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California Cultures

Lesson Plan: Stealing Home
How Race Relations, Politics, and Baseball Transformed Chavez Ravine

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Creator: T. DeVere Wolsey, Elsinore Middle School / Grade 8

Grade Level Recommendation: 8

Unit Overview: Over the first six decades of the 20th century, federal, state, and city policies changed the lives of the predominantly Mexican American residents of the peaceful and unified Chavez Ravine communities of Los Angeles. In this unit students learn how new housing laws, racial tensions, fears of communism, and economic realities combined to drive long-time residents out of the area, which became the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1962.

This lesson plan was originally created at the UCLA Institute on Primary Resources.

Primary source materials used in this lesson plan include:

View under bridge towards Chavez Ravine's 'Lil' Town', 1950 Hillside view of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1953 Hillside view of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1953
1. View under bridge towards Chavez Ravine's "Lil' Town", 1950
2. Hillside view of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1953
3. Hillside view of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1953
Hillside view of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1953 Hillside view of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1953 Chavez Ravine property owners protest Elysian Park public housing development, Los Angeles (California), 1951
4. Hillside view of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1953
5. Hillside view of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1953
6. Chavez Ravine property owners protest Elysian Park public housing development, Los Angeles (California), 1951
Chavez Ravine residents refuse eviction order, Los Angeles (California), 1951 Abrana Arechiga holds sign expressing support for Ed Roybal, 1959 Young girl at Chavez Ravine holding a sign, 1959
7. Chavez Ravine residents refuse eviction order, Los Angeles (California), 1951
8. Abrana Arechiga holds sign expressing support for Ed Roybal, 1959
9. Young girl at Chavez Ravine holding a sign, 1959
Chavez Ravine property owners examine bulldozed ruins, Los Angeles (California), 1959 Chavez Ravine residents confer with Councilman Roybal after eviction, Los Angeles (California), 1959 Sheriff deputies evict Abrana Arechiga from Chavez Ravine home, Los Angeles (California), 1959
10. Chavez Ravine property owners examine bulldozed ruins, Los Angeles (California), 1959
11. Chavez Ravine residents confer with Councilman Roybal after eviction, Los Angeles (California), 1959
12. Sheriff deputies evict Abrana Arechiga from Chavez Ravine home, Los Angeles (California), 1959
Angustain family evicted from home in Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1959 Chavez Ravine residents wave good-bye from truck, Los Angeles (California), 1959 this is a blank square
13. Angustain family evicted from home in Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles (California), 1959
14. Chavez Ravine residents wave good-bye from truck, Los Angeles (California), 1959