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Showing Glendale in CA...

Basic Information
Type of PlaceSuburb
Metro Area?Los Angeles/San Diego
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status
Confirmed Sundown Town?Surely
Year of Greatest Interest
Was there an ordinance?Yes, Strong Oral Tradition
Sign?Don't Know
Still Sundown?Surely Not

Census Information

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Method of Exclusion
Private Bad Behavior;Zoning

Main Ethnic Group(s).

Group(s) Excluded

Glendale's black population between 1930 and 1960 was overwhelmingly female, indicating that they were mostly live-in domestic workers. A brochure for a subdivision in Glendale, not dated but probably from the 1930s, advertises "Racial Restriction" (restrictive covenants) as a benefit. "[My dad] thought it was during WWII (he's 88 yrs old), but was not sure. He said an aunt came from Arkansas for a visit and she brought her a Black lady with her, who was a friend and possibly her domestic help at home. After two days of visiting, someone knocked on the door and told her that the Black lady had to leave. She could not even be there for a visit. She was not allowed to be there after dark and she shouldn't have been there for the two days that she was." -posted to the web, 2005 During World War II, a "Freedom Train" traveled around the country, carrying the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and other various founding documents of the United States. "On his national radio broadcast he stated that the train would not stop in Glendale because Negroes could not stay there after dark. My wife saw black maids having to run to the bus stop so they would not be caught there after dark. The police would pick black people up and drop them off at the city limits... [My wife] remembers talking to a policeman friend of ours some years later and he said that they stopped any black person after dark because they did not live there... We took the kids to the Verdugo Plunge (swimming pool) in Glendale [in the 60s]. There was a sign that said only for residents of Glendale. We are white and did not want to go back home, so we paid our money and they did not ask for our drivers license or identification. I was puzzled how they monitored whether or not I was from Glendale. Then I realized that was a way to keep blacks out since no blacks lived in Glendale." -former resident of Glendale and nearby towns, 2004 "[My husband] recalls that there was a sign posted at the bus stop [in the early 1940s] advising coloreds to be out of the city by sundown. This was for the benefit of domestics." -posted to the web, 2005 "I was born [in Glendale] in 1935 and lived there until just after I graduated from high school in 1953... We were on the streetcar line, and the police would pick up any 'person of color' waiting for public transportation after dark, and drive them to the city limit so they would be out of town after sundown. And there were scares after the '50s that 'blacks' were attempting to move in using subterfuges. I remember my first supervisor in the county welfare department who was black... who bought a house in a nearby community which had a Glendale zip code. He laughed a lot about that, since he would not have been actually able to buy a house in Glendale. "Hispanics and people of Arabic and Armenian descent were tolerated, but only if they lived in areas in the part of town bordering Los Angeles, not in the 'upper' part nearer the hills. The only black kids I ever saw were at church camp. There were no hispanic kids in any of the public schools I attended there. I never spoke to a black person, and few hispanic persons until I went away to college! "The municipal ordinance barring blacks was taken off the books shortly after the first civil rights legislation was passed by Congress, but the real estate restrictions remained." -posted to the web, 2005 "We know for fact from my Grandma that the police enforced [blacks] not living with a family as a domestic." -posted to the web, 2006 "We had a black housekeeper [who] had to be out of Glendale by dark. I have no idea how they got around. At one time, one of [a relative's] neighbors apparently was proposing to sell their home on Glenmont Road to a black family. The neighbors reportedly burned a cross in the yard and no black family ever moved to Glenmont Road in my recollection." -posted to the web 2006 "When I lived in La Crescenta, just north of Glendale in the 1970s, locals told me that Glendale had maintained a 'no blacks allowed after sundown' ordinance on the books until the end of World War II. I'm not sure that I believe that an actual ordinance to that effect was still on the books that late. Of course, just because it isn't in writing doesn't mean it doesn't get enforced. I would guess as well that Glendale, the center of KKK activity in the L.A. area right after World War II, might have effectively been a sundown town." -CA resident Regardless of its history, Glendale is not now a sundown town. Email Message 1/8/08: Apparently, one would also have problems in Glendale if they were Italian, with olive complexion. According to my Italian aunt, during the mid-1950's her parents lived just on the other side of the Glendale/Los Angeles city line, in the part of L.A. known as Eagle Rock. One late afternoon (sometime in the Fall of 1955), as was their custom, my aunt's parents were taking a stroll and had unknowingly crossed into the city of Glendale. By the time it was dark they had reached Holly Ave. & Harvey Dr. (near what is now Glendale Adventist Medical Center), when they decided to turn back and head home. But as luck would have it, that's when a Glendale PD squad car passed by, the officer saw my aunt's parents (with their olive-complexioned skin), stopped them, and began questioning them (e.g., who were they, what were they doing in Glendale at that hour, etc.). The Glendale PD officer realized these were not blacks, and decided to give them a "break". Instead of putting them in the squad car and driving them to the Glendale/L.A. city line, he let them go with the warning that they needed to leave Glendale immediately and return home. Needless to say my aunt's parents complied, and every 5-10 minutes, the police officer would drive to check on their "progress" in leaving Glendale. When my aunt's parents reached what is now Colorado & Eagle Glen--the dividing line between Glendale & L.A., the "surveillance" by Glendale PD stopped. My aunt's parents continued to take their late afternoon walks, but after that incident, they NEVER walked in Glendale again.
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