Jan. 30, 1947: Salesman on Main Street Corner Sets Off Riot

Jan. 30, 1947, Comics
Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project.

The rewrite desk in action:

The Examiner:
Free Cash, Nylons and Gum—
Then They Took Him Away!

Dollar bills, nylons and bubble gum pelted persons at 6th and Main Streets yesterday.

It started a near-riot and brought police on the double. One woman was injured slightly.

The pelter was Benny Stone, diminutive candy salesman, of 5754 West Fourth Street.

Four policemen plucked him from a soapbox in the middle of the melee.

“I was just trying to help the poor people,” Stone explained cryptically. “I’m an orphan.”

Bystanders told officers Stone was selling stockings, gum and candy at a small stand when they first noticed him.

Suddenly he mounted the box and began throwing his stock-in-trade and cash at the crowd.

Police took him to Georgia Street Receiving Hospital for observation.

Mrs. Mary Dun, 43, of Pacoima, knocked down in the rush, was treated for cuts and bruises.

+ + +

And here’s The Times story:

‘Pitch Man’ Giving Away Stock
Starts Sixth and Main Sts. Riot

Recipe for a riot: Start giving things away at the corner of Sixth and Main Sts.

It worked for Benny Stone, diminutive salesman of 5754 W. Fourth St., yesterday.

Benny was selling nylons, bubble gum and candy from a small stand, bystanders reported, when he suddenly mounted a box and began throwing his stock at passers-by

Pandemonium!

To four police officers who plucked him from the middle of the melee, Benny explained: “I’m an orphan. I was just trying to help the poor people.”

Mrs. Mary Dunn, 43, of Pacoima who was caught in the brief stampede, was treated for cuts and bruises.

And Benny, after observation at Georgia Street Hospital, was released to relatives.

Of course, this was business as usual in the 1940s. Newspapers freely lifted material from one another.

Quote of the day: “Well, it was a nice trip, anyway.”
American translator, after arriving in Nuremberg, Germany, for the Nazi war trials, only to fail a proficiency test.

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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