Whitewashing in American Households with “Fun-to-Wash” and “California Citrus” Washing Powders, 1910-1930

by Paul R. Spitzzeri As we commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. on this national holiday, there is much to think about, whether it is those areas of progress made and those that are lagging in race relations or looking back on the history of race relations in our country in terms of overt and cover... Continue Reading →

Why Midterm Elections are Influential

by Steven Dugan During last year’s midterm elections Americans went to the polls to decide many races. Among them were the entire House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate, numerous governors’ races, a variety of state and local offices, and here in California, our usual slate of petition-driven initiatives. The Constitution calls for this two-year... Continue Reading →

Striking a Chord with a Grand Opera Festival, Los Angeles, December 1912-January 1913

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Among the many indications that Los Angeles was, in the first years of the 20th century, emerging into a major American metropolis was the growth of the arts.  This applied to the so-called "legitimate theater" as well as the onrush of film; the increase in the "fine arts"; the 1913 opening... Continue Reading →

“Christmas Greetings” Concert from Aimee Semple McPherson’s L.I.F.E. Institute, Los Angeles, 21 December 1928

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Whatever anyone makes of Aimee Semple McPherson's brand of Pentecostal evangelism with its faith healing and speaking in tongues transmitted through her compelling charisma and powerful personality, there is no question that she was a phenomenon in establishing the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.  Moreover, as a woman in what... Continue Reading →

The Fire at the Belmont Hotel, Los Angeles, 16 December 1887

by Paul R. Spitzzeri This is a story that embraces many notable elements of late 19th century Los Angeles, including the city's westward growth; the famed Boom of the 1880s; transportation; leisure and travel; developments in higher education; real estate development and speculation; urban planning; religion; water supply; firefighting; and photography as a tool for... Continue Reading →

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