Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated +)

Jan. 15, 2018, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery woman.

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Found on EBay: Souvenir of Club Mecca, Site of Deadly 1957 Firebombing

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Mecca Bombing, 1957.

A vendor has listed a cocktail napkin advertising four Los Angeles night spots, including the Mecca Cafe at 5841 S. Normandie Ave. Six people were killed when a man who had been thrown out of the club threw a five-gallon bucket of gas into into the Mecca and set it on fire. Bidding starts at $9.99.

Here’s my 2007 post on the Club Mecca bombing.

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Jan. 17, 1947: Big Bill Tilden Gets Jail for Morals Case Involving Teenage Boy

Jan. 17, 1947, Li'l Abner

Jan. 17, 1947, Bill Tilden

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project.

Jan. 17, 1947: William (Big Bill) Tilden, 54-year-old internationally known tennis star, yesterday was sentenced to serve nine months in the County Jail with a road gang recommendation by Juvenile Judge A.A. Scott for contributing to the delinquency of a 14-year-old boy.

Judge Scott excoriated Tilden for his actions, declaring: “You have been the idol of youngsters all over the world. It has been a great shock to sports fans to read about your troubles.

“I am going to make this an object lesson, no only to other persons tempted to do similar things, but also to parents who are too busy to concern themselves in determining what type of persons their youngsters are associating with,” Judge Scott commented.

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Jan. 17, 1907: The Changing Face of the City


Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

Jan. 17, 1907
Los Angeles

On a trip from Utah to visit his daughter, H.E. Gibson keeps getting lost as he wanders around Los Angeles. No, it’s not because Gibson is 80, for his mind is still sharp. It’s because he hasn’t been back since 1848 and things have changed just a bit.

Even the old familiar landmark of Ft. Hill is covered with homes, he says. About the only spot in town he recognizes is the Plaza, where he keeps returning to get his bearings.

Gibson came to California with the “Flash Emigrant Colony” to establish Mormon settlements. The group couldn’t raise the money to buy Rancho Cucamonga, so they bought a parcel of land in San Bernardino, The Times says.

Land was “dirt cheap” in 1848, with entire blocks selling for $500 to $1,000, ($9,910.34-$19,820.69 USD 2005), Gibson said. But instead of becoming a real estate speculator, he left for Utah to bring the news (published in a New York newspaper that came around the Horn) proclaiming that Brigham Young had been appointed governor of the Utah Territory.

Note: Today presented a difficult decision, but I passed on some incredibly offensive caricatures of an African American who had been arrested, accompanied by quotes in dialect: “Ah dunno nothin’ about no stolen chickens” indeed.

Posted in 1907, African Americans, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, LAPD, Real Estate, Streetcars | Leave a comment

Jan. 16, 1947: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Driver’s License Revoked!

Jan. 16, 1947, Abbie an' Slats

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project.

I never cease to be amazed at the placement of this story on Page 1 of The Times. While the major competing newspapers—the Examiner, Herald-Express and Daily News—are leading with the Jan. 15 murder of Elizabeth Short, The Times plays the story inside, proving once again that it considered itself the city’s family paper.

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Jan. 16, 1947: Teachers Call ‘Song of the South’ Racist Propaganda

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Jan. 16, 1947: Chef Tubbs is opening a restaurant at 1305-7 E. Olympic Blvd.


Olympic and Central, Google Street View

Olympic Boulevard and Central Avenue, via Google Street View.


Jan. 16, 1947, Los Angeles Sentinel

Jan. 16: Local 27 of the American Federation of Teachers, meeting in Washington, called the Disney feature film “Song of the South” “insidious and subtle propaganda against the Negro.”

According to Paul Cooke, head of Local 27, actor James Baskett was “hampered by having to portray the fixed conception of the Negro — a lazy, hat-in-hand, spiritual-singing inferior ‘old rascal.’ ” Cooke also criticized the film for the theme of “the Negro in service to white people, the Negro apparently whose only thought is to help solve the problems of white people.”

 

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Oscar Apfel, Paramount’s Forgotten Man

 

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Oscar Apfel in Motion Picture News.


Multi-talented, smart, ambitious, hard-working, Oscar Apfel rose to the top of the early movie industry only to see evolving business practices, lack of luck, and bad choices push him down the ladder into just a small supporting part of the profession he helped create. A man whose contributions to the 1914 film “The Squaw Man” helped create the studio behemoth Paramount is virtually forgotten today, like so many early film pioneers.

Born January 17, 1879 in Cleveland, Ohio to German immigrant parents, young Oscar Carl Apfel applied himself both to education and work, looking for a way to earn a good solid living. The September 13, 1917 Albuquerque Morning Journal reported that he worked as a bank clerk in Ohio while performing as an amateur actor. Yearning for the more exciting life on stage, Apfel quit after he gained a role in the play “The American Girl,” traveling the country performing for 47 weeks in one night stands.

Hollywood at Play, by Donovan Brandt, Mary Mallory and Stephen X. Sylvester is now on sale.

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Union Rescue Mission

Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

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Black Dahlia: Today Is Jan. 15 — Trim Your Roses

Today is Jan. 15, and the Daily Mirror marks the anniversary of Elizabeth Short’s death by pruning back the roses.

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Meet Victor Segno — L.A. Mystic and Con Man

Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

Jan. 15, 2007
Los Angeles

While making my daily check of EBay, I found another envelope from 1907, this one addressed to A. Victor Segno, 701 N. Belmont.

A brief check of Proquest reveals—what’s this? A major scam artist, self-help author and wife-stealer.

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Posted in 1907, 1908, 1911, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Education, Found on EBay, LAPD, Streetcars | Leave a comment

At the Del

Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

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Not in My Back Yard


Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

Jan. 13, 1907
Los Angeles

The Times takes a light, humorous look at the destructive wanderings of Eaton Wash: a docile stream, if not entirely dry, most of the year, turned into a churning monster by heavy rains.

“The little river that makes so much trouble lives somewhere in the fastness of Eaton’s Canyon during the summer months,” The Times says. “In the rainy season it always comes prowling out for a wild outing.

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1907: Last Rites for an Early Church


Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

Jan. 12, 1907
El Monte

For half a century, the Baptist Church of El Monte and the Mason’s Lexington Lodge No. 104 shared a clapboard building on Main Street, the worshipers on the first floor and the Masons, as always, on the second.

Then came the developers and the urge to grow.

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Black L.A. Laura Bowman Cast in All-Black Production of ‘Anna Lucasta’

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Jan. 9, 1947, Los Angeles Sentinel

Jan. 9, 1947:  Laura Bowman, who died in 1957 after a long illness, is to appear in an all-black production of “Anna Lucasta” at the Biltmore Theater. ”

Anna Lucasta,” written by Philip Yordan, was originally produced by the American Negro Theatre and ran for 957 performances on Broadway from August 1944 to November 1946, with Georgia Burke, Alice Childress, Alvin Childress and Hubert Henry. It was revived in September 1947 for 32 performances with Bowman, and Sidney Poitier in his second Broadway role.

The Los Angeles performance featured Alice Childress and Alvin Childress, veterans of the Broadway show, plus Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Warren Coleman, Inge Harrison,  Laura Bowman, Lance Taylor,  Monte Hawley, Kenneth Freeman and John Tate. After its successful run at the Biltmore, it was revived in April 1947 at the Belasco Theater.

Anna Lucasta

March 1, 1947: Lena Horne hosts a reception for the cast of “Anna Lucasta.”


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Jan. 11, 1907: USC Medical School Cadavers Found in Garbage Dump


Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

Jan. 11, 1907
Los Angeles

A woman living on a hog ranch near the Santa Fe railroad crossing over the Los Angeles River contacted police after seeing dismembered human bodies in the old dumping ground near George Street.

Investigators dug through the dump, retrieving the body of a child that was nearly intact, along with bits and pieces of a man and a woman, including their skulls. In addition to the remains, police found books and papers traced to the University of Southern California Medical School.
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Black Dahlia: ‘Who Is the Black Dahlia?’ Script on Craigslist

Who Is the Black Dahlia?

Someone on Craigslist has listed a copy of the shooting script for “Who Is the Black Dahlia?” the TV movie that featured Lucie Arnaz as Elizabeth Short and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Detective Harry Hansen (with an amusing turn by the saintly Tom Bosley portraying reporter Bevo Means, famed for his boozing).

The asking price is $240. As with anything on the internet, an item and vendor should be evaluated thoroughly before completing a transaction.

Note: Robert Lenski (whom I interviewed) had to change many elements of the story because people were still alive and refused to sign releases. Accurate, it is not.

Posted in 1947, 1974, 1975, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black L.A. 1947: LAPD Detectives Cleared of Brutality Against Drunk Woman

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Jan. 9, 1947: The Sentinel reports on the ruling by the Los Angeles Police Commission in the case of Edythe L. Galloway, 434 E. 48th St.

On Nov. 6, 1946, the Police Commission voted to investigate the allegations of brutality by Detectives Hansen (No. 7495) and Grutsch (No. 3964) against Galloway.

Nov. 6, 1946, Los Angeles Police Commission Minutes

Note: For those who just tuned in, we’re going to reboot the concept of the 1947project (founded by Kim Cooper and Nathan Marsak) by going day by day through 1947 – but using the Los Angeles Sentinel, an African American weekly, rather than the very white and very conservative Los Angeles Times. We promise you an extremely different view of Los Angeles.

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(The historic Los Angeles Sentinel is available online from the Los Angeles Public Library. We encourage anyone with a library card to delve into the back issues and explore the history of black L.A.

 

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The Floods

Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

Jan. 9-10, 1907

The worst storm in 23 years blew across Southern California with the force of a gale, dumping more than an inch of rain in Pasadena, killing an Orange County rancher, washing out railroad tracks and collapsing tunnels, and leaving nearly every small ship in Santa Barbara sunk, driven ashore or pounded to pieces.

Floodwaters destroyed a railroad bridge under construction near Ventura, cutting off the Southern Pacific’s coastal rail service, and at Summerland, oil rigs along the shore were ripped to pieces. The San Fernando Valley was especially hard hit: The Times reports that a bridge over the Big Tujunga Wash was underwater and that the river was a mile wide and impassible. The roar of water at Pacoima can be heard two miles away, The Times says.

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Posted in 1907, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Downtown, LAPD, Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, Streetcars, Transportation | Leave a comment

Black L.A. 1947: Sentinel Refuses Ads From Central Avenue Club Over White Cashier

4201 S. Central
4201 S. Central, the location of the Downbeat Room, via Google Street View. Notice the Dunbar Hotel next door. The famous Club Alabam’ was nearby at 4215 S. Central.


 

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Jan. 9, 1947: Mabel Scott and Gerald Wilson open the year at the Downbeat Room (also Down Beat Club) at 4201 S. Central Ave., which called itself “The Home of the Big Little Bands.” Judging by the Los Angeles Sentinel stories, the Downbeat Club was active from about 1947 to about 1950. As for manager Maxine Herreford, we can find nothing. Also appearing in 1947 were Cee Pee Johnson and His Tom Toms; Edgar Hayes and His Stardusters, pianist Edgar Hayes, guitarist Tedd Bun, drummer Blinky Allen and bass player Curtis Councee; The Blenders, with Jimmy/Jimmie Grissom; Joe Liggen’s Honeydrippers;  and trombonist Vic Dickson.

Note: For those who just tuned in, we’re going to reboot the concept of the 1947project (founded by Kim Cooper and Nathan Marsak) by going day by day through 1947 – but using the Los Angeles Sentinel, an African American weekly, rather than the very white and very conservative Los Angeles Times. We promise you an extremely different view of Los Angeles.

image

(The historic Los Angeles Sentinel is available online from the Los Angeles Public Library. We encourage anyone with a library card to delve into the back issues and explore the history of black L.A.

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Jan. 8, 1947: Judge Denies ‘Hollywood’ Divorce for Actress Virginia Engels ‘The Orchid Queen’

Nancy, Jan. 8, 1947

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project.

Jan. 8, 1947: The apartment was so small that her husband, James Robert Dennis, asked her to go home to live with her parents. He said he’d call but she didn’t hear from him for four days. She gave him $300 to build a prefabricated house on one of his lots in Benedict Canyon but he put it into his business. He agreed to a divorce.

But not in Judge Charles S. Burnell’s court. There would be no divorce for Virginia Engels, “Miss Los Angeles, 1940,” “Miss Streamline” and “The Orchid Queen.”

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Posted in 1947, Art & Artists, Crime and Courts, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments