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La Cañada History: 23-year-old pilot from La Cañada killed in Vietnam War action

La Cañada History: 23-year-old pilot from La Cañada killed in Vietnam War action
Fifty years ago, Loren Engstrom was in a U.S. Army helicopter that was shot down over South Vietnam. Engstrom was the 23-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Engstrom. (File Photo)

Ten Years Ago

Local schools and other area agencies participated in the 2008 Great Southern California ShakeOut earthquake drill, the first of its kind. “It was fantastic,” said Dr. Lucy Jones, chief scientist for the Multi Hazards Demonstration Project of the Southern California U.S. Geological Survey who was then a La Cañada resident. The drill, which involved 5.3 million participants, simulated the region being struck by a 7.8 earthquake along the San Andreas Fault.

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Twenty Years Ago

A $250,000 grant from Los Angeles County was being sought by the city of La Cañada Flintridge to assist in the purchase of Rockridge Terrace, an open space in the southwestern portion of town abutting a Montrose neighborhood. The city’s stated goal was to preserve the acreage in its natural state.

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Thirty Years Ago

The La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission in November 1988 voted 4-1 to approve the environmental impact report and conditional use permit that paved the way for Lanterman House on Encinas Drive to become a museum, civic-cultural center and organ recital hall. (In 1991, the 34-ton, late 1920s Wurlitzer Fox Theater organ that had been installed at the house by Frank Lanterman was, prior to the museum’s opening, sold to the city of Glendale, which in turn sold it to Buena Vista Pictures for installation in the El Capitan theater.)

Forty Years Ago

Four tellers were forced at gunpoint to turn over $11,851 to a “very nervous” masked bandit on Nov. 16, 1978, at the Crocker Bank then located at 2200 Foothill Blvd. The robbery took place about 20 minutes before the bank’s regular closing time.

Fifty Years Ago

A U.S. Army helicopter was shot down over South Vietnam in the fall of 1968, taking the life of pilot Loren Engstrom, the 23-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Engstrom of Lombardy Drive. It was La Cañada’s second fatal casualty in the Vietnam War. In the fall of 1967, Roger Rose of Flintridge lost his life in a similar incident.

Sixty Years Ago

La Cañada’s coldest night to date in 1958 came on Nov. 17, when the mercury dropped to 28 degrees Fahrenheit overnight and some snowflakes fell in area communities. Just a week earlier the Crescenta-Cañada Valley had been experiencing balmy weather, with overnight lows in the 60s.

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