A semi-rural alternative to bustling Los Angeles early in the 20th century, Hawthorne grew through the World War I years, welcoming oil wells and eventually airplane factories. The city became home to the chart-topping Beach Boys, athlete Jim Thorpe, and the greatest glamour blondes of their times, Marilyn Monroe and Mattel’s Barbie. Bisected by Hawthorne Boulevard, the main north-south thoroughfare through the South Bay region, Hawthorne’s notable events ran the gamut, from the annual Kiwanis Paradesecond in California prestige only to Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses
Paradeto a furious 1971 police gun-battle with the desperate Charles Manson gang. Today, the city is a support community to Los Angeles International Airport and the aerospace industry.
About the Author
A photographer, pilot, local historian, and lifelong Hawthorne resident, Walt Dixon flew B-24 Liberators during World War II as a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander. His co-author, Jerry Roberts, is the Southern California acquisitions editor for Arcadia Publishing and has written or edited books including The Great American Playwrights on the Screen and Rain Forest Bibliography.