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Diamond Jubilee: Seventy Five Years of Public Service

I. Birthday

Table of Contents

September 5, 1912, was a Thursday. Taft was in the White House, the Marines were in Nicaragua and the U.S. was in the midst of an economic boom. Americans were reading The Montessori Method as well as Riders of the Purple Sage and were singing along to "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee" and "That Old Gal of Mine." Ragtime was the latest rage and young people were scandalizing their elders on the dance floor with the fox trot, crab step, camel walk, and the bunny hug. On that day the Boston Red Sox clinched the American League Pennant in a four to three win over Washington. The East was having a heat wave but it was mild and breezy in Los Angeles, with an afternoon high of 76o.

Preparations were underway at the Shrine Auditorium for an upcoming "Bull Moose" campaign speech by Teddy Roosevelt. At the same time, local Progressives were hard at work on an equally ill-fated election campaign to replace the City Charter with a commission form of government. The first performance of The Mission Play was scheduled for that evening at San Gabriel. The Times was running a "Book Lovers' Contest" and, over on Broadway, J.W. Robinson was having a sale on "Fine Tailored Suits" for $9.75. In Police Court, a local "Speed Bug" was fined thirty-five dollars for driving his motorcycle thirty-one miles per hour along Wilshire Boulevard.

Meanwhile at the Hall of Administration, the Board of Supervisors voted in favor of an ordinance which created the Los Angeles County Free Library, basing its action on enabling legislation passed in Sacramento the year before. In support of this new Library, the ordinance called for a levy of one mill per one-hundred dollars assessed valuation outside incorporated cities. "The project," reported the Times, "has been agitated for the past two years, largely by improvement associations and women's clubs in the cities as well as the outlying territory of the county. A chain of libraries will be established in such locations as will best serve county residents."

And so it began.


Diamond Jubilee:
Seventy Five Years of Public Service
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