The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: January 2010

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Lefty Gets Fired

Jan. 31, 1970, Lefty Phillips

Jan 31, 1970: Lefty Phillips was fired--the radio personality, not the Angels' manager.

KMPC decided to cancel the Lefty Phillips Show, which The Times' radio critic Don Page thought was a terrible idea. Not that the Phillips show was good radio.

"Some critics called Phillips' show a disaster--and it was," Page wrote. "It was a colorful, beautiful, charming, unequaled disaster."

This, after all, was the man who said the Angels "were going to improve every phrase of their game."

--Keith Thursby

Republicans Losing Strength, Poll Finds

Jan. 31, 1960, Freeways

Jan. 31, 1960: A progress report on the construction of Los Angeles’ freeways.

Jan. 31, 1960, Gallup Poll  

Jan. 31, 1960, Gallup Poll


The Democrats try to assess the political weaknesses of Vice President Richard Nixon. The unpublished study obtained by the Herald Tribune News Service finds that most people have only a dim awareness of Nixon’s 1950 campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas. “Although the image of Nixon as a ruthless opportunist, it reports, is held by some voters, almost all of them are Democrats,” the story says.

Jan. 31, Native Americans

Native Americans protest their portrayal on television.

Jan. 31, 1960, M-14

Goodbye, M-1 Garand and BAR! Of course the M-14 will be replaced by the M-16, which was developed by George C. Sullivan, a Lockheed engineer tinkering in his garage in Hollywood.

Jan. 3, 1966, M-16

Jan. 3, 1966: George C. Sullivan, a hunting enthusiast who was tired of carrying a heavy rifle and decided to improve it,  shows off the latest version of the weapon, an AR-18.

Jan. 31, 1960, John Cassavetes

Cecil Smith talks to John Cassavetes about “Shadows.”

Jan. 31, 1960, John Cassavetes

Jan. 31, 1960, Braven Dyer

Braven Dyer recaps boxing at the Coliseum.
Jan. 31, 1960: A new Gallup poll offers sobering news for the Republican Party despite the popularity of President Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon, and attributes Democrats’ strength to better canvassing for candidates.

A Symposium of Drinking


“Oh, Man!” by Clare Briggs.

Jan. 31, 1920, Thorkildsen
Jan. 31, 1920: “Mr. Thorkildsen was a lavish host. When pressed to state how much was drunk at the Thorkildsen home, one witness put it at 24 quarts of Champagne and numerous glasses of Scotch highballs and other liquors in one evening.”

L.A. Prepares for Auto Show

Jan. 31, 1910, Auto Show  

Jan. 31, 1910, Auto Show 

Jan. 31, 1910: Some grand old names of the past are at the auto show, like Packard and Pierce-Arrow. Buick and Cadillac seem to be about the only survivors. The first Los Angeles auto show was held in 1907 at Morley's Rink, Grand Avenue between 9th and 10th streets. It was the first auto show on the West Coast and the largest west of Chicago. Of the 99 cars on display, two were electric and the rest were powered by gasoline.  Fiesta Park, where the show was held in 1910, was at 12th and Grand.

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A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Your Movie Columnist

Jan. 31, 1942, Hedda Hopper 

Jan. 16, 1942, Carole Lombard

Jan. 16, 1942: Carole Lombard delivers a speech in Indianapolis in a rally to sell war bonds.

Jan. 17, 1942, Carole Lombard

Jan. 17, 1942: Lombard is killed on the flight returning to Los Angeles.
Jan. 31, 1942: Norman Corwin turned down an opportunity to write a speech for a Hollywood personality and later discovered it was the late Carole Lombard, Hedda Hopper says.

Matt Weinstock, Jan. 30, 1960

Jan. 30, 1960, Peanuts

Rewarding Experience

Matt Weinstock     Ad executive Henry Mayers and his wife came home from a trip to southeast Asia about a year ago appalled by the deluge of printed propaganda they saw extolling communism and attacking this country.

    To help counteract it they started Magazines for Asia, a self-sustaining project wherein Americans who wish may mail, at their own expense, discarded magazines to designated people in foreign countries.  (For details, write Box 3196, Hollywood 28, enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope.)

    JOHN AND CELIA PALEY of Hollywood, who send Newsweek and Life to the Ramachandran family in Calcutta, have just received from Mrs. Jeya Ramachandran a grateful, friendly letter containing this paragraph:

Jan. 30, 1960, Honor Student     "It is with profound sorrow I write that I had to give up my job on the grounds of ill health.  I was all of a sudden afflicted with rheumatism and became immobile.  By God's grace I am much better now.  Anyway, each lapse in career is like the letting fall of a ball of string which one is carefully winding up, a single slip undoes more than what a great many turns will wind again.  Let me look at the brighter side of life.  After all, life is not black in itself, but we persist in looking at it through fear-smoked glasses.  Failure is only in failing to act."

    As others, the Paleys are finding the magazine-sending experience as rewarding as it is to the recipients.


  the APCD yesterday and  said he'd heard on the radio that light eye irritation was forecast, but it was so clear he wondered if there would be any smog.   He sounded disappointed. 

    He was told there had been a  change in the weather.   A stronger wind than expected had come up and blown away the naughty olefins.

    He was sorry to hear that.  "I have a theory," he said, "that we wouldn't have all this flu if we had our regular smog."

    My, my.


Jan. 30, 1960, Barrymore     BABY SITTER
My charge is a buck and a
When I mind the small
But my fee is just one buck
If the small baby minds me.
        --AULYN E. KANSTON


    IT IS downright uncomfortable here in the doghouse, where I was consigned for scoffing at the liquor chain letter.  As reported a few days ago, one gal who followed directions received 16 fifths of whisky, another 13.  Now a Van Nuys lady named Jane writes, "My husband got into the liquor chain on Jan. 7.  Within 24 hours he had his first call.  As of today (Jan. 26) we have received 18 bottles.  We really hit the jackpot.  But it looks as if the chain has now completely broken down." 
Okay, I'm crawling out.


hometown newspaper can sometimes be your best entertainment.  As evidence, Jim Hyde sends along this notice of a  public sale in the Clinton (Mo.) Eye:

    "As we sold our home and are moving away, we will sell at auction the following described property at the home, located 2 miles off Highway 7, 2 miles east of Coal, 1 mile north of Hinken's store, 1/2 mile west of Shady Grove schoolhouse, on Tuesday, Jan. 19."

    These lyrical directions are followed by a list of about 50 household articles including these:

    "Several chairs.  Large collection of whatnots.  A few ceramics, good.  Several wagon wheels.  Large copper funnel used in making moonshine . . . Terms:  Cash.  Nothing to be moved until settled for.  Lunch served by the Coal Community Club.  Phillip E.Pawley, Owner."

    All in all, a wonderful word picture.


Mrs. Bertha Homler still shudders at recollection of an incident at a movie matinee to which she accompanied her children.  Passing the candy bar, she heard a boy of 10 shout to a pal, "Hey, Bill, I'm getting the refreshments -- you pick us up a couple of good girls!" . . . The day before the President headed for Palm Springs, J.W.Culbreth saw a truck and trailer headed that way with this line written in dust on the rear: "A load of golf balls for Ike."

Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, Jan. 30, 1960

Jan. 30, 1960, Mirror Cover

Mash Notes and Comment

Paul Coates    (Press Release)  "Gigantic 'man-eating clams' with shells of unusual proportion, sometimes reaching four feet in width, are found along the great barrier reefs dotting the Pacific Ocean from Australian waters northward into the Solomon Islands.
    "These huge clams lie along the bottom of the sea or are anchored firmly to the reefs.

    "They feed on small organisms, live sea food and have been known to trap bathers and divers.
    "The clam has a highly sensitized interior trigger mechanism that causes the shells to slam shut with tremendous speed and force.  A swimmer or diver can thus be trapped and unless he is able to successfully destroy the hard-muscled heart of the clam inside the shell, he is doomed.
    "The digestive juices of this clam are strong enough to assimilate bone structure.
    "They are considered especially dangerous along the beaches of Australia, where they lie on the bottom of the shallow waters and are in a position to snare bathers who step unsuspectingly into the opened shells.
    "A person can be held prisoner long enough for the fast-rising tides to cause drowning.
    "Few men are strong enough to pry open the shells of an average size clam once they have locked.
    "Such shells, selected in various sizes from very small to the largest, help to create the unusual interior displays which occur throughout the decor of the new Aku Aku Restaurant, located on the grounds of the Stardust Hotel."  (signed) Eugene Murphy, Publicity, Stardust Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev.
    --Table for five, please, waiter.  Oops. where did everybody go?

Jan. 30, 1960, Caryl Chessman
    Mr. Paul Coates:
    "Nearly every stranger I meet asks me if I am related to Paul Coates, so as one COATS to a COATES, I am curious to know what part of the country you're from.
    "I didn't grow on a Coats-Coates tree, as I fell off another, so this letter is not a claim to kinship.
    "Some time ago, Mr. C.N. Edmonston of San Francisco -- married to a Coats and interested in family genealogy, got in touch with my son, Claude Coats, at Walt Disney Studio, in search of information, so Claude sicced him on me. 
    It's in the Records
"The information I have dates back to a Sir John Coates, who came to America in 1638 and located in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania seems to have contributed much of the Coats-Coates progeny, with such intermarriages as Eastturn, Longstreet, Mandenhall, etc.
    "One interesting fact concerns William Coates, son of Wm. and Rebecca Coates, having 14 children.
    "One of the 14, Marmaduke (born 1733) was ransomed from the Indians for a horse and a blanket."  (signed) Mrs.  Daisy B. Coats. 1771 N. Vermont Ave., L.A.
   --Just think, Daisy, if they hadn't come to terms, we'd be ahead one horse and blanket.
Jan. 30, 1960, Abby     (Press Release) "The family of Strauss definitely is one that enjoys the reputation of doing things really 'big.'
    "Mrs. Hal Strauss of Encino recently wrote to KMPC's disc jockey Ira Cook and asked him for a copy of his famous 'Cook With the Stars' cook book, which features favorite recipes of some of the top names in the entertainment world:
    "A mistake in the KMPC mail room resulted in Mrs. Strauss not receiving one -- but 150 copies of the book.
    "However, she wasn't too upset, for it was her great-aunt (Esther) who is generally credited with the now-famous line uttered on the ill-fated Titanic as it was sinking: 'I know I ordered ice, but this is ridiculous.' " (signed) Publicity Dept.,KMPC, Hollywood.
    --Captain, 86 that lady.  She's rocking the boat.

A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Your Movie Columnist

Jan. 30, 1941, Hedda Hopper 

Jan. 30, 1941: Frank Capra tried to show a print of his first film, "Fultah Fisher's Boarding House," and "found the film had completely disintegrated. He'll pay almost anything for another print," Hedda Hopper says ... Hey, it's Trixie Friganza!

Chief Says He Was Misquoted on Latinos

Jan. 30, 1960, Honor Student

Jan. 30, 1960, Honor Student
Two youths are questioned in the killing of honor student Leonard Moore.

Jan. 30, 1960, Parker

Jan. 309, 1960, Parker

Jan. 30, 1960, Aldo Corsini Dies

Former homicide Detective Aldo Corsini dies at the age of 65. He handled many gruesome ax murders and poisonings of the 1930s and early 1940s and as an investigator for the district attorney he worked on Louise Peete case.

Dec. 21, 1938, Spinelli Case

Dec. 21, 1938, Spinelli Case
Dec. 21, 1938: Detective Lts. Aldo Corsini, Lloyd Hurst and D.R. Patton investigate the disappearance of Rose Spinelli.

Jan. 30, 1960: Police Chief William H. Parker denies published reports about his comments on Mexicans, saying that he was misquoted.

The People and Their Troubles

Jan. 30, 1920, The People and Their Troubles 

Jan. 30, 1920: I often wonder who came up with the headline “The People and Their Troubles.” Folks sure had them, though. Like Mrs. Beulah P. Porter, who was seeking a divorce and said her husband had bruised her neck.

“You know, sometimes bruises on the neck come from kissing," the judge remarked.

"I did not get mine that way," she replied.

And members of the Public Service Employees Assn. want a raise of $25 a month [266.49 USD 2008].

Through the Lens – Aviation Meet

1910 Aviation Meet 
Los Angeles Times file photo
January 1910: Here’s a photo taken inside one of the tents that was erected at Dominguez Field to serve as a temporary hangar. According to the handwritten information on the back, the man at the controls is “Col. Johnson of Frisco in his Curtiss machine.” The man on the left is C.B. Harmon, the balloonist of the New York. On the right, Glenn Curtiss. Notice that the engine is mounted behind the pilot and is driving a “pusher” propeller.

Matt Weinstock, Jan. 29, 1960

Jan. 29, 1960, Peanuts 
 Jan. 29, 1960, Peanuts

Monetary Crisis

Matt Weinstock     An armored truck, the kind that picks up and delivers large sums of cash for banks and stores, stopped a few days ago at 1st and Main Sts.  The armed attendants got out and grimly looked about.  They conferred briefly, then the one who had been riding shotgun dashed into the Health Department building while the other stood guard.

    City employees, watching from the windows, envisioned a repeat of the famous Brink's robbery in Boston.

    Soon the attendant emerged from the building and joined his colleague.  In a little while an emergency truck pulled up.  A man got out with a red can and under an armed escort poured the contents into the truck.  Yep, plenty of money but no gas.


    ONLY IN L.A. -- Floodlights flashed across the sky Wednesday night from the area of Pan-Pacific Auditorium and  a man I know, driving toward it, guessed they were for the lavish $100-a-plate Republican fund-raising dinner at which the President spoke.  As he reached the battery of searchlights he saw they were for the opening of a new taco and pizza diner nearby.


Jan. 29, 1960, Pen Pals     MY WAITER
When I'm late for a show
His footsteps are slow.
When I've hours to spare
He sprints like a hare.


aroused by Seymour Kern's novel, "The Golden Scalpel," a localized tale of ruthless, unethical medical practices -- object money.  Some say it's one-sided and unfair, others that it doesn't go far enough in revealing medical skullduggery.

    Meanwhile, the book has gone into a second printing and Kern, a real estate broker here for 25 years, is working on another.  It will deal with real estate in L.A. during the depression.  Kern calls it "a remarkable period of contemporary history, hitherto untold."


   AS NATIONAL and local politics take on a bitter aspect, it was refreshing to come upon a fine lesson in civics or, as it is called today, social studies, in the Railsplitter, weekly newspaper at Abraham Lincoln High School on N Broadway.  The page 1 banner-line story by John Hernandez begins, "Last week, 53 students ran for student office and 26 were elected.  The students who did not succeed should try again and never give up hope."


    A RADIO newscaster reporting the funeral of actor Matt Moore remarked glibly that his brothers Owen and Tom didn't attend.  A young lady named Catherine, who reveres the memory of all three acting brothers, became angry at what she considered a flippant, gratuitous comment.  She phoned the station and asked the announcer if he knew why they hadn't been there.  He admitted he did not so she told him, "Because he attended their funerals when they died!"  She hopes he'll be more careful in the future.


    IT WAS
inevitable and the other day, reports Yetta Davis, volunteer worker for the Red Cross blood bank, 1130 S Vermont Ave., it happened.  When a receptionist finished interviewing a donor and he had removed his jacket he said to the nurse, "O.K., take me to your bleeder!"

Jan. 29, 1960, Lincoln


Big new thing at pay playgrounds are Jumping Beans, ground-level trampolines.  It's an odd sight, driving by, to see youngsters seemingly suspended in mid-air . . . Many recent arrivals from the East complain they miss the seasonal changes.  Not so a gal named Mary Louise, who says, "I can tell the days are getting longer -- the sun now rises over my drainpipe and sets two inches from the pine tree in the yard" . . . The flu epidemic has turned up many instances of sacrifice.  One lady was at her wits' end trying to persuade her reluctant husband to take a scheduled green pill and finally, to show her derision for such sissy conduct, swallowed it herself.



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