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La Cañada History: Comedian Pat Paulsen launches first presidential campaign, gains local seventh-grade supporter

La Cañada resident Bill Berger, 13, astride his unicycle in late summer 1968 showing his support for comedian Pat Paulsen, who staged the first of his six tongue-in-cheek races for the U.S. presidency that year.
(File Photo / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Ten Years Ago

Members of Flintridge Riding Club announced they were gearing up for its 85th birthday party, which would feature a picnic and family movie for members and their guests. The film selected for the event was “The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit,” a comedy featuring Dean Jones and Kurt Russell. The Disney flick was filmed at the local riding club in the 1960s.

Twenty Years Ago

Despite a nationwide fervor for the hit film “Titanic,” fewer than two dozen copies of the movie’s video sold at a midnight promotion held in conjunction with its release at the Blockbuster video store then located in the Trader Joe’s shopping center in La Cañada. Happy with his experience that night, though, was 11-year-old Jerry Walsh, who told a reporter it felt “good” to be the first in line to make the late-night $27.05 purchase while his mom waited nearby in her car.


Thirty Years Ago

The city’s public works director reported to the La Cañada Flintridge City Council that Southern California Edison was on schedule under-grounding power lines in the commercial section of town, with all poles to be down along Foothill Boulevard between Verdugo Boulevard and Crown Avenue by the end of 1988.

Forty Years Ago

The missing “i” in the Paradise Canyon Elementary School letter signage mounted on the wall outside the main building, which had vanished three years earlier, was recovered by school secretary Ruth Magoffin. She found it in the planter directly underneath the sign.


Fifty Years Ago

Bill Berger, 13, a seventh-grade student at Foothill Intermediate School, was featured on the cover of the Valley Sun riding his unicycle and carrying a poster in support of the tongue-in-cheek 1968 presidential candidacy of comedian Pat Paulsen.

Sixty Years Ago

Vandals broke into the La Cañada Junior High School library (a few years before the school was reconfigured and named Foothill Intermediate School) and ransacked the library’s main office, spilling books on the floor and pouring glue on the floor, in desk drawers and on a typewriter.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives by Carol Cormaci.