News stories from the local press



 Industrial Fair

            By 1921 Long Beach had leaped to the forefront as one of the most progressive cities in the United States, accomplishing a marvelous record of growth by trebling its population and property valuations and multiplying its bank deposits by five in the past decade. It had also acquired a world-wide fame as a place of beautiful homes, according to the Los Angeles Herald 91/29/1921), and a desirable place to live.  In February 1921 it took another leap forward by holding a weeklong industrial fair to show its potential importance in commerce and manufacturing. The industrial growth started in 1907 when the city dredged and opened a navigable gateway to the sea to induce Craig Shipbuilding to build a shipyard in Long Beach.  Much development followed this municipal enterprise and in 1921, at the time of the fair, Long Beach had 150 industries, with $16,500,000 ($240 million in 2021) invested, giving employment to 6000 with an aggregate monthly payroll of $1,250,000 ($18 million in 2021).

            The purpose of the exposition was to call attention to the number and wide variety of products manufactured in Long Beach. More than 60 concerns exhibited at the fair with many hosting on site demonstrations of how products were made.  In one exhibit a loom from a Long Beach Woolen Mill was in operation. At other places hats were being made and brooms, reed furniture and floor lamps manufactured. One booth contained a toy house completely furnished, the work of a Long furniture establishment. Candy making with free samples was a popular venue. There were also a number of examples of the inventive genius of residents of Long Beach. There was a traffic signaling device invented by a woman, and an automatic shoe shining device thought up by a Long Beach teen. Those wanting their shoes shined dropped a nickel into a slot starting the mechanism and a buffer soon put a high polish on the footwear.

            Elaborate musical programs and special entertainment were performed afternoon and night. A song, “Long Beach Town,” written by the city’s own Miss Belle McCord was performed on   several occasions and was well received. There were also a number of beautiful women competing for the title of “Queen of Industry.” It was Miss Dorothy Lancaster who won the title.

            Delegates from foreign embassies, the mayors of practically every Southern California city and California governor W. D. Stephens attended the industrial fair. All agreed the fair brought to public attention the fact that Long Beach had ceased to be merely a delightful beach city and had in fact become one of the most important industrial centers in California.  It would become an even more important industrial center by June when oil was discovered on Signal Hill.

Oil Discovered on Signal Hill

            In ages past, Signal Hill was used by Indian tribes as a signaling site.  Fires were built that could be seen many miles from its summit. They gave warnings about invasions of warring tribes, or told of native festivities, to which all the surrounding tribes were signaled to attend.  For many years, Signal Hill was part of the vast rancho of Los Cerritos settled by Japanese who established wonderful berry and cucumber farms on its heights.  In 1916, sunrise Easter services began to be held on the summit, worshippers climbing or driving up the winding roads and narrow trails to sing praise to the risen Christ.  But in 1921 things changed.  Black gold was discovered.

Oil discovered on Signal Hill.

            There were signs that Long Beach was sitting on a vast oil reserve.  On April 5, 1921, the Daily Telegram reported 96-year-old inventor Jonathan Beggs’ prediction of an oil strike in the Signal Hill area that would make land owners instant millionaires. On Monday, May 23, around 5 p.m., his prediction came true when Shell Oil Company struck oil at its well at Temple and Hill Street.

            Local oil discoveries had already been made in Huntington Beach when, on April 24, 1920, the Eddystone Oil Corporation struck oil.  Since the    Huntington Beach discovery investors had been looking for oil in other likely areas, including Signal Hill. Shell’s well was a “wildcat well”, one that was dug without definite proof that the land was oil bearing, a lucky hunch that proved fruitful.

            Oil fever quickly spread.  Sandberg Petroleum Company, with massive Signal Hill oil holdings, was swamped with people wanting to invest in their company.  Within 48 hours of the Shell discovery, Sandberg sold $112,000 worth of stock.   Real estate promoters in the area on and surrounding Signal Hill could barely keep up with sales.  The City of Long Beach owned 36 acres of land between the Shell and Sandburg holdings and envisioned itself becoming the richest city in the world — a city that would end taxation.

            At 9:30 p.m. on June 23, the Shell gusher came in spraying oil for a radius of 300 feet.  The bringing in of the well sent the price of Signal Hill leases sky high with several leaseholders refusing as much as $8000 (116,000 in 2021) an acre for their holdings.  Shell well no. 2, Nesa, on the west slope of Signal Hill, struck oil at 12:45 a.m. on September 2.  It came in with such an explosion that everyone thought an earthquake had struck. People as far away as Los Angeles were awakened by the blast.  Other wells came in on October 26, November 17 and December 13.  On November 28, the city owned municipal oil well hit pay dirt, shooting two hundred barrels of fluid above the top of the derrick.  For many years afterwards this single well brought $360 ($5,200 in 2021) a day into city coffers.

            Amid all of this oil, Signal Hill, which had been renowned for its scenic grandeur, productive soil and magnificent homes, was transformed.  Building restrictions, paved streets and walks and curbs were supplanted by oil leases, oil stocks, derricks and drills.  Palm trees and rose gardens were removed to make way for boilers and tool houses.   It was now dangerous living on the Hill, residents were regularly routed from their homes by blowouts from the oil wells.  Often it was so sudden residents fled like the inhabitants of Pompeii before the streams of lava   Families escaped through the rain of greasy crude oil, leaving behind everything but the clothes they were wearing.  They would pile into their automobile, trying to drive to safety but finding it difficult to get through the oil that coated everything.  On returning home they found their once white home now black, trees in their orchard destroyed, stripped of branches by the clinging oil, the contents of their homes worthless, and the building, soaked with highly flammable oil, a fire trap in which no one could safely live.

            H.F. Ahlswede described his experiences in an article in the Long Beach Press on Feb. 5, 1922:

            After the experience with the three gassers we knew that it was only a matter of time when we would have to move.  I want to tell you that it is very difficult to live as neighbor to one of these roaring gas wells.  The first gasser was something of a novelty and proved there was something under the ground that resembled what they had been drilling for.  When the fourth gasser suddenly developed into an oil gusher and commenced to pour sand and rocks about our premises, we knew the time had come to leave Signal Hill.

 Oil in the streets 1922

Houses, streets and sidewalks were covered with sticky black tar; rocks that came up with the gushers broke through roofs and windows.  The time to leave had come.  Fortunately, many left rich, having leased or sold their Signal Hill real estate.  Yet things remained the same in the adjoining gardening district.  In the shadow of the derricks, farmers were still tilling the land and planting their crops.  Celery was the big cash crop of the year, grown along with berries to the east of the hill where the soil was favorable to such produce.  To the west of Signal Hill acres of muslin could be seen covering acres and acres of cucumbers.  The thin material helped diffuse the rays of the sun and accelerated the growth of the vine. Recent rains assured the farmers of a plentiful year and they were wearing smiles just like those of their new neighbors whose oil wells had just “spudded in.”

            In Long Beach, an oil zone ordinance that had been in the making before the Signal Hill discovery, passed on July 26, 1921.  It defined the territory within the city limits where drilling would be allowed.  Many crowded the council chambers wanting an exemption for their property if oil was discovered.  Mayor Buffum assured the Long Beach citizenry that every location that had oil prospects in the city would be carefully considered before permanent zoning was in place.  After all, with a license fee of $1,000 ($14,500 in 2021) for each well in the city,

            It was estimated that the city’s revenues from oil royalties would exceed $300,000  ($4.7 million in 2021) for 1922.  The city owned 300 acres situated in the middle of four sections of the oil fields.  By November 1922 four city wells were producing 5200 barrels of oil daily. The city’s 140-acre Jergins tract lying north of Sunnyside Cemetery was considered the most valuable tract in the field with the city receiving 40% of its profits. It was felt that if this production continued Long Beach would be able to finance its entire annual budget of nearly $2 million ($29 million in 2021) from its oil revenues.  Long Beach, if she wished, could become a “taxless city.”

            Historian Kevin Starr divides those living in Southern California in the 1920s into three categories: Oligarchs, Babbitts, and Folks. The Oligarchs consisted of older Southern California families such as the Bannings, Bixbys, Hellmans, Pattons, now in their second or third generation of wealth, or, in the case of oilmen Edward Doheny and George Getty, enjoying first-generation wealth of great magnitude. The Babbits represented the newly arrived middle classes: the corporate executives, the bankers and lawyers, the doctors, real estate developers, and automobile dealers. That middle-class way of life was centered on clubs, including Long Beach’s Pacific Coast Club, Virginia Country Club, and many gun clubs throughout the city.  Farther down the socioeconomic ladder but predominant in numbers were the Folks: white Anglo-Saxon Protestants from the Midwest, many of them in late middle age, most from rural or small town backgrounds, undergoing urbanization for the first time. Once a year they would gather for the state association picnics sponsored by the All States Society of Long Beach.

Stay Away

Unemployment 1921

            Because of oil, Long Beach was able to escape the economic recession striking the rest of the United States in 1921.  Signal Hill was considered the greatest oil field in the United States.  A multitude of new industries associated with oil fields and interests were springing up.  Gas refineries, absorption plants, casing-head gasoline plants and several hundred miles of pipe lines were being built.  But all was not as rosy in the rest of America.  In July 1921, the U.S. experienced a severe, post-war recession due to industrial overproduction and elimination of defense related industries.  The result was widespread wage cuts and unemployment that reached 5.7 million in August 1921.  Thousands traveled west to Long Beach to take advantage of the jobs and other benefits accompanying the oil boom.  On October 7, 1921, Mayor Buffum spoke about the “propaganda” being spread through the east calling attention to the alleged employment advantages of Southern California.  “We can take care of the people we have here, but the continued invasion of the army of the unemployed will result most seriously for those who come”, he said in an article in the Daily Telegram. “Keep the idle away from the City, Long Beach can take care of its own people, but the influx must stop.”

Virginia Country Club Moves 

            On October 24, 1919, by a vote of 35 to 1, the Virginia Country Club board approved a motion to purchase 125 acres of land adjacent to the old adobe, the Rancho Los Cerritos.  The ten year lease on Anaheim Road, in what is now Recreation Park, was up and members felt the new location would make the Country Club much more accessible to golfers coming from Los Angeles and other cities.

            Total cost of the new building, including furnishings, was $65,000 ($945,000 in 2021).  The club house, designed by Hunt & Burns of Los Angeles, was a Spanish motif, 190 feet long and 75 feet wide.  It included an office, lounge, lockers, showers, and assembly room.  On August 31, 1921 a dinner dance, with 300 in attendance, signaled the opening of the clubhouse.  The golf links, designed by William Watson, were one of the finest in the state.  They were inaugurated on September 1.  Membership dues were raised from $200 ($2,900) to $300 ($4,400) per year to help pay for the new facility.


 New Charter

            On January 18, 1921, the new charter for the City of Long Beach was completed and submitted to the City Commissioners for further action.  The major revision of the charter was in calling for a “City Manager” form of government with City Commissioners replaced by a City Council.  This controversial plan, which would place power in the hands of one man, the City Manager, was voted upon April 14.  The new charter carried by a vote of 3047 to 2377, a majority of 679.  It replaced the 1914 charter which had set up the commission form of government.

            With the exception of the Board of Education, adoption of the new charter made a clean sweep of all important Long Beach offices.  At the first municipal election under the new charter on June 14, seven councilmen (Fillmore Condit, Alexander Beck, Charles Buffum, George Workman, Galen Welch, Charles Stanley & Frank Downs) were selected by district and elected at large. The City Attorney, City Auditor and Police Judge were chosen by popular vote.  Though the council’s three-year term did not take effect until noon, Monday, July 4, the new councilmen immediately set about the task of selecting a City Manager.  On June 30, the appointment of 38-year-old Charles E. Hewes was announced.

First City Manager

            Ability, experience in managerial work and knowledge of California conditions were the factors that won the position for Hewes.  As City Manager of Alhambra and then Alameda he coped with problems like those faced by Long Beach. To his credit, Hewes was also president of the League of California Municipalities and well known among city officials of the Pacific coast.  His accomplishments in Alameda included instituting an up-to-date accounting system and executive budget, reduction in the working hours of police officers from 12 to 8 hours without increasing the number of officers, reducing the cost of street maintenance, and more.

            Hewes began his new duties on July 11.  He got to work right away.  On July 13 he announced the creation of a city purchasing agent, his first step in saving money for the city.  William Peek and the other Commissioners elected to office prior to the new charter were now back in public life, Peek buying a share in a funeral home.  The problems they had with the Police Department remained for Hewes to remedy.

Police Department Strife 

            On August 24, disgruntled police officers filed a long series of charges against Chief of Police Ben McLendon.  The charges included permitting insubordination, promoting strife, discontent and disobedience and allowing theft of property under his control.  On August 25, Hewes publicly stated he believed the charges against Police Chief McLendon were untrue.  They had been made out of spite.  He refused to suspend the accused officer, pending an investigation, and vowed he would stand by him until evidence proved McLendon was not the right man for the job.

            Continuing his city makeover, Hewes announced plans to reorganize the Police and Health departments on October 18.  Still believing in McLendon’s innocence, Hewes again appointed him Police Chief.  Former City Health Officer Ralph L. Taylor was replaced by Dr. G.E. McDonald.  McLendon had many friends in the City, including the Chamber of Commerce who urged his appointment because “he was willing to do anything for the city’s good.”  Hewes told the media that McLendon was still on probation as Police Chief and would have to continue to prove himself.  Hewes stated that in looking into the charges made against McLendon he did not feel they were very strong.  Interestingly, McLendon’s appointment by Hewes ended the proceedings brought against him by his fellow police officers.  The charges had been filed with the Civil Service Board. His new job made him responsible solely to the City Manager and exempt from Civil Service proceedings.

Police Officer Shooting

            On August 6, 1921, patrolman 29-year-old James J. Delaney was shot in the arm by two burglary suspects trying to break into the Lockwood fur store on Pine Ave.  Though Delaney and fellow patrolman Walter J. Ray were off duty at the time of the shooting, they noticed two suspects loitering in front of the fur store.  When both officers approached the suspects, one of the men pulled a gun and fired three shots into Delaney.  Two of the bullets grazed his head, while the third lodged in his right lung.

            A total of fourteen shots were exchanged by the officers and the bandits before the bandits escaped.  On August 10, Joe Passifiume, alias Joseph Bass, a suspected Chicago Mafia member, was arrested for the shooting of Delaney.

            Bass’ arrest brought to a close one of the most exhaustive investigations in the history of the local police department.  Detectives worked almost continually without sleep for three days.  Delaney’s description of his assailant led Detective Alyes to Bass, who Alyes remembered from an earlier arrest.  On obtaining a photograph of Bass and showing it to Delaney, his suspicions were confirmed.  Bass was arrested at his job at a local fruit stand.  His partner, Martin Capodice was picked up a few days later.

Street Names

            On April 23, 1921, the City Planning Commission voted to banish Spanish names from local streets and substitute “straight United States” for the names which, they said “nobody can pronounce.”  City Planner Young led the attack on Spanish street names. “We should select more appropriate names.  These Mexican names are not pretty and they are a matter of surprise to visitors, who don’t know what they mean and don’t expect to find such language in an American town,” he declared in the Daily Telegram.

            Many had forgotten the history of the street’s names and the fact that Long Beach developed on two adjoining townsites — Long Beach and Alamitos Beach.  The west side of Alamitos Avenue was the dividing line between the vast old Mexican ranchos, Los Cerritos and Los Alamitos, and became the boundary line, too, between the original townsites of Willmore City (Long Beach) and Alamitos Beach.  In the original Willmore City townsite, nearly all the avenues were named for trees.  Beginning on the west with Magnolia, it went on to include Chestnut, Cedar, Pine, Locust, Elm, Linden, Lime and Olive.  When the first Alamitos Beach townsite was laid out, Spanish names, in an alphabetical series were given to nearly all the streets extending north from Ocean Park Avenue (now known as Ocean Blvd.) to Second Street, the tract’s northern boundary.  The names included Alamitos, Bonito, Cerritos, Esperanza, Gaviota, Hermosa, Junipero, Lindero, Molino, Paloma, Obispo, Redof.  The old Spanish “alphabeticals”, Independecia became Cherry, Decanso became Orange, and Nevada became Temple.

            But enough was enough.  Reaction to the 1921 proposal to eliminate all Spanish names was swift.  Mrs. Charles Austin responded in the April 25, 1921 issue of the Daily Telegram: “When the question is asked what Junipero means, a bit of early California history is touched on which is very dear to native sons and daughters of this state.  The whole world is better for the heroic and saintly life of Father Junipero Serra.  It may also be remarked that it is just as hard for Californians to pronounce some eastern names as it is for newcomers here to pronounce our California names.”

            The Reverend L.H. Koepsel was appointed to formulate a new system of street designations, however the public outcry was so great the Planning Commission let the whole issue die when the new Charter was adopted and they all had to leave office.

            Street names were pretty much left alone for the next few decades until Coronado replaced Quito in its original alphabetical sequence.  But the debate to rename American Avenue Long Beach Boulevard would continue until the 1960s.

New Dump

            In December 1921, the city acquired an entire block of land in the flood control district located on San Francisco Street, two blocks north from Anaheim Road.  The old dumping place on Oregon and State (PCH today) was officially closed in the hopes this new trash site would help in the reclamation of the surrounding lowland.

            About sixty loads of rubbish were received daily at the new trash site and all flammable material was burned.  The ashes, together with other debris became the foundation for a future city public service yard, which was built when the garbage fill had raised the level of the wetlands.  The new garbage dump also housed a public incinerator.

            In August, C. Jack Zinn, an agricultural expert from the University of California, convinced City Manager Hewes that the city should explore the possibility of establishing a hog farm to recycle the refuse.  Zinn selected an isolated spot, about forty acres in size, on city land, north of State Street and one-half-mile east of Cherry Avenue, as an ideal spot for a municipal hog farm.

            Zinn’s plans called for enough feeding pens to accommodate 4000 pigs, and farrowing houses that would care for 400 brood sows.  When fully developed, the farm, according to Zinn’s estimates, would turn out 5000 hogs a year; and at a minimum of eight cents a pound the sales would total $76,000 ($1.1 million in 2021) .  The cost of collecting and hauling garbage and running the farm was estimated to be approximately $60,000 ($872,000 in 2021)  a year.

            Plans called for the feeding to be done on concrete floors, provided with underground drains which would permit daily flushing, the water flowing into an irrigation system.  After feeding time was over and the floors cleaned, no trace of garbage odors would remain.  Each facility would house fifty hogs who would also have their own feed yard and one-half acre alfalfa run.  The chief feed would be garbage, with alfalfa as a side-line. For finishing touches, the hogs would be grain-fed for the last few weeks before marketing.  The grain to feed them raised on the nearby water lands.

            Garbage was to be dumped directly from the trucks to the feeding floor, and the vehicles thoroughly cleaned after each trip.  The part of the garbage the hogs wouldn’t eat — bones, corn husks, etc. — would be removed daily and buried in trenches to fertilize the ground, creating one of the richest soils in the area.

            Zinn believed that after initial set-up costs, the farm would bring $50,000 in annual revenue to the city. The UC agricultural expert advised that only thoroughbred hogs be used.  Every pig would be vaccinated before weaning to protect against cholera, and be dipped regularly in a lisol solution to guard against insects.  Overproduction was not an issue since California still imported about two-thirds of its pork.

            Long Beach, impressed with Zinn’s report, established a municipal hog farm in 1922.

Tong Gunmen

            In early January 1921, Long Beach resident Quan Lee asked for a personal interview with Mayor Lisenby.  The Chinese man, who for many years had operated the largest laundry in town, asked the mayor to use his influence to prevent a local outbreak of the tong war which threatened Southern California and the Pacific Coast.  Tongs started out as benevolent associations, rooted in secret Chinese societies in Asia, which protected the Chinese from lawlessness and discrimination.  In California, the tongs developed into criminal gangs, each of which staked out its own territory.  Feuds between these gangs, popularly called tong wars by outsiders, began during the 1850s and lasted until the 1920s.  Now, it looked like one might break out in Long Beach.

            The impending war was said to be the result of a fake lottery ticket which won a $25,000 ($364,000 in 2021) prize for a member of the Four Families, one of the strongest Chinese organizations in the United States.  The lottery had been conducted by the Bing Keung tong and another Chinese, a member of the Hop Sing tong, won the prize.  When the fraud became known, the Hop Sing tong demanded retribution.  The Bing Keung tong paid a fine of $4000 ($$58,000 in 2021) to the Hop Sing tong, but held back payment of the $25,000 prize.  In Los Angeles war broke out between the tongs, two men were killed and one severely injured.

            Quan Lee told the mayor that in accordance with Chinese customs three Hop Sing men were due to be shot in retaliation for the murders of the Bing Keung tong.  Any Hop Sing men could be shot, whether they were residents of Los Angeles, Long Beach, or San Francisco.  Lee reported that several strange Chinese, presumably members of the Bing Keung tong, had recently been seen in Long Beach.  According to Lee, the strangers were gunmen sent here to even the score since the majority of local Chinese were Hop Sing tong men.

            Lee asked the mayor to have police officers patrol districts in which local members of the Hop Sing tong lived.  The mayor and police chief agreed.  There was no tong warfare in Long Beach.   In Oakland Lee Hop was arrested on suspicion of being one of the men wanted in Los Angeles in connection with the tong killings.




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



3 (DT) – Long Beach float wins fifth prize at Rose Tournament.

14 (LAH) – A total of 2521 names are attached to the “anti-Peek” petitions, asking for the recall of William M. Peek, safety commissioner of Long Beach, filed today. Peek, famed for his bathing suit ordinance, is charged with inefficiency.

 18 (DT) – Biggest rain here in years: precipitation 2.44 inches.

            –  New charter is completed: Freeholders vote to submit document to legislators of city.

24 (DT) six inches of snow falls in Long Beach.

31 (DT) First Long Beach Industrial Exposition opens.


4 (DT) – Taubman’s Men’s Bible Class is largest in whole country.

9 (DT) – Plans for the “Sovereign” apartment house building revealed.

            – Site bought for East Side branch of Farmers and Merchants Bank: to start building at once.


2 (DT) – Commissioner Peek says city to provide seats for debaters on pier: arguers must now sit down, is new dictum.

16 (LAH) – Commissioner of Public Health and Safety William M. Peek of Long Beach, today was securely established in his office once more following defeat of the recall election. The vote was 5181 against, 1343 for.


4 (DT) – Peek pares city jail rations: tells police chief to cut meal from prisoner’s menu, three square meals daily and no work makes jail too attractive.

5 (DT) – Inventor Jonathan Beggs, ninety-six, predicts oil strike in Signal Hill area: millions will be made is his prediction.

6 (LAH) – The Long Beach city attorney began to draft today an ordinance creating certain zones in which oil drilling shall be prohibited, following action of the city commissioners of the beach city in unanimously agreeing on a zone ordinance after pronounced opposition had developed to an ordinance prohibiting any drilling for oil inside the limits of the city.

6 (DT) – Demon rum secures another toe hold in this fair city: intoxication arrests double.

7 (DT) – Daughertys donate site for ball field to Long Beach Elks.

9 (DT) – Great Long Beach automobile exposition closes: Eddie Rickenbacker is guest.

12 (DT) – All railroad freight traffic in Long Beach moved to harbor district.

15 (LAH) – Long Beach municipal affairs will be conducted by a City Manager and council after July 1, when the form of government adopted at yesterday’s election will go into effect. Seven councilmen at large will be chosen in June. The city manager will receive a salary of not more than $7500 ($109,000 in 2021) a year. The city voters had the choice of three forms of city government. On the ballot were the mayor and council plan, the city manager plan and the commission plan.

19 (LAH) – Chief of Police Ben McLendon and Commissioner William Peek arranged a “booze fest” for the breakers.  A total of 300 gallons of confiscated liquors, several improvised stills and other contraband equipment collected as the result of “dry” raids in Long Beach were carried to the end of the jetty for destruction. But to prevent impromptu diving parties each bottle of contraband liquor carefully was broken before being emptied into the water.

23 (DT) – State legislature ratifies new Long Beach Charter.

            – Koepsel appointed to suggest new system of street names: Hwanapara (Juniparo) and Eczemano (Ximeno) must go; planners vote to drop Spanish names.

25 (DT) – Keep Spanish names, is urged: City Planning Board move to rechristen streets of Long Beach stirs protest.

27 (DT) – Seek “purity in motion pictures.” All movies and dance halls to be supervised by board of municipal authorities.

27 (LAH) – Prisoners in the Long: Beach city jail aided today in the construction of a temporary jail building in which they will make their home until a proposed new jail structure is completed. A new municipal building is to be erected on the site occupied now by the city hall.

28 (DT) – Golden State Woolen Mill destroyed by early morning blaze.


4 (LAH) – The city administration of Long Beach was forced out this morning, not by court action but by the house mover who is moving the city hall to its temporary location across the street. The moving will require four days the city engineer declared that until the structure rests squarely on its new foundation it will be unsafe for occupancy.

13 (LAH) – Knee skirts ordered in Long Beach. Police will patrol sands in campaign against one-piece garbs. Commissioners adopt censorship ordinance by four to one vote.

14 (LAH) – A Long Beach ordinance providing for censorship of moving picture shows and other theatrical performances will become effective in 30 days. It was urged by Commissioner of Public Safety William M. Peek. The measure provides that any member of the censorship board may stop a theatrical performance at any time.

17 (DT) – No tobacco league asks board to bar from school teachers who use “the weed.”

18 (DT) – To ban objectionable dances: sixteen candlepower light for every 36 square feet of dance floor space urged.

20 (DT) – Stage set for purity law fight: bunny hug, shimmy, toodle, dip and other contortions left out of dance hall ordinance.

24 (DT) – Oil flows from well at Signal hill

25 (DT) – Fifty Signal Hill lots sold in one day.

26 (DT) – Ground is broken for new City Hall.

27 (DT) – City is owner of 36 acres in oil belt: municipality stands chance of having revenue producer that will end taxation.


2 (LAH) – A ‘lady cop” is on duty at Long Beach. The Police Chief is planning a special women’s division for the force. These are the latest innovations in the new “clean-up” crusade for the beach city. Supervision of conduct on the beach, in the amusement zone, in the public dance halls, and in moving picture theaters are among the duties of the new policewoman, Mrs. W. F. Shaw.

6 (DT) – Our city needs rock pile, avers Peek” hoboes and stragglers are running up big board bill at expense of municipality.”

14 (DT) – Solons against German movies: refer to censor board enforcement of policy barring Teuton films.

15 (LAH) – New city council elected in Long Beach. They will take office July 5. Their first job will be to choose a city manager from among 50 applicants.

21 (LAH) – Much interest was manifested in oil circles today in the report that the Shell Oil Co. of California had struck oil in its new well on Signal Hill, near Long Beach.

22 (LAH) – An ordinance of the city of Long Beach designed to restrict the building of public garages in that city was declared unconstitutional.

22 (DT) – Uncle Sam to surrender ditch; Federal government to turn flood control jurisdiction over to local authorities.

24 (LAH) – Oil gushed to the top of the Shell Oil well at 10 o’clock last night sprayed the derrick and superstructure and then receded Later it gushed twice in succession, and oil men predicted a. “strike” sometime today.

30 (DT) – First City Manager of Long Beach chosen: Charles E. Hewes is unanimous choice.


5 (DT) – New City Council takes control: City commissioners turn over reins of Long Beach government.

7 (DT) – Purity dance ordinance goes into effect today: officers to see that it is enforced.

9 (LAH) – What was said to be the opening gun in a legal battle against the oil prospectors in the vicinity of Signal Hill at Long Beach was fired today in the form of a suit for an injunction to restrain a long list of persons and corporations from erecting oil derricks and similar structures in the vicinity of the residence of Andrew J. Pala. According to the application for an injunction, which was filed by Pala, he bought property and erected a home costing $36,000 in the Signal Hill section. He alleged that if the oil derricks are erected near his home, as proposed, it will make his residence uninhabitable and destroy the value of his property, besides being in violation of building restrictions made at the time he purchased the land.

11 (DT) – City Manager takes oath of office.

13 (DT) – City agent will purchase all city supplies: Manager Hewes announces first step in saving money for municipality.

14 (LAH) – Long Beach now has natural gas. Streets that have gas lamps are being lighted with it and women are burning natural gas for cooking. It is all due to the discovery of an oil well by the Shell Co. of California on Signal Hill. Two weeks ago they struck a 2000-barrel well, which carries with it a considerable quantity of gas.

14 (DT) – City Auditor, Miss Gunsul, wins month-old fight: sweeper scrapped, broom brigade starts war on dirty streets.

16 (DT) – School for firemen is scheme of chief to aid efficiency.

22 (DT) – Council firm on $1,000 ($15,000 in 2021) well fee: oil operations increase costs of maintaining streets.

26 (DT) – Oil zone ordinance is passed.

            – Meteor Pictures Company start work here on series of comedies.

29 (DT) – Long Beach now has a population of 75,000 residents; new city directory shows 10,000 increase.


2 (DT) – City Manager thinks city needs flock of hogs to eat its garbage.

9 (DT) – Church women ask enforcement of bathing suit law: 1000 ordered off beach.


1 (DT) – Virginia Country Club golf links opened at new location in Los Cerritos.

7 (LAH) – Long Beach to ban Pike cider sales.

16 (DT) – Virginia Country Club plans to construct road for use of its members.

22 (DT) – Americanism becomes big issue: loyal citizens seek antidote to poison of Communism that is said to infect this city.

29 (DT) – Seek new loyalty standards: campaign for Americanization to be launched in Long Beach.


 7 (DT) – Officials sound note of warning: keep idle away from city, council will tell President Hoover in report on unemployment – Long Beach can take care of own people but influx must stop.

13 (DT) – Families should pay for garbage hauls says City Manager: Hewes proposes fee of 25 cents ($3.50 in 2021) a month, declaring it would save $30,000 ($436,000 in 2021).


4 (DT) – Can’t regulate moral opinions, declares judge: says City’s movie ordinance is unconstitutional.

10 (DT) – City of Long Beach picked as site for huge smelting industry.

            – Police bicycle squad is formed in plan to circumvent burglars and other prowlers.

19 (DT) – Los Angeles after our harbor: seeks to purchase holdings of Dock and Terminal Company – acquisition would put grasping city in position to make dead end of Long Beach’s possessions.

22 (DT) – Head of traffic police planning to open school for instruction of those who pilot motor cars.

23 (LAH) – A movement was launched today by the residents of Willowville, Chateau Thierry, Bixby Heights, Vista del Mar and Los Cerritos, which towns adjoin Long Beach, to perfect annexation to the beach city, and the proposition has been placed up to the city council of Long Beach. The residents claim that if Long Beach isn’t willing to annex the towns, Los Angeles will.

25 (DT) – Japanese get contract to by city’s refuse; two collections for residents; daily downtown.


9 (DT) – Pick coppers by brain tests: big mind rather than big body regarded as recommendation for man seeking job on police force.

10 (LAH) – A report issued today by the Chamber of Commerce here states that Long Beach now has 163 industries, employing 4250 persons, with an average monthly payroll of $750,000 ($11 million in 2021).

20 (DT) – Raging floods sweep southland.

21 (DT) – City Council bitten by golf bug: informally approve plans to utilize discarded Virginia Country Club golf links (at Recreation Park).

22 (LAH) – Life guards from Long Beach late yesterday rescued 18 employees of the Southern Counties Gas Co. from a bridge between Long Beach and Los Alamitos. The men were marooned on the bridge while repairing a main when the approaches were washed away by a massive storm.

26 (LAH) – Long: Beach will have the distinction of being the first town in Southern California to hear John Philip Sousa, “the March King,” on his latest transcontinental tour. According to a wire received here from San Francisco today, Sousa and his musicians will come to Long Beach next Sunday, Jan. 1, for a concert in the auditorium, one day in advance of the organization’s opening date at the Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles.