The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: December 2010

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Paul Coates and Matt Weinstock, Dec. 31, 1960

  Dec. 31, 1960, Comics  

Dec. 31, 1960: It's unwise to quarrel with the economists because they speak with such assurance they seem to know what they're talking about. But they keep insisting on the necessity of increasing something they call the Gross National Product. I'm not sure what it is, but I wish they would hold it still long enough so we could find out. I think it's another way of saying inflation, Matt Weinstock says.

Paul Coates has another first-person plea from beyond the grave for safe driving. This one is attributed to  Irene Thornton of Los Angeles.

CONFIDENTIAL TO "TERRIBLY INDEBTED": Give back the gifts. The gentleman (?) obviously expects an immediate return on his investment.


The Quietest Room in Town and Please, God, I’m Only 17

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Dec. 31, 1940

  Dec. 31, 1940, Roosevelt Speech  

  Dec. 31, 1940, Tom Treanor  

Dec. 31, 1940: C. Chaplin's discovery, Dorothy Comingore, uses that name in Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane," but goes under contract to RKO as Linda Winters. After she welcomes the stork, she gets a star buildup, Jimmie Fidler says.


Orson Welles on the Daily Mirror

“Citizen Kane” on the Daily Mirror

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  Dec. 31, 2010, Mystery Photo  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: ROYAL DENIALS .... Prince Mikhail Ouratieff and his wife, Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna, don the garb of butler and maid and prepare to wait on the banker and his wife ..... a scene from Warner Bros. "Tonight's Our Night," the screen version of "Tovarich," in which Claudette Colbert and Charles Boyer are starred. Anatole Litvak is directing. In this scene, a crane shot, Mikhail and Tatiana are on their way upstairs with the master's dress tie and the mistress' gown. Behind them, but not in the picture, is the Pekingese dog, for which they have been looking, and the master's shoe, which they are also seeking. The dog and the shoe are together. ]

Here’s our mystery camera crew…

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: STRAIGHT FROM THE GOVERNOR -- Making motion picture history, Governor James V. Allred of Texas started cameras turning on the first scene of Paramount's "The Texas Rangers" via long-distance telephone from the Texas Centennial headquarters, Dallas, Texas, to director King Vidor's location site 1,000 miles away on the plains of New Mexico, near Gallup. Here Vidor, seated, is receiving the opening-scene direction tips as members of the cast, left to right, Jack Oakie, Fred MacMurray and Lloyd Nolan, wait for the word "action." The opening marks the first time that a governor has participated in the actual filming of a motion picture scene.

[Filming “The Texas Rangers” in New Mexico?]

This photo is just a bit strange … See if you can figure out what’s going on. More details on the jump.

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Major Crimes Increase in L.A., 1960

  Dec. 31, 1960, Laos Invaded  

  Dec. 31, 1960, Comics  

Dec. 31, 1960: Most crime, except for drunk driving, increased in 1960, according to Police Chief William H. Parker. The 4.2% decrease in DUI was probably due to longer jail sentences, Parker said. "In other words, it takes habitual drunkards longer to get out and get drunk again," he said.

Homicides are up 10.9%, from 134 to 149, the LAPD says. Robberies showed the largest increase, 39.4%, to 6,160. 


Crime statistics on the Daily Mirror

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Found on EBay – Oviatt’s

oviatt_clock_ebay This unusual Oviatt item has already been sold but it’s worth noting because it’s quite unusual.

Marc Chevalier says: The elusive "Alexander & Oviatt" Swiss clock. I've seen three others identical to it: all were once owned by James Oviatt's nephews, who worked as managers of the store. I was told that they were commissioned by James Oviatt in 1928 or '29 as gifts for his nephews. Each clock is faced in ivory, and the images are hand-painted. Oddly enough, the artist has painted a completely fictional carillon of bells on the top.

This item sold on EBay for  $200.

Matt Weinstock, Dec. 30, 1960

  Dec. 30, 1960, Comics  

  Dec. 30, 1960, Quiet Room  

Dec. 30, 1960: “The Quietest Room in Town” is the sort of piece, like “Please God, I’m Only 17,” that used to appear regularly in newspapers to encourage safe driving.

Matt Weinstock says: Former newsman Darr Smith recalls interviewing Clark Gable in his trailer while making a film at MGM. "Gable's previous film, ‘Parnell,’ had been a dismal flop, savagely panned by American critics. On the wall of the trailer was a rave review of ‘Parnell’ from the North China Daily News, framed in bamboo. Under it, Gable, a man of great, quiet humor, had written: ‘400,000,000 Chinese can't be wrong.’ ”

DEAR ABBY: The company my husband works for had a Christmas party. I got down on my hands and knees and begged him not to go this year because last year he came home drunk with lipstick all over his face. Well, he went anyway and came home drunker this year than last and full of lipstick. I hit him on the head with.....

On the jump, “Please, God, I’m Only 17,” from June 16, 1976. Notice that Abby didn’t write “Please, God,” someone sent it in, explaining that it was an editorial clipped from “our local newspaper.”

Bonus information: Ann Landers had "Please, God" on Sept. 13, 1971. This version has a two-paragraph introduction that was later excised and the source is: "a Kalamazoo teenager who asked me to reprint this fantasy, which appeared in the Tiger Tattler, the school paper of Lawrence." At that time it was titled "In Love With Life -- or How It Would Be if I were Killed in an Automobile Accident."

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Paul Coates, Dec. 30, 1960

  Dec. 30, 1960, Mirror Cover  

Dec. 30, 1960: Academy Award winners Gale Sondergaard, Albert Maltz and Nedrick Young are among 12 Hollywood figures suing the studios over being blacklisted. The suit was brought by A.L. Wirin under the Sherman Antitrust Act.

And Paul Coates dips into his mailbag….


A.L. Wirin on the Daily Mirror

The blacklist on the Daily Mirror

Albert Maltz on the Daily Mirror

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Dec. 30, 1940

  Dec. 30, 1940, London in Flames  

  Dec. 30, 1940, Evacuation of Dunkirk  

  Dec. 30, 1940, Dunkirk  

  Dec. 30, 1940, Ribbon  

  Rose Queen Sally Stanton, Gov. Culbert Olson and Highway Patrol Chief E. Raymond Cato at the ribbon cutting of the Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway), Dec. 30, 1940.  

  Dec. 30, 1940, Arroyo Seco Parkway  

Dec. 30, 1940: George Brent has enrolled in a night school navigation class to ready himself for that California to Hawaii yacht race, Jimmie Fidler says. 


The Pasadena Freeway/Arroyo Seco Parkway on the Daily Mirror
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Grim Sleeper Photos – Another Look

  Grim Sleeper No. 164  

I thought it would be interesting to visit the LAPD’s website to see how many images had been removed from the Grim Sleeper photos, presumably because the women were identified.

I discovered that Nos. 164, 165,  169 and 175 varied from what is on The Times’ site. Most of the Grim Sleeper photos on are the same as what’s posted by the LAPD, but I’m told that these four photos were cropped by The Times to show the women’s faces in greater clarity.

One new bit of information from the uncropped photos is that three of them are dated March 1985.

Further examination revealed that two photos posted on The Times website show women’s nametags, No. 96-97 (Maxine) and No. 166 (Ms. D. Johnson) that were cropped out on the LAPD’s website. 

Of the 180 photos that were originally released by investigators, 151 remain on the LAPD’s website.

The LAPD’s photos are here


Grim Sleeper, Interiors
Grim Sleeper, Interiors 2
Grim Sleeper, Interiors 3
Grim Sleeper Nos. 4 and 52
Grim Sleeper Nos. 48-49

Grim Sleeper Nos. 51-53
Grim Sleeper Nos. 56-57
Grim Sleeper Nos. 59 and 81
Grim Sleeper Nos. 75-78, labrets
Grim Sleeper Nos. 75 and 77, Kendreay
Grim Sleeper No. 91
Grim Sleeper Nos. 96-97, Maxine
Grim Sleeper No. 199, Details, Janecia
Grim Sleeper No. 139, The Mail Slot
Grim Sleeper Nos. 141-142, Deborah B. Cleveland
Grim Sleeper No. 149
Grim Sleeper No. 166, Ms. D. Johnson

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  Dec. 29, 2010, Mystery Photo  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: This photo is identified on the back as a Universal western from 1915, with Arthur Allardt, Otto Meyers, “Ross” and Joseph Franz and apparently ran in a Midwinter Edition that wasn't microfilmed. The date of publication is stamped on the back but only the day, Jan. 3, is legible. According to imdb, Allardt and Franz appeared together in quite a few movies in 1914, but only three also have Meyers.  The candidates are “The Fight in Lonely Gulch,” “The Sheriff’s Story”  and “A Frontier Romance.” Meyers (later Meyer) had a long career as a film editor, according to imdb. ]

I’m not sure how this print ended up with all the film production photos, but here it is, weird cropping and all.

Mrs. Eddy Will Rise Again, as Christ Did, Follower Says

Dec. 29, 1910, Mary Baker Eddy

  Dec. 29, 1910, Julia Ward Howe  

Dec. 30, 1910: The death of Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy on Dec. 3, 1910, left followers predicting her return. Christian Science leader Augusta E. Stetson said that "she believed the millennium is at hand, that the end of the gospel age has arrived and that Mrs. Eddy will return in the semblance of human form and will continue to lead her followers," The Times said.

The Oct. 17, 1910, death of Julia Ward Howe touched off a debate about where to hang a memorial portrait. Officials said Boston’s Faneuil Hall was already too crowded  with paintings and suggested that a bust of Howe, who wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” to the tune “John Brown’s Body,”  should be placed in the local library. 

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