Calle de los Negros, Los Angeles, 1871

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.

Lesson Plan: What were the causes of the anti-Chinese massacre?

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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