The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Jack Smith

What's Troubling Today's Young Women, Part 2


  March 27, 1961, Comics  

March 27, 1961: Parts of this series on young women are patronizing and naive, and perhaps reflect the first tremors of what was called the Generation Gap. Some of the attitudes about college being a marriage factory for young women are fairly musty – although certainly true in the 1940s and ’50s.

"She wants to go to college because it will make her a more interesting person and enable her to keep up with her husband -- a college-educated husband, of course."

Still I wonder if the daughters of some of these women have any better idea of where they are headed:

One mother, whose daughter begins college next year, said: "They look and act so grown up in so many ways and yet they don't really know what they want to do. And you know, it's sometimes very difficult to help and advise them. You look and think, now what did mother do in similar circumstances? And then you realize those problems never existed in mother's time.”

And a young woman says: "I hate being called a teenager. It's a horrible, nasty, talking down to you word. If only my mother would listen to me sometimes when I want to talk about something instead of saying 'yes dear, no dear.' "


Continue reading »

Santa Claus Is No Ordinary Man!

  Dec. 23, 1960, Comics  

Dec. 23, 1960: Take that, Sluggo, you gender-stereotyping clod!

On the jump, a “legless World War II veteran” is charged with having 250 reels of stag films…. Jack Smith goes Christmas shopping and finds his fellow human beings a bit lacking in the holiday spirit … bridge expert Alfred Sheinwold says the four of clubs is a card of warning … and Pope John XXIII reads his Christmas message.

The Times said: “The pontiff dedicated much of his message ... to the subject of truth.  He especially appealed to all engaged in mass communication -- press, radio, television, movies -- to dedicate themselves to it.”


7 Men, Woman, Arrested in Lewd Film Racket, Oct. 24, 1957

King of Obscene Films Kills Self in Chicago, Sept. 14, 1947

Continue reading »

Voices -- ‘Howlin Mad’ Smith

March 21, 1960, Gen. Holland Smith

March 21, 1960, Gen. Holland Smith

March 21, 1960: Jack Smith profiles retired Gen. Holland Smith, who died in 1967 at the age of 84. 

Continue reading »

Secretary Found Stabbed to Death

Nov. 27, 1964, Cover
The killing of Joyce Gayle Walker on the cover of the final edition …

View Larger Map

Nov. 27, 1964, Joyce Walker

... and a bylined version by Howard Hertel and Jack Smith.

Nov. 27, 1964, Joyce Walker
Nov. 27, 1964: The death of Joyce Gayle Walker is one of the more haunting killings of the 1960s. I’m not sure it was ever solved. I can’t find any follow-up stories on it.

Plane Crash Kills 42

Nov. 17, 1959, Times Cover

Nov. 17, 1959: Investigators speculate on whether a bomb exploded on a National Airlines DC-7B that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 42 people. Ultimately, no cause was ever determined. ... And  Gene Sherman reports on border drug traffic.

Nov. 17, 1959, Jack Smith 

Jack Smith writes: "It is easy enough to find statistics suggesting that we are soft -- mentally, physically and morally. More people are in hospitals. More people are swallowing pills. More people are in jails. More people have tics and syndromes. The New York Yankees are falling apart and the heavyweight champion of the world is a Swede."

Robert R. Kirsch says John Gosling’s “Ghost Squad” is “a must for every true crime buff.”

Nov. 17, 1959, Dotty

”Mother, May I Go Steady?”


Nov. 17, 1959

Jeane Hoffman had a typically interesting story about all the wannabe teams hovering around Los Angeles.

The Chargers—yes, they started in L.A.—were the closest to reality. Then there were the Stars (baseball) and Jets (basketball), teams that had to overcome several factors to become real franchises.

The Chargers looked like the real deal, heading to the Coliseum in 1960. "We get fourth choice in Coliseum dates but that's enough for seven home games," said Tom Eddy, assistant to Barron Hilton.

The Stars were lined up with names like Branch Rickey as president of the Continental League and Mark Scott, host of TV's "Home Run Derby," as team vice president. But where to play if they really got going?

Hoffman said the Stars were talking to Walter O'Malley about playing in the Dodgers' yet to be built ballpark "but if he doesn't let them in they'll have to go to Orange County—or to court."

As for the Jets, who apparently had Bing Crosby involved, they were confident that an L.A. franchise would come their way. Said Len Corbosiero, "If we can't get a new franchise, we hope to move out an established team."

--Keith Thursby

Teen Hoped to Bear Errol Flynn’s Child

Oct. 15, 1959, Beverly Aadland  
Los Angeles Times file photo

Errol Flynn and Beverly Aadland in a photo published Oct. 15, 1959.


Oct. 28, 1959, Beverly Aadland
Oct. 28, 1959: Jack Smith interviews Errol Flynn’s teenage girlfriend Beverly Aadland (whom Smith describes as the actor’s “last playmate”)  and her attorney Melvin Belli. Aadland says that most of her clothing is inaccessible because it’s under Flynn’s name. She says she isn’t pregnant but wishes she were.  I assume The Times used “protege” in headlines because it’s shorter than “girlfriend,” but it’s really silly, as several writers have noted. 

The Tax Man Comes for Mickey Cohen; Covering the Mets

Sept. 25, 1969, Cover

Sept. 25, 1969: A typical screamer headline we put on the late final edition, which was for street sales. The front page of the home delivery edition didn't look like this.

The National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence says: "We daily permit our children during their formative years to enter a world of police interrogations, of gangsters beating enemies, of spies performing fatal brain surgery and of routine demonstrations of all kinds of killing and maiming."

Sept. 25, 1969, Taxes

Jack Smith writes a nondupe on tax investigators ...

Sept. 25, 1969, Taxes

and how they caught Mickey Cohen.

Sept. 21, 1969, Al Capp

Al Capp had a long run with "Li'l Abner," but at the end of his career, he became extremely conservative, alienating many of his longtime readers. Above, Students Wildly Indignant About Nearly Everything -- or SWINE.

Sept. 25, 1969, Films

"A Night at the Opera" with an appearance by Groucho Marx. I wonder if the academy recorded this series.

Sept. 25, 1969, Editorial Page

Readers protest Al Capp's portrayal of People's Park in Berkeley ... and an editorial on UCLA's attempt to fire Angela Davis.

Sept. 25, 1969, Sports

The Times sent New York correspondent John J. Goldman to discover the New York Mets, once baseball's joke but now the champions of the National League East.

Sending a correspondent to do a sports story can be as tricky as asking a sportswriter to cover the United Nations.

"The hunger for victory in the nation's largest city perhaps was matched only by that of the old Romans who watched gladiators in the Colosseum," Goldman wrote. "Everyone expected the Chicago Cubs to  be lions. But in the end, they were pussycats, finishing second."

Romans? What league did they play in?

I preferred the view of Manhattan advertising executive and Mets fans Roger Yager, who told Goldman: "We had to get something to replace the Dodgers."

--Keith Thursby

Second Takes -- Samuel Goldwyn

June 17, 1959, Samuel Goldwyn

June 17, 1959: Jack Smith's series on Samuel Goldwyn continues.

June 17, 1959, Samuel Goldwyn

"[Robert] Sherwood and I were watching the first cut of the picture," Goldwyn says of "The Best Years of Our Lives." "It was very rough. Sherwood turned to me and sad, 'You know, this moves me.' I said, 'It moves me, too.' But we didn't know it was going to be the great picture it was."

Above, one of the great scenes in "Best Years," which tells the story primarily through Gregg Toland's photography and Hugh Friedhofer's music in long stretches without dialogue. One of my favorite lines: "You're the junk man. You get everything sooner or later."

Second Takes -- Samuel Goldwyn

June 16, 1959, Goldwyn

Part 3 of Jack Smith's series on Samuel Goldwyn.
June 16, 1959, Goldwyn

Goldwyn describes discovering Vilma Banky -- and making her into a star of silent films. He also spent a fortune on her marriage to Rod La Rocque.

Second Takes -- Samuel Goldwyn

June 15, 1959, Goldwyn

The Times' Jack Smith continues his series on Samuel Goldwyn.
June 15, 1959, Goldwyn

"When I arrived in New York I was absolutely alone, with no friend or relative to greet me," Goldwyn says.

Nixon Urges Whittier Grads to Avoid Prejudice -- and He Likes the Dodgers

June 14, 1959, Gordo

Gus Arriola is one of my favorite comic strip artists. His drawings are so clean and he's a marvelous draftsman.

June 14, 1959, Nixon

June 14, 1959, Nixon

June 14, 1959, Nison
Vice President Richard Nixon and his family visit Disneyland and stay at the Disneyland Hotel. He also says he shaves three times a day when he appears in public.

June 14, 1959, Hangings

An 1865 photo of a hanging that went awry at Temple and New High streets.

June 14, 1959, Goldwyn

June 14, 1959, Goldwyn  
At left, Jack Smith begins a five-part series on Samuel Goldwyn, "the only true mogul in the business."

"I guess I am not an angel," Goldwyn says. " I'm not always too sweet. I admit I have a temper. I can get angry sometimes. I'm not too sweet when I get mad. But I know what I want, and I fight for it."

"People don't give a damn, frankly, how much money you have spent. They either like a film or they don't. You can spend $90 million and if the picture bores them they don't care."
June 14, 1959, Darby O'Gill

"Darby O'Gill and the Little People," starring Sean Connery.
June 14, 1959, Nixon Dodgers June 14, 1959, Nixon Family

Richard Nixon was no ordinary baseball fan. The vice president said he was a Dodger fan ... and a Giant fan ... and a Senators fan? Talk about being politically correct.

"You have to be a fan if you're for the Senators," Nixon said. adding it was "real tough" to root for the Giants or Dodgers when the teams played each other.

"If Hodges and Snider can hold up I think the Dodgers have a good chance of winning the National League pennant," he said. 

Was that the Dodger fan or the Senators fan speaking? It sure wasn't the Giants fan.

--Keith Thursby

Top Comedian Goes Crazy in San Francisco! May 14, 1959

May 14, 1959, Jonathan Winters

Winters later used his hospitalization in some of his routines.

May 14, 1959, Cover
The Arechiga family, featured in the news because members were forcibly removed from two homes in Chavez Ravine, own 11 homes, The Times says.

Mayor Norris Poulson angrily says: "The family is not destitute. It owns more property than most residents of Los Angeles.

One daughter, Victoria Angustain, replies: "What's all the fuss about? We're not trying to hide anything. We never denied owning property. Nobody asked us. All the children are sticking together to help ourparents fight for their rights here."

Fifty years later, I have to agree with her. 

May 14, 1959, Jack Smith

Please notice: It was a Ford.

May 14, 1959, Arechigas

Poulson told someone else evicted from Chavez Ravine that they couldn't repurchase their home after voters decided not to build public housing ...
May 14, 1959, Arechigas

... "since no portion of the land acquired for a public purpose can be resold for a private purpose." Like Dodger Stadium, perhaps? 

May 14, 1959, Art Buchwald

Art Buchwald's letter from Paris

May 14, 1959, House on Haunted Hill

"The only shocking thing about this film is its utter ineptness."

May 14, 1959, Li'l Abner

All this time I've assumed Al Capp's drawings of Moonbeam McSwine were extraneous to the plot. I guess not!

Left-hander Warren Spahn throws another win for Milwaukee, which moves into first place ahead of the Dodgers. 
My 14, 1959, Sports


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Recent Posts
The Daily Mirror Is Moving |  June 16, 2011, 2:42 am »
Movieland Mystery Photo |  June 11, 2011, 9:26 am »
Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated] |  June 11, 2011, 8:06 am »
Found on EBay 1909 Mayor's Race |  June 9, 2011, 2:33 pm »