lost la salton sea desert

"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

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 and national park to the site of conflict over humanity’s relationship with nature.

  • 2019-01-19T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-19T10:35:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-20T11:30:00-08:00
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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 on which the visitor creates his or her own dream. This episode explores the man-made natural disaster that created the Salton Sea, the efforts to preserve Joshua Tree National Park, and how commercial interests and real estate developers created a desert utopia like Palm Springs.

  • 2019-01-22T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-22T17:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-23T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-23T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-24T04:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-25T16:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-26T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-26T10:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-27T11:30:00-08:00
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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.

  • 2019-01-29T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-29T17:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-30T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-30T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-01-31T04:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-01T16:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-02T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-02T10:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-03T11:30:00-08:00
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Ghost Towns

Some California dreams did succeed, creating a megalopolis in the state’s north and south. Other dreams failed, leaving only ruins behind. This episode explores the hopes and dreams of three California ghost towns. We feature Bodie, an early gold mining settlement in Mono County that continues to be preserved in time; Llano Del Rio, a socialist utopian community in the Mojave Desert; and Zzyzx, a former health spa community that came to an end with the eviction of founder and radio evangelist Curtis Howe Springer.

  • 2019-02-05T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-05T17:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-06T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-06T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-07T04:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-09T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-09T10:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-10T11:30:00-08:00
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Venice

From its origins as a themed seaside trolley resort to its international fame as a countercultural hub, Venice Beach has been in a state of perpetual renaissance, boasting a rich, multilayered history. This episode explores evolution of Abbot Kinney’s original Venice of America development, and how the commercial renaissance along Abbot Kinney Boulevard has impacted the historically African American neighborhood of Oakwood. We also look at the Beat poet community who called Venice home.

  • 2019-02-12T12:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-12T17:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-13T03:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-13T21:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-14T04:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-16T06:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-16T10:30:00-08:00
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  • 2019-02-17T11:30:00-08:00
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