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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 Last Los Angeles Herald-Examiner Strike

The Los Angeles Newspaper Guild was chartered in 1937 as a local chapter of the American Newspaper Guild. The Guild organized and represented newspaper employees throughout Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Orange, and San Bernardino counties in grievances and collective bargaining negotiations. The Los Angeles Newspaper Guild Collection is particularly rich in its coverage of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner strike, which lasted almost 10 years...

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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 the understanding of several concepts including symbolism, metaphor, irony, and caricature....

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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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The Great War

World War I, also called the Great War, took the lives of more than 9 million people, and devastated millions more. It also brought invention, destroyed long standing empires, redrew some political borders, and created new ones. Like all wars before and since, it separated families, and had a dramatic impact on the social welfare of all involved nations...

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Richard Bruland Bebop Records Art Posters Collection

Los Angeles is known for its music scene, with legendary clubs like the Troubadour and the Roxy hosting and even launching some of the biggest acts in the history of popular music. While many people think of Hollywood as the hub for rock music in LA, in the 1980s some of the best acts actually came to play half an hour away in Reseda in the San Fernando Valley. One block of Sherman Way in Reseda was home to some of the most iconic venues at the time, including Bebop Records and Fine Art, a small record store that doubled as a performance venue for the thriving underground music and art scene in the area. Special Collections and Archives holds the Richard Bruland Bebop Records Art Posters Collection, which documents...

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