[Image: “Los Angeles Civic Center buildings by Nevada A Bomb blast, 1955,” courtesy USC Libraries/Los Angeles Examiner Collection].
I first saw this photo back in August while searching through the archives at USC as part of the recent L.A.T.B.D. project, and was floored. The caption is awesomely, stunningly blunt: “Los Angeles Civic Center buildings by Nevada A Bomb blast, 1955.” A metropolis lit up by a weaponized sun.
Coverage at the time was Homeric and naive, with talk of two dawns ascending over the city—violent and stroboscopic, rather than the rosy-fingered morning of Greek myth—as this experimental sunrise detonated in the neighboring deserts of Nevada.
[Image: “Los Angeles had two dawns yesterday…” from the Los Angeles Examiner, courtesy USC Libraries/Los Angeles Examiner Collection].
In any case, I’ve written a short post over at KCET about the photo, so check it out if you get a chance.