Woody Guthrie Square Dedicated in Los Angeles
To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birth in 1912, the City of Los Angeles has dedicated the intersection of Fourth Street and Main Street as “Woody Guthrie Square”. The event took place on April 12, 2012 with the unveiling of a newly installed sign reading: “Woody Guthrie Square: Woodrow Wilson Guthrie: Songwriter, Poet, Voice of the Dustbowl Refugees”.
Councilmember Jan Perry, who authored the motion to designate the Square, noted that “Downtown Los Angeles held a special interest for Guthrie. He lived here and worked here.” Nora Guthrie, Woody’s daughter, said that the new research on Guthrie sheds light on the importance of the years spent in Los Angeles on Guthrie’s career. Bob Santelli, Director of the Grammy Museum, described the many concerts, symposia, and other events taking place around the nation and the world to commemorate the Guthrie centennial.
Darryl Holter explained that the area around Main was considered part of LA’s Skid Row in the 1930s and that Guthrie wrote about the Skid Row population with a rare sense of empathy and reality. He also wrote a column for a daily newspaper, the People’s World, which had offices in the area.
The Woody Guthrie Square sign is located across the street from Pete’s Café and Bar, a very popular venue for Downtown residents and workers. In the next few weeks a large Grammy Museum informational plaque will be installed outside the door at Pete’s and available for the world to see.