I am pleased to announce the availability of about 1.3 GB of images, obtained from the HPOA under the California Public Records Act. The main archive page is here. You can see a listing of the files for individual download here. I rot13-ed the filenames to protect people’s privacy somewhat.1 You can get the whole batch via bittorrent which, as always, is most efficient if you want local copies of these pictures. I’ll be organizing these into thematic PDF flip-books and publishing them at the Archive and on Amazon over the next few weeks, but as it may be a while I thought I’d make the raw images available now.
If you don’t know what rot13 is you need to get your internet user’s license renewed post haste!
Image of man explaining democracy to the BID Patrol is a public record.
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that, last month, we broke the story of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce biggity-wig Marty Shelton’s bizarre distaste for black, brown, and poor people visiting Hollywood. Inspired by that, we recently wrote on the white supremacist roots of our beloved Hollywood sign and the inwrought caucasians-only policies of the real-estate development it once promoted. This line of inquiry got us interested in the jim crow history of Hollywood, which turns out to be quite rich.
For instance, a brief discussion in Scott Kurashige’s interesting book The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles1 led us to read up in old LA Times articles on anti-Japanese hysteria in Hollywood in the early 1920s. It seems that in April 1923, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce gave some advice to a bunch of angry white people. The article is here, but the short version is that some Japanese people bought eight lots in Hollywood, four near Bronson and Sunset and four on Tamarind and Gordon, and had the nerve to wish to build some apartment buildings and a church.
The white people got all in a tizzy, you can see one in the image above, and went to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce screaming for help. The Chamber, as opposed to the presence of non-white people in Hollywood as they are today, directed the howling mob to the City Attorney to seek a restraining order and they also started circulating petitions “urging the residents to agree to restrict the use of land to those of the Caucasian race.”2 They were even inspired to poetry! See after the break for an especially creepy example.