Four surfers stand in front of their boards- black and white

Beach Culture

One of Southern 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.

In this episode, we cover the evolution of surfing with surfer Dick Metz, including the contributions made by legendary early Hawaiian surfers George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku. Metz inspired Bruce Brown’s film “The Endless Summer,” and his collection at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center covers every development in surf technology, which has been heavily influenced by aerospace. We also chat with the first female professional surfer, Joyce Hoffman, about the appeal of Southern California beach culture and its export to the rest of the world.

Category:
LA as SubjectA collaboration between the USC Libraries and KCETLink, Lost LA features the member collections of L.A. as Subject, a research alliance dedicated to preserving and telling the sometimes-hidden stories and histories of the Los Angeles region.

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Discovering the Universe: Exploring the Cosmos Atop Mount Wilson

As recently as a century ago, scientists doubted whether the universe extended beyond our own Milky Way — until astronomer Edwin Hubble, working with the world’s most powerful telescope in the mountains high above Los Angeles, discovered just how vast the universe truly is. Visit the underground vault of the Carnegie Observatories, where paradigm-shifting discoveries are annotated by hand on glass photographic slides; and the historic Mount Wilson observatory.

  • 2019-11-12T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-13T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-11-28T06:00:00-08:00
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  • 2019-12-07T11:30:00-08:00
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Shindana Toy Company: Changing the American Doll Industry

The Watts riots (also known as the Watts Rebellion or Uprising) left South Los Angeles in social and economic distress. In its wake, Operation Bootstrap, a non-profit community-based organization was formed, with hopes of facilitating change through community empowerment. This episode explores the lasting impact of one Operation Bootstrap initiative, the Shindana Toy Company, which left a lasting mark on the American doll industry by manufacturing ethnically correct black dolls.

  • 2019-11-19T12:30:00-08:00
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Griffith Park: The Untold History

At more than 4,500 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. Its founder, the controversial and complicated Griffith J. Griffith, donated the land to the city as a public recreation ground for all the people — an ideal that has been challenged over the years. In this episode, Sarah Wilson, director of Education at the Autry Museum of the American West, explains the upcoming “Investigating Griffith Park,” exhibition and the effort to create an archive of all things Griffith Park.

  • 2019-11-26T12:30:00-08:00
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Three Views of Manzanar: Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake

Despite the trauma of their incarceration during World War II, Japanese Americans built new lives while detained at concentration camps like Manzanar. They played baseball, planted gardens and made the honor roll. Three renowned photographers captured these scenes: outsiders Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams and incarceree Tōyō Miyatake who boldly smuggled in a camera lens to document life from within the camp. All three trained their lenses on small yet profound moments of dignity and domesticity, documenting resilience in the face of civil injustice.

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Bootlegger Tunnels: A Journey Through LA’s Prohibition Lore

There is always lore ingrained in a city’s history, particularly one like Los Angeles. It is no secret that throughout the Prohibition Era individuals living in the city continued to enjoy their vices as much, if not more, than they ever had before. But it is how they subverted the law that still remains unclear. In this episode, we explore the myths of subterranean Los Angeles, crawl through claimed prohibition-era bootlegger tunnels and visit some of the city’s oldest speakeasies along the way.

  • 2019-11-28T05:00:00-08:00
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Paul Revere Williams: An African-American Architect in Jet-Age L.A.

Although best known for designing the homes of celebrities like Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra, the pioneering African-American architect Paul Revere Williams also contributed to some of the city’s most recognizable civic structures — all while confronting racial barriers.

  • 2019-11-28T05:30:00-08:00
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