vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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When the ground shook

Last Tuesday, few if any noted that it was the 75th anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's inauguration ("The only thing we have to fear is...fear itself") as president; he would be the last president sworn in on that date, as a constitutional amendment moved the inaugural date up to Jan. 20 before he began his second term in 1937.

So it's perfectly understandable that even fewer probably recognize that 75 years ago today, southern California was rocked by an earthquake that left more than 100 dead and did considerable damage. Fortunately, the Los Angeles Times remembered, or at least its "The Daily Mirror" blog did.

If you haven't seen the blog, it runs front and inside pages and other material from the Times and occasionally its now-defunct afternoon sister paper the Mirror-News. Most of the focus is on 50 years ago, which means now it's running a lot of material from March 1958. But it also regularly looks at 1938, 1908 and other dates. It's both illuminating and entertaining, and if you're like me you'll soon bookmark the site (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/).

So today, the blog ran three pages from the Times of March 11, 1933, covering the quake that had hit the city the day before:

What does all of this have to do with Carole Lombard, some of you may ask? Well, at the time, Lombard was working on the horror film "Supernatural" -- an assignment she didn't particularly like -- and was lambasting its director, Victor Halperin, when the quake hit. Legend has it that once the shocks were over, Carole coolly walked up close to Halperin, pointed at him, and said: "Victor -- that was only a warning!"

A classic anecdote, if true...but was it? In late June last year, in one of my earliest entries here, I examined whether it actually happened, based upon contemporary news accounts (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/6116.html).

Anyway, the event happened 75 years ago today.

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