Framework

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Oct. 9, 1936: Overhead view of parade on Broadway celebrating the arrival of electrial power from Hoover Dam. This photo was published in the Oct. 10, 1936, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Oct. 9, 1936: Searchlights atop Los Angeles City Hall are lighted up during celebration of electrical power arriving from Hoover Dam. This photo was published on page one of the Oct. 10, 1936, Los Angeles Times. A staff artist retouched portions of the right side of the photo.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jack Herod / Los Angeles Times

Oct. 9, 1936: Opening ceremonies in Los Angeles included from left: California Gov. Frank F. Merriam, Elizabeth Scattergood, Louise Hepburn and John R. Haynes, chairman of the Boulder Power Inaugural Committee. A different photo of Scattergood and Hepburn was published in the Oct. 10, 1936, Los Angeles Times. The switch in foreground was used to start the light display in Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Oct. 9, 1936: City of Los Angeles float on Broadway during a parade celebrating the arrival of Hoover Dam electrical power.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Oct. 9, 1936: A crowd on Spring Street next to Los Angeles City Hall during the celebration of the arrival of Hoover Dam electrical power.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Sep. 1936: Aerial view of Hoover Dam with its 12 enormous flood valves open. This photo was published in the Sep. 12, 1936, Los Angeles Times. This photo released by Union Pacific Railroad, was taken from a Western Air Express - United Air Lines aircraft.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ©Union Pacific Railroad

A 1937 photo of four generators just installed in the Nevada wing of the Hoover Dam powerhouse that provide service to the city of Los Angeles. This photo was published in the April 11, 1937, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bureau of Reclamation / Bureau of Reclamation, Departmen

Oct. 9, 1936: Hollywood float in parade celebrating the arrival of electric power from Hoover Dam.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Oct. 9, 1936: Parade on Broadway in Los Angeles celebrating the arrival of electrical power from Hoover Dam. This photo was published in the Oct. 10, 1936 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Oct. 9, 1936: Parade on Broadway celebrating opening of Hoover Dam and its power generation coming to Los Angeles. This photo was published in the Oct. 11, 1936, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wide World Photo

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Hoover Dam lights up Los Angeles party

Oct. 9, 1936: The switch was thrown and electricity generated at the new Hoover Dam arrived in Los Angeles – and as shown in the above photo gallery – Los Angeles threw a big party. The “Light on Parade” proceeded down Broadway, nicknamed “the Canyon of Lights.”

Writer Thomas Treanor reported in the Oct. 10, 1936 Los Angeles Times:

Astride the power of 115,000 horses, with burning plumes outspread, the Giant of Hoover Dam–Electricity–rode into Los Angeles last night, casting a heretofore unseen and magnificent glare on more than 1,000,000 persons who crowded the downtown district from end to end.

A tumult of yelling and whistling and screaming greeted the giant with an exuberance and spontaneous feeling that has not been observed since the demonstration the day the World War ended…

On the site of the old Courthouse at Temple and Broadway, a platform had been erected. On the Courthouse grounds sat 10,000 persons in folding chairs.

The speakers had finished their speeches, the massed chorus had ended its song, and the prayer had been said, when the young woman–Miss Elizabeth Scattergood–stepped foreword.

She read for a moment in a choked voice, a simple little speech full of feeling. Then she reached out her finger and touched a key. There was a tense moment of quiet.

A sputtering sound as the northeast corner of the Courthouse grounds. Brilliant as an explosion, lavender light washed away the half-darkness. In a great wave it swept across to the City Hall, to the Federal Building and to the Hall of Justice and Hall of Records…

The day after this event, the Electrical Age Exposition opened at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium for a nine-day run.  For the next 50 years the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison operated the Hoover Dam powerhouses. In 1987 they were turned over to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation.

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