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La Cañada History: Sun owner pays annual summer tribute to blossoming yuccas by featuring them on cover

La Cañada History: Sun owner pays annual summer tribute to blossoming yuccas by featuring them on cover
La Cañada native Jyl Greenlea poses with a blooming yucca for a June 1968 La Cañada Valley Sun cover photo. It was a tradition of longtime publisher Joe DuPlain to ask a local young woman to help showcase the summer-blooming plant. (File Photo)

Ten Years Ago

The Kiwanis Club of La Cañada, together with the California Family Soap Box Derby Assn. on June 14, 2008, held the ninth annual Greater Los Angeles Soap Box Derby on La Cañada’s notorious “Michigan Hill,” the steep stretch of Foothill Boulevard immediately east of St. Francis High School. The event drew 31 young racers vying for a ticket to the national finals in Akron, Ohio.

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Twenty Years Ago

A new station where patrons could access the internet was dedicated at the La Cañada Flintridge public library in June 1998. The station, the library’s second such desk, was funded by a grant from the Glendale Foundation and included a PC, monitor, printer and computer furniture, as well as books and videos explaining internet use.

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Thirty Years Ago

Rehearsals were set to begin for Meredith Willson’s classic musical, “The Music Man” to be presented by Foothill Youth Summer Theater. Co-directors were Marlys Marsteller and Barry Silverman.

Forty Years Ago

The La Cañada school board voted to contract with Assistance League of Flintridge to administer a tuition-based summer school for grades one through 12 in 1978, shortly after Proposition 13 was approved by California voters and eliminated state funds for summer school. In an effort to salvage the program here, La Cañada Unified School District officials worked with the league to come up with a solution.

Fifty Years Ago

The hillsides surrounding La Cañada are adorned with numerous mature yucca plants in full, candelabra-shaped bloom as summer weather arrives. Longtime Valley Sun publisher and editor Joe DuPlain made it an annual tradition to pose a young woman next to one of the blossoming plants for the cover photo of the newspaper when the blooming season got underway. Selected for the honor in June 1968 was La Cañada native Jyl Greenlea, then 21.

Sixty Years Ago

The air raid siren atop the San Rafael Hills near La Cañada’s Sugar Loaf Drive surprised area residents by sounding off a 60-second alarm shortly after 11 a.m. on June 9, 1958. The accidental siren blast was blamed by the Los Angeles County Mechanical Department on a malfunction due to a ham radio operator broadcasting on the wrong frequency. Normally the siren was set off by remote control from Los Angeles via radio impulse at 10 a.m. on the last Friday of every month during the Cold War era as a test of the countywide civil defense warning system.

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