On June 20, 1947, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the East Coast mobster who had relocated to and prospered in Los Angeles and was now intent on building up Las Vegas, sat in his girlfriend’s living room in Beverly Hills.
In the early 1960s, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy symbolized hope, change, and the dawn of a new era for a country that was caught in the clutches of Cold War fear, and in many cases, clinging to certain outdated social attitudes.
Since taking over the Photo Collection nearly four years ago, there are two questions I get asked most. The first is, “Do you have any photos of my house?” If your residence is named Pickfair or was once owned by Gloria Swanson, then yes, we probably do.
Los Angeles in the late 1930s was a city in transition. It was suffering through the Great Depression with the rest of the country, but forging ahead with progress. Old Chinatown and La Grande Station were being erased, but Union Station and a New Chinatown would soon emerge.