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Arts and Entertainment

Revisit Los Angeles In 1968, As Seen In Last Night's 'Mad Men'

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In last night's Mad Men, the L.A. vs. NYC debate reared its head, when Roger Sterling tells Don on their flight: "You know what I learned: New York is the center of the universe. We could send a landing craft out there but, they don't understand what we do..." Don replies, "Or they understand it thoroughly."


Scene from last night's Mad Men party in L.A., which was soundtracked by Joplin and Jeannie C. Riley

So which coast reigned supreme in 1968? The tacos and hash party in L.A. certainly made a good case for our coast, and here's how L.A. was really looking that year.

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Footage of the Sunset Strip in 1968 from the sexploitation film All The Way Down. Scenes were also filmed inside the Classic Cat strip club, Turner's Liquor, and the Melody Room:

More footage from that year, showing movie studios, and footage of Angels Flight in 1968, one year before it was dismantled for "urban renewal":

Last night's episode had a Shampoo-style to it, which isn't surprising since that film was set in 1968 L.A., when Richard Nixon was first elected to the White House:

Star Trek's cancellation was being protested, and music-wise, The Who had just played the Shrine Auditorium:

Paul McCartney visited in June of 1968, enjoying shopping and nightswimming, as well as the nightlife: "Our first stop was Romanoff's... Then we were off clubbing. The Factory was next on the agenda." They also hit the Whisky A Go-Go one night before returning to the hotel during the early morning hours: "Crowds of fans were milling in and around the main entrance, while Paul and Linda were still in bed making love. Finally, to thank them all for coming, Paul got up and sat on the steps of the bungalow, playing his guitar and singing to them—I think it was Blackbird—while Linda kept quietly in the background, not wanting to be seen." Macca was in L.A. to announce that all future Beatles records would be released through the group's Apple Records label.

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And Cream would play one of their final U.S. performances before breaking up. This was at The Forum in October:

Here's a 1968 educational film about public transportation, starring Paul Lynde and Los Angeles newscaster Ralph Story, put out in advance of a 1968 ballot initiative:

And of course there were also major news stories happening here, like RFK's assassination (which was covered in an earlier episode of Mad Men last month), the Manson Family making moves that would culminate the following year with Sharon Tate's death, and the East L.A. Walkouts, or Chicano Blowouts, which protested against unequal conditions in Los Angeles Unified School District high schools.