This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Why the Burbank Airport is now called the Hollywood-Burbank Airport


If you're like me, familiar with the Los Angeles area, you know where Burbank is. It's actually where a lot of what we consider "Hollywood" to be, such as it's where Disney studios is, major TV studios, that sort of thing.

And there was a time, many decades ago, when Burbank gained some fame, in the 1960s, with the TV show "Laugh-In", and in the 1970s when Johnny Carson would joke about "beautiful downtown Burbank" on the Tonight Show. But really, the name Burbank doesn't have the recognition value that Hollywood does. Admit it.

To most people, Los Angels is Hollywood. Of course the reality is that Hollywood is a community in Los Angeles, south of the San Fernando Valley and west of downtown. And the name has become synonymous with movies. Angelino locals will argue that the movies were actually filmed all over the Los Angeles area, like Culver City, or the San Fernando Valley, and that's not, geographically Hollywood. But it's Hollywood to most of the world.

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Of course, like renaming anything, most old-timers will hate it. My interest in history makes me wonder about the old-timers who disliked it when Pig's Eye became St. Paul, Minnesota, or when people stopped calling the Phoenix Settlement Pumpkinville. Names are precious, and changing them can upset people.

But it's time that the name Hollywood became part of the name of the Bob Hope Airport, which is a name that never really stuck for the Burbank Airport. Hollywood is a name recognized all over the world, and it's associated with one of the things that the U.S. still does better than another other country - movies.

Speaking for myself, I like the new name, and the new logo. And I'll be buying an overpriced souvenir tomorrow, I know! Maybe a coffee cup?

The prettiest girl in Phoenix Union High School in 1927


One of my PhDs (Phoenix History Detectives) lent me some interesting old books a few days ago, and one of my favorites to look through is the 1927 yearbook for Phoenix Union High School.

I scanned in a few things, including 1927 Beauty Queen Millie Bruce, pictured at the top of this post. I shared the photo on my Phoenix Historical Images page, and she got plenty of likes. She was also described as a "beauty" (of course!) and a "hottie".

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And now I'm thinking about slang terms for pretty girls. Speaking for myself, in High School in the 1970s, the greatest compliment that we could give a pretty girl would have been to call her a "fox". In the 1920s she would have been "the bee's knees" or the "cat's meow". You might have said that she had "it", which meant that she had sex appeal.

If you called her a "Home Girl" or a "chick" she would have had no idea what you were talking about. You could have called her a babe, of course, but you might have gotten your face slapped.

Her hair, by the way, was short in a manner that was called "bobbed". Short hair for women became popular in the 1920s, and the term "bob" came from how horse's tails were shortened, and it was initially meant as derogatory, but soon the term caught on, and bobbed hair became all the rage.

The 1920s were a very important era for women, and it became acceptable for the first time for them to smoke, to show their legs (not just their ankles) in public. Women got the vote in 1920, with an amendment to the United States constitution. This was the era of thoroughly modern women, and the 1927 Phoenix Union High School beauty queen was a thoroughly modern Millie!

She's the bee's knees, wouldn't you say?