September 1970 “This news clip from 1970 focuses on the start of desegregation-via-busing in the Pasadena school district and the signing of an anti-busing bill by California Gov. Ronald Reagan. A much larger controversy later surrounded busing in the Los Angeles Unified School District, since that district covered many more students. Busing in L.A. and elsewhere in California was largely halted by litigation and the passage of a ballot initiative in the early 1980s. ”
October 1980 “Litigation to order a busing plan for the Los Angeles Unified School District began in the 1960s and a plan was ultimately ordered by Judge Paul Egly in the late 1970s. This news report focuses on “white flight” from the District. Proposition 1 of 1979 was a reaction to the busing plan and limited the scope of busing. After several years of litigation, Prop 1 was upheld and the plan ended. The video shows a sign denouncing Judge Egly.”
Every once in a while I’m going to repost certain topics that I feel are particularly fun, interesting or important for people to learn about. This topic is obviously the latter. I couldn’t find any real updates on the current status of the Runkle Canyon development, but when I do, you’ll know.
Original post: July 25, 2009
You’ve heard of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.
Have you ever heard of Rocketdyne or Runkle Canyon?
Frighteningly, very few people actually have… especially considering that in 1959, what is considered to be the worst nuclear accident in American history actually happened just 30 miles outside of Los Angeles, spreading up to 459 times the contamination of Three Mile Island across Simi Valley. (Note to self: *always* take a Silkwood shower after driving through Simi Valley.)
Shockingly, the scope of the partial meltdown at the Boeing-Rocketdyne sodium reactor was covered up. In September 2005, 100 local residents filed a class-action lawsuit amid fears of cancer and thyroid issues and were awarded $30 million in damages. It was only during this lawsuit four years ago – 45 years after the meltdown – that the extent of the radioactive iodine leak was confirmed. Meanwhile, land developers have been proposing to build 461 residences in the 1,500-acre contaminated canyon (including 138 units for senior citizens) to this day despite legitimate protests. YIKES.
Here is a timeline of the Rocketdyne events. A scary History Channel program about the incident featured after the jump.
Sadly, flashing back to this city’s past isn’t always going to be beach parties and good times. Perhaps no crimes will ever stop the heart of Los Angeles the way the Manson murders did, and in honor of their 40 year anniversary, Los Angeles Magazine is currently featuring a web exclusive primer on Manson, including an oral history of interviews with the people involved.
Exactly forty years ago today – July 1, 1969 – a 34 year-old racist ex-convict and wanna-be folk singer named Charles Manson shot a black drug dealer by the name of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe in an apartment building that once stood where the Magic Castle Hotel now resides. As the story goes, mistakenly believing that he had committed murder and that Crowe was a member of the Black Panther Party, Manson expected retribution from the gang. So throughout the summer of 1969, Charles Manson orchestrated the grisliest murder spree in Los Angeles history partly in an effort to frame the Panthers and force the police to arrest them. With these murders, Angelenos were consumed with pure confusion and terror. The wealthy, the famous and the beautiful had suddenly become innocent victims of horrific, unsolved violence… and if the privileged weren’t safe, who WAS? Los Angeles filled with fear, and its collective perspective on the face of evil changed the second Charles Manson and his unique brand of scary entered their radar six months later. In December 1969, Manson and several of his followers were arrested. The trial began on July 24, 1970. On January 25, Manson was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. On March 29, 1971, Manson was sentenced to death. And there he remains, on death row.
The videos I’m including after the jump are in chronological order and, obviously, not for the faint of heart. They are as follows:
- Footage featuring original CBS news coverage of the Tate and LaBianca murders;
- News report filmed 8 weeks after Manson’s arrest with an eyewitness account of Spahn Movie Ranch;
- Charles Manson in all his crazy glory on the Today Show in 1994;
- A History Channel Series which followed the later lives of the people most affected (for the full 5-part playlist, click here);
- Diane Sawyer interviewing repentant and dying Family member Susan Atkins in 2008. (Atkins’ next parole hearing is set for September 2nd, 2009.)