Los Angeles in the 1900s

December 1903

George Garrigues


From the first issue of the Los Angeles Examiner, December 13, 1903


Streets of Los Angeles Crowded with Marching Citizens Cheering for William Randolph Hearst

Large Delegations Arrive on Every Train with Bands and Fireworks From All Southern California

More Than Ten Thousand Members of Labor Organizations and Unions Salute Examiner Office

The photographs of the Examiner's building are from the Los Angeles Public Library site.


With bands, fireworks and a parade in which more than ten thousand marched, the “EXAMINER” was welcomed last night in Los Angeles and Southern California.

Crowds which packed the downtown streets of this city as they were never packed before cheered the men who marched past them with placards bearing the word “EXAMINER” stuck in their hatbands and carried on poles.

     The crowd in front of the “Examiner” office on Broadway, between Fifth and Sixth streets, was so dense that street cars, automobiles and carriages were swallowed up in it and lost to sight. There was a continuous cheer all the evening for W.R. Hearst and cries of “Hearst for President.”

The “EXAMINER” held open house all evening.

The thousands who, acting upon the resolutions of the labor unions of Southern California of their own volition, had come to Los Angeles in special trains to extend a personal welcome to William Randolph Hearst’s new paper, marched past the office in a continuous line.


“Hearst for the White House”

The “Examiner” and Mr. Hearst were cheered repeatedly by transparencies with such inscriptions as “Hearst for the White House” . . .

After the big parade was over all the prominent labor leaders . . . called at the “Examiner” office to give even a more personal welcome to the new paper.

Most of the men who filled the special trains which came from San Diego, Randsburg [see below], San Bernardino, Redlands, Santa Barbara and other towns visited the office during the evening.


Inspecting the New Building and Plant

Many of them inspected the magnificent new building, the finest newspaper plant west of Chicago, and then filed into the streets to augment the crowd that already thronged the thoroughfares.

The front of the “EXAMINER’S” five-story building was a sea of light.

Two immense signs carrying in incandescent letters the words “LOS ANGELES EXAMINER” stretched across the entire front of the building.

A great American flag in electric lights and the illuminated line “An American paper for the American people” were also emblazoned on the front of the building.

These glittering signs were framed in long festoons of red, white and blue electric lights, more than 1,100 in number, which were strung upon wires covered with green leaves and flowers.

As the last of the many bands in the parade reached the building, it halted to play “America.”

While the vast crowd cheered there were discharged from the fifth floor of the “Examiner” building half a million firecrackers.

Red and blue fire was burned in the streets below and fire rockets, bombs and Roman candles shot up into the night.


The Great Press Joins in the Roar

The great printing press on the first floor went into action and attended by the roar of the firecrackers, the music of the bands and the cheers of the crowd, the work of printing all but the news sections of the “Los Angeles Sunday Examiner” began.

This edition consists of more than 50,000 copies . . . .

More than 100 big workers from the Randsburg mines threw up their hats and cheered both the “EXAMINER” and William Randolph Hearst and they marched past the office. . . .

Overhead conception of the Examiner Building and the area around it is from the American Memory Site.
Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1903

Labor Unions Parade Los Angeles Streets.

Two Thousand Eight Hundred Men in Line.
Union Agitators Expected Larger Number — Red Fire and Rockets at Examiner Building — Iroquois Club Rather Lukewarm — Little Excitement.

The labor demonstration made by the unions in Los Angeles last night was lacking in special features. Very little enthusiasm was manifested by the Saturday night crowds that lined the streets. The men marched quietly and no disturbances were reported . . . .

A very careful count . . . gave 2,843 as the exact number of marchers. This number was somewhat less than the “11,000” expected, and the unionites were dissatisfied with the turnout.

Unions from . . . other towns were in the parade. Deducting the number of men included in these organizations, about 2,000 local union men participated. . . .

Apparently the influence of the brewery section was most felt, as some of

the marchers must have seen at least three car tracks when they came down Spring street.

Aside from the clamor of these “joyous” men, there was little demonstration by the marchers. When the parade passed the new office of the Los Angeles Examiner, there was a little weak cheering by one or two unions in the line. . . .

About 250 small boys attached to small horns furnished by the Broadway Department Store made nearly all the noise produced during the evening. . . .

It was the appointed duty of a commitee of sixteen braves from the Democratic Iroquois Club to formally welcome the Hearst paper last evening, but nine only of the committeemen assembled at the Hotel Angelus . . . .

The Strike in Randsburg

Randsburg today is a Kern County ghost town, but at one time it was a center of mining. Here is what Larry Vredenburgh‘s Web page A Brief Sketch of the Mining History of the Western Mojave Desert and Southern Sierra Nevada says about it:

But the years 1902-1903 proved to be especially difficult. Labor unrest first surfaced on October 1, 1902 during a short miner's strike, to protest the firing of some men.

However on June 10, 1903 a strike spread from the Yellow Aster to eventually affect nearly every mine in the district. Prior to the strike 300 men were working in the mines, by September 1, when strike-breakers from Missouri began working at the Yellow Aster, only 35 were working. The workers were striking for a raise of 50 cents per day.

The strike pitted the Randsburg Miners Union against the Desert Mine Operators Association created by John Singleton president of the Yellow Aster Mine. By October 1, two hundred men were again at work at the Yellow Aster, the mill having resumed operations September 23.

Few of the former workers were rehired.

For a Southern California map with Randsburg marked, click here.

Los Angeles history

For a personal look at Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s, click for
He Usually Lived With a Female: The Life of a California Newspaperman