The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Transportation

Army Clears Strikers at North American Aviation


  June 10, 1941, Comics  

  June 10, 1941, North American Strike  

June 10, 1941: Bill Henry files a color story on soldiers using rifles with bayonets to herd strikers away from the North American Aviation plant. Unfortunately, my new optical character recognition software can’t handle these old clips, so I have to post the images of the stories. Henry’s story is worth reading.

Also on the jump, Ethel Waters stars in “Cabin in the Sky.”
Jimmie Fidler says: On the newsstands this month is a magazine which features an astrological analysis of Cary Grant's present status and future prospects... The birthday used in preparing Grant's chart was 1909, a date given out in a studio publicity department biography. Cary's real birth year was 1904!

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North American Aviation Strike

  June 6, 1941, North American Aviation Strike  
  Photograph by the Los Angeles Times  

Labor activists picket the North American Aviation plant in a photo published June 6, 1941.

  April 17, 1941, Reds  

June 7, 1941, Industrial Freedom One of the first challenges in studying the 1941 North American Aviation strike is using The Times as source material.

The newspaper had been a vocal opponent of organized labor since the 19th century and became even more strident after the 1910 bombing of The Times Building by union activists. The motto “True Industrial Freedom” appeared on the nameplate for years and “TRVE INDVSTRIAL FREEDOM” is carved into the building.  

April 17, 1941, Reds Given its other pronouncements, I wouldn’t expect The Times editorial page to be impartial, but news stories ought to be a different matter. Here’s what I consider an example of dubious reporting. This April 17, 1941, Times story leads with the statement that a UAW contract proposed for North American Aviation workers would forbid "barring of Communist Party members."

Further down, the story quotes the precise wording of the contract, which is a far broader statement forbidding discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, political affiliations “or nativity of his parents or ancestors.”  Notice that it doesn’t mention anything about gender. In this era, of course, loyalty oaths were supposed to weed out subversives – but that’s another story. 

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, June 1, 1941

  June 1, 1941, Iraq Conquered by British Troops  

  image June 1, 1941, Streetcar  
  June 1, 1941, Streetcar
June 1, 1941, Streetcar


June 1, 1941: LONDON, May 31. (AP)-- German airmen who went belatedly to Iraq to bolster the Axis-inspired war against Britain were reported fleeing the country tonight as Iraqi resistance collapsed. British imperial advance forces entered the disorderly capital of Bagdad.

Lee Shippey says the  argument in the Seymour house always begins in May: Should we turn off the furnace? 

Probably you've seen some of the new jukebox "soundies" and formed your own opinion of them. I've just previewed 24 at one sitting, all produced by composer Sam Coslow, and I'm convinced that big movie moguls, instead of regarding them with contempt, should give them special attention, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Found on EBay – Duesenberg

duesenberg_generator_ebay Perhaps your Duesenberg Model J needs a rebuilt generator. Or perhaps you can’t afford an entire Model J but would like a piece of one. A Delco-Remy generator for a Duesenberg has been listed on EBay for $755. As with anything on EBay, an item and vendor should be examined thoroughly before submitting a bid.

Also on the Daily Mirror: Otis Chandler’s Duesenberg.

Found on EBay – 1947 Thomas Bros. Guide


A 1947 Thomas Bros. guide has been listed on EBay. These are terrific resources (the Daily Mirror HQ has a small collection of them) showing what Los Angeles looked like before freeways. The guides also include streetcar and bus routes. This item is listed as Buy It Now for $12.99.

MTA Plans Rapid Transit Route From Century City to El Monte!!

  May 15, 1961, Comics  

  May 15, 1961, Transit Plan  

May 15, 1961: The Metropolitan Transit Authority announces plans for a rapid transit system from Century City to El Monte! 

The proposed line, including 12 miles of subway, would extend from the downtown area to El Monte and west to the new Century City in West Los Angeles!!

The western terminal would be under Santa Monica Boulevard at the Century City project on which construction has begun!!!

The line would swing over to Wilshire Boulevard, continuing downtown via subway beneath Wilshire! The subway would continue to a point one mile east of Union Station, where the line would rise to the surface and travel the Pacific Electric right of way along the San Bernardino Freeway to El Monte!!!!!!!

And best of all, according to the Kaiser Industries engineers who helped draft  the plan: “The line would take three years to build.”

That’s right. A rapid transit line from Century City to El Monte, including 12 MILES of subway, could be built in three years!!!!!!!

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry over this story. Maybe both.

email me
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Found on EBay – Angels Flight

Angels Flight

Postcards of Angels Flight are fairly common, but I can’t say I have ever seen  one taken from this perspective on 3rd Street. Bidding starts at $6.89.

Found on EBay -- Mystery Postcard [Updated]

  Street Scene, EBay    

[Update: What’s wrong with this postcard?  Notice City Hall way down the block? Please congratulate Cat Murray for recognizing this as Broadway, not Spring Street. ]

This postcard of downtown Los Angeles has been listed on EBay…. Does anyone notice anything unusual about it? Bidding starts at $12.69.

Found on EBay -- John Barrymore's Town Car

  John Barrymore's Cord  

A photograph of John Barrymore’s 1930 Cord L-29, with a body by Murphy Coach Builders of Pasadena, has been listed on EBay. According to an 1989 article in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, this car is in the Auburn, Ind., Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum. Bidding on the photo starts at $5.

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, April 17, 1941

  April 17, 1941, Eight Axis Ships Sunk  

  April 17, 1941, Comics  

SANTA FE CHIEF, April 16 -- NOTHING MAKES YOU feel more remote from the toil, trouble and strife of the war world than a powerful train. It's a moving island from which all disturbing influences are censored. It floats through the landscape like a passing dream. Heat and cold alike are shut off. The passengers are as sheltered as a chick in an egg incubator. Nothing changes except the sliding scenery, the rise and wane of daylight and your watch. Even the wheels don't click anymore. They merely murmur, says Tom Treanor, who is on a press junket to Venezuela.

Myrna Loy should watch her appearance; the overweight is too obvious, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Paul Coates and Matt Weinstock, April 14, 1961

  April 14, 1961, Comics  

April 14, 1961: Like some huge, weird, robot-like monster in a dream, the steel and concrete pillars and bridges of the Santa Monica Freeway are advancing slowly westward from Figueroa Street to Venice Boulevard, laying waste all before them.

In the monster's path at the moment and soon to be swallowed is the area between 21st and 22nd Streets and Mariposa and Normandie. The streets are deserted and still. The houses have been vacated and the windows, shattered by youngsters throwing rocks, are jagged and gaping. Some bear signs, "Danger. Keep Out." Here and there are discarded household articles -- a ripped old sofa or a bathroom fixture.

An onlooker gets a bombed-out, end of the world feeling but it's only part of the changing face of Los Angeles, Matt Weinstock says.

CONFIDENTIAL TO TINA: Your friends are right. When a girl accepts an ankle bracelet from a boy, and wears it on her LEFT ankle, it means they are going steady.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, April 6, 1941

  April 6, 1941, Yugoslavia and Greece Invaded  

  April 6, 1941, Comics  

  April 6, 1941, Messerschmitt  

April 6, 1941: Tom Treanor writes about a captured Messerschmitt 110 fighter that is being examined by Vultee engineers. The workmanship is first-class, the Vultee engineers say.
At Lockheed, “We took a look at the early P-38s and they are certainly more vicious to the eye than the Messerschmitt. With their two skinny booms, as they call the rakish fuselages, double tails, evilly slanted wings and sinister little glass coop for the pilot, they look like the real killers of the sky. There's something more modern, advanced and devilish in their lines than in the comparatively simple Messerschmitt, poor thing,” Treanor says. 

The country is virtually at war. Its defense efforts are being hamstrung by unjustified strikes, uncooperative industrialists and blathermouthed, spotlight-hunting politicians. The average man in America has, with excellent reason, such a deep distrust of inefficient nincompoops in public office that his patriotism is in danger of being poisoned by his distrust, Jimmie Fidler says. 

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