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Lost LA

Hanging Trees: The Untold Story of Lynching in California

What do Southern California’s hanging trees say about the region’s attitudes toward its bloody past? Some actual hanging trees survive, albeit in obscurity, like the oak in Orange County where Andres Pico’s posse hung two desperadoes from Juan Flores’ gang. But others of more dubious historicity, like the “Hangman’s Tree” in Knott’s Berry Farm, seem to romanticize a period marked by great violence and ethnic strife; Los Angeles’ homicide rate of 1,240 per 100,000 in the 1850s is the highest ever reported in U.S. history, and much of the violence had racial dimensions. How can we separate the history from the legend?

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Full Episodes
Season
From Little Tokyo to Crenshaw
Episode
26:37
Lost LA

From Little Tokyo to Crenshaw

After internment camps, Japanese Americans made L.A.'s Crenshaw neighborhood their home.
Season 5 Episode 5
German Exiles
Episode
26:04
Lost LA

German Exiles

During WWII, L.A. became a sanctuary for Europe’s accomplished artists and intellectuals.
Season 5 Episode 4
Prehistoric Landscapes
Episode
26:46
Lost LA

Prehistoric Landscapes

Dig deep into Southern California’s past to reveal lessons for our climate-changed future.
Season 5 Episode 3
Winemaking
Episode
26:41
Lost LA

Winemaking

Explore a forgotten age when winemaking was Southern California’s principal industry.
Season 5 Episode 2