1932 Los Angeles Olympics

August 8th, 2012 § 1 comment


In 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, Los Angeles was the host city for the Summer Olympics (officially the Games of the X Olympiad). Many people doubted the city had the capacity to host the games, especially during such tough economic times, but L.A. came through in grand style.  For the first time, athletes were housed and fed in an Olympic Village, at a cost to their home countries of only $2/day — making it possible for countries to send more athletes. The Los Angeles Olympics were also the first time that the Games recognized a significant profit for the host city, raising approximately $1 million.

The city’s excitement about hosting the 1932 Games started early, with Southern California veterans of the 1928 Junior Olympics posing for the Los Angeles Times in uniforms promoting “Los Angeles 1932.”

Junior Olympic athletes Johnny Falcon, Jerry Deal, Rex Heap and Mike Pina in “Los Angeles 1932″ uniforms in Los Angeles, Calif., 1929

Costume and fashion designer Peggy Hamilton Adams also did her part to boost the Olympic spirit in Los Angeles as “Queen Olympia,” the Los Angeles County “Official Hostess” for the Games.

Peggy Hamilton (center) modeling a Max Rée gown as “Queen Olympia” with members of her court at the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, 1931

Hamilton Adams also modeled a special outfit, featuring illustrations of the Olympic events and the flags of participating nations.

Peggy Hamilton with Governor James Rolph at the Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, 1932

Photographer Adelbert Bartlett captured the city’s excitement as reflected in the Olympic-themed decorations in downtown Los Angeles.

Hill Street decorated for the Olympics, Los Angeles, 1932

Eighty years later, the UCLA Digital Library Program salutes the athletes currently competing in the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London!

~ Claudia Horning, Metadata Team Leader

§ One Response to 1932 Los Angeles Olympics

  • Bruce Carter says:

    i have a 1932 Olympia Post Card ,with like 14 color photos of Los Angeles in perfect condition ,i have never been able to find another ,or something to compare it to

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