What happened on Dunsmuir

These appear to be four rather ordinary West Adams district homes from the late 1920s and early ’30s and in many ways they are.

Photographs by Larry Harnisch Los Angeles Times

This is 2435 S. Dunsmuir Ave.

This is 2308 S. Dunsmuir Ave.

This is 2135 S. Dunsmuir Ave.

And this is 2130 S. Dunsmuir Ave.

But on March 16, 1952, 2130 S. Dunsmuir looked like this:

About three months before the explosion, William Bailey, a science teacher at Carver
Junior High School, had moved into the house with his wife, Willa, and
their son, William Jr. The family was black. The neighborhood was

Whoever hit the house also bombed the one across the street, which was
being rented by Ralph Martinez and John W. Potts. Presumably they were
black, although The Times doesn’t say so.

On July 25, 1951, 2435 S. Dunsmuir was bombed several days after after it
was sold to Dr. M.D. Matsumoto, a Japanese American physician.

An explosion a few hours earlier ripped  2308 S. Dunsmuir, which was
owned by Sallie H. Mazoway, a real estate agent. “Mrs. Mazoway told
police she had no part in the sale of the Matsumoto house nor had she
sold property to persons not Caucasians,” The Times said. “She did say
that she had received anonymous telephone calls on the subject of such

Although police said the explosion at 2308 S. Dunsmuir was like the others, fire officials said it might have been caused by gas that accumulated beneath the house.

There’s one other thing these homes have in common: The bombings were
never solved, despite rewards offered by the NAACP and ACLU soliciting

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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