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Peek in the Stacks: photographs

From Myth to Metropolis: Los Angeles at the Turn of the Century

The Los Angeles "Booster Myth," an outgrowth of Manifest Destiny, was largely perpetuated by real estate investors, commercial industry, and civic leaders in an effort to bring more settlers to Los Angeles and prolong the real estate boom of the...

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The Bess Lomax Hawes Student Folklore Collection

The Bess Lomax Hawes Student Folklore Collection consists of findings and data collected by students enrolled in her anthropology classes between 1958 and 1977. The collection covers an immense range of subjects, including American folk song lyrics, Romanian proverbs, and detailed descriptions of...

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China Marines

Special Collections and Archives houses several small collections related to the China Marines. Though small, they provide significant insight for those that are interested in the history of the U.S. Marines stationed in 20th century pre-Communist China. From written histories and photographic evidence, these collections...

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Bud and Louise

On March 14, 1947, a yacht in Newport Harbor exploded with two people aboard, Walter Overell, a wealthy businessman, and his wife, Beulah. Both were seemingly killed by the blast, and the yacht sank to the ocean floor. While the initial report suggested the explosion might have been caused by an engine malfunction and leaking gasoline, it was soon discovered that the blast was actually caused by dynamite....

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School Desegregation and Busing in Los Angeles

In 1961, Mary Ellen Crawford, an African-American teen, attempted to enroll at South Gate High School, the closest high school to her home. The Los Angeles Unified School District refused her request, and directed her to enroll at the more-distant Jordan High School. Jordan’s student body was 99% African-American, while South Gate High's was 98% caucasian. Crawford's parents filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that the Los Angeles Unified School District exercised discriminatory attendance boundary practices....

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California Water Collections

Water history, particularly the controversy surrounding water rights and access, has dramatically and incontrovertibly shaped the growth and development of Los Angeles.  Nearly 100 years ago, the dedication and opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct on November 5, 1913 was the culmination of many years of work on the part of William Mulholland and others at Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power. More than any other ...

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John M. Sell Civil War Collection

A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, John M. Sell enlisted in the 83rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers on July 29, 1861. He was commissioned First Lieutenant on August 27 of that year, and promoted to Captain on September 4, 1862. After fighting in numerous battles over two years, Sell was shot in the left leg on July 2, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg. In one of the most commonly-performed medical procedures of the war, a ...

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