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Happy Birthday, Mr. Charles Lummis

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Each year Charles Lummis rubbed elbows with intellectuals and socialites during his annual "Meeting of the Order of Mad March Hares" party, a signature "noise" at his home in Highland Park, celebrating all those - like himself - born in March. Prominent thinkers, writers, entertainers, politicians, scientists and bohemians of early 20th century L.A. all gathered to celebrate. Lummis would serve German stew to as many as sixty people, who then joined in singing the "March Hare Hymn," among other shenanigans planned for the evening.

Lummis liked to play but he also was a workaholic, constantly laboring to enrich the preservation of history and cultural heritage in Los Angeles. He was city librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library and the first city editor of the L.A. Times. He founded the Southwest Museum - L.A.'s first museum.

With this in mind, we invited local scholars, historians, and business owners to help us celebrate Lummis' 153rd birthday today. We asked them:

How would Lummis celebrate his birthday today in contemporary Highland Park?

David Judson, Owner & President of Judson Studios:

Timothy Brick, Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation:

Ryan Ballinger, Owner of The York:

Living room of Lummis' house El Alisal, where he most likely would have partied on his birthday. Photo courtesy of The Autry National Center
Living room of Lummis' house El Alisal, where he most likely would have partied on his birthday. Photo courtesy of The Autry National Center

Josef Bray-Ali, Co-owner of the Flying Pigeon LA:

William Deverell, Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California & the West:

Charles Fisher, Historian & Preservation Activist:
 

Lummis in New Mexico, 1927. Courtesy of the Autry National Center
Lummis in New Mexico, 1927. Courtesy of the Autry National Center

Christopher Nyerges, Urban Survivalist and Teacher:

Nicole Possert, Historian & Preservation Activist: