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Chavez Ravine or Dodger Stadium: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1958, Los Angeles evicted Hispanic communities from the Chavez Ravine to build Dodgers Stadium. This guide provides access to material related to "Chavez Ravine or Dodger Stadium" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"A packed house (52,564 fans) watching the Dodgers' debut..." April 11, 1962. Evening Star (Washington, DC), Image 77. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

In 1958, public housing plans for the Chavez Ravine area of Los Angeles were abandoned in favor of creating a baseball stadium. As a result, Chavez Ravine's predominantly low-income Hispanic communities were evicted.

The U.S. Government had already spent $4.5 million on the land for public housing. Efforts to block stadium construction plans led to one of the largest non-presidential election turnouts in L.A. history with over 60% of registered voters casting ballots. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


May 29, 1957 National Baseball League officials approve the relocation of the Brooklyn Dodgers if they request and receive consent by October 1, 1957.
September 29, 1957 Los Angeles shows interest in the Dodgers and makes official announcement of the move.
October 7, 1957 Los Angeles city council vote 10-4 in favor of the stadium.
November 14, 1957 The "Committee to Save Chavez Ravine For The People" successfully gathers 51,787 signatures to force a public referendum election of the Chavez Ravine deal.
June 3, 1957 Election on Proposition B is held. Results show 62.3 percent of the city's 1,105,427 registered voters cast ballots in the heaviest non-presidential election turnout in Los Angeles history at that time. Proposition B passes in favor of the Stadium.
1958 California Superior Court Judge Arnold Praeger ruled the Chavez Stadium contract was illegal. However, the State Supreme Court upheld the Chavez Stadium agreement, allowing the stadium construction to proceed.
May 1959 Chavez Ravine residents are evicted.
October 1959 Walter O'Malley, president of the Dodgers, presents a map with plans for the stadium to be surrounded by other commercial operations, but the city council contends the Chavez Stadium contract limits the land to strictly baseball purposes.
April 10, 1962 The Los Angeles Dodgers play their first match at their new ballpark with 52,564 fans in attendance. They are defeated by Cincinnati, 3-6.