Growth on the flatlands along the western extents of Imperial Highway in the 1920s was once measured in beans, barley, and jackrabbits. After 2000, the site that became Los Angeles International Airport would be measured by the more than 60 million passengers and nearly two million tons of cargo passing through it each year. One of the world’s busiest airports grew out of Mines Field and expanded quickly in the 1930s with the exploits of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes and Will Rogers, Curtiss and Martin, and Boeing and Lockheed. After World War II, this large portion of coastal Los Angeles between El Segundo and Marina del Rey became the main airport for Greater Los Angeles. With the advent of the jet age in the town of the jet set, LAX became a nexus of international travel and a symbol of sophistication as the “Gateway to the World,” a cutting-edge center for the overlapping spheres of aviation, business, politics, and entertainment.
About the Author
The Flight Path Learning Center of Southern California, located in LAX’s Imperial Terminal, is one of the world’s most notable aviation museums. Author William A. Schoneberger has written several previous aviation histories, two of those on LAX. Ethel Pattison has worked in several executive capacities at LAX since the 1950s. Flight Path executive director Lee Nichols is the former public relations director of LAX. This volume’s historic images were selected from the Los Angeles International Airport’s enormous photographic archive.
Table of Contents
Foreword Clay Lacy 7
1 Mines Field 9
2 World War II Era and After 49
3 Los Angeles International Airport 55
4 The Jet Age 81
5 Wide-Body Jets and the New LAX 99
6 Into the 21st Century 111