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Sandbag wall for Culver City City Hall

Sandbag wall for Culver City City Hall

March 10, 1942: Culver City Mayor Adin Randall, left, with Marion Burns and Civilian Defense Coordinator O. B. Olsen look at a barricade made with 300 sandbags in front of Culver City City Hall.

In early 1942, all of Southern California and the West Coast prepared for a possible Japanese attack. Culver City responded with a campaign to protect public buildings.

This photo accompanied a short story in the March 11, 1942, Los Angeles Times explaining:

“It can happen here!” yesterday was the mute warning given by a blast-baffling wall of 300 sandbags stacked seven feet high in front of the main entrance to the City Hall at Culver City.

O.B. Olsen, coordinator of civilian defense for the city, said that similar protective sand walls soon will be erected at entrances to the City Council chambers and the police station.

“Culver City is located in a prime military target area,” Olsen said, “and it it about time that we realized it and took precautions to protect ourselves in case of a bombing.”

Mayor Adin Randall, who with Miss Marion Burns, air-raid warden, accompanied Olsen when he inspected the City Hall bag wall, agreed with the coordinator.

“We must be certain that the functions of city officials will not be impaired in case of a bombing,” the Mayor said.

The sandbag barricades will not block the entrances, Olsen pointed out. They ware built several feet from the doorways to allow sufficient passageway, but are close enough to prevent any blast damage.

For more, check out this From the Archives photo gallery: Southern California defenses [updated].

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