Yosemite National Park

"Lost LA" explores the past through the region's archives, where photos, documents, and other rare artifacts unlock the untold history behind the fantasy of Southern California. Hosted by writer and public historian Nathan Masters of the USC Libraries, each episode of "Lost LA" brings the primary sources of history to the screen in surprising new ways. Much of L.A.'s past is lost to history, but through the region's archives we can uncover the inspiring dreams and bitter realities that built the modern-day metropolis.

FUNDERS

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Desert Fantasy

California’s deserts have sparked the imaginations of millions of people around the world. From the famously alien landscape of Joshua Tree to the wide expanses of seemingly empty land, the desert has been seen as a place of reinvention, a blank slate to create your dream. This episode explores how those dreams have led to the man-made natural disaster that created the Salton Sea; to the effort to preserve Joshua Tree National Park; and how commercial interests and real estate developers created desert utopias like Palm Springs.

  • 2018-12-13T04:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-15T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-15T10:35:28-08:00
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  • 2018-12-16T11:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-01T03:30:00-08:00
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Beach Culture

One of California’s great international exports has been its beach culture. This episode explores how surfers, bodybuilders, and acrobats taught Californians how to have fun and stay young at the beach — and how the 1966 documentary The Endless Summer shared the Southern California idea of the beach with the rest of the world.

  • 2018-12-18T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-18T17:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-19T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-19T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-20T04:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-22T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-22T10:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-23T11:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-01T05:30:00-08:00
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Ghost Towns

Some California dreams succeeded, creating megalopolis regions in the state’s north and south. Other dreams failed, leaving nothing but ruins. This episode explores three California ghost towns: Bodie, a Mono County gold mining settlement that was preserved in time; Llano Del Rio, a socialist utopian community in the Mojave Desert; and Zzyzx, a former health spa on the way to Las Vegas.

  • 2018-12-25T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-25T17:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-26T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-26T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-27T04:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-29T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-29T10:30:00-08:00
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  • 2018-12-30T11:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-01T06:00:00-08:00
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Descanso Gardens

"Lost L.A.: Descanso Gardens" explores the history of one of southern California's most-beloved public gardens. From its pre-colonial origins as an oak woodland to its contemporary role as a living museum, the film examines how the Descanso Gardens reflects the social, political and cultural evolution of Los Angeles.

  • 2018-12-31T23:00:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-03T20:00:00-08:00
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Borderlands

American history has long been told as a triumphant march westward from the Atlantic coast, but in southern California, our history stretches back further in time. This episode explores the interconnected lives of three people who lived through California's transition from native land to Spanish colony and from Mexican province to American state. Featuring the stories of native teacher Toypurina, who led the revolt against the San Gabriel Mission, Spanish soldier Jose Marco Pico, who served at the mission, and his son Pio Pico, who became the last Mexican Governor of California.

  • 2019-01-01T00:00:00-08:00
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Wild West

Long before Hollywood imagined the Wild West, Los Angeles was a real frontier town of gunslingers, lynch mobs, and smoke-belching locomotives. This episode examines L.A.'s efforts to reckon with its violent past by examining hanging trees, remnants of vigilant justice; the massacre of eighteen Chinese immigrants that took place in 1871 near what is now Olvera Street; and railroad promotional campaigns that painted a picture of Los Angeles as a verdant paradise.

  • 2019-01-01T00:30:00-08:00
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Building The Metropolis

Wood, iron, steel, concrete -- these are the materials that gave form to Los Angeles and shaped its identity in the national imagination. This episode also questions the cultural legacy and environmental costs of the city's relentless growth.

  • 2019-01-01T01:00:00-08:00
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Dream Factory

Los Angeles is often identified with Hollywood, but there's more to the entertainment industry than its facade of movie stars and blockbuster films. This episode explores the career of Lois Weber, a filmmaker who rose to greatness in a nascent film industry that welcomed women into creative leadership positions; as well as a Central Casting Bureau that capitalized on the city's segregated ethnic enclaves when filling background roles.

  • 2019-01-01T01:30:00-08:00
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Coded Geographies

What if the stories L.A. told about itself relegated you to the margins? This episode explores two underground guidebooks -- The Negro Travelers' Green Book and The Address Book -- that reveal the hidden geographies many Angelenos had to navigate, exposing Los Angeles as a place of coded segregation and resistance.

  • 2019-01-01T02:00:00-08:00
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Pacific Rim

Americans have long looked at the California shore and seen the end of the continent. Instead, this episode interprets that sandy edge as the beginning of a Pacific world -- one that has long influenced Los Angeles through geology and climate, but also through the transoceanic flows of people, goods, technology and cultural ideas.

  • 2019-01-01T02:30:00-08:00
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Yosemite

Californians have long fought over what Yosemite means, and how to manage it. Since its birth as a park and preserve in 1864, Yosemite has become a postcard for the natural beauty of California. Each year, millions visit from around the globe to see the cliffs, waterfalls and meadows that inspire wonder and reverence of the American West. This episode explores how Yosemite has changed over time: from a land maintained by indigenous peoples; to its emergence as a tourist attraction; to the site of conflict over humanity’s relationship with nature.

  • 2019-01-01T03:00:00-08:00
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Venice

From its origins as a themed seaside resort to its international fame as a countercultural hub, Venice Beach boasts a rich, multilayered history. This episode explores Abbot Kinney’s original Venice of America development; the community of Beat poets who called Venice home; and how the commercial renaissance along Abbot Kinney Boulevard has impacted the historically African-American neighborhood of Oakwood.

  • 2019-01-01T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-01T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-01T17:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-02T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-02T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-03T04:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-05T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-05T10:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-06T11:30:00-08:00
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Fantasyland

Los Angeles has long been the place where you can imagine something — any time period, any locale, ordinary or exotic, real or fantasy — and build it. It’s a tradition that dates to the 1910s and 1920s, when early filmmakers built elaborately themed outdoor sets that often remained standing for months or years, inviting visitors. It found its fullest expression in nearby Anaheim, where Walt Disney’s Imagineers created the intricately themed, immersive experience that is Disneyland.

  • 2019-01-01T07:00:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-08T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-08T17:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-09T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-09T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-10T04:30:00-08:00
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