Usually being number 1 is a great achievement, but in this case it’s a big embarrassment. Los Angeles is known as one of the smoggiest cities in the nation.
As bad as you think LA’s smog is today, if you look back at the history of smog in Los Angeles, you will find that it was much, much worse back in the ’40s, ’50s & ’60s. The photo above was taken back in 1943 in the downtown area. The city hall is the tall building on the left side of the photograph.
When I was in elementary school, the teacher would let us out for recess, and after being outside and running around for a few minutes, my eyes would burn and tear up and my chest would feel tight and whenever I breathed I would make wheezy noises. So yes, I can attest that our smog levels were much more toxic back then. I remember the city use to have smog alerts, which meant us kids were kept indoors for recess.
Fortunately, our city and state has made great strides in reducing the amount of pollutants in the air by mandating stricter pollution laws for motor vehicles and factories and in 1958, banned backyard incinerators that were used to burn household trash.
The smog use to be so bad in Los Angeles, it became the butt of a joke among travelers to the city. Some enterprising person or company capitalized on that and sold smog in a can back in the late 1950′s. What a great souvenir to bring back to your loved ones back home.
50 Years of Progress Toward Clean Air: