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Family Evicted From Chavez Ravine, May 9, 1959

May 9, 2009 |  6:00 am


May 9, 1959, Arechigas

May 9, 1959, Times Cover The Times' coverage of the Chavez Ravine evictions isn't easy reading and clearly not the paper at its best.

The construction of Dodger Stadium was something the paper campaigned for and those who opposed the plan were either ignored or minimized in print. But the events of May 8 couldn't be ignored, in part because the evictions of the Arcechiga family and some of their neighbors were televised.

In the first-day story, the residents are barely quoted but we get to learn the thoughts of the people moving their furniture? We hear from only one opponent of the plan for Chavez Ravine, Councilman John Holland, and he basically said the fight was over.

It took another day for The Times to quote Councilman Edward Roybal, who would become a key player in this saga.

"The eviction in itself is legal," Roybal told newsmen, "but the manner in which it was carried out certainly was not. Someone stands to answer for violating the individual rights of these people. This is the type of action that occurred during the Spanish inquisition and Hitler's Germany. But never have I heard of anything like this taking place in this city."

The reference to "newsmen" makes me wonder if Roybal was being interviewed on television.

--Keith Thursby

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