Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Beer, the Health Drink

July 5, 1907
Los Angeles

See here, you pesky temperance workers, beer is “liquid bread.” It’s good for you.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Can This Be the Fourth of July?

July 4, 1907
Los Angeles

And how does Los Angeles celebrate Independence Day? With cricket matches and bagpipe contests.

“The Times said: Oratory and music are to replace firewater and fireworks in this year’s celebration of Independence Day. The official program as arranged by the local celebration committee was announced last night.

“Chairman Humphreys says it is arranged so as to present a treat for lovers of music; it consists chiefly of band concerts in different parks and playgrounds, with some speaking, but no fireworks.”

Apparently, there was quite a cricket match between Los Angeles and Santa Monica, as The Times said: “Then came the greatest partnership Southern California has witnessed in first-class cricket for many a long day.”

A sample of The Times’ cricket reportage: “Nash now came in, but only to see Sommerville’s off stump knocked clean out of the ground by Hunt, the ball coming back fast. The score sheet at this time showed 4 overs, no runs, 2 wickets and 4 maidens. The rot was temporarily stopped by Nash and Morris, the former hitting Hunt to square leg for 3 and the latter sent Mather to long leg for 4. In the ninth over, Nash, in hitting out to a straight one from Hunt, misjudged the pace and was bowled.”

There were a few informal fireworks displays: Ah Sing was arrested for setting off firecrackers as he walked along Broadway. He told police he didn’t understand officers’ warnings to stop. Five more men were arrested for setting off firecrackers on Main Street, three of whom were celebrating after midnight.

And there you have it: an old-fashioned Fourth of July.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

They Weren't Fakes

July 3, 1907
Los Angeles

Robert T. Hall, head of the Los Angeles Anti-Fakers League (or Anti-Fakers Society), says shots were fired at him as he returned from an outing to a friend’s summer camp, and he blames local spiritualists and mediums.

He has been leading a crusade against fortune tellers, seers and other practitioners of the mystic arts and in heading for the end of the streetcar line in Edendale, he passed Semi-Tropic Park, a gathering place for spiritualists just outside the city limits, where such practices are regulated by law.

Hall says he’s certain the spiritualists are to blame, adding that since he began his campaign, he has received many threatening letters. Amazingly enough, The Times published his address—and it would be interesting to know how many more threats he received after the paper said he lived at 1042 Santee St.

No one was ever arrested in the attack on Hall, who continued his campaign into 1908. At right, a sample of ads by mediums in 1908.

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