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GOP Neglects Blacks, White House Aide Says; Dodgers Lose, April 15, 1959

April 15, 2009 |  6:00 am

April 15, 1959, Scott Carpenter, Astronaut

April 15, 1959 Taxes

Above, Navy Lt. M. Scott Carpenter, one of seven men chosen for the Mercury space program, leaves Garden Grove with his family to undergo training. In 1962, Carpenter became the fourth American in space and the second to orbit the Earth.

At left, an editorial cartoon at The Times before the arrival of Paul Conrad. Even in 1959, people complained about their federal taxes. 
April 15, 1959, USC Bicyclists

USC students use bikes to get around campus. Note the coat and tie, guys.

April 15, 1959, Truman and Nixon

A glimmer of the upcoming presidential race.
April 15, 1959, Republican Party and Blacks
E. Frederic Morrow, a White House administrative officer, says black voters don't support the Republican Party because it doesn't recognize them as first-class citizens.

April 15, 1959, Gas Mileage
April 15, 1959, Pontiac
Ever wonder how that old Detroit iron was on gas mileage? Here's your answer. Above, the 1959 Pontiac Catalinas (18.31 mpg) and Bonnevilles (16.94 mpg) were real road boats.

April 15, 1959, Sinatra Plays the Sands

Frank Sinatra at the Sands -- with Buddy Lester!

April 15, 1959, Miss Realtor

April 15, 1959, Theater

Pier Angeli leaves the country with her son--against the wishes of ex-husband Vic Damone.

April 15, 1959, Comics

April 15, 1959, Dodgers The Dodgers opened their home schedule with a big Coliseum crowd expecting big things. More than 61,000 watched as the Dodgers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-2.

Wally Moon, who would become part of Dodger lore with his Moon shots over the short left-field screen, had three hits but no homers in his home debut. Gil Hodges hit one in the ninth but it judged by The Times' Frank Finch to be just a "cheap homer that barely cleared the screen."

Before the game, Roy Campanella was wheeled to the field by his longtime teammate, Pee Wee Reese and flipped the ball to starting pitcher Johnny Podres. Campanella also addressed the crowd: "It's an honor and pleasure to be here, especially behind the plate. That left-field fence looks great. I just wish I could swing and put a few over it."

It was only one game, but the paper's sports editor, Paul Zimmerman, saw enough to write a blistering column the following day. "Let's see now. Last year the explanation of the Dodgers' early season plight included such talk as the uncertainty of the Chavez Ravine situation, the transfer to Los Angeles, etc. etc," Zimmerman wrote. "Chavez Ravine now seems to be as good as in the bag and our lads are pretty well housebroken here but their opening game was hardly an artistic success."

That might not sound tough, but most Times sportswriters in 1959 didn't go negative very often.

Zimmerman said the Dodgers' hitting and fielding troubles seemed "designed to do nothing but discourage a host of willing fans." He might have been right about that--the second game's attendance dipped to 14,491, which in the Coliseum must have felt like just 491.

--Keith Thursby