Advertisement

From the Archives: Aftermath of the 1910 Los Angeles Times bombing

From the Archives: Aftermath of the 1910 Los Angeles Times bombing
Oct. 1, 1910: This image was taken by commercial photographer C.C. Pierce after daylight on the morning of the bombing. Twenty Los Angeles Times employees died in the explosion. (C.C. Pierce / The Huntington Library)

Twenty Los Angeles Times employees died in the Oct. 1, 1910, bombing of the newspaper. The Times’ staff declared the attack as the “Crime of the Century.” Daily, the paper reported on the manhunt.

Eighteen of the dead were buried next to a monument at Hollywood Memorial Park — now Hollywood Forever. For years, surviving employees attended remembrance ceremonies at the the Los Angeles Times Bombing Memorial.

Following the bombing, the city of Los Angeles hired private detective William J. Burns to find the suspects. His work led to the arrest of the McNamara brothers — John J. and James B.

Clarence Darrow defended the McNamaras, but lost when the brothers changed their pleas to guilty. James McNamara received a life sentence. John received 15 years.

After the trial, Darrow was twice tried on charges of jury tampering. The first trial ended in acquittal, the second in a hung jury.

Darrow went on to defend John T. Scopes in the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, over the teaching of evolution in schools in Tennessee.

There were two additional trials related to the Los Angeles Times bombing. In December 1915, Matthew Schmidt was convicted of murder. In December 1916, David Caplan was convicted of second degree manslaughter.

An earlier version of this photo gallery appeared on Sept. 30, 2011.

 
Los Angeles Times illustration of the Oct. 1, 1910 bombing. This illustration appeared in the Oct. 15, 1929, Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times
October 1910: Gen. Harrison Gray Otis, president and general manager of the Los Angeles Times, inspects the ruins.
October 1910: Gen. Harrison Gray Otis, president and general manager of the Los Angeles Times, inspects the ruins. Los Angeles Times Collection / The Huntington Library
Oct. 3, 1910: Main entrance of destroyed Times building at First and Broadway. This photo from the L
Oct. 3, 1910: Main entrance of destroyed Times building at First and Broadway. Los Angeles Times Collection / The Huntington Library
Caskets at funeral services for the dead in the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building. The huge floral display is a reproduction of the Los Angeles Times building. The backg
Caskets at funeral services for the dead in the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building. The huge floral display is a reproduction of the Los Angeles Times building. The background is a painted mural of a forest scene. Los Angeles Times Collection / The Huntington Library
Oct. 5, 1910: At the funeral of Churchill Harvey-Elder, the casket is taken from the funeral home. H
Oct. 5, 1910: At the funeral of night editor Churchill Harvey-Elder, the casket is taken from the funeral home. Harvey-Elder was not buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Los Angeles Times Collection / The Huntington Library
Oct. 9, 1910: Burial of bombing victims at what is now Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The monument in t
Oct. 9, 1910: Burial of bombing victims at what is now Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The monument in the background is to Gen. Harrison Gray Otis' wife, Eliza. Los Angeles Times Collection / The Huntington Library
May 30, 1917: Friends and family of Los Angeles Times employees killed in the Oct. 1, 1910 bombing,
May 30, 1917: Friends and family of Los Angeles Times employees killed in the Oct. 1, 1910 bombing, spend Memorial Day decorating and cleaning plots at the Los Angeles Times Bombing Memorial at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Los Angeles Times
Oct. 1, 1938: Dr. J. Whitcomb Brougher Sr. reads at a memorial service for the score who perished in the bombing of of the Los Angeles Times building on Oct. 1, 1910.
Oct. 1, 1938: Dr. J. Whitcomb Brougher Sr. reads at a memorial service for the score who perished in the bombing of of the Los Angeles Times building on Oct. 1, 1910. Gordon Wallace / Los Angeles Times
Dec. 1, 1911: Evidence against the McNamara brothers. This photo was published in the Los Angeles Ti
Dec. 1, 1911: Evidence against the McNamara brothers. The bag on the left was identified as belonging to John McNamara. In the center is bomb-making equipment. On the right is a pistol said to be used to shoot watchman. Los Angeles Times
An undated photo of John J. McNamara, left, secretary-treasurer of the International Assn. of Bridge
An undated photo of John J. McNamara, left, secretary-treasurer of the International Assn. of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers, and his brother James B. McNamara, who placed the bomb that destroyed The Times Building. Los Angeles Times Collection / The Huntington Library
Dec. 4, 1911: Handwritten confession by James B. McNamara to the bombing of the Los Angeles Times. P
Dec. 4, 1911: Handwritten confession by James B. McNamara to the bombing of the Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times Collection / The Huntington Library
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies escort the McNamara brothers to court in an undated photo. Pho
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies escort the McNamara brothers to court in an undated photo. Los Angeles Times Collection / The Huntington Library
Oct. 9, 1911: Photo from courtroom during jury selection for McNamara brothers trial. The jury pool
Oct. 9, 1911: Photo from courtroom during jury selection for McNamara brothers trial. The jury pool was reduced from 125 to 40 during the day's proceedings. This image was published in the Oct. 10, 1911, Los Angeles Times. Many of the faces were touched up by a Times artist. Los Angeles Times
Sept. 29, 2015: Los Angeles Times Bombing Memorial at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Sept. 29, 2015: Los Angeles Times Bombing Memorial at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Scott Harrison / Los Angeles Times

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here

Advertisement
Advertisement