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.
LE TERROIR: Cultivation and Wine Production in 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, “A carload of grapes from California, Postcard shows montage of farm workers in a vineyard standing inside a horse-drawn cart as a rail car marked ‘S.P.R.R. 81424’ rolls past carrying a gigantic bunch of grapes,” by Edward H. Mitchell, May 6, 1909
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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