La Cañada History: Volunteers watched for enemy air forces

Ten Years Ago

Then-Vice President Dick Cheney, on a four-day campaign swing to the West, paid a visit to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada. Cheney toured the facility and met scientists and engineers working on the Mars rover program before delivering a short speech to JPL staff. His visit coincided with a television broadcast of then-President George Bush speaking at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., promising the U.S. would return to the moon and that there would be manned missions "to Mars and planets beyond."

Twenty Years Ago

At 4:31 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1994 La Cañadans and their counterparts in the Southland were jolted awake by the Northridge earthquake that caused an estimated $20 billion in damages. Although minimal destruction was experienced in La Cañada Flintridge, more than 5,000 injuries and 57 deaths were caused by the large shaker across the greater San Fernando Valley. Here, broken windows were reported at Foothill Boulevard businesses, including at the See's Candies store and at La Cañada Fine Wine and Liquors.

Thirty Years Ago

La Cañada Flintridge was represented in 1984's Super Bowl XVIII action by one of its residents, nose guard Dave Stalls of the Los Angeles Raiders. Stalls, then 28, was traveling to the city and home field of his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders, considered the underdogs, ultimately prevailed, beating the Redskins by a score of 38-9.

Forty Years Ago

Flintridge residents reportedly took up battle positions to resist efforts of a developer to remove estate zoning in a portion of the community's eastern section so he could build 23 units of town houses. About 50 people signed a protest petition against any rezoning of Dr. Bruce Kurtz's 14 acres at 285 Berkshire Ave.

Fifty Years Ago

A huge traffic jam in La Cañada on a Monday morning in January 1964 caused by new parking regulations at JPL slowed up operations there, delayed hundreds of commuters bound for Los Angeles and made scores of students late to classes, especially at La Cañada and John Muir high schools. NASA had ordered perimeter security at the lab to take effect and all cars entering the property were required to have security clearance with appropriate stickers. But more than 300 JPL employees had not yet received their stickers and were rerouted to parking facilities outside of the security area, backing up traffic on Oak Grove Drive and causing heavy congestion on Foothill Boulevard.

Sixty Years Ago

The first Ground Observer Corps Post in the Crescenta-Cañada Valley started operations at Paradise Canyon School on Jan. 19, 1954. Col. Robert G. Patterson, U.S. Army Reserve, retired, area supervisor for the civil defense program, announced volunteers were needed to maintain a 24-hour watch of the skies against intrusions from enemy air forces. Harold Black of La Crescenta was given the job of "chief observer."

-- Compiled from the Valley Sun archives by Carol Cormaci,


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