Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Deadly Times: The 1910 Bombing of the Los Angeles Times and America's Forgotten Decade of Terror

Thursday, February 20, 7:00 p.m.

The bombing of the Los Angeles Times on October 1, 1910 remains one of the deadliest crimes ever to go to trial in California. At least 20 workers at the Times died in the explosion and the fire that followed. More than 100 others were injured. On Thursday, February 20th in the Library’s Barth Community, learn all about it from author and journalist Lew Irwin, when he presents this fascinating look into Los Angeles history at 7:00 p.m.

The story of the bombing, the manhunt for the perpetrators, and the aftermath that would wreck the career of America's most famous attorney and set back the American labor movement by a generation, makes for fascinating reading, particularly at a time when terrorism again threatens American society. The magnificent cast of characters includes: General Harrison Gray Otis, owner of the Los Angeles Times, whose determined effort to keep Los Angeles non-union led to its being singled out as a bombing target; William J. Burns, who tracked down the bombers and became the first director of the FBI and founder of what remains the largest private security organization in the world; Earl Rogers, the brilliant criminal attorney, who became Erle Stanley Gardner's model for Perry Mason; the legendary attorney Clarence Darrow, who defended the bombers but who in desperation attempted to bribe two jurors; the muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens, who had hoped to persuade the bombers to confess to him, thereby giving him the scoop of a lifetime.
Author Lew Irwin has had a hand in nearly every facet of news and information broadcasting. His career in journalism began in high school at the Los Angeles Times where he researched a sports trivia column. While still an undergraduate at USC, he was hired to host News Today, a nationally syndicated radio program whose regular contributors included Eleanor Roosevelt and legendary commentator H. V. Kaltenborn. For the next 15 years, Irwin's was a familiar face and voice in Southern California as he anchored television news programs or directed the news operations of leading radio stations, always adding a flair for humor and for pointing out the extraordinary. In 1968, he produced and hosted The Credibility Gap on KRLA Los Angeles, which integrated topical satire and music with the news. Time and Newsweek wrote full-page articles about it, and it was featured in a long segment on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. He currently is the publisher/editor of Studio Briefing, a daily digest of entertainment industry news. (

On Deadly Times: The 1910 Bombing of the Los Angeles Times and America's Forgotten Decade of Terror by Lew Irwin:
Harry Chandler has called it, "a most fascinating and can't-put-down story."
"A gripping must-read tale of turbulent times." -- Dr. John Horgan, director, International Center for the Study of Terrorism, Penn State University

"Irwin, a veteran television journalist, is an artist in prose." -- Anthony Mostrom, L.A. Weekly

"Masterfully" written. -- Publishers Weekly