President John F. Kennedy was known for his openness in crowds. On the day of his assassination — 50 years ago this week — he famously chose to ride in a convertible through the streets of Dallas. As these two Los Angeles Times archival photos illustrate, he was more than comfortable with people, crowds and convertibles.
At top is a photograph of a 1962 moment that is now all but impossible for a president to replicate: a 20-minute beach frolic with admirers.
And below that is the president arriving, in 1961, at the Santa Monica home of actor Peter Lawford, who was married to Kennedy’s sister from 1954 to 1966. The caption pointedly notes that the president had foregone the usual closed limousine in favor of a convertible.
Original published captions follow.
Top, Aug. 20, 1962: BEACH FROLIC — Admirers, some fully-clothed and others in swim suits, surround President Kennedy as he stands in surf after taking a swim in the Pacific at Santa Monica. Scores followed the President into the water, frolicked happily with him for 20 minutes. Credit: Los Angeles Times / UCLA Library.
Bottom, Nov. 20, 1961: AT THE BEACH — A smiling President Kennedy hastens from convertible to the Peter Lawford beach home in Santa Monica to spend some time in the sun. Instead of taking usual closed limousine to the beach, President chose the convertible. Credit: Los Angeles Times / UCLA Library
Previously on L.A. Times Past:
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Santa Monica shooting: Two dead, at least six headed to the hospital
The full story of the sudden shooting spree near Santa Monica College earlier today is still emerging, but here are the details so far:
An alleged gunman, who has been wounded by police, opened fire at 11:55 a.m. at “multiple locations,” according to authorities, after breaking into one area residence and setting fire to another. It was in the building that had been set on fire that two bodies were found. Following that, the individual reportedly tried to carjack two vehicles and opened fire on other cars.
The suspected gunman has since been apprehended by police. And though the bomb squad has been called to the scene, authorities at this time still believe there is only one shooter.
From the account of Andrey Priadkin, who was studying for finals when he heard screams:
"I saw a guy wearing all black, holding a big gun. He looked very calm. I stared at him. I’m thinking maybe he’s a police force."
The man stared at Priadkin for about “three to four seconds” before he turned and began firing, Priadkin said.
"That’s when I realized I have to go," he said. "I just ran."
Read the latest updates over at L.A. Now.
Photos: Michael Nelson / EPA, Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images, Aaron Smith / Los Angeles Times
“It’s come to my attention that some of you have been…persuaded, perhaps, to vote for Summer Kennedy.” After his opponent recruited fellow Breaking Bad cast member Giancarlo Esposito for an endorsement video, Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences student Maxwell Ulin contacted Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in hopes of locking up their support. Even if you don’t attend Crossroads, something tells us that this video will have you trying to figure out how you, too, can vote for Maxwell. (thanks Hypervocal) source
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Santa Monica may remove cartoonist Conrad’s sculpture: Paul Conrad’s “Chain Reaction” needs up to $423,000 in repairs but would cost just $20,000 to remove, staffers say. A panel urges that supporters get six months to raise restoration funds.
Photo: “Chain Reaction” consists of a mushroom cloud fashioned out of dark chains. It is made of copper tubing over a fiberglass core and stainless steel frame. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
The American Cinematheque has a Studio Ghibli retrospective starting Thursday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.
Photo: “My Neighbor Totoro.” Credit: Studio Ghibli
In Santa Monica, battle over Christmas displays takes a new twist: Atheists win a majority of exhibit spots in a city park, displacing most of the traditional Nativity scene, as the nation’s annual tussle over religious displays on public land heats up.
Atheist groups objected to churches’ use of the public Palisades Park to espouse a religious message and applied to the city of Santa Monica for their own spaces.
To keep it fair and legal, officials in the famously liberal city turned to a lottery to dole out spots in the prime location along Ocean Avenue.
The atheists turned out to be the lucky ones: Of the 21 plots in the park open for displays, they won 18. A Jewish group that sets up a menorah won another.
Photo: Vikki Hill protests in front of an atheist group’s display in a spot formerly occupied by Nativity scenes in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
Carwash workers celebrate union contract: Employees of the Santa Monica business get a 2% raise and other guarantees, concluding a two-year battle that included labor organizers and support by local clergy.
The agreement comes as labor groups and law enforcement have tried to crack down on carwashes, which authorities allege violate basic labor and immigration laws with little risk of penalty because their workforce is largely undocumented and afraid to speak out.
Photo: Workers soap up a car at Bonus Car Wash in Santa Monica. Oliverio Gomez said, “What I hope is that future generations who come to work here aren’t treated as badly as we were; that they’re no longer humiliated, but respected.” Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times
Huge artwork suddenly appears in Santa Monica neighborhood: Tarps are pulled off to reveal a four-story-high series of colorful square panels by street artists Risk and Retna affixed to the shell of what will be a new home. The intent is to highlight ocean pollution. The city says it must go.
Photo: Corlin hugs his daughter Emilie in front of the work by street artists Risk and Retna. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
Falcons, hawk ward off gulls and pigeons at Santa Monica complex: After birds became a nuisance by littering the office campus with droppings and bones, a company brought in its avian predators. But it’s their fierce appearance, not their talons, that keeps the site gull-free.
Photo: Fred Seaman goes eye-to-eye with his falcon Johnny Depp at The Water Garden in Santa Monica. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Buddhist wonks? No, Buddhist geeks: Vincent Horn, 28, is representative of a new kind of American Buddhist: young, U.S.-born converts who have intertwined their religious practice with a certain 21st century techie sensibility.
Photo: Vincent Horn meditates at his Santa Monica home. He organized the first Buddha Geeks Conference in Rosemead last weekend. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
The odd humanity of Venice’s Ocean Front Walk. The fun-filled Santa Monica Pier. Getty’s ancient art in Pacific Palisades. The sun-kissed beaches of Malibu. The area lets you mix with the masses or take a solitary trek.
Photo: Kids play on Paradise Cove Beach in front of Bob Morris’ Paradise Cove Beach Café. View more photos at the gallery. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times
Shifting horizons in Santa Monica parks design: Amid the backdrop of the creation of two connected parks near City Hall is a fascinating interplay of urban design and public engagement.
Photo: Among the planned designs are “overlooks” encased in a basket-like shell. Credit: James Corner Field Operations
"Legendary Boston crime boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, who has been on the run for more than a decade, was arrested Wednesday in Santa Monica, multiple law enforcement sources told The Times,” Andrew Blankstein and Robert J. Lopez report. “Bulger, 81, has been the subject of several books and was the inspiration for ‘The Departed,’ a 2006 Martin Scorsese film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson.”
Photo: A poster featuring fugitives James “Whitey” Bulger and Catherine Greig is on display Monday at a news conference in Boston at which the FBI announced TV ads aimed at finding the mob boss and his mistress. Credit: Associated Press
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