Tom and Jerry


Comedy writer Bill Hanna and cartoonist Joe Barbera’s careers merged in 1939, when both were working in the Cartoon Department at MGM Studios. Their first joint effort was a Tom and Jerry cartoon entitled, “Puss Gets the Boot” (1940). Seventeen years of Tom and Jerry episodes were to follow.

Excerpt from .


Puss Gets the Boot is a one-reel animated short cartoon of Tom and Jerry. It was the pilot episode produced in and released to Technicolor theaters by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. It was produced by Rudolf Ising and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera…

The short is notable for featuring the first appearances of the characters who would later be christened Tom and Jerry, who would go on to appear in over 100 more short cartoons, seven of which won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film Cartoons. As such, Puss Gets the Boot gave the animated duo their first Oscar nomination, though the short lost out to another Rudolf Ising MGM cartoon…”

Excerpt and animated image from .

William Hanna grew up in Compton.

Peter F. Drucker’s first book


Drucker’s first book was published in 1939.

The End of Economic Man traced the rise of the Nazis in the aftermath of the Great War and Depression.

“’These catastrophes broke through the everyday routine which makes men accept existing forms, institutions and tenets as unalterable laws,’ Drucker wrote. ‘They suddenly exposed the vacuum behind the façade of society.’ Looking for a miracle, he added, the masses turned toward the ‘abracadabra of fascism.’

“Drucker was determined never to let things break down like that again. And the only way to do that was to build effective and responsible institutions, including those that by the 1940s were emerging to be the most powerful in the world: big American corporations. Management, practiced well, was Drucker’s bulwark against evil.

“…Drucker displayed incredible powers of observation—to ‘look out the window and see what’s visible but not yet seen,’ as he put it. In fact, he discerned many of the major trends of the 20th century before almost anyone else did: the Hitler-Stalin pact, Japan’s impending rise to economic power…”

Excerpts from . Click on the link to learn more.

Although not in southern California in 1939, he arrived in 1971 upon joining Claremont Graduate University.

Race track


Image: undated photo from unknown source.

There is probably an interesting story here — perhaps one day we will know the details. The ’30s vehicles are weathered enough that the photo could have been taken in 1939. The location could be in southern California based on the Alhambra address of the loudspeaker truck. With all the cars parked in the infield, why are only two people visible: one man at the extreme left edge and the driver of a race car that is missing a wheel?


Sally Rand, dancer


Image: 1939 Maurice Seymour photo from .

Best known for her bubble and fan dances, Sally Rand performed at a variety of venues including the New York World’s Fair. Glendora was her adopted hometown since the 1920s.

In late July and early August 1939 she danced in Los Angeles at the Orpheum Theatre.



Images: detail of circa 1939 theatre from USC Digital Library “Dick” Whittington Photography Collection, 1924-1987 . Excerpt of 1979 Los Angeles Times story at the time of her death. Ticket images from an unknown source.

Acme beer


Image: 1940 Petty art

“In 1939 Acme commissioned George Petty (who had just left Esquire magazine) to paint three lithesome gals which were used for the 1940, ’41, and ’43 campaigns. These images were utilized in a number of different formats. They produced a 26″ and a 33″ wide, framed image for wall hanging; a 12″ wide, framed version on an easel for back-bar display; and a cutout window card that was 42″ long and easel mounted for window displays.”

Acme Breweries was a Los Angeles company.

Excerpt and image from . Click on the link to learn more.