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The L.A. Times Once Published Mid-Winter Editions To Taunt Frozen Easterners

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The chief advantage of living in Los Angeles is the ability to smugly look east during the wintertime, and not so subtly brag about how pleasant the weather is here. While the East digs itself out from—what looks like on internet—at least 40 feet of snow this week, Los Angeles will be enjoying a balmy week of sunny skies, and temperatures in the low 70s.

Of course this has always been the case, dating way back to when Los Angeles was merely considered an overgrown “Midwestern” farm-town by its eastern brethren. For 68 years, beginning in 1886, the Los Angeles Times regularly published a special nationally distributed “Mid-Winter Edition,” enthusiastically praising the virtues of Southern California for the rest of the frozen country From Privileged Son: Otis Chandler And The Rise And Fall Of The L.A. Times Dynasty, by Dennis Mcdougal:

The special edition, which the Times had begun publishing in 1886, had grown replete with positive propaganda about the orange and avocado wonders of sunny Southern California during the 1890s. Thousands of people in the East received free copies, delivered by train, stagecoach, and sailing ship, when the worst of the Canadian snowstorms were pelting Cleveland, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and sometimes as far south as Atlanta and Dallas. It became a January tradition. On New Years Day, when the rest of the country was buttoning up its overcoat, the Mid-Winter Edition reported that the newly settled Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena hosted an annual Tournament of Roses parade down the city's balmy main thoroughfare. The Times puffed up every petal so that the miserable Eskimos of Chicago could almost smell the floral displays as they shivered over their copies Mid Winter-Edition.

The Mid-Winter Edition eventually grew into a several hundred page book, filled with colorful images continually portraying California as a flawless Eden.

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While finding copies of the Mid-Winter edition is undoubtedly challenging in 2016, you can find fragments throughout online archives, accessible if you have a Los Angeles Public Library Card. Log in here, and then follow this link.

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