VJ Day on Hollywood Boulevard
By Ralph Cantos
August 15, 1945, was a great day for the entire world. After years of war, peace had finally had come to planet Earth. There were spontaneous celebrations all over the world. Cities large and small across the globe celebrated in the streets. New York, City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles were no exceptions.
In Southern California, Hollywood Blvd. seemed to be ground zero for a massive gathering of joyous Angelenos. On Hollywood Blvd., PE’s Hollywood cars were in the thick of the celebrating mayhem. At the world famous intersection of Hollywood & Vine, an unidentified Hollywood car is stopped behind a 1942 Cadillac in the the happy mayhem. Further west down the Blvd. car no. 684 is finally in the clear, the rails ahead covered in mounds of paper confetti.
World peace would last little more than 5 years, when war in Korea would again drag the United States into another conflict. Many of PE’s magnificent interurbans that played such an important part of moving the masses in Southern California during World War II would now be sacrificed for the Korean War effort. Among the most notable cars to be lost were the fabulous 1200s. They were among the most magnificent interurbans ever built, the Butterfly 12s, chief among them.
Ralph Cantos Collection
ABOVE: Pacific Electric no. 684 prepares to move along down Hollywood Blvd. as crowds begin to thin out. Never again would the Pacific Electric, and the LARY for that matter, be considered such an important asset to the welfare of Los Angeles. It seems that from VJ Day onward, LA City officials began to look at the PE and LARY with ever increasing amounts of disdain. Talk about biting the hand that saved your ass!!!