The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Weblogs

Self-Styled Siren: An Amateur Among Amateurs -- Agee on Film


Joan Fontaine Speaking of our favorite movie blogs, another one we enjoy at the Daily Mirror is “Self-Styled Siren,” by Farran Smith Nehme. (No, the photo is of Joan Fontaine, who serves as Farran’s avatar on the Web). Her latest post is about James Agee and it’s well worth reading. She says:

“Nothing is ever good enough for James Agee. Reading his reviews, you wonder not that he racked up three marriages before his death at age 45, but that he ever found a partner acceptable enough to sign legal documents with in the first place. Even movies he adored, such as Open City, leave some sort of cracker crumb in his bedsheets.

“Yet still I treasure Agee, because he writes so well. As he explains why, for example, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn isn’t good enough, he describes what he does like with breathtaking ardor and accuracy.”

There’s more here….

She Blogged by Night: The Marie Prevost Project

Marie Prevost One of our favorite movie blogs at the Daily Mirror is “She Blogged by Night.”

“She” writes: Larry Harnisch, researcher and blogger at the always wonderful Los Angeles Times Daily Mirror, sent me an epic tonne of articles on Marie Prevost from the Times archives. Since that was over a year ago, he probably wondered what the hell I did with all those articles. Well, I read 'em! And now I'm going to post about a few, not just because it's interesting, but to help us all get a bit of an idea where Marie is at this point in her career.

Here’s the link

A Comment on Commenting [Updated]

  Mustang torture test  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: TypePad unraveled the problem! All the comments were going into the spam folder and have now been published. I'm glad so many people recognize Dick Whittington!]

Dear Daily Mirror readers: Something seems to have gone wrong with the commenting system over the weekend on the Mystery Photo. I have opened a “ticket” with TypePad, the platform used by The Times, to see if their tech folks can address the issue. In the meantime, we apologize if your comments got lost.  

Amazing Predictions for 1961!

  Dec. 31, 1930, New Year's  

dropcap_w_1934hile the rest of the news business spends the final days of December looking back at the major events of the year, the Daily Mirror is peering forward, and for us at least, the future is clear: 1961 brings the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs invasion. “The Apartment” will win the Academy Award as best picture. Gary Cooper will die of cancer and Ernest Hemingway will kill himself.   

We are also looking ahead to the last full year of the evening Los Angeles Mirror and the morning Los Angeles Examiner, both of which folded in January 1962, giving The Times supremacy in the morning market. The reconstituted Herald Examiner (d. 1989) struggled for survival as a feisty, sensational afternoon paper,  racked by labor problems and increasingly irrelevant to Americans’ changing lifestyles and preference for TV news.

What else can we see? 1921 is the year of the Fatty Arbuckle case and 1941 brings us the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II. And in 1981, we have the dawn of the Ronald Reagan era.

As I often say, “so many stories and only one Larry Harnisch.” Where shall we go and what shall we do in the coming year?

Mystery photos? Of course, they’re one of my favorite parts of the blog. Paul Coates and Matt Weinstock? Yes. And Tom Treanor. I’ll try to do more with some other Times columnists who have only appeared fleetingly in the Daily Mirror: Lee Shippey and Timothy Turner, for example. And perhaps the mysterious 1930s film columnist Tip-Off.

The Daily Mirror has evolved quite a bit since I began the blog nearly four years ago. There’s more on Hollywood and film, and a bit less on crime. Part of the reason is my need for variety and part of the reason is what I find – or don’t find -- in the old papers. The crimes of the 1950s are fascinating and 1957 was a great year, but by mid- to late 1959, The Times’ coverage seemed to shift away from detailed reporting on the police blotter, a trend that continued into 1960. Perhaps the crimes weren’t as interesting to The Times editors as they were in the 1940s and early '50s, or The Times was devoting more of its resources to subjects like politics.

One thing I hope to explore in the coming year is a theme I touched on in a series of posts I called “Another Good Story Ruined.” Why is Los Angeles history so hard to get right and so easy to get wrong? I sometimes think the books on Los Angeles are nothing but a catalog of errors.  It might be worthwhile to examine some of the more common mistakes and myths about our past and see if I can find the origins. Authors of books about Los Angeles can expect the Daily Mirror to do a bit random fact-checking, which should fun and, I hope, illuminating.

I do need to pick my shots carefully. Extended coverage like Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to Los Angeles or the 1960 Democratic National Convention is labor-intensive and such projects seem to hold little interest for Daily Mirror readers. I’m not sure why, as they are significant events in local history, but they tend to be a lot of work for very little return.

And now it’s request time.

Daily Mirror readers are a loyal bunch. In fact, statistics show they spend an amazing amount of time on the blog. What would you like to see in the year ahead?

ps. Only four years to the Watts Riots.

E-mail me


Sept. 19, 1887, Cholo

Sept. 19, 1887: A comment on the use of “cholo” in a 1910 story prompted me to look for the first occurrence in The Times. ProQuest’s search engine is imperfect – it mistakes “cholera” for “cholo” -- but this seems to be one of the earliest appearances.

Dear Readers

I have said this before, but it’s worth repeating. All comments on this blog must be approved.

Note: A previous version of this post contained someone's IP number. The Daily Mirror erred in posting it.

Don't Call Me a Cowgirl

Sept. 3, 1969, Beverly Chandler
Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

Beverly Chandler shows her skill in roping in a 1969 photo.

Gwen Sharp, who blogs at Sociological Images, picked up the Daily Mirror post on Beverly Chandler, who worked on Rancho Mission Viejo.

Gwen writes: Now, if this was just an historical curiosity, I wouldn’t have posted it. But the thing is, we still see this type of emphasis on the femininity of women who succeed at things we consider “men’s work.” For instance, see this post on WNBA player Candace Parker, or Lisa’s post about Caster Semenya. Or even just compare the uniforms of male and female athletes.  We’re more comfortable with women who break some gender rules as long as they maintain their femininity by following other rules.

To Our Readers

Jan. 5, 1896, Eminent Specialists

To Our Readers:

As you have noticed, The Times'  website has been redesigned, and that includes The Daily Mirror. The elements that used to be on the right rail are gone, including Sid Hughes' badge and many of the links. We have a tag cloud (very useful as all our posts get tagged), and the links to the archives have been changed to a drop-down menu for a much cleaner presentation.

Please remember that this is a work in progress. More links are going to be added to the right rail in the future (like the blog-o-rama).

In the meantime, bookmark The Daily Mirror ( and keep up with us on Facebook  and Twitter.

Here's a quick link to the archives, arranged by week.

And this is a handy tool for searching The Daily Mirror back to April 2007. 

Larry and Keith

Update: In response to readers' requests, here's the information from our old sidebar: 


Google Trends for Mother's Day, Los Angeles, 2009

Google Trends

 Tip: Use commas to compare multiple search terms.

 Hot Trends  (USA)

May 10, 2009 -  change date
Updated 38 minutes ago

iGoogle Gadget New!    Site Feed
1. free printable mothers day cards
3. happy mothers day poems
4. las mananitas
5. myspace mothers day comments
6. sermon spice
7. ihop
8. how to make french toast
9. las mananitas con mariachi
10. erin crocker
11. wanda sykes
12. ecards
13. free
14. ihop menu
16. mananitas a mi madre
17. john boehner
18. ihop locations
19. none but the lonely heart
20. funny mothers day quotes
21. arnold arboretum
22. motherlover
23. hoops and yoyo
24. 21 pounds in 21 days
25. how to make scrambled eggs
26. white house correspondents dinner
27. blue mountain cards
28. e cards hallmark free
29. halle berry baby pictures
30. american greetings
31. crepe recipe
32. laverne cox
33. mommies
34. nirvana albums
35. mothers day text messages
37. currahee
38. cleanse and detox
39. mo rocca
40. online cards
41. mother lover lyrics
42. mothers day clip art
43. free ecard
44. master cleanser
45. olive garden
46. heezy
47. justin timberlake snl
48. mothers day bible verse
49. mom quotes
50. john banner
51. mothers day coloring pages
52. patricia clarkson
53. miss rhode island
54. fathers day
55. how to make crepes
56. port royal speedway
58. things to do on mothers day
59. outback steakhouse
60. porter garden telescope
61. john boehner person of color
62. willowdale steeplechase
63. grandmother poems
64. yahoo greetings
65. dear mama lyrics
66. larry summers
67. eggs benedict recipe
68. mothers day site
69. wanda sykes site
70. hallmark
71. mescaline
73. john baynham
74. free online greeting cards
75. buzzfest
76. fullmetal alchemist brotherhood episode 6
78. proverbs 31
79. fathers day 2009 date
80. golden corral
81. quick mothers day gifts
82. mothers day breakfast recipes
83. make a card
84. nevada plane crash
85. red lobster
86. star trek auction
87. city on lake pontchartrain
88. pravin gordhan
89. texas roadhouse
90. wanda sykes correspondents dinner
91. watch icarly i date a bad boy
92. giro d italia official website
93. darlington results
94. how to make an omelet
95. gift certificate template
96. boston acoustics tvee 2 soundbar
97. mom poems
98. mothers day sunday school lesson
99. snl digital shorts
100. carrabas

Google Trends provides insights into broad search patterns. Please keep in mind that several approximations are used when computing these results.

©2008 Google - Google Labs - Discuss - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy - Help

So what's up with Google Trends on Mother's Day?

We see some folks are hunting for a card they can print out for mom (1), others are going for an online card (27, 43, etc.). Well, it does save paper. But a Mother's Day text message (35)?  Don't you think the hand that rocked the cradle deserves a little better than "MOM TNX GTG!"?

Looks like children and husbands aren't the only ones who have waited until the last minute. How about you pastors looking for an item for your sermon (6, 48)?

Evidently some mothers are going to get breakfast (25, 82). Hmmmm. Does anyone really need a recipe for French toast (8) or scrambled eggs (25)? Some moms are getting a trip to Olive Garden (45), Red Lobster (85) or Outback Steakhouse (59) but wait...  IHOP is the big winner (7, 14, 18)!  

Daily Mirror at the Festival of Books

Festival_of_booksI planned to not say very much about appearing at the Festival of Books, but people  have been asking about "History: The Underbelly of California," which will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday at Haines 39. The panel will feature Richard Rayner, author of the forthcoming book "A Bright and Guilty Place"; David Ward, author of "Alcatraz: The Gangster Years" and be moderated by author and former Times reporter Miles Corwin.

Naturally, I'm quite flattered to be included in this company. Keith Thursby, the other half of the Daily Mirror, will be available too in case there are any questions about the Daily Mirror's sports coverage. Keith tells me tickets are "sold out," although people may be able to get in on a standby basis.

Found on EBay



This is even better than the Pacific Electric detective badge: An envelope addressed to my old friend Victor Segno!

Segno was an early 20th century mentalist who conned people into sending him $1 a month in exchange for a daily "success wave" sent telepathically around the world.

No, I mean it.


I already wrote about him for the 1947project, so I won't rehash it all.  But he is an amazing character. In addition to  "The Law of Mentalism," of 1902, he wrote "How to Be Happy, Though Married" and "How to Have Beautiful Hair."


Professor A. Victor Segno transmitting a global success wave. Note the beautiful hair.

A few of Segno's books have apparently been reprinted and he continues to generate some interest, though, thankfully, not much. People who have read his works occasionally find me through Google and ask me if I think he was legitimate. Of course not! He was an utter fake. But a really amusing one.

Email me

The searchers

Jack_webb_30 The stats for my blog allow me to see the search terms people use to reach the Daily Mirror. I never realized there were so many people interested in Mickey Cohen. There are quite a few false hits and some interesting queries.

To the person researching Jack Webb's "-30-": Despite what you may have read or heard, the movie was not filmed in the Examiner Building (this was lore for many years at The Times among former Her-Exers). Webb built an exact duplicate on a sound stage. He did this for "Dragnet" too.

To the person researching Gamblers Anonymous: I hope you found what you needed.

And to whoever is researching "little girl lost intestines in swimming pool"--I am at a loss for words.

At right, the VHS box for "-30-" Kids! Don't Play Here!

Email me   


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