"This is the story of the Port of Los Angeles an extraordinary monument to the power of human energy, vision and selflessness. Indeed, the history of its growth and development incorporates so many of the elements of high drama that it reads like the inspirational fiction of turn-of-the-century America. It is, in fact, a rich and pungent slice of authentic frontier Americana in its purest form..."
-Charles F. Queenan, From Wilderness to World Port, 1983.
The Port of Los Angeles: A History (Four-Part Series)
This landmark documentary series was part of an oral history project celebrating the 100th anniversary of the official founding of the Port of Los Angeles by the City of Los Angeles in 1907. Combining rare film and photos with excerpts from more than 100 interviews, this four-part series tells the story of America's busiest port from 1542 to 2008, a man-made transformation from isolated mudflats to one of the world's most important harbors. It is also a vivid self-portrait of the people and Port communities of San Pedro and Wilmington, and a timeline for more than 200 years of American economic, political, and social change.
The Port of Los Angeles: A History, Part I - From Mudflats to Modern Port (1542-1920)
This episode tells how the harbor emerged from an isolated Spanish—then Mexican—trading stop to a booming American harbor.
The Port of Los Angeles: A History, Part II - Birth of an International Port (1921-1941)
This episode chronicles the 1920s, the impact of the Depression, the rise of the local International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and Los Angeles as an international trading center.
The Port of Los Angeles: A History, Part III - War, Peace, and Prosperity (1941-1960)
This episode documents the Port's dramatic role during World War II and the 1950s, with personal perspectives that illuminate the emergence of the United States as a world power.
The Port of Los Angeles: A History, Part IV - The Past is Prologue (1960-2008)
This episode charts the impact of the container age, modern labor, civil rights and environmental movements, and the Port's role in the 21st century global economy.