Before the LA riots; before the internment of Japanese-Americans and the massacre of Chinese-Americans; before Slavery; before this land was ever conquered by Spain, Mexico, or the U. S.; before the genocide of Native Americans… millennia after the first humans arrived on the scene, overkilling large mammals to extinction… by the river, within the community of Yang-Na, a sapling sprouted. The sycamore would grow to become a 400-year-old local landmark, called, "El Aliso." Here, a French cooper hybridized the mission grapevine with cuttings from Bordeaux, and together with the terroir, cultivated a vineyard which gave birth to California's wine industry. Indigenous villages and immigrant orchards prepared the ground for what followed: a German brewery; a boxing arena; a mule market; an Edison Electric power station; an artist colony; a gym for indoor rock-climbing; the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States… While the Aliso Tree is no longer standing, it continues to stand for Los Angeles, rooted in history.
THE TREES OF CALIFORNIA, by Getty Images and the Library of Congress
-Images courtesy of Getty Images. (top) Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Lithograph, “A correct view of the mammoth tree in California, the largest in the world,” by D. A. Plecker, published in Staunton, Va., c. 1873
Roger Sherman, also of Connecticut, was known to have given one of the shortest speeches in history at a bridge dedication ceremony when he said, "I think it will hold up all right," while testing the strength of the bridge with one foot.
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