Today’s front page, honoring fallen president, Nobel laureate and international hero Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address: Times reporter Emily Alpert put together a collection of notable videos from Mandela’s life, including a clip from the day he was released from prison; a montage of speeches assembled by the UN; an early TV appearance; and more.
"Only free men can negotiate. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated." —Nelson Mandela to then-South African President Pieter W. Botha, in 1985.
"Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together, and it is together that we will bid him farewell." —current South African President Jacob Zuma, announcing Mandela’s death today.
An article titled “8 Foes of Apartheid Get Life Terms in S. Africa" appeared in the L.A. Times on June 13, 1964. Here’s what the paper’s front page looked like on the day of Mandela’s release from prison, February 11, 1990. In December of that year, he spoke optimistically about South Africa’s future in this interview:
Q: What sort of South Africa do you envisage?
A: Very simple. It is a South Africa based on the Freedom Charter (a manifesto drawn up by the ANC and political allies in the 1950s), which is our basic policy; … a non-racial society where all population groups would enjoy equality before the law, and where all forms of racial discrimination were abolished. It is a South Africa where there will be a bill of rights defining the rights of citizens, a bill of rights that is entrenched by the ability of any person who considers his rights are threatened or violated to have access to an independent judiciary. It is a South Africa in which there will be political parties; where political dissent will not be dealt with in a way that shows a lack of patience and a lack of political tolerance.
Here’s Mandela’s obituary in the L.A. Times, by Deputy Managing Editor Scott Kraft, who covered Mandela as a reporter (you’ll see his byline more than once on the front page linked above); Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Bob Drogin, who described Mandela as “the most remarkable man I ever met” in a tweet today; and Johannesburg correspondent Robyn Dixon (who has also been covering today’s events on Twitter). More recommended reading: a timeline of Mandela’s life; a first-person account of growing up in a changing South Africa by Times photojournalist Jerome Adamstein; a recollection of his 1990 L.A. visit by columnist Patt Morrison; and Mandela’s own address to those assembled at a Cape Town rally upon his release from prison in February 1990.
Top photo: Mandela and his then-wife Winnie, along with L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley, on the steps of City Hall during a trip to Los Angeles on June 29, 1990. Credit: Los Angeles Times
Middle photo: Mandela holds up the key to the city that he was presented by Mayor Bradley, also on June 29, 1990. Credit: Los Angeles Times
Bottom photo: Mandela visits L.A.’s First AME Church on July 9, 1993. Credit: Los Angeles Times. More photos from Mandela’s life.
test reblogged from latimespast
Remembering Nelson Mandela
The renowned world leader and civil rights icon passed away today at the age of 95.
Mandela himself was reticent to indulge in the myth-making that surrounded him:
"In real life we deal not with gods, but with ordinary humans like ourselves: men and women who are full of contradictions, who are stable and fickle, strong and weak, famous and infamous," he wrote in a letter to his wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, from prison in 1979.
But his lifetime of action, and transformation from being branded a terrorist and imprisoned by his opponents to a universally-applauded hero for not just his homeland of South Africa, but the whole world, makes him more than one of those “ordinary humans.”
Read our full obituary of Mandela, or follow along Mandela’s incredible life in our timeline.
Photos: Kim Ludbrook / EPA, John Parkin / Associated Press, Jurgen Shadberg / Getty Images
For sale: A forgotten, dilapidated California ghost town
In 1851, gold was discovered in a remote part of California, and that find birthed Seneca, a mining town that now has no miners, no residents and little besides rusted motor homes and a bar.
Now, the land and everything on it, as broken-down and busted as it may be (save for the alluring Gin Mill bar), is up for sale on Craigslist for $225,000.
Photos: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Green energy could crash the national power grid
Not because of any sort of explosive danger, but because the U.S. power grid is built for the previous century’s sources of energy. The antiquated grid, already a persistent cause for concern for officials, simply may not be prepared for large-scale adoption of alternative sources of power:
Green energy is the least predictable kind. Nobody can say for certain when the wind will blow or the sun will shine. A field of solar panels might be cranking out huge amounts of energy one minute and a tiny amount the next if a thick cloud arrives. In many cases, renewable resources exist where transmission lines don’t.
Photo: Dennis Schroeder / National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Finding a home after 30 years on the streets
Roger Anderson has spent the last three decades without a home after running away from an abusive father at the age of 13. But right before Thanksgiving, at the age of 47, Anderson gained something more than worthy of holiday gratitude: A place to call his own.
Look through a photo essay of Anderson’s last night of homelessness, and his first moments in his new apartment over at Framework.
Photos: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
Escaping the city for the middle of nowhere, with tens of thousands of books
Partners for 35 years, Polly Hinds and Lynda German left Denver thirteen years ago in search of a quieter life, and they found it in isolated Sweetwater Station, Wyoming.
Not content to keep busy with the upkeep of dozens of farm animals, the two started a mammoth rare book store, with 70,000 titles up for sale.
Their hands filthy from chores, the two veteran booksellers carry armloads of hard-bound volumes, careful not to dirty the historical tomes and two Zane Grey works of fiction, “The Last Ranger” and “Last of the Great Scouts.” The words scrawled in red on a storage shed explain the contrast: “BOOKS FOR SALE.”
Thirteen years ago, the pair fled Denver following a bizarre altercation with police, looking for a quieter life. They found it here on a deserted ranch 40 miles from the nearest store…
Photos: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
Most people who were alive on Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, don’t remember much about Thursday the 21st — the day before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago this week.
Above, you can see the front page of the Los Angeles Times that was delivered to people’s homes on Nov….
A peek into how an inconspicuous day can turn into one with grave historical implications.
test reblogged from latimespast
Remembering JFK 50 years after his assassination
On Nov. 22, 1963, the nation lost a president and, as some suggest, its sense of optimistic idealism. President John F. Kennedy was shot several times as his motorcade drove past cheering crowds, and his killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was murdered soon after.
Today, flags fly at half staff, and commemorations are being held across the country, particularly in Dallas, where the assassination took place.
Read more on the conspiracy theories about the killing that persist to this day, examine a map of important assassination-related locations or read through witness accounts of the shooting.
Photos: Tom Pennington / Getty Images, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press
Seattle’s socialist, Occupy-approved city council member
Seattle has long been a bastion for liberal politics, but newly-elected City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant pushes the city’s political envelope with her avowed ties to socialism and the Occupy movement. The city’s more conservative political figures are skeptical of Sawant, but her supporters have successfully rallied around her, and her central call for a $15 minimum wage.
Says Sawant of her position outside of the typical political structure:
"It is time, high time, that we workers opt for a mass political alternative to the two big-business parties!"
Photos: Alan Berner / Seattle Times, Ted S. Warren / Associated Press
"Chop suey, that’s a very old dish. But this guy, he’s older"
Paul’s Kitchen has been parked in the so-called “City Market Chinatown” since 1946, enduring the ebb and flow of customers, competition and eventually, an exodus of interest in favor of the “New Chinatown” to the North.
And though the dinner crowds have dwindled, lunch still brings a wave of loyal diners looking for Paul’s “Depression-era Chinese food,” the hearty kind that sticks to your ribs.
And through it all, Paul’s adamantly endures change by not changing at all:
For 23 years, manager Charlie Ng has run the restaurant on downtown’s San Pedro Street as his uncle Paul directed, adhering to a business strategy that has over the years been elevated to maxim: Keep everything the same.
It’s even woven into the restaurant’s Chinese name, bao ju — a common naming format for restaurants of the time period that translates literally as “treasure memory.”
Photos: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Initial Obamacare enrollment numbers disappoint
From our initial report on the release of enrollment figures for state exchanges, and more distressing for the White House, anemic totals for the healthcare.gov site:
Just 106,000 Americans successfully signed up in October for health coverage through President Obama’s healthcare law, the administration announced Wednesday in a report that underscored damage from the botched launch of the law and gave critics new fuel in their effort to roll it back.
The tally falls well short of administration hopes that as many as 500,000 people would select a health plan in the first month of enrollment.
Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press
This is an actual news story: It ran in the L.A. Times (on the front page, in fact) on Jan. 13, 1914.
The previous month, the New York Times had reported on the Vatican’s efforts “to suppress the tango dancing mania in Italy” but noted that those efforts had “proved a failure.” In the last days of 1913, Italy’s King Victor Emmanuel III banned the dance at a state ball.
But by Jan. 14, 1914, a story was being told in the salons of Rome, memorably related in this L.A. Times article:
Two representatives of one of the old patrician families of Rome were admitted to private audience, and, humming softly well-known music, initiated His Holiness into the mysteries of the tango steps. As they danced, the Pope’s brow furrowed with a look of stupefaction. Finally he ejaculated:
"Is that the tango?"
"Yes, Your Holiness," was the reply.
"Well, my dear children," commented Pius X, "you cannot find it very amusing."
There and then the Pope raised the interdict, for, as he pointed out with an ironical smile, if the tango were made a penance, it would be looked upon as sheer cruelty.
A century later, the tango has a well-placed fan at the Vatican: In an interview featured in the book “Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in his Own Words,” the current pope described himself as a fan of tango and said that he had “danced it as a young man, although I preferred the milonga.”
For the dancers out there: We’ve been chronicling the relationship between the Vatican and tango since 1914.
test reblogged from latimespast