time the U.S. was in a similar situation. Certainly not in my lifetime.

In the second section, eight people are injured in the head-on crash of two streetcars at the Arroyo Seco bridge. Passengers on the outbound streetcar blame the crash on inattention by the motorman, who was "working with his motor" before the streetcar collided with the inbound car from Pasadena. Note that one of the injured was taken home instead of going to a hospital.

Also notice a meeting of Zionists for a fundraiser at the synagogue at Olive and Temple. Those who contribute to the cause can have their names inscribed in an elaborate "book of gold," The Times says. 

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June 24, 1958



Dropcap_a_baker t left, a nine-room home in an all-white neighborhood is heavily vandalized after being sold to an African American doctor and his family.

The Times says vandals caused $15,000 ($109,315.53 USD 2007) damage to the newly redecorated home at 4240 Cerritos Ave., Long Beach, by putting  a garden hose up on the second story letting the water run all night; splashing bleach on the new carpeting; and cutting a huge hole in the carpet.

Dr. Charles T. Terry said he still intended to move into the home, noting that he believed the vandalism did not reflect the feelings of his neighbors.

The next day, 150 neighbors joined a nonprofit organization that would decide whether people were eligible to buy homes in the area. The group condemned the vandalism to the Terrys' home but said they needed to protect their property values by deciding who could buy a house in the area. 

The City Council, meanwhile, passed a resolution saying that "people of all colors and creeds are welcome in Long Beach."

Also note the killing of Police Officer Thomas Scebbi after he and his partner, Ramon Espinoza, pulled over about 2 a.m. on June 20 in front of 332 S. Kingsley Drive to question a man wearing white gloves about a series of liquor store holdups. Espinoza (The Times also called him Espinosa) was badly wounded and expected to die of his injuries, but he recovered to testify against James Eugene Hooten. Hooten was executed in the gas chamber for the killing, May 13, 1960.

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June 24, 1938




Dropcap_n_1938_nuestro uestro Pueblo is a new discovery for me, and a very happy one. The Times began the feature by writer Joe Seewerker and artist Charles Owens in June 1938, publishing installments Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The series ended in October 1939 after Seewerker and his young son, Joe Jr., were badly injured in a car accident. The last installment bids farewell with a jaunty "hasta la vista." The series was published as a book with an introduction by The Times' Lee Shippey.

And never mind the fallout from the Harry Raymond bombing, here's really important news: The two leads of "Gone With the Wind" have finally been cast, The Times says. The movie will star Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Norma Shearer as Scarlett O'Hara.

The Times says three supporting roles have been cast: Walter Connolly as Scarlett's father, Gerald; Maurice Murphy as Charles Hamilton, Scarlett's first husband; and Margaret Tallichet as Scarlett's sister Carreen.

Of course, we know GWTW didn't quite turn out this way.
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June 24, 1908



Dropcap_b_1904 loodshed and slaughter mark the beginning of the Persian Civil War, which lasted until 1909. In February, the shah, Mohammad Ali, escaped an assassination attempt when two bombs were dropped on his motorcade from the roof of a house. A driver and several "outriders" were killed, along with many spectators, but the shah was spared because he had sent the car ahead as a decoy while he was in another vehicle.

In July 1909, Mohammad Ali fled to the Russian legation and his son Ahmad Miraza was proclaimed shah, The Times said.
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