Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Floods of '38

Five days of heavy rains left 200 people dead in the five counties of Southern California, 70 years ago. The Los Angeles Times blog, TheDailyMirror, carries some of the headlines from those days. A wooden bridge spanning the L.A. River in Long Beach washed away, killing ten. A dam in Santa Ana overflowed, and mudslides destroyed homes in the San Fernando Valley.

This picture is of the washed out Lankershim Bridge in Universal City, from the Los Angeles Public Library online photo collection.

Elsewhere in the world, those first days of March 1938:

  • Out of Africaby Isak Dinesen, is published by Random House

  • The Hobbitfirst appears in U.S. bookstores

  • 6,000 New York cabbies are locked out of their jobs because of strike violence

  • Stalin puts 21 highly-placed administrators and journalists on trial in Moscow, relying on confessions obtained by torture to condemn them for crimes against the Soviet

  • 16,000 pro-Nazi supporters march in a torchlight parade in Graz, Austria, overwhelming local police

  • After five years of exploring, Standard Oil finds oil in Saudi Arabia

  • Anti-British riots in Palestine lead to deployment of 1000 British troops. Planes strafe and shell terrorist hideouts, leading to the death of one leader

  • The Japanese and Chinese continue their war along the Yangtze

  • Barcelona is shelled 7 time in 24 hours as the Spanish Civil War rages

Ah, the good old days.

This was also the week that Reverend Martin Niemoeller entered a concentration camp in Germany. He's the man who wrote:

"First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak because I wasn't a

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak because I wasn't
a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me. . . and there was no one left to speak."

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