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Back in the Day: the Hollywood Sign

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Back in the Day: the Hollywood Sign


July 13, 1923. The owner of the Los Angeles Times, Harry Chandler, officially unveils a sign on Mount Lee in the Hollywood area of L.A. to advertise his new housing development nearby. The word ‘HOLLYWOODLAND’ was spelled out in white, 15-metre high letters studded with 4,000 light bulbs. The sign was originally only intended to stand for a year and a half to promote real estate. However the sign soon became a symbol of what was fast becoming the boom town of the global film industry and it was allowed to remain. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to renovate the sign and, wanting to reflect the area rather than the housing development, removed the ‘LAND’. The new wood and sheet metal letters deteriorated over the next few decades and were saved in 1978 by private donors who paid around $27,000 each for new 14 metre letters made of steel. (Photo: Scott Catron)

Also on July 13: start of the inaugural FIFA football world cup in Uruguay (1930); John F. Kennedy wins the Democratic Party nomination to be US president (1960); the Live Aid benefit concerts are held in London and Philadelphia (1985).

Born on July 13: Julius Caesar (100 BC), Simone Veil (1927), Patrick Stewart (1940), Harrison Ford (1942), Erno Rubik (1944).

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