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Lou Zamperini Day in Los Angeles

Lou Zamperini Day in Los Angeles

Oct. 5, 1988: Lou Zamperini is recognized by Mayor Tom Bradley and the Los Angeles City Council.

The original caption in the Oct. 6, 1988 Los Angeles Times reported:

Olympic Spirit — Lou Zamperini, center, a USC graduate and member of the 1936 U.S. Olympic team surprises Mayor Tom Bradley, a UCLA graduate, with a USC baseball cap as Councilman John Ferraro looks on. Bradley proclaimed today Lou Zamerini Day in Los Angeles, honoring the former Olympian who competed in the 5,000 meter run in Berlin, for his work with youths and senior citizens.

Louis Zamperini, now 97, was recently selected as Rose Parade Grand Marshal for the 2015 parade.  Veronica Rocha in the May 11, 2014 story reported:

A standout track-and-field star at USC, Zamperini competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, where he was the top U.S. finisher in the 5,000-meter race.

He retired from running during World War II and joined the U.S. armed forces. While serving as a bombardier on a reconnaissance mission, his aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean. He survived 47 days on an inflatable raft in shark-infested waters before being captured by the Japanese.

Zamperini remained in captivity for two years, during which time he was tortured, and was eventually listed as being killed in action by the U.S. government. A book about his experiences, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” was a bestseller. A film adaptation directed by Angelina Jolie is scheduled to be released later this year.

The movie, “Unbroken,” is slated for release on Christmas Day. For more check out this April 18, 2014 article by John Horn: Angelina Jolie breaks the curse of ‘Unbroken.’

The photo above by staff photographer Con Keyes was published in the Oct. 6, 1988 Los Angeles Times. The photo below by staff photographer Jack Herod was published in the Feb. 21, 1939 Los Angeles Times.

Feb. 1939: USC miler Louis Zamperini practices with Coach Dean Cromwell for the upcoming track season. Credit: Jack Herod / Los Angeles Times.

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