1937: Los Angeles Railway introduces its new PCC streetcars, with child star Shirley Temple as the guest of honor at opening ceremonies.
The launch coincides with National Transportation Week, held in the third week of May each year.
Although the 1937 celebration may have been overshadowed by the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, thousands turned out in Los Angeles’ new streetcars — the same year that Los Angeles Railway re-opened its Transportation Library.
1985: A pocket of underground methane gas explodes along 3rd Street in the Fairfax District, leaving 23 people injured.
A subsequent investigation and report by the City of Los Angeles identifies other nearby areas at risk, and the Metro Rail project is forced to reroute its initial line to the east through Hollywood.
More information can be found in the Task Force Report on the March 24, 1985 Methane Gas Explosion and Fire in the Fairfax Area, City of Los Angeles full-text report and the Three Decades Before Porter Ranch, a Methane Explosion Derailed L.A.’s Subway Plans post on KCET’s Lost LA series.