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Pages of History -- Morrow Mayo's 'Los Angeles'

March 3, 2011 |  2:07 am

  Los Angeles, Morrow Mayo  

Dec. 17, 1927, Express Cover

The Evening Express,
Dec. 17, 1927


Dec. 20, 1927, Express Cover
  The Evening Express,
Dec. 20, 1927


Dec. 17, 1927, Times
  The Times,
Dec. 17, 1927
Dec. 20, 1927, Times
  The Times,
Dec. 20, 1927

I haven’t forgotten about my little project on Morrow Mayo’s “Los Angeles,” but there are so many stories and only one Larry Harnisch. I spent part of Tuesday at one of my favorite places in the city, the Los Angeles Public Library’s History and Genealogy Department, going through microfilm of the Los Angeles Evening Express coverage of the Marion Parker killing. (Sorry about the quality of the scans. The readers at the library can only make printouts.)

I will delve into Mayo’s treatment of the Parker killing in the days to come, but I was left with some immediate impressions after reading the Evening Express.

First of all, notice the screamer headlines. The Express brought out extras nearly every day in the Parker case, unlike The Times, which mostly kept the killing on the cover of the second section. (Which is why there is nothing about the case on the Dec. 17, 1927, front page, above).

And second,  I think we tend to forget that this tragedy occurred during the holiday season. Putting  the murder in its historic context in the pages of a newspaper adds a haunting contrast between the horror of the killing and the ads for Christmas gifts and pictures of Santa Claus.

Finally, I am always thankful that I can go to my local library and have access to such a wealth of historic resources.   

Fact-Checking “Los Angeles” – Part 1
Fact-Checking “Los Angeles” – Part 2
Fact-Checking “Los Angeles” – Part 3