Thursday, December 29, 2011

One hundred years ago in Santa Monica

Panorama at the mouth of Santa Monica Canyon showing Tract Office and Adelaide Drive

Annual banquet of foremen and storekeepers of the Southern California Edison Company at the Casino Cafe, Ocean Park, 1912

Santa Monica automobile road race spectators in their automobiles on Wilshire Blvd., May 4, 1912

Scenes from Imagine Santa Monica, the Library's digital archive

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Historical December holiday scenes in Santa Monica

A Christmas card of Palisades Park (n.d.)

A World War II returnee and a woman at the Douglas Aircraft Company Employees' Christmas Tree lot (1941-1945)

A festive photograph of the Third Street Mall (1969). All of these photos can be found in the Imagine Santa Monica digital photograph collection available through the Santa Monica Public Library webpage.

The Powder Puff Derby of 1929

The story goes that Will Rogers coined the phrase "Powder Puff Derby" after viewing the 19 women pilots at Clover Field take a quick look in their compact mirrors and powder their noses before take off on August 18, 1929. The race was set for a journey over several days from Santa Monica to Cleveland. At 2pm, a shot was fired, a flag dropped and the aircraft shot out of Clover Field on a short trek to San Bernardino. Notable pilots included Pancho Barnes, Amelia Earhart, Mary Haizlip, and Bobby Trout. Louise Thadden was first over the finish line, landing in Cleveland nine days after the start of the race in her blue and gold Travel Air.

Read more about the first female air race in the United States in The Powder Puff Derby of 1929: The True Story of the First Women's Cross-Country Air Race by Gene Nora Jessen, available at the Santa Monica Public Library. Digitized photographs come from the Imagine Santa Monica collection.