Independence Day in the Southland

In this, our nation’s 152nd year of independence, residents of Los Angeles found time for picnics, sun-bathing, fireworks, and even a little rioting.
 
Over a ton of barbecued beef was served in Echo Park at the National Association of Letter Carriers 4th of July picnic, where about 5000 federal employees and their families gathered to feast, dance to music by the Letter Carriers’ Band, play baseball, and of course, listen to a rousing speech by Postmaster O’Brien himself.  The Knights of Columbus went to Luna Park, while the Irish partied at Rose Hill Park.  It is estimated that about 500,000 Angelenos took in one of the many oceanside fireworks extravaganzas up and down the beach.  Passenger records between Los Angeles and the Catalina Islands were shattered also shattered this weekend.
 
In Chinatown, however, the mood was less festive.  Tired of being arrested for violating the City’s fireworks ordinances, a mob of about 100 Chinatown residents surrounded a police officer and firefighter, and threatened them with violence.  Their "skyrocketing oriental tempers" were quelled when a police riot squad showed up and arrested the mob’s two ringleaders.  Patrolman Fogarty and Fireman Hoag were found holding the mob at bay from a corner on North Los Angeles St., near Ferguson Alley when help arrived; however, neither man was harmed.
And sadly, the 4th of July holiday was darkened by the children who fell victim to prematurely exploding fireworks.  While most injuries were not severe, 6-year-old Mary Hackwell of 1047 1/2 W. 88th St. hovered near death at General Hospital after a sparkler ignited her clothes.  Her father also sustained serious burns while putting out the flames.  Little Mary died on July 8, 1927.
 
On a lighter note, check some zany goings-on at the old Luna Park Zoo here and here.  If you got a notion to hug a bear, have your car washed by an orangutan, or feed your baby to a lion, this was apparently the place to do it. 

Twin Celebrations


Feb.13, 1907
Los Angeles

An enormous masked ball for the city’s elite was staged on Mardi Gras at Kramer’s Studio and Dancing Academy, 1500 S. Figueroa.

Kramer’s Hall, as it was informally known.

The Times, in a rare bylined article—by Katherine Thompson—gives
an exhaustive account of decorations and costumes. Rather than list all the women’s outfits, I’ll only comment on them: Spanish senoritas, flower girls, cowboys and a couple of ladies dressed as Chinese girls, which seems a peculiar choice given the attitude toward the Chinese in Los Angeles at the time.

One woman dressed as “My Lady Nicotineâ€Â her gown decorated with what The Times estimated, perhaps in exaggeration, as a thousand cigar bands. Several others were dressed as “Night.â€Â

Costumes for the men included cowboys or vaqueros, a Spanish grandee, a French pastry cook and a cardinal.

The other celebration underway was the first anniversary of the Hotel Alexandria, which marked the occasion with a massive fireworks display.

“At 8 o’clock last night, several thousand dollars worth of fireworks were set off from the roof of the Alexandria,â€Â The Times says. “One particularly attractive piece pictured the great lobby of the building. During the evening a Hungarian quartette furnished music.â€Â

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