The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Religion

Blessing of the Animals at the Old Plaza

April 17, 1960, Buck Rogers

“Someone’s Trying to Blow Up the Eliza Ann!”

April 17, 1960, Blessing of the Animals

April 17, 1960: In a 19th century Holy Week custom revived in New Mexico in 1930, a group of animals led by a Holstein cow is blessed at the Old Plaza. The Rev. Victor Marin, pastor of the Old Plaza Church, presides over the blessing in Spanish and English: “Almighty Father, we bless these animals for all they have done for us, in supplying food, in carrying our burdens, providing us with clothing and companionship and rendering a service to the human race since the world began."

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Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, April 16, 1960

 April 16, 1960, Mirror Cover

April 16, 1960, Easter

These Easter page toppers were a regular feature in the Mirror.

Mash Notes and Comments

Paul Coates    (Press Release) "Secretary of Defense Thomas S. Gates, a man of few words, has no sympathy for the Pentagon's famous red tape.

    "Once, a current Look magazine article reports, the problem of a traffic light at a naval installation bounced its way up the steps of the Navy hierarchy.

    "The light was necessary during rush hours, but halted highway traffic without reason during the rest of the day and night.

    "Finally, the traffic light problem staggered through the ranks of Navy brass and reached the desk of Gates, often called the second most powerful man in Washington . . . " (Signed) Look Magazine, New York City.

    --You better not let Ike hear that.  He thinks he is.


    "Dear Mr. Coates,

    "I missed that program you did with that Beverly Aadland's mother because I had to work nights this week to take over for one of the girls who is sick.

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U.S. Clergymen Hold Easter Services for Embassy Hostages in Iran

April 7, 1980, Hostages

April 7, 1980, Hostages

April 7, 1980: Three Christian ministers from the American Iranian Crisis Resolution Committee hold Easter services for 50 hostages who had been held since Nov. 4, 1979, at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. On April 24, 1980, President Carter announced that eight American crewmen were killed when two planes collided after a rescue attempt was aborted.

April 25, 1980, Hostages

After 444 days of captivity, the hostages’ “flight to freedom” began 33 minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president, The Times said. 

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From The Vaults: 'The Virgin Spring' (1960)

Virginspring This continues to be the only Ingmar Bergman movie I have seen... I have a slew of them in my Netflix queue, but this one got prioritized mainly because it was the basis for Wes Craven's 1972 classic, “Last House on the Left.”

Bergman's film, in turn, claims a 13th century ballad as its source, and it scans like a ballad itself or a medieval pageant. Everything is very ponderous and slow-moving, but as inexorable as a forest fire. The Middle Ages characters look like walking statues or paintings, but the human cost of every action is shown in relentless close-up. It's not just pretty pictures Bergman's making here (although of course the sharp blacks and whites are very beautiful). This is raw stuff.

The premise was adapted pretty faithfully for “Last House”: Killers take shelter, unwittingly, in the home of their victim's parents; when the parents find out, they roll up their sleeves and get vengeful. The victim here is Karin (Birgitta Pettersson), the pampered daughter of a farm family. She's beautiful and charming and has always been able to get what she wants out of doting parents Tore (Max von Sydow) and Mareta (Birgitta Valberg). Family tragedy is hinted at; Mareta sighs “She's the only child I have left”; but it's never fleshed out.

Also in the family is a foster daughter, Ingeri (Gunnel Lindblom): hugely pregnant and up at dawn doing chores while the virginal Karin sleeps in. Ingeri constantly hears how lucky she is that they haven't thrown her out in her disgraceful condition, and she watches resentfully as Karin is petted and fussed over. Dark-haired where Karin is blonde, praying for aid to Odin in a pious Christian household, she's Karin's opposite and nemesis.

It's Ingeri's wrath that sets the movie in motion: in the very first scene, she leans over a kindling fire and blows, igniting it into flame. Packing Karin's lunch for her fateful ride through the woods, she hollows out a piece of bread and hides a live toad inside. You don't know if it's just plain nastiness or some kind of spell. But then she encounters a creepy pagan bridge-keeper – a fellow worshiper? Odin himself? Something worse? -- who claims to recognize her and hisses “I'll help you.” Suddenly realizing she might have actually unleashed something, Ingeri races in terror after Karin, catching up only in time to witness Karin's rape and murder.

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Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, April 4, 1960

April 4, 1960

Sawdust Trail Leads Through Midway


Paul Coates

    To you, Cucamonga may mean nothing but a Jack Benny joke, but to history it may be remembered as the scene of one of Christianity's major jurisdictional disputes.
    Recently, a syndicate was formed to buy acreage in that quiet village and to build a $15 million "Bible Storyland" which will attempt the astonishing blend of open-air Sunday school, Disneyland and Coney Island carnival concession.
    The mere announcement made churchmen wince.  But it wasn't until they read the imaginative brochure of Bible Storyland that the wince turned into a full-fledged howl of pain.  A committee of 40 religious leaders has charged that the brochure contains "amazing Biblical interpretations and horrible religious ideas."  The promoters claim their theological amusement center would "convert thousands, and fill our churches."
    I don't take sides in controversial matters.  All I'll admit for the record is that if Bible Storyland achieves nothing else, it will at least be a subject for a new Evelyn Waugh novel.

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‘A Mohammedan Easter’

April 3, 1910, Nabi Musa


April 3, 1910: This headline stopped me cold: “Mohammedan Easter.” It’s a feature from the Sunday magazine on the Muslim pilgrimage to what the writer calls Neby Mousa and is known today as Nabi Musa. The author, Harold J. Shepstone, appears to be a prolific British writer of the “Ripping Yarns” variety (lion taming, polar exploration, etc.) with a career ranging from the 1900s to the 1940s.

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Kennedy Leads Nixon in Gallup Poll


April 1, 1960: Vice President Richard Nixon pours Billy Graham a cup of coffee during a White House visit.


Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) leads Vice President Richard Nixon in a presidential election poll, 53% to 47%, George Gallup says. Kennedy had been ahead before Nixon’s trip to Moscow in August 1959.

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Holy Week, 1920

April 1, 1920, Easter

April 1, 1920, Holy Week

April 1, 1920: The Times reports on the increasing popularity of Easter sunrise services, an observance held on Mt. Rubidoux for the first time in 1909

“The unique feature of Easter in Southern California is the sunrise service. Since the first Easter sunrise service was held on Mt. Rubidoux, Riverside, the idea has been adopted throughout the this territory to such an extent that in probably every important town in Southern California some sort of sunrise service will be held. Great actors and noted singers will take part in some of these services, and in all the idea emphasized will be that the out-of-doors -- the Earth, the sea, the mountains, the dimming stars and the rising sun -- are visible proofs of an all-provident Creator whose powers are beyond human conception.”

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Matt Weinstock, March 17, 1960

 Mrch 17, 1960, Abby

Conversing Computers

Matt Weinstock     Well, we're there, folks.  I suppose it was inevitable.  And presumably the news has been deliberately hushed and permitted to leak here so no one would get the impulse to jump out of his shoes.  So let's get on with it -- the press release from Electronic Engineering Co. of Calif., Santa Ana.  Datelined Washington, D.C., it states, "An electronic data processing system is making it possible for two computers to 'talk' to each other in a common electronic mathematical language."

    The story goes on to state that the system, which cost $245,000, and is known as a ZA-100 Computer Language Translator, enables two computers, the IBM 704 and the Remington Rand Univac, "to freely interchange mathematical data or to process raw scientific data."

    No report on what the 704's first words to the Univac were.  Probably "Hello."


for confession and honesty which has gripped the television industry since the quiz show scandals had a satiric echo at the Western States Advertising Agency association dinner.
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Segregated Businesses May Be Legal, Eisenhower Says

March 17, 1960, Cheryl Crane

March 17, 1960, Cheryl Crane

March 17, 1960, Segregation

March 17, 1960: On the jump, more about Cheryl Crane’s transfer to El Retiro School for Girls in the San Fernando Valley … President Eisenhower says it may be legal for private businesses to bar African Americans or any other group. Eisenhower adds that he’s no lawyer … and says that "there is too much interference in our private affairs and ... personal lives already."

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Boy Prophet Calls U.S. the Chosen Land

March 13, 1910, Boy Prophet

March 13, 1910, Boy Prophet

March 13, 1910: The Times features Archie J. Inger, identified as the author of "Revealed Translation of John's Revelations.”  In 1914, The Times published a few stories about his opposition to the upcoming execution of Louis Bundy in the killing of Harold Ziesche, a messenger boy, in the theft of $20. At that time, Inger was involved in the Church of the Divine Influx, [The Times said. Bundy was hanged Nov. 5, 1915, and it took 15 minutes for his heart to stop beating. He was 20].

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Kennedy Pulls Even With Nixon in Poll

March 4, 1960, Elvis 
March 4, 1960: Nancy Sinatra greets Elvis!

March 4, 1960, Kennedy

March 4, 1960: Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) pulls even with Vice President Richard Nixon – even though Kennedy is Catholic! (More on the jump). 

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