Finding aid prepared by Sue Luftschein.
The Huntington Library August 03, 2006
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA
91108
Phone: 626-405-2180
Email: jwatts@huntington.org


Overview of the Collection

Repository: The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA
91108
Phone: 626-405-2180
Email: jwatts@huntington.org
Creator: California Centennials Commission. Southern California Division.
Title: Historical Society of Southern California Collection—California Centennials Commission, Southern California Division, Collection of Photographs
Dates: 1948-1950
Quantity: 1.42 linear ft., 2 boxes
Abstract: The collection consists of 424 black and white photographs that document the activities of the Southern California Division of the California Centennials Commission during the years 1948 to 1950. The photographs document events developed by the Division to commemorate California's centennial.
Identification: photCL 400 volume 28
Language of Material: English

Biographical/Historical Note

The California Centennials Commission was established in 1946 to direct the state’s participation in the centennial observances of the discovery of gold, the Gold Rush, and the admission of California to the Union. The Southern California Division was organized in 1947, with the assistance of the Historical Society of Southern California, to cooperate with the state-wide Commission; it organized local programs. The state Commission was chaired by Joseph R. Knowland; the Southern California Division was managed by Lloyd D. Mitchell.
The California Centennials Commission, Southern California Division, Collection comprises one portion of the Historical Society of Southern California (HSSC) Collection, which was donated to the Huntington Library in 1992. The HSSC Collection as a whole contains approximately 15,000 photographs and negatives covering the period circa 1870 to circa 1980, and almost exclusively depicts Southern California. As such, it is an important visual record of the growth and history of the region.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 424 black and white photographs that document the activities of the Southern California Division of the California Centennials Commission during the years 1948 to 1950. The photographs document events developed by the Division to commemorate California's centennial.
Included are images of parades, such as the centennials of Beverly Hills and Long Beach; the 1948 Tournament of Roses Parade that included centennial-themed floats; and gold rush and pioneer-related parades such as those held in Paso Robles, San Bernardino, Redlands, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Monica. Photographs that document celebrations commemorating historic events and places include the Fort Moore celebration held at the Hollywood Bowl and images of the Portola Trek reenactment, including the start in San Diego and images of the riders on Spring Street in Los Angeles. The collection also includes a large number of images of the dedication of the Commission’s Historical Caravan, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Speaking at that event was Lieutenant Governor Goodwin J. Knight. Other images of the Historical Caravan include pictures of the exhibits inside the van and the van on location in Sycamore Grove (the Highland Park area of Los Angeles), at the Pio Pico Adobe in Whittier, and at China Lake. Photographs of the Centennials Commission float, which was made available to communities across the State for inclusion in centennial celebrations, are found in the collection. Among the images in which the float is featured are the Hollywood High School premiere of “California’s Golden Beginnings,” an educational film intended for show at schools and educational institutions across the state; and the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the centennial of Los Angeles’s first post office. Notable figures in California politics and culture appear in the photographs. The images documenting the opening of the gold mining exhibit in Pershing Square include Eldred L. Meyer, past Grand President of Native Sons of the Golden West and Walter N. Bailey, Grand President of the Native Sons of the Golden West. The premiere of “California’s Golden Beginnings” featured Goodwin J. Knight, Lloyd D. Mitchell, Manager of the Southern California Division, and appearing in the film (and documented in stills) was Governor Earl Warren. Other images document the unveiling of various commemorative plaques.
Photographers who created the images include Otto Rothschild, Coy Watson, "Dick" Whittington Studios, J. Allen Hawkins, David F. Stevens, Lew Nichols, the Inman Company, Woro Studios, Randolph Studios, Louis, Pacific Press Photos, Gerhardt, Merriman Photo Art, Junis and Pearson Photo, and Frasher’s, Inc.
Many of the photographs have captions taped to, or written on, the reverse. Many of the photographs exist in multiple copies.

Arrangement

The photographs are arranged by subject: parades, historical event celebrations and reenactments, Centennials Commission exhibits and events, plaques and dedicatory ceremonies, and miscellaneous.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Persons:

Knight, Goodwin, 1896-1970.
Bailey, Walter N.
Meyer, Eldred L.
Mitchell, Lloyd D.
Warren, Earl, 1891-1974.

Organizations:

California Centennials Commission.
California Centennials Commission. Southern California Division.
Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles, Calif.)—Photographs.
Hollywood High School (Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.)—Photographs.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles, Calif.)—Photographs.
Tournament of Roses—Photographs.
Dick Whittington Studio.
Frashers Inc.
Gerhardt.
Hawkins, J. Allen, 1915-
Inman Company.
Junis and Pearson Photo.
Louis.
Merriman Photo Art.
Nichols, Lew.
Pacific Press Photos.
Randolph Studios.
Rothschild, Otto.
Stevens, David F.
Watson, Coy, 1912-
Woro Studios.

Places:

Beverly Hills Calif.)—Anniversaries—Photographs.
China Lake (Calif.)—Photographs.
Fort Moore (Calif.)—Anniversaries—Photographs.
Highland Park (Calif.)—Photographs.
Long Beach (Calif.)—Anniversaries—Photographs.
Paso Robles (Calif.)—Photographs.
Pershing Square (Los Angeles, Calif.)—Photographs.
Pio Pico State Historic Park (Whittier, Calif.)—Photographs.
Redlands (Calif.)—Photographs.
San Bernardino (Calif.)—Photographs.
San Luis Obispo (Calif.)—Photographs.
Santa Monica (Calif.)—Photographs.

Subjects:

Historical films—California—Photographs.
Parade floats—Photographs.
Parades—California—Los Angeles—Photographs.
Portolá's Expedition, Calif., 1769-1770—Anniversaries—Photographs.
Postal service—California—Los Angeles—History—Photographs.
Traveling exhibitions—California—Photographs.

Document Types:

Photographs.

Restrictions on Access

Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

photCL 400 volume 28, Historical Society of Southern California Collection—California Centennials Commission, Southern California Division, Collection of Photographs, 1948-1950.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the Historical Society of Southern California, 1992.

Processing Information

Prior to 2006, volunteers began a preliminary organization of the photographs. In 2006, Sue Luftschein completed the bulk of the reorganization, numbered and rehoused the photographs, and created this finding aid.

 

Container List

Box 1, Item 1-7

Beverly Hills Centennial celebration, December 22-30, 1949

Box 1, Item 8-34

Long Beach Centennial, May 7-11, 1949

Note

[No. 8 rehoused in oversize box.]
Box 1, Item 35-44

League of California Cities, Long Beach Auditorium, 1948

Box 1, Item 45-63

Pasadena Diamond Jubilee undated

Note

[No. 58a rehoused in oversize box.]
Box 1, Item 64-81

Tournament of Roses Parade, 1948

Box 1, Item 82-88

Paso Robles Pioneer Days, October 12, 1948

Box 1, Item 89-95

Redlands 60th anniversary, “Valiant Years,” May 1948

Box 1, Item 96-105

San Bernardino Days of Gold, October 23, 1948

Note

[Nos. 104 and 105 rehoused in oversize box.]
Box 1, Item 106-116

Fiesta de las Flores, San Luis Obispo, May 20, 1949

Box 1, Item 117-127

Santa Monica Dias de Oro parade, August 1949

Box 1, Item 128-132

Fort Moore celebration, Hollywood Bowl, July 2, 1948

Box 1, Item 133-149

Portola Trek reenactment, October 17, 1948

Box 1, Item 150-186

Centennials Commission van and exhibit (at Los Angeles Coliseum, Sycamore Grove, Pio Pico Adobe, and China Lake), 1950

Note

[No. 150 rehoused in oversize box.]
Box 1, Item 187-196a

Centennials Commission float, 1948-1950

Note

[Nos, 195, 195a, 196, 196a (clippings) rehoused in oversize box.]
Box 1, Item 197-201

Los Angeles County Museum Centennial exhibition of art, 1949

Box 1, Item 202-231

Gold Mining exhibit, Pershing Square, 1948

Box 1, Item 232-239

Los Angeles County Fair exhibit, 1948

Note

[No. 232 rehoused in oversize box.]
Box 1, Item 240-275a

Centennial documentary film, “California’s Golden Beginning,” 1948

Box 1, Item 276-281

Centennial celebration plaques, 1950

Box 1, Item 282-294

William W. Orcutt memorial dedication, October 2, 1948

Box 1, Item 295-301

Los Angeles Post Office centennial, 1950

Box 1, Item 302-303

Ortega-Vigare Adobe, San Gabriel, March 27, 1950

Box 1, Item 304-312

Miscellaneous, 1948-1949, 1964