Los Angeles County
1930 to 1945
Snow blankets Los Angeles. The
Greek Theater opens in Griffith Park. Olvera Street opens to the public after a successful
rebuilding and renovation campaign led by Mrs. Christine Sterling. The street is named
after Augustin Olvera, Los Angeles first county judge. Mines Field (the future
LAX) is dedicated and opened as the official airport for Los Angeles. Los Angeles voters agree to spend $12 million in
bonds to buy out most of the town properties in Big Pine and Bishop in the Owens Valley,
thus ending the Owens Valley water wars. More than 11,000 Mexican immigrants, recruited to
work in the U.S., are deported to Mexico from Los Angeles. Laura
Ingalls lands in Glendale to become the first woman to fly solo across
the United States.
The Los Angeles city flag is
adopted by ordinance. Mass deportations of 12,600 Mexicans begin.
The Tenth Olympic Games opens in
Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was enlarged to seat 105,000 spectators.
Construction of the Colorado River Aqueduct begins. Amelia Earhart Putnam takes off from Los Angeles to make the
solo nonstop transcontinental flight across the United States by a woman.
Her flight ends in Newark, New Jersey.
The Los Angeles Sentinel,
an African-American newspaper, is first published. The Long Beach Earthquake leaves 120
people dead and $41 million in damage. The Mineral Wells Canyon fire claims the lives of
36 men fighting the fire. Los Angeles County General Hospital opens.
The Spring Street Newsboys' Gym opened and later become known as the
Main Street Gym. This facility became the premier training ground for
Los Angeles boxers until the owner's death in the 1970s.
causes 40 deaths in La Cañada. The Los Angeles Police Department
begins using radio equipment. Floodwaters in the La Crescenta Valley and Montrose
Territory drown 45 people. The Santa Anita Park Race Track opens. Writer and social
activist Upton Sinclair begins his unsuccessful run for the governors seat. The
tactics used by his opposition marks this campaign as Californias first
"dirty" political campaign. The Farmers Market opens. Construction on Parker Dam
begins. The first drive-in theater opens.
Griffith Observatory is completed
under a bequest left by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith in 1919. By invitation of the Mexican government,
Amelia Earhart Putnam takes off from Los Angeles to become the first
person to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City. The Douglas Aircraft
Company rolls out the first
Los Angeles sends 130 city police
officers to the California-Nevada state line in an attempt to stem the flow of
Angeles-bound hitchhikers. Electricity from Boulder Dam reaches Los Angeles.
The home of Clifford Clinton, a
crusading reformer and Los Angeles cafeteria owner, is bombed in an attempt to halt his
inquiries into corruption in City Hall and police department. The City of Los Angeles
purchases Mines Field to be a municipal airfield.
At the height of a
statewide rabies epidemic, Los Angeles County establishes a Pound
Department, created in direct response to 1,700 rabies cases
reported in the county during the year.
Severe flooding claims 78 lives and
$25 million in damage. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins channeling the
Los Angeles River with concrete. Private investigator Harry Raymond, working with Clifford Clinton
in his investigation of City Hall and the police, survives a bomb explosion in his car. It
was believed that he would testify against Los Angeles City Mayor Frank Shaw. Two Los
Angeles police officers are convicted of the bombing. Los Angeles Mayor Frank Shaw is removed from office by a
special recall election after being linked to vice rackets within the city. California law
authorizes non-stop roadways, opening the way for the coming of Los Angeles freeways.
Union Station opens. Upton
Sinclair runs for governor on the EPIC (End Poverty in California) platform. The media
turns against him, leading to his defeat. Nathanael West publishes his novel Day of the
Locust, a pessimistic look at Los Angeles. Raymond Chandler publishes the first of his
detective novels set in Los Angeles, The Big Sleep.
stretch of the Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway) is opened,
becoming the first freeway in the western United States.
Mexican-Americans become the largest ethnic minority group in Los
Angeles. Los Angeles becomes the largest commercial fishing port in
the nation. The Sepulveda
Flood Basin and Dam is completed.
The Los Angeles River
overflows and causes floods. The Colorado River Aqueduct is
completed and would become the single largest source of water for the Los Angeles area.
A Los Angeles City ordinance officially establishes the name for Mines Field as
Los Angeles Airport. Hansen Dam is completed.
Angeles River overflows and causes floods. President Franklin Roosevelt
signs Executive Order 9066 requiring the movement of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans to
internment camps. There they remained until January 20, 1945. In the early morning hours
of February 25th, U.S. Army anti-aircraft guns fire nearly 1,500 rounds into the skies
over Los Angeles at "enemy aircraft." Evidence of the appearance of any such
aircraft is never found. Japanese-American employees of the Los Angeles Police Department
are removed from their jobs and sent to the internment camps. A Mexican-American youth,
Jose Diaz, is found murdered in a deep swimming hole named Sleepy Lagoon. The police
declare war on Mexican-American gangs by arresting hundreds of Mexican-American youths.
Seventeen of the youths are convicted of the murder on scant evidence. The
Appellate Court later reverses the convictions and the original trial
judge and prosecutor are severely reprimanded. A federal program brings Mexican agricultural
laborers - braceros -
into Los Angeles to make up for labor shortages.
Angeles River overflows and causes floods. Several days of one-sided rioting
erupts as hundreds of military men descend upon East Los Angeles to assault
Mexican-Americans dressed in "Zoot suits". Police respond by arresting the
Mexican-American victims. The rioting ends when military commanders confine their
personnel to base. The Los Angeles City government, in an unapologetic mood, proceeds to
outlaw the wearing of "zoot suits." Los Angeles experiences its first smog
attack (Jul 26).
Angeles River overflows and causes floods. Harry Chandler, publisher of the Los
Angeles Times, dies. His son Norman assumes control of the publishing empire. The San
Bernardino Freeway (10) opens.
An eight-month strike by a major
film workers union polarizes the Hollywood community. Preacher Aimee Semple McPherson dies
from a sleeping pill overdose.