QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Baldwin Hills Dam Break)

WOW. You guys are on the ball today! The full answer is after the jump. :)


Well, we were a bit busy last week so we fell a little behind on our quizzes… but we’ll try to make up for it now. :)

You regular readers should know how this game works by now… it all starts when we show you a spot on a google map (see below) and tell you that we’re thinking of a reason this particular area is notable. Then you start to guess what that reason might be. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as always, you have a nice amount of time to guess what we’re referring to first, we encourage you not to cheat by googling the address and we also ask that if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for those who might not.

And with that little refresher course… it’s guessing time! No hints today, either.

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Thanks to KTLA news reporter and skilled helicopter pilot Don Sides, on December 14th, 1963, the Baldwin Hills Reservoir disaster, which happened on this spot, became the first tragedy in American history to have aerial images of the event broadcast live on television.
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(Please note: a section of the video above is missing the audio, but it comes back before the end.)

“On December 14, 1963, high above the Los Angeles suburb of Baldwin Hills, a hilltop reservoir dam developed a crack. KTLA interrupted its sedate Sunday morning programming with Telecopter pilot Don Sides’ terse narration. Viewers looked down on the collapse of the dam in horrifying real time, watching as 300 million gallons of water rampaged through the neighborhood below, killing five people and destroying 277 homes. The Telecopter coverage is credited as the first live aerial broadcast of a disaster.” SOURCE


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9 Responses to “QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Baldwin Hills Dam Break)”

  1. Liz C. says:

    On December 14th, 1963 the reservoir that used to be where Kenneth Hahn Park is now cracked (Baldwin Hills Reservoir) flooding Cloverdale Ave and washing away nearby homes. The site below says the reason for the crack was over exploitation of the Inglewood oil fields. The reservoir was subsequently filled in.


  2. Michael Gat says:

    That was the site of the Baldwin Hills Reservoir. The north wall of the reservoir broke in the early sixties, a result of the earth beneath it settling due to overpumping from the adjacent oil fields. Several people were killed and hundreds of homes destroyed when the water and resulting mud was released into the neighborhood below. DWP decided not to rebuild the reservoir and it’s now a park, but the rectangular outline is still visible.

  3. Jacob says:

    Is this where the dam broke?

  4. Keith says:

    Cloverfield Dam disaster site?

  5. namowal says:

    Here’s my guess
    *spoiler alert in link*
    Link (second paragraph on):

  6. norma carlyon says:

    I won’t repeat the others, but Kenneth Hawn park. Where I saw a movie being shot about a zilliion years ago.

  7. Stefanie Marquez says:

    I’ve been running up at Kenneth Hahn since I was 5. I know that there was a reservoir there until the 1960s when the dam cracked, and all the water flooded into the neighboring areas, damaging many homes, and killing several people. The very top part of the park, where the big grassy valley is, is the site of the old reservoir, that was filled in the late 70s or early 80′s (I can’t remember). There is now a plaque one on side of this grassy area that details the reservoir, and the aftermath of the flood. If I recall, the crack had something to do with the oil drilling in the surrounding region.

  8. Stefanie Marquez says:

    I’ve been running up at Kenneth Hahn since I was 5. Well I dont know what is beneath ALL of the park, but I know the big grassy valley up at the top is the site of the old reservoir. After the dam broke, and the water flooded out, it was filled in the late 1970s or early 80s–I can’t remember exactly. There is a plaque up there now that gives a summary of what happened. Many homes were damaged and or destroyed, and several people were killed. I think the crack had to do with the oil drilling in the surrounding area.

  9. Penny Rich says:

    It’s ironic that as late as April, 2010, comments were still being made on the Baldwin Hills Reservoir. I am working on my next book and refer to that incident from excerpts that inspired my story called, “Please Move Your Cold Feet” (Jeanette Spain), that was never finished; involving the demise of an expectant Mother whose lifeless body floated passed me at the corner of LaBrea and Rodeo Rd. It’s almost the 47th anniversary. …..how ironic is that? And, I had no idea that the site was the Kenneth Hahn Park in which I have spent hours enjoying the picnic grounds.

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