The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Ronald Reagan

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 12, 1941


  May 12, 1941, Comics  

May 12, 1941: Producers have a new name for their movie: “Bahama Passage.” The working title may have provoked some unwanted reaction.  
Garner Curran fills in for Lee Shippey, who is recovering from surgery, and writes about the late Times columnist Harry Carr.

Ronald Reagan has a new Warners contract with bigger dough and promising a star buildup, Jimmie Fidler says.

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'Citizen Kane' Opens in L.A.!

  May 9, 1941, Nazi Air Losses Set Record  

  May 9, 1941, Citizen Kane  

May 9, 1941: “Citizen Kane” opens at the El Capitan and the RKO Hillstreet.

“Orson Welles strikes out in a dozen new directions with his technique of ‘Citizen Kane.’ Yet what he does can scarcely be called the work of a schooled innovator. It is rather that of the daring and gifted amateur in a new medium….

“It may be concluded that he uses the 'Rosebud' idea as a symbol of the childhood dreams of Kane, which he was forced to forego for the career of wealth mapped out for him. This change in his life resulted in his becoming a sometimes half-mad super-egotist.

“Well, it's an interesting picture, certainly. It has a great deal of art, some of which verges on the arty. It isn't a satisfying picture, however, in actual theme and the fulfillment of this idea,” Edwin Schallert says. 

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From the Stacks – 'Dancing Bear' (1968)

  Dancing Bear  

Out of curiosity, I picked up Gladwin Hill’s “Dancing Bear” at the Southern California Library’s book sale.  I never met Hill (d. 1992), the New York Times bureau chief in Los Angeles, but I had heard about him at luncheon gatherings of Times retirees who call themselves the Old Farts. 
I tend to avoid reading about politics in my spare time. I get a healthy dose of it at work, and the minute dissection of old political intrigues – stiffly written prose about half-remembered names and long-forgotten battles  – isn’t terribly interesting to anyone but the most confirmed political junkie.

With expectations that “Dancing Bear” would be nothing but a stale time capsule, I was quite pleasantly surprised by Hill’s engaging account of California politics, and his insights not only on the state’s curious history, but especially his perspective on the early career of Ronald Reagan.  


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Military Snaps to Attention for Reagan

  Feb. 27, 1981, Comics  

  Feb. 27, 1981, Uniforms  

Feb. 27, 1981: Military officers are back in uniform around Washington after an informal switch to civilian clothes, apparently prompted by a remark in 1955 by President Eisenhower that “the place looked like an armed camp.” The change was due to another presidential quip, this time from Ronald Reagan, who supposedly asked: “How do I know you’re a general if you don’t wear a uniform?”
Keeping reading for Charles Champlin’s review of Georges Simenon's "The Little Doctor" and musings on murder mysteries.

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Ronald Reagan and 'A Time for Choosing'

  Oct. 27, 1964, Time for Chosing  

Oct. 27, 1964, Programming In speaking at the tribute honoring the Ronald Reagan centennial on Friday night, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin invoked his now-famous speech “A Time for Choosing.”

Times reporter Maeve Reston noted that Reagan gave the televised speech in October 1964 on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and I thought it would be interesting to explore some of the details. The Times was a stalwart Republican paper in this era and endorsed Goldwater for president, so it seemed likely that there might be some coverage of Reagan’s speech.

My research found that if the address has become one the landmarks of Reagan’s political career, it certainly didn’t start out that way.

In fact, The Times’ clips and other news sources show that for nearly two years before his televised address, Reagan had been delivering a speech on the theme of “A Time for Choosing” to business and political groups.   Given the time references in the televised version (“Senator Humphrey last week…”) , it’s evident that Reagan revised the work and I will defer to Reagan scholars to compare drafts of the speech, although I imagine it would be a fascinating project.

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Iran Hostages Spend 2nd Christmas in Captivity

  Dec. 24, 1980, Iran Hostages

Dec. 24, 1980, Comics

  Dec. 24, 1980, Officer Killed

Dec. 24, 1980: The nation’s Christmas tree is lit for 417 seconds, one for each day the 52 hostages have been held in captivity in Iran…. San Fernando Police Officer Dennis Webb is shot to death while questioning a young man about the robbery of a 7-Eleven. The killer evidently took Webb’s patrol car and abandoned it eight miles away.

And from Kenya, Charles T. Powers files a first-rate piece of writing on the future of college graduates in Kenya.

On the jump, examples of The Times covers: the Morning Final, Late Final and home edition.

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Reagan May Call Economic Emergency


  Dec. 18, 1980, Comics  

Dec. 18, 1980: With the prime lending rate at 21% and expected to rise to 23% or 25% (welcome to 1980 and the Carter administration!) President-elect Ronald Reagan is weighing whether to declare an economic emergency when he takes office. 

Notice the twin two-column stories at the bottom of the front page. In Times’ layout style of this era, these were called “corner stories” and prevailed for years. Also notice that one of them deals with Gov. Jerry Brown using tax money for political purposes (he reimbursed the money) and that his chief of staff was Gray Davis.

On the jump, the rest of George Skelton’s first-rate analysis of what Reagan did wrong on his first trip to Washington as governor and what he did right as president-elect.

Skelton says: “Most veterans of the Reagan era now agree that the former actor's initial poor relationship with the Legislature resulted from a combination of his ignorance of the subtle ways of government and his then basic disrespect for politicians generally.”

"He and all the people around him had the feeling that all the members of the Legislature were a bunch of bums, which is not to say some weren't," said a former Republican state officeholder.

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A Season of Optimism for Dodgers, Angels

  Nov. 29, 1970, Reagan  

Nov. 29, 1970: State income from tax revenue is running lower than expected while state spending -- primarily for social welfare -- is running higher than earlier estimates.

  Nov. 29, 1970, Dodgers  

Nov. 29, 1970: The Dodgers and Angels were feeling optimistic but how hard is that in the middle of winter?

"We have a chance to win it all next year," said the Dodgers' Al Campanis.

The Angels had "the highest of hopes for 1971," Dick Walsh told The Times John Wiebusch.

Both teams had made big offseason acquisitions, the Dodgers getting Richie Allen and the Angels Tony Conigliaro.

The Dodgers were named in various reports about looking for more pitching, specifically Steve Carlton of the Cardinals, Ken Hotzman of the Cubs and former Dodger Ron Perranoski of the Twins.

Campanis said he would consider trading one of their "good young kids," who included shortstop Bobby Valentine, first baseman-outfielder Bill Buckner, third baseman-outfielder Steve Garvey and outfielder Tom Paciorek.

Eventually, they would all become ex-Dodgers.

--Keith Thursby


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