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Jewish World Review
Jan. 12, 2007
/ 22 Teves 5767
Guess what happened in Los Angeles 58 years ago this past week. Oh, go on try. Hint: it has nothing to do with the Hollywood Ten, Mickey Cohen, or The Black Dahlia. Give up? Well, you could probably sit there and guess all day long and never even get close, so I might as well tell you it snowed. I mean really snowed. It made national news.
On January 10th snow was reported at San Diego for the first and only time since 1882. Snow was even noted on some of the beaches in the Los Angeles metro area. Burbank reported nearly 5 inches of snow and Long Beach and Laguna Beach had one inch. The hillsides of the Hollywood Knolls were covered in snow. Even Palm Springs got a bit of powder. And the flurries continued throughout the next day, January 11th, as well. Schools were closed in the San Fernando Valley so kids could play in the snow. They made snowmen in Van Nuys and they made snowballs in Pasadena. It was a miracle. Los Angeles was a winter wonderland.
The very next day, January 12th, I was born. It was another miracle at least as far as my mother and father were concerned. Talk about making an entrance! Born smack dap in the middle of L.A.'s great snowstorm! A pretty auspicious beginning to the New Year and to a new life. Y'know, it's funny, but I've loved cold weather ever since.
Believe it or not, other things happened in 1949 too. For instance:
Did I mention I was born? Yes, me and Silly Putty born the same year. I'm sure there must be some cosmic significance to that, but it escapes me at the moment. Cheesecake, Silly Putty, snow, and me. Everything that's white and soft. Maybe it signifies the beginning of the Doughboy era.
Robert Mitchum was arrested for marijuana possession. Howard Hughes was worried that his star's career might be destroyed. Today, if a star is arrested for marijuana people say, "Is that all?"
Harry Truman was sworn in as 33rd President of The United States
Besides me, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, and Yugoslavia were born.
Russia detonates its first atomic bomb and the Cold War is officially underway.
Bob Hope was voted #1 funny man in America.
Chic Young, creator of the "Blonde" comic strip, receives Best Cartoonist award from National Cartoonists' Society.
Berlin Airlift brings food relief.
The population of The United States reaches 148,527,000. We're more than double that now.
The U.S. Air Force becomes fully independent of the Army.
Sara Lee cheesecake is introduced. At last, fresh-frozen calories right at home.
New York Yankees sign Mickey Mantle right out of High School.
Sam Snead won the Masters.
Willie Shoemaker won his first race at the age of 17.
Yanks beat the Dodgers in the World Series.
Life expectancy for men was set at 65.2 years. 70.6 years for women.
"All The King's Men" receives best picture Oscar.
"Death of a Salesman" is first play to win all three top drama awards including the Pulitzer.
"South Pacific" wins best musical.
Gene Autry records "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Silly Putty is invented.
Anyway, Happy 2007 to us all. Let's hope we all have a better year than the Dodgers had in 1949.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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