Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mystery History -- Solved

UPDATE -- He lives! Chris contacted me today (Friday) with his email address and blog address, so he indeed wins a fabulous prize. Thanks for proving me wrong, Chris!

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Chris had the right answer, but the new rule is that if there's no way for me to contact the winner, there is no winner. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks "Chris" is a mole with an inside track. Please prove me wrong, Chris!

The caption for this photo in the June 15, 1936, edition of the Los Angeles Times reads:

Pasadena Junior College co-eds are shown forming living candles in this huge anniversary cake commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of Pasadena to be celebrated June 19. The girls are Evelyn Hansen, Ruth Nickerson, Barbara Lombard, Betty Wilcox, Peggy Munn, Ellen Jones, Marjorie Loomis, Helen Sperry, Mariam Purdon, Virginia Larsen, Joy De Long, Beverly Millar, Carol Crum, Patty McCune and Josephine Tryon. The cake is twelve feet in diameter.
On June 18 at the Rose Bowl Stadium about 50,000 spectators witnessed the major feature of the City of Pasadena's 50th anniversary observance: A combined commencement pageant for 2,487 new graduates of Pasadena Junior College, local high schools and junior high schools with the theme "The New Atlantis."

At this same event 100 city, county and school officials, accompanied by surviving pioneers, marched into the stadium and formed a human city seal featuring a rose crown. I've never found a photo of this but would love to come across it someday!

Here's a passage from the seemingly elitist Los Angeles Times on June 19, 1936:

It was on June 14, 1886, that the few thousand ranchers living in this area were notified that they no longer were "hicks," but resided in an incorporated city, or glorified dude ranch.
Here's something more dignified, written by J.W. Wood in his book "Pasadena: Historical and Personal" (one of my favorites in the Centennial Room at Pasadena Central Library).

Men and women may live for a long time in amicable social partnership and not feel the need of laws or miss the absence of edicts. But a time comes when a civic ambition stirs them, and necessity forces them to organize into a formal and legal partnership.

It was thus with Pasadena. Although there were some who declared against any necessity of it, events arose that compelled it. Pasadena was within the township of San Gabriel and the jurisdiction of its police court. I believe Otheman Stevens, known as the popular and able dramatic critic and special writer on a Los Angeles newspaper, for a time, administered Justice in the little court of San Gabriel. Little was there for him to do in a Judicial capacity which gave him the more time to practice with his pen.

He also was "regular correspondent" for the Pasadena Union and was thus exalted in the ranks of literary endeavor! But, as I said, San Gabriel administered our court of Justice. Pasadena wanted its own. Pasadena had no official existence yet, and no officials, excepting its School Trustees and a Deputy Constable.
Coincidentally, the Pasadena Star-News celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1936.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library.


Cafe Pasadena said...

A Mole?

Wasn't that a mystery TV program?
W h o is The Mole??!

Anonymous said...
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Bellis said...

You should have given "Chris" the prize and had them come to your office to collect it. :o)

Anonymous said...
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