June 2012
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Billie Silvey
Norman
Chandler
(Publisher, 1944-1960)
Dorothy
Buffum
Chandler--
Promoting
Culture
The automobile continued its domination with the
construction of the
freeway system (seen here, a
1950s view of the Hollywood Freeway).
The geographic expansion and industrial
growth of the early 1950s resulted in the new
Los Angeles phenomenon,
smog.

On one day, visibility was reduced to three
blocks.
The Times media empire grew under Norman Chandler
with the launch of
KTTV, Times Television, in 1950.

Chandler offered access to the TV station to his friend,
Secretary of Defense
Louis Johnson, "for whatever
purpose our government might feel they would best
serve."  Chandler suggested using "personnel for
research, equipment for development, and programming
facilities . . . for relaying government messages."
A conservative businessman,
Norman Chandler helped
grow the city his father built
and put the newspaper on a
sound financial base while his
wife Dorothy championed
culture in Los Angeles.
Richard Nixon won the presidency in 1964, due in great
part to the support he received from Norman Chandler
and the
Los Angeles Times.

According to Chandler, "I think Dick Nixon would make
one of the finest Presidents the U.S. has ever had."
The murder of Elizabeth Short, the so-called Black
Dahlia, filled front pages in 1947.

Norman Chandler was one of many suggested suspects
in the murder, according to Daniel Wolfe's
The Mob, the
Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los
Angeles,which also connects him with mobster Bugsy
Siegel.  Several assertions in the book have been
discredited.
When the Hollywood Bowl closed due to bankruptcy in
1951, Dorothy Chandler chaired the "Save the Bowl"
Emergency Committee.  Less than two weeks later the
Bowl resumed its scheduled performances, which have
continued to this day.
In 1964, under Norman Chandler, the newspaper
went public, offering stocks.  It diversified by
purchasing a paper company in Oregon, but the
newsroom (below) remained essentially unchanged.  
In 1957,
Time Magazine named the Los Angeles
Times
the second worst newspaper in the nation.
Norman Chandler and Dorothy Buffum,
daughter of the owner of Buffum's Department
Store, met at Stanford, where he studied
business.  They left school to marry.

The rest of the family didn't approve of her, and
Dorothy lacked self-confidence, but she became
a consumate fundraiser and one of the
foundations of culture in Los Angeles
The "Save the Bowl" drive was so successful that
Dorothy next applied her considerable energy and
promotional acumen to the construction of the Los
Angeles
Music Center, including the Dorothy Chandler
Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theater.

Fundraising strategies included forming a coalition of
downtown merchants and Westside leaders.  The final
million was raised from the general public through
"buck
bags" distributed by local businesses.
from The History of Transportation, by
Helen Lundberg in the City of Inglewood.
In the "Zoot Suit" Riots of 1943, soldiers and
sailors from local bases attacked hispanic
residents. See
here for Times coverage indicating
that the hispanics were juvenile delinquents.  The
riots were named for the baggy suits they wore.
Otis Chandler
What Makes a Great
Newspaper?
Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955.  See
opening ceremonies by clicking through all eight
parts here.

Disney was yet another suspect in the Black Dahlia
murders.  He later helped Dorothy Chandler plan
and raise funds for the
Music Center.  Today's
Disney Concert Hall is now a part of that Center.