The greatest Dodger of all time: Sandy Koufax
What began with a simple question from sports writer Houston Mitchell: “Who are the 10 greatest Dodgers of all time?” turned into a massive wave of feedback, with 12,231 ballots surging in. And after a lengthy wait, we can finally reveal that the top Dodger of all time is legendary pitcher Sandy Koufax.
What made Koufax so great (beyond his victory on our ballot):
Koufax was the first pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards (1963, ‘65 and ‘66), as well as the first pitcher to win a Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote (1963, when he went 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA). Many people will tell you that the greatest pitcher in baseball history was Sandy Koufax on four days’ rest. Second greatest? Sandy Koufax on three days’ rest.
As for the rest of the top three, the groundbreaking Jackie Robinson came in second, and the longtime voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully, took third.
Many thanks to everyone who sent in a ballot, and feel free to check out the rest of the top-ranking Dodgers here!
Photos: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times, Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images
Times copy editor Larry Harnisch attends the reunion of Los Angeles Herald Examiner photographers:
A generation has come of age since the death of Hearst’s Los Angeles Herald Examiner on Nov. 2, 1989, a digital generation that has no memory of The Times’ scrappy competitor. Once the nation’s largest afternoon paper, the Herald was a victim of changing lifestyles and a long, bruising strike, a publication that was losing about $2 million a month when it folded.
Today, the Herald’s pages are preserved on reels of microfilm, accessible only to those willing to make the trek to the Los Angeles Public Library or other research facilities.But the newspaper’s photos have found new life online.
You can see some of those photos above, and there are even more at Framework, where Scott Harrison has put together a gallery that has the back stories of some of these amazing images. Still more photos — the source of the ones above, in fact — are in the Los Angeles Public Library collection (which you can search).
Photos: Top: The Hollywood sign in 1978. Middle left: O.J. Simpson carries the Olympic torch in L.A. in July 1984. Middle right: Cher and Don Ameche at the 1986 Oscars. Bottom left: A police car hits a protester in Beverly Hills in 1979. Bottom right: The final issue of the Herald Examiner. (Credit: Los Angeles Herald Examiner / Los Angeles Public Library)
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In 1897, a wealthy American businessman named Horace Dobbins began construction on a private, for-profit bicycle superhighway that would stretch from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. It may seem like a preposterous notion now—everyone knows Angelenos don’t get out of their cars—but at the time, amidst the height of a pre-automobile worldwide cycling boom, the idea attracted the attention of some hugely powerful players. And it almost got built.
Time to start daydreaming about what a bicycle superhighway would actually be like…
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Ray Harryhausen, stop-motion master, passes away
Special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen died today at the age of 92. One of the earliest masters of his craft, Harryhausen was the longstanding king of stop-motion animation, with his work defining films like “Jason and the Argonauts” and “Clash of the Titans.”
From our obituary for Harryhausen:
In the pre-computer-generated-imagery era in which he worked, Harryhausen used the painstaking process of making slight adjustments to the position of his three-dimensional, ball-and-socket-jointed scale models and then shooting them frame-by-frame to create the illusion of movement. Footage of his exotic beasts and creatures was later often combined with live action.
Photos: L.A. County Museum of Art, Peter Macdiarmid, Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Alan Shepard gears up for his flight as the first American in space. May 5, 1961.
This photo from the holdings of the Eisenhower Library shows astronaut Shepard preparing for his record setting flight as the first American man in space.
from the Jacqueline Cochran Papers, Federation Aeronautique International Series. National Archives ID #7065300
Happy 52nd anniversary of Shepard’s flight into space!
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Cannibalism in Jamestown
Those with weak stomachs may want to avoid going any further. Researchers today unveiled proof of alleged cannibalism during times of dire starvation in the fledgling Virginia colony.
From the writings of George Percy, president of Jamestown at the time:
“One of our colony murdered his wife, ripped the child out of her womb and threw it into the river, and after chopped the mother in pieces and salted her for his food.”
But until the scarce remains of a 14-year-old girl named “Jane” were discovered in a garbage heap, there was no physical evidence that the accounts of cannibalism were actually true.
From Smithsonian anthropologist Douglas Owsley:
“The recovered bone fragments have unusually patterned cuts and chops that reflect tentativeness, trial and complete lack of experience in butchering animal remains. Nevertheless, the clear intent was to dismember the body, removing the brain and flesh from the face for consumption.”
Photos: Don Hurlbert / AFP/Getty Images, Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press
John Lennon’s artwork returns to Los Angeles
Lennon’s playful drawings will finally be returning to the West Coast this weekend, sitting on display Friday through Sunday at Westfield Century City Mall.
Some background on Lennon’s (non-musical) artistic history:
Early in 1970, he made his gallery debut with “Bag One,” a collection of 15 lithographs — a handwritten poem and 14 drawings, eight of them sexually explicit — that celebrated his love for Ono and were drawn around the time of their nuptials in 1969.
Photos: John Lennon / Pacific Edge Gallery
Keep calm and carry on (with trademarks)
The iconic World War II-era phrase, which adorns items and merchandise worldwide, is, as it turns out, trademarked in Europe by a former TV producer.
As the fight over the trademark continues, the couple partially responsible for the slogan’s revitalization, Stuart and Mary Manley, began just by framing it in their secondhand book shop and selling copies of the poster. But now, they’re less-than-enthused about the torrent of parodies.
“I didn’t want it trivialized. But of course now it’s been trivialized beyond belief…. You want to keep up a standard, and ‘Keep calm and eat a cupcake’ doesn’t do that.”
Read more from our latest Column One report.
Photos: Henry Chu, Sang Tan / Los Angeles Times
Scouting the Sierra for movie backdrops
There are birdwatchers, urban explorers and Instagram-centric photo hounds - but some people take their time to explore the barren expanses of California’s backcountry to find the iconic backdrops used in many Hollywood films.
From one couple with a particular penchant for finding famous backgrounds:
At one point, Carol held up a photograph of a campfire scene in “Django Unchained,” which is set in the South just before the Civil War. She moved the photo to the left, then to the right. She squinted, then broke into a smile.
Pointing to a nearby rock, she said that actor Jamie Foxx “stood right there.”
Read more, and see more scenic vistas, over at Framework.
Photos: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
Paris photo fair arrives in Hollywood
The world’s most prestigious photography fair will be launching its U.S. branch in Los Angeles starting today - with Paramount Pictures Studios serving as the backdrop for the fair’s extensive offerings.
The fair concludes Sunday: For more details, head over to Framework.
Photos: The Paris Photo Fair
The great billboard war of 1917
The Supreme Court ruled in 1917 that cities could prohibit billboards in residential areas, so long as the bans were made for the purposes of safety, health, decency and morality.
In a story titled “Immediate Passage of Ordinance to Rid the Residence Sections of the City of Dangerous Eyesores is Urged by Civil Organizations,” (which is a crazily long headline by modern standards) the Los Angeles Times advocated banning the “dangerous eyesores.”
From the article:
The public had grown so accustomed to being flaunted by the billboard interests and so resigned to the belief that the law somehow was against the home owner when it came to the question of curbing this disgraceful business, that the recent United States Supreme Court decision giving cities the right to absolutely to prohibit billboards in residence sections was the cause of genuine astonishment. This astonishment has given way to a spirit of determination, which is manifesting itself in a clamorous demand upon the city authorities for immediate and unceremonious action against the professional city defacers.
The Times’ efforts were eventually successful, with an ordinance passing the next year.
Photos: Los Angeles Times
George W. Bush returns to the public eye
Former President Bush has kept a relatively low profile since leaving the White House, largely keeping to himself save for releasing a memoir, (and having his painting hobby exposed). But he’s stepping back into the spotlight with the dedication of his presidential library tomorrow.
Above is an early look at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Read architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne’s review of the library’s construction here.
Photos: G.J. McCarthy, Tom Fox / Dallas Morning News, Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram / MCT, Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images, David J. Phillip / Associated Press
Tired of smog in Los Angeles?
Why not try out L.A. health officials’ electrostatic precipitators? Better known as a “smog catcher,” the device seen above was put into use in 1945, when a thick, heavy layer of smog constantly choked the city.
The “smog catcher” is a tubular device for picking up and measuring the amount in the ozone. Generally used by the health department’s division of industrial hygiene for measuring foreign matter in the air in operations of various industrial plants, the machine will be used for spot checking with the ultimate view of ascertaining what substances are in the atmosphere and proceeding with abatement operations accordingly, in order to reduce the annoying atmospheric condition….
So while the smog catcher didn’t exactly solve L.A.’s smog problem (which continues to this day), we can’t help but give it some credit for trying.
Photo: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times
Preserving ancient teachings in Timbuktu
Boubacar Sadeck, the youngest of Timbuktu’s scribes at 38, is a master of an ancient art - one that ties him closely to the historical writings that he spends his days transcribing and preserving.
“My weakness, my love, is calligraphy,” said the scribe, who fled Timbuktu, famed for its collection of centuries-old manuscripts, when Islamist militias invaded last year. “If I go a day without writing, I feel as if something is missing or strange. When I sit down with my paper and my pen, I feel wonderful. I feel at ease.”
Many of Timbuktu’s ancient scripts are now refugees separated from their former home in Ahmed Baba Institute after Islamist militias invaded. The rest have been either lost or destroyed in the chaos caused by the successful fight to drive the militias out of the city. Now, the future of these artifacts from the past is up in the air.
Read more in reporter Robyn Dixon’s story here
Photos: Evan Schneide / UN, Eric Feferberg / AFP/Getty Images
The Federal Government on Tumblr
Increasingly, Federal agencies (like us here at the Bureau of Land Management) are using Tumblr to share photos, science, events, initiatives, and other great content with the Tumblr community. Here’s a list of some awesome Federal government blogs you should be following on Tumblr. It’s probably not exhaustive, but these are the ones we know about that post more than occasionally.
Reblog and help share the word:
America’s Great Outdoors: The Department of the Interior (our parent agency) shares an amazing photo a day of your public lands.
Archivist of the United States: The Tumblr of our “collector in chief” at the National Archives, David S Ferriero.
Bureau of Reclamation: Reclamation, and Interior Dept agency, is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States.
Congress in the Archives: Since the First Congress in 1789, the records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have documented the history of the legislative branch. The National Archives helps you explore this history.
Conservation at Work: The Natural Resources Conservation Service, part of the Department of Agriculture, posts photos of conservation on farms and other private lands across the nation.
Fish and Wildlife Service: The Pacific Region of the FWS encompasses extraordinary ecological diversity. Photos, science, and more.
Internal Revenue Service: Because who doesn’t want tax information on Tumblr? Useful tips, videos, etc., straight from the IRS.
My Public Lands: The awesomeness of the Bureau of Land Management, which manages more than 245 million acres of amazing lands, as told by students, interns, and newer employees.
Our Presidents: One space to bring the past 13 Presidents together. Discover behind-the-scenes history here. Managed by the National Archives.
National Archives: News and current events from the United States National Archives and Records Administration whose holdings include the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, military records, Presidential records, and millions of other documents related to the Federal Government.
Peace Corps: Life is calling. How far will you go? Get up close with the amazing work done by peace corps volunteers.
U.S. Department of State: Videos, photos, testimony, and updates from the State Department. Foreign policy updates on Tumblr—how cool is that?
Today’s Document: Highlighting interesting documents the National Archives’ holdings—both the well-known and the obscure—to observe historical events (usually the significant events but sometimes just the curious ones).
USA.gov: Government made easy. On Tumblr. Enough said.
US National Archives Exhibits: Images and stories from the National Archives related to “Searching for the Seventies: the DOCUMERICA Photography Project,” the newest exhibition on display at the Archives’ facility in Washington, DC.
But wait, there’s more!
Preservation at the National Archives: All things preservation at the National Archives and Records Administration. Posts to this site come from all of the Preservation Programs departments, including: Conservation, St. Louis Preservation, and National Preservation Programs.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library: Dedicated to the memory of our nation’s 35th president and to all those who through the art of politics seek a new and better world.
LBJ Time Machine: Taking a trip through time, from the birth of Lyndon Johnson in 1908 through 2013 at the LBJ Library and Museum.
FDR Library: Follow the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum as we count down to the rededication of the Roosevelt Library and the opening of the new permanent museum exhibits.
The Tumblrweed Times from the National Archives at Riverside, CA: We are the National Archives at Riverside—a unit of the U.S. National Archives. Our records document the Federal government in the western states of Arizona, southern California and Clark County, Nevada.
Talk about your comprehensive lists!
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