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Los Angeles in the 30's & 40's versus today - Essay Example

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Los Angeles in the 30’s & 40’s vs. Today Los Angeles was a very different world in the tumultuous era of the 1930’s and 1940’s. There were many things that made the headlines, not all of them outstanding events to be remembered for their daring or heartwarming abilities…
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Download file to see previous pages Although LAX is currently a world renowned airport, it wasn’t always the center of attention. Prior to its inception, the primary airports for Los Angeles were Burbank and Grand Central Airport in Glendale. It wasn’t until 1946 that they started serving LAX, because it was just too far out of the way. At that time, it was located east of Sepulveda Boulevard, which ended up being rerouted to the west to loop around the new runways that were created in 1950. Nowadays, LAX is considered one of the busiest airports in the world, with nearly 60 million passengers using the airport each year. They also have a dual function as a civil-military base, providing the U. S. Coast Guard an area to launch, operate and repair their HH-65 Dolphin helicopters. (Delta Mike Airfield, 2008). Although the birth of LAX is a notable part of history in L.A., it was only the beginning of many not-so-good firsts for the city. In 1934, Upton Sinclair decided to run for the governor’s seat of California. He was a famous writer and activist, but he was also a socialist who happened to be California’s first celebrity politician. It gave birth to smear politics on a grand scale. Sinclair easily gained the Democratic primary for governor, after which the L. A. Times criticized his “maggot-like horde” of supporters (Huffington Post, 2008), while others warned that if elected, the state would become communist. This realization ignited an all-out political revolution. With help from Hollywood and the papers, Sinclair’s opposition practically invented the modern media campaign. They made unparalleled use of mail, radio, film, fund raising and opinion polls to create the most astounding smear campaign ever seen. The best was the new ability to manipulate film, using fake newsreels with Hollywood actors to destroy Sinclair’s candidacy. The L.A. Times had attacked Sinclair unmercifully for weeks, which ultimately destroyed his chances. President Roosevelt couldn’t do anything to help him as he was barely into his New Deal and was struggling himself. He couldn’t endorse him, because he would be seen as endorsing socialism, but on the same token, if he didn’t endorse him, others would call him cowardly for not endorsing a candidate of his party. With FDR’s refusal to endorse him, and the fake newsreels hit the big screen, current Governor Merriam won his re-election. This was the precursor to a variety of things that we now have in use across the country. Sinclair is credited with helping with inspiration to many of FDR’s New Deal programs, including Social Security and certainly was the first victim of smear campaigning and dirty politics. Today, when we have any election forthcoming, all of the newspapers, radio stations and television stations carry smear ads, one party against the other to convince us that the skeletons in the other parties’ closets outweigh their own. It’s odd to think that this all started with a well-known author who wanted to run for Governor of California. His muckraking books got the best of him, as while he was for FDR’s New Deal, he also led a movement called EPIC (End Poverty in California), the platform on which he was running for Governor. This also helped to move the Democratic Party further to the left where they continue to be today. Most Californians have at ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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