Archives For World War II

The new exhibition Becoming Los Angeles opened July 14. This 14,000-square-foot masterpiece is the largest in the Natural History Museum. It tells stories in six major sections: Los Angeles and the region at the time of Spanish contact; the Spanish Mission Era; the Mexican Rancho Era; the early American Period; the emergence of a new American city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the Great Depression and World War II, to the present.

next_project_Become_LA_slide_01

Some of the stories are well-known, such as how the acquisition of water through the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 allowed Los Angeles to grow. But there are other natural and human influences that might surprise you: how cattle, the Gold Rush, floods, a plague of grasshoppers, railroads, and outlandish booster campaigns all played a part in transforming the region into an agricultural and industrial empire; the pivotal role Los Angeles played in World War II; and the dynamic diversity of the earliest settlers.

Rancho Era

Come meet L.A.’s Native Americans, colonists, and settlers; rancheros, citrus growers and oil barons; captains of industry, boosters, and radicals; filmmakers, innovators, and more!

Natural History Museum Becoming LA

WHAT: Becoming Los Angeles 
WHEN:
Open seven days a week 9:30 am – 5 pm
WHERE: Natural History Museum | 900 Exposition Blvd. | Los Angeles, CA 90007

DETAILS: Tickets

CONTACT INFO: (213) 763-DINO (3466) or info@nhm.org

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Twitter | Yelp

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Halloween is almost here and it’s time to grab a costume and come out and get ghoulish with your friends and family! The Commemorative Air Force Southern California Wing (CAF SoCal) will host its 3rd Annual Ghost Squadron Halloween Party at the museum hangar in Camarillo to celebrate Halloween while supporting the organization’s initiatives in a fun, unique, and charitable Halloween event.

With more than 350 people in attendance last year, the event has become one of Ventura County’s largest, must-attend Halloween events and will feature a costume contest, food, full bar, and wine. Guests are invited to enjoy the live entertainment provided by some of the hottest DJ’s and live bands. The decor is an excuse in itself for those to attend the party, from the CAF SoCal’s HUGE Curtiss C-46-F Army Transport transformed into a haunted airplane exhibit, to the additional decorated warbirds owned by the museum, you’ll be blown away!

The CAF SoCal is an all-volunteer organization, with members from all walks of life, dedicated to preserving the history of WWII aircraft for generations to come. Completely non-profit, the museum is located in Camarillo and is home to some of the rarest WWII warbirds of their kind in the world that still fly today, including (but not limited to) an authentic Japanese Zero fighter plane; the rare Supermarine Spitfire Mark XIV, which is one of 957 ever manufactured; and the Hellcat, which is one of only five still flying.  In addition to the “Dogfight” routine and amazing warbird performances at air shows around the world, they also offer guests the flight of their life: Yes, visitors can purchase rides in their warbirds.

Click here for tickets.

WHAT: Ghost Squadron Halloween Party
WHERE: CAF SoCal Wing | 555 Airport Way, Camarillo, CA 93010
WHEN: Saturday, October 27, 2012 | 8 pm – 12 am

CONTACT INFO: (805) 402-3902 or leftlanepro@gmail.com

DETAILS: 

  • Price: $15 online (early purchase) and $20 at the door  – it’s really a charitable donation!
  • Age Suitability: 18+

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While no longer a secret, the Nazi compound high in the Santa Monica mountains still remains a mystery. A popular sightseeing stop on the Rustic Canyon hike, the eerie ruins lie hidden under dense foliage and sit nestled on the canyon floor. They date back to the 1930’s and bare strange artifacts that underscore the city’s rich and clandestine history.

According to Winona and Norman Stephens, previous landowners of the fifty-acre compound known only as Murphy Ranch, Los Angeles was supposed to be the “seat of American fascism” from where Adolph Hitler could rule the United States and restore order. The now dilapidated and graffiti-tagged stronghold was built to be a self-sustaining nazi community. Old blueprints reveal plans for a huge mansion complete with a 400,000 gallon water tank and a concrete-walled power station. Nazi sympathizers began constructing the ranch in 1933, and inhabited it up until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Authorities monitoring the ranch raided the facility shortly after, arresting the Nazi’s and others for espionage.

An ornate, wrought iron gate marks the entrance to the World War II-era enigma and was designed by renowned African-American architect Paul Revere Williams. He quips, “They may have been Nazis, but they were Nazis with taste.” Hikers are free to explore the ruins, you can enter the Ranch through one of two sets of stairs that lead from the edge of the Sullivan Ridge Fire Road down to the canyon creek.

The abandoned buildings were transformed into an artists’ colony in the 60s and 70s, but were abandoned after the Mandeville Canyon Fire in 1978, driving out the colony permanently. Today the grounds of Murphy Ranch are uninhabited, dilapidated, covered in graffiti, and open to hikers. While much of the history is lost, several structures remain, along with long cement staircases that still link Murphy Ranch to Sullivan Ridge Fire Road, providing a 3.85-mile hike with 325 feet of elevation gain.

The $4 million property was reportedly protected by armed guards called the Silver Shirts, who patrolled Murphy Ranch’s many concrete staircases. Those staircases, one of which has 500+ concrete steps, by themselves are quite sinister and impressive, and currently attract a local community of Los Angeles “stair walkers.”

Directions to the trailhead

From Sunset Boulevard, 3 miles west of the 405, turn north at the light onto Capri Drive. After 1/3 mile continue through the traffic circle, remaining on Capri Drive for another 1/3 mile until it comes to an end at Casale Road. Sullivan Ridge Fire road begins to the left. Find street parking to the right or on an adjacent road. The Santa Monica mountains offer great hiking and spectacular views.

WHAT: Rustic Canyon Hike And Nazi Ruins
WHEN: Sun up to sun down
WHERE: Santa Monica Mountains

CONTACT INFO: Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (323) 644-6661

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