Sunday, November 22, 2009

Japanese Warships Visit Los Angeles Harbor

Japanese crusier Asama

In early June 1914, the Japanese cruisers Asama and Azuma visited Los Angeles Harbor. They were welcomed by representatives of the Mayor's office of Los Angeles, the Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, and several thousand Japanese Americans.

Both of these ships were veterans of the Russo-Japanese War, and the Asama earlier had participated in the support of Japanese forces in the Boxer Rebellion in China.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Silent Film Legend Mary Pickford Visits Los Angeles Harbor

"America's Sweetheart" Mary Pickford visited Los Angeles Harbor on August 12, 1919. Pickford and other dignitaries went aboard the battleship Texas anchored in the outer harbor to honor the crew which had raised $130,000 for the second Liberty Bond campaign, the most of any ship in the U.S. Navy. Pickford presented the men with a silver cup as a reward. The pennant of the George Washington, the ship that had transported President Woodrow Wilson to the Peace Conference in France, was also given to the Texas crew as a personal gift from the President.
While reading her formal remarks, Pickford received the greatest ovation when she quipped that she would prefer to make "a real speech" if she "didn't have to be so formal with the Secretary of Navy" (Josephus Daniels) present. Shortly after this visit, Pickford helped establish the United Artists film studio.