Column | A look at bygone days: Headlines in Long Beach during the 1920s

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The following is part 2 of the Bygone Days that ran in the Jan. 3 edition of the Signal Tribune. This installment includes a timeline of events in 1920 Long Beach.

From the Daily Telegram (DT) and Los Angeles Herald (LAH)

January
16 (DT) – America becomes dry at midnight. (Start of Prohibition Era)

22 (LAH) – Long Beach purity inspector Squire Du Ree resigns.

28 (LAH) – In a special election, the proposals for issuing $500,000 in bonds to extend the municipal water system and for $75,000 to erect fire stations carried. Three other bond propositions were defeated by small margins. These were projects for a $240,000 bond for a civic center, $75,000 to purchase lands for public parks and $25,000 for repairs of the Pine Avenue Pier.

February
3 (LAH) – Hard cider, served from kegs labeled “Old Taylor,” and “Straight Gin,” is responsible for so large a number of cases of drunkenness at Long Beach, that the municipal legislative body is contemplating placing the beverage under a ban.

14 (LAH) – Proprietors of a concession booth at Long Beach today were in the Long Beach city jail awaiting arraignment on a “bootlegging” charge of having sold a grape cider containing from 10% to 15% alcohol. Raisins and exposure to the air are supposed to have furnished the “kick” to the cider.

28 (LAH) – Long Beach Bath House & Amusement have decided to erect what will be the finest and most modern all-weather plunge in America, capable of accommodating 10,000 bathers daily. The plans call for the demolition of the present bath house and plunge, which has a capacity of 5,000 daily. It is proposed that the bath house building be constructed of reinforced concrete throughout, occupying five full stories, with a frontage of about 220 feet on the famous “Walk of a Thousand Lights.”

March
5 (LAH) – James Butterfield named Long Beach Police Chief.

20 (LAH) – The city commissioners of Long Beach have voted to oust the horse shoe pitchers, the Roque club and the Chess and Checker club from Pacific Park. The action of the commissioners was taken at a rather tumultuous meeting at which residents and clubmember made emphatic protest against the “spoliation” of the park by the many players of games.

April
23 (LAH) – Residents of the section adjoining Long Beach on the north and east plan to incorporate a new town, according to reports today. The district is near Anaheim Street and Hoyle Avenue. Incorporation of the new town, it was stated, was planned as a protest against the proposal of the Long Beach city commissioners to move an old Mexican church into the district.

27 (LAH) – Re-election of W. L. Stephens of Long Beach to the position of superintendent of schools of that city and an increase in his salary of a year was announced today by the Long Beach Board of Education. Mr. Stephens will receive $6,000 a year. He has been superintendent eight years.

May
15 (DT) – Tijuana to L.B. booze “pipeline” found, cops think.

21 (LAH) – Long Beach police made arbiters of bath-suit styles.

31 (LAH) – Petitions for the appointment of a new city manager are being passed around at Long Beach by a group of citizens. Many are disgusted with a government that considers such measures as Commissioner Peek’s recent beach conduct and bathing suit ordinances.

June
11 (LAH) – Ground has been broken for the first unit of a cotton products manufacturing plant at Zaferia in the industrial district of Long Beach. The first of a series of buildings planned will cost approximately $56,000, and the machinery to go into it $l00,000.

20 (LAH) – Any woman teacher in the Long Beach schools who marries during the life of the contract will automatically lose her job, according to a new ruling of the school board. It is the opinion of the school board that after a teacher becomes engaged her mind is on the approaching ceremony and she does not teach with her former poise and force.

22 (LAH) – The temblor last night apparently centered at Inglewood and was felt in Los Angeles, Alhambra, Long Beach, Santa Monica, and extended beyond the immediate vicinity of the city to Riverside. The total damage in Inglewood and elsewhere was estimated at approximately $l00,000.

24 (LAH) – A report that two islands had appeared above the waves about 800 miles off the coast of California as a result of the earthquake last Monday evening was widely circulated in Redondo Beach, Long Beach and the harbor section of Los Angeles early today. It was said that the islands had been discovered by the crew of a steamer en route to San Francisco and that their discovery had been wired to coast stations by the skipper of the ship. At the San Pedro station it was stated no such report had been received.

July
16 (LAH) – Wireless telephone service to Catalina Island inaugurated today. Messages will go to Long Beach and then be sent on over the wires of the Southern California Telephone Co.

August
3(LAH) – Wishing to retire, John F. Craig, founder of the Long Beach Shipbuilding Co., and for 35 years a builder of ocean vessels on the Pacific Coast and Great Lakes has offered his shipyards for sale and is awaiting bids on the Long Beach plant. When Craig built the original Craig yards at Long Beach he established the first shipbuilding establishment on the Pacific Coast south of San Francisco.

September
3 (LAH) – Long Beach horseshoe players were elated today because of their “ringer” in legislation. They will be permitted to continue to play horseshoes, or roque, at Long Beach. By a vote of 3147 to 1392 a referendum measure annulling an ordinance passed earlier at the instigation of property owners near the “Old Men’s Playground” at Pacific Park was passed.

25 (LAH) – Signal Hill ascent finally accomplished by motor car.

October
20 (LAH) – Long Beach city employees must not smoke cigarettes. Whether at work or at home off duty, they come under the new rule according to a decision of City Attorney George B. Hoodenpyl. Policemen, firemen and other civil service employees, including the city health commissioner, are affected.

28 (DT) – Chief of Police Butterfield suspended by Civil Service Board; patrolman files 12 charges of dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming officer.

November
23 (LAH) – Circulation of a petition for the recall of Commissioner W. M. Peek was scheduled to be started in Long Beach today, when it was learned that the friends of Chief of Police James Butterfield, removed from office by the civil service commission, seek the scalp of the former Iowan. It is alleged by the circulators of the petition that Peek fomented insubordination in the police department against Chief Butterfield, it is stated. Butterfield was removed from office by the civil service body at the end of a two weeks’ trial. He says he will continue his fight. Acting Chief J. S. Yancy is now in charge of the department.

December
24 (LAH) – From tomorrow morning until Monday Long Beach will be the aviation center of America.

28 (LAH) – The air tournament at Daugherty field, Long Beach, was the most successful held in the West since the early days of Dominguez field, according to aero enthusiasts. Twenty thousand persons paid admission fees to witness the events.