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Peek in the Stacks: urban archives

The Longshore Strike of 1934

Over the course of the 1920s, attempts were made to unionize West Coast Longshoremen. However, it wasn’t until passage of the short-lived National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) in 1933 that West Coast Longshoremen had effectively organized. By early 1934, longshoremen across the length of the Coast from San Diego to...

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The Campus Unrest Collections

The 1960s was a time when the status quo was quickly becoming unacceptable, and change seemed inevitable. By 1963, more than 16,000 American soldiers were stationed in South Vietnam with an even larger presence in Korea. Americans had grown tired of foreign wars, and protests grew as the Draft grew into a large concern for young people...

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Interview with Helen Thomas

Special Collections and Archives houses a unique oral interview with Helen Thomas (1920-2013), long-time member of the White House press corps (1961-2010), in the Tom W. Reilly Collection. She was well known in the White House, among the press corps, and by political pundits. Her White House career spanned the service of ten presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. She was also....

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CalShip and the Liberty Fleet

In 1936, the United States was midway through the worst economic disaster ever to hit the country. As spring turned to summer, the U.S. Congress passed the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. This new law replaced the old United States Shipping board. The newly created United States Maritime Commission was given a number of tasks, one of which was...

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The Merle H. Cunnington Collection

Political cartoons are valuable sources that can distill the social and cultural norms of an age. This distillation occurs because political cartoons portray common issues and events in terms that are meant to be easily understood by the general readership of a given publication (or publications). Their use as primary sources requires...

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Beautiful Downtown Burbank

In the United States, there are nine cities or towns named "Burbank." Though the botanist Luther Burbank is well known in his adopted state of California, the City of Burbank in the San Fernando Valley is named after Dr. David Burbank. He was trained as a dentist on the east coast and migrated to San Francisco in the early 1850s. By the early to mid-1860s, he had established...

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Natural Disasters

 Natural disasters, as most of us know, are inevitable and can sometimes cause a lot of damage. In Los Angeles, we often experience earthquakes, fires, and occasionally, floods. In recent years, we have had tsunami scares, tornados touching down, and major fires in the area. Special Collections and Archives holds several collections that document various disasters...

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Happy 100th Birthday, Los Angeles Aqueduct!

November 5th, 2013 marks the one hundred-year anniversary of the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.  Special Collections and Archives celebrates this achievement with the release of the digital collection, Water Works: Documenting Water History in Los Angeles, and the opening of the Catherine Mulholland...

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