Nixon in Panorama City: November 29, 1956


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Not long after VP Richard M. Nixon and his boss, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, won the 1956 election, Nixon and wife Pat toured Southern California.

Introduced by Congressman Edgar W. Hiestand (R), a staunch anti-Communist and a member of the John Birch Society, Nixon spoke to an enthusiastic shopping center crowd under a banner sign which read: “Panorama City Welcomes Dick”.

(Photos courtesy of the USC Digital Archives)

The Barbara Jean Jepsen Murder: January 31, 1956.


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15050 Victory

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On January 31, 1956, Barbara Jean Jepsen, an 18-year-old married woman, was found stabbed to death by her husband Joe Earl Jepsen inside their unit at 15050 Victory in Van Nuys.

 

The murder of the young woman shocked the city.

 

Photos of the crime scene exteriors are kept in the USC Digital Archives and offer a glimpse of detectives, in long coats and hats, gathering evidence and questioning blond, leather jacketed Mr. Jepsen.

 

As the investigation proceeded, other women in Los Angeles were also mysteriously knifed to death, and the killer or killers remained at large.

 

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One of the suspects was Liberace’s younger brother Rudolph, 24, whose strange (?) behavior in Granada Hills caused neighbors to call police. Rudolph was later released and not charged with any crime.

 

The cottages where Mrs. Jepsen and her husband lived, and she died, have been torn down but are remarkably similar to ones still standing near Lido Pizza on Victory.

 

As far as I can ascertain, the murder of Barbara Jean Jepsen is still unsolved 58 years later.

 

 

Video

1956 Van Nuys Family Home Movies


The arrival of record player, kids dancing in the yard, adults frolicking and laughing, this is Van Nuys 57 years ago as seen in this Munnecke Family Home movie.

1956: Van Nuys


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People handing campaign posters to children in swimming pool.
Location: Van Nuys, CA, US
Date taken: September 1956
Photographer:

J. R. Eyerman

Note the electric microphone and speaker placed at water’s edge while a child swims in the pool.

1956: Construction of the San Diego Freeway


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In 2011, we are living amidst a big construction project on the San Diego Freeway which will add new lanes and which has also torn up vast sections of Westwood near Wilshire and Sunset along Sepulveda.

The USC Digital Archives has photographs of the 1956 beginnings of the San Diego Freeway, when bulldozers and explosives tore through the Sepulveda Pass and made it possible to eventually travel the nine miles from Encino to Westwood in less than two hours.