Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Birthday Bliss!

Yes, it's my birthday! Me, Alice Faye, Tyrone Power, Tammy Wynette, and a few others. But what year?

  • Was it 1961, on the day Alan B. Shepard, Jr. launched into space in a Mercury rocket, becoming the astronaut in the First American Manned Space Flight? Yuri Gargarin had flown in space for the USSR on April 12. Shepard reached an altitude of 115 miles and flew in space for all of 15 minutes. The Los Angeles Times figured that the space flight and all the research leading up to it had cost $2.25 for every one of the 180 million people living in the US.

  • Was it 1987, the day the Iran Contra hearings began? Ronald Reagan's Amnesty program started that day as well. LA social and religious offices, assisting the Immigration and Naturalization Service, expected about 25,000 people to show up. A few places did see a couple thousand people, but the turnout was lighter than expected.

Actually, it was the day that France and the Soviet Union decided to hold peace talks over IndoChina. VietMinh troops were advancing on Hanoi, and French Union paratroopers were dropping supplies for the besieged defenders.

Oh, wait, this is LA History, right? OK, it was the day that Mayor Poulson and Police Chief Parker clashed over the city budget hearings. Parker wanted $2 million more in his budget from the previous year, and argued about it so much that Poulson told him, "You talk like we were sticking our nose into something that wasn't our business. It is our business and there's no use you getting red in the face."

Parker was downright sulky after that. He said that he'd spent 27 years on the force trying to improve the department, but it was becoming evident that "my efforts were not satisfactory."

Oh well, he got Parker Center named for him. Guess somebody appreciated the guy. And of course, the date is in the picture above, which is of Elma and Gloria Peralta dancing at the Plaza Cinco de Mayo celebration in 1954. They've got bulls on their skirts, but it doesn't look like real embroidery. Did people use liquid embroidery or fabric paint back then?

Gee...I can move in to a senior condo now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy B-day!

Bill in S.G.