Sept. 25, 1933: How did the Los Angeles Public Library fare in the Great Depression? Here are some answers.
The library was forced to make painful cutbacks due to a 24% drop in tax revenue, including shorter hours, layoffs, reductions in spending and “closing 14 of the smallest book stations.”
In addition, the Los Angeles Library School, which had trained more than 400 librarians, was disbanded.
Even so, book use was up 60% from 1928-29, at the beginning of the stock market crash. Statistics show that 31% of Angelenos had library cards and each one borrowed an average of 34 books a year.
When one is speeding through Los Angeles in a stolen car it is less than wise to take a potshot at a couple of police officers. Still, that is what Mrs. Lorena Spencer, 20, did when she and brothers Oliver and Bert Green zipped by Officers Gates and Malinowski, who were “investigating” a motorist at 103rd Street and Wilmington Boulevard.
The officers chased the car and fired nine times, hitting Spencer in the temple. She slumped against Oliver Green, who was driving, and the car went out of control, crashing into another car at 103rd and Anzac and turning over.
Sally Nichols, who was in her 20s, was the 44th person to leap off Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge. She wrote a farewell note in pencil on a paper napkin and put it in her glove.
It was addressed to Dan Colette at the Wilcox Hotel and read:
I will always love you and I can’t go on without your love. We were so happy once and if I have been a detriment to you maybe this will balance things. Forever yours, SALLY.
Investigators were briefly puzzled because Colette had moved out of the hotel more than two years earlier.
Attorney P.C. Black identified Sally, saying that she had been the family’s maid. Colette said Sally had threatened several times to commit suicide. Her sister Diana Burrows said that the last time she saw Sally she “was all broken up because … she did not see how she could live without the man she loved,” The Times said.
“But young people talk like that,” her sister said.
Saw “The Drunkard” in the sixties, when I was a kid. It’s ancient cornball theater, and part of L.A. history. The less than sober audiences were encouraged to heckle, cheer, boo and hiss. Boiled down, it’s this: Villain: But you MUST pay the rent! She: But I CAN’T pay the rent! Villain: [leers] Well, if you MARRY me, then…
During this recession, the library has seen an increase in patrons as well. You would think that cities would want to maintain or increase funding, since an educated public could perhaps contribute more to the city.
Stories about suicide like this always make me sad. Just think if she hadn’t killed herself she’d be a spry lass of 105!