The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Nuestro Pueblo

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 28, 1941

  May 28, 1941, President Declares Emergency  

  May 28, 1941, Comics  

May 28, 1941: LONDON, May 27 (AP) -- The 35,000-ton German battleship Bismarck, one of the newest and most powerful in the world, was smashed and sunk today by British warships and aerial bombers on the fifth morning of as coldly implacable a chase as sea warfare has ever known.

Jimmie Fidler says: Tucked away in a corner of the Los Angeles Times the other day was an item that left me cold with rage.... The item to which I refer digested down to this: "The Hollywood Guild may have to close its doors and cease aiding unfortunate members of the film industry because the drain of foreign charities has cut so deeply into the guild's income as to threaten its existence.”

FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! How can American-born actors and executives of the movie industry be so blind? How can they continue to pour thousands of dollars into foreign relief funds, meanwhile ignoring the pitiful cry of indigents right here at home?

Also on the jump: A map of the Bismarck’s demise by Times artist Charles Owens.

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Architectural Ramblings -- The Sowden House

  Oct. 3, 1938, Sowden House  
  Drawing by Charles Owens/Los Angeles Times  

The Sowden House by architect Lloyd Wright at 5121 Franklin Ave. is on the market for $4.2 million.

You may recall that this was the purported murder HQ of Dr. George “Evil Genius” Hodel during his supposedly bloody rampage across the city, in which he killed with impunity (the Black Dahlia, Jeanne French and the Red Cars) after coercing authorities into silence by threatening to reveal which prominent Angelenos had (gasp!) VD. 

Yes, venereal disease is a far worse crime than murder, at least according to “Black Dahlia Avenger,” “Most Evil” and  whatever may be next (Jimmy Hoffa? Judge Crater?) in the “Evil Genius”  franchise.   


 A virtual tour of the home.

The Nuestro Pueblo feature on the home.

Dr. George “Evil Genius” Hodel on the Daily Mirror

Death Toll Exceeds 100,000 in Japan's Holocaust, Sept. 3, 1923

  Sept. 3, 1923, Death Toll Exceeds 100,000  

  Sept. 3, 1923, Quake Map  

  Sept. 3, 1923, Japan Quake  

Sept. 3, 1923: This is the earliest map I’ve ever seen by our old friend Charles Owens, who later worked on Nuestro Pueblo with Joe Seewerker. I have been selective in posting stories because the images are quite difficult to read.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Jan. 6, 1941

  Jan. 6, 1941, Wrecked Plane  

  Jan. 6, 1941, Plane Crash  

Jan. 6, 1941: Times artist Charles H. Owens gives his interpretation of the crash of a Navy DC-2 into White Mountain, 25 miles southeast of San Diego. 
“In 30 years of incessant searching for new screen talent, I have learned one ironic fact: The more beautiful the girl, the more apt she is to have slovenly speech habits and an unpleasant, poorly modulated voice,” Cecil B. De Mille tells Jimmie Fidler.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Dec. 19, 1940

  Dec. 19, 1940, March Field Crash
Dec. 19, 1940, Crash

Dec. 19, 1940: Hedy Lamarr never uses red nail polish, Jimmie Fidler says.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Dec. 13, 1941

  Dec. 13, 1941, Headline  

  Dec. 13, 1941, War Map  

Dec. 13, 1941: The better local niteries are frowning on femmes who step out in slacks, Jimmie Fidler says.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Oct. 29, 1940

  Oct. 29, 1940, Greeks Stop Italian Push  

  Oct. 29, 1940, War Map

Oct. 29, 1940: Frank Morgan is overhauling his yacht for a repeat Alaskan jaunt, come spring, Jimmie Fidler says.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Oct. 6, 1941


Oct. 6, 1941, Mine Sweeper  

Oct. 6, 1941:   Lupe Velez appeared at Columbia studio the other ayem with black hair, switched to red locks for a p.m. cocktail party and did a nite spot, three hours later, with blond curls.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Sept. 15, 1941

Sept. 15, 1941, RAF Joins Reds

Sept. 15, 1941, War Map

Sept. 15, 1941: Gracie Allen, pioneer. Typical of Miss Allen's resolute spirit is the campaign which she launched, following curtailment of Japanese silk imports, to persuade every Hollywood woman to buy a mulberry tree and a silk worm, Jimmie Fidler says.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Aug. 20, 1940

Aug. 20, 1940, British Air Hosts

Aug. 20, 1940, War Map
The Times publishes the latest war map by Charles Owens.

Aug. 20 1940: CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNIQUE TO Lili Damita: I sort of agree with you that marital separations are helpful in families where both husband and wife are of fiery temperament but don't you honestly feel that five or six months apart every year is overdoing it?

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Aug. 16, 1940

Aug. 16, 1940, Nazi Raiders

Aug. 16, 1940, Map
The Times publishes a war map by Charles Owens.

Aug. 16, 1940: Joan Crawford is mulling the notion of a second adoption as companion for her recent first, Jimmie Fidler says. 

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Artist’s Notebook: Bastille Day

July 11, 2010, Bastille Day in Los Angeles
“Bastille Day” by Marion Eisenmann

Marion Eisenmann called Sunday and suggested we visit a Bastille Day celebration in Elysian Park. I practiced my rusty high school French on the way there with Marion quizzing me “How would you say ‘I’m hungry?’ ” (My teacher, Madame Royce, would be so pleased that I remembered).

Instead of Paris’ Champs Elysees, the Los Angeles festival, presented by Passion Productions, was held in Elysian Park, at a quite pleasant, grassy area near Stadium Way and Scott Avenue around the bend from Dodger Stadium. 

And yes, speaking of “I’m hungry,” there were pastries and other delicacies at a variety of booths and of course, some folks were watching the World Cup on TV. But most people were listening to the music and sitting at tables or lounging on the grass.  And in Los Angeles, a Bastille Day celebration included dancing by the Polynesian dance group Fetia Rangi from Orange County because it’s French Polynesia.

Marion says:

It was a great occasion to be surrounded by a European clique, with food and music from France, a country not far from where I originate. The illustration captures a peaceful and French ambience, of “picnicking” people, combined with a distinct view from Elysian Park overlooking parts of downtown. Very contrary to the busy and crowded celebration along the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Note: In case you just tuned in, Marion Eisenmann and I are visiting spots around Los Angeles in a modern version of what Joe Seewerker and Charles Owens did in the 1930s with The Times’ Nuestro Pueblo feature. 

Anyone who’s interested in Marion’s artwork should contact her directly.


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