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On Memorial Day: a local effort to catalog living WWII veterans, LA's history of nuclear deterrents, LA cycling taco tours




At a red light on the LA cycle taco tour.
At a red light on the LA cycle taco tour.
KPCC/Austin Cross

On Memorial Day, Take Two revisits some of its favorite stories from the past year, including a local effort to save the histories of all the remaining veterans of WWII, a tour of L.A.'s nuclear deterrent sites and the unusual history of L.A.'s only outlet mall, the Citadel.

Steve Politis
Steve Politis
Credit: Rishi Sharma/Heroes of the Second World War

A local effort to record the stories of surviving WWII Veterans

Rishi Sharma of Agoura Hills has been on a mission to record and save all the stories of the country's remaining World War II vets. More than 16 million Americans served in that war. More than 400,000 wouldn't come home. Today, the numbers are a bit different. In 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs counted 558,000 veterans remaining from that war. Every day, about 360 die. Sharma has been capturing the stories of those veterans still living since his junior year in high school. To date, he's recorded more than 400.

ROSWELL, UNITED STATES:  END OF THE WAR/HIROSHIMA PHOTO PACKAGE (FILES) This file photo taken 29 March 1946 in Roswell, New Mexico shows the US military airplane nicknamed Bockscar which dropped the atomic bomb on Nakasaki, Japan, 09 August 1945 at the end of World War II.  Around 140,000 people, or more than half of Hiroshima's population at the time, died in the first atomic bombing 06 August 1945, with another 70,000 people perishing in the bomb dropped over Nagasaki 09 August 1945.  Following the bombings, Japan surrendered 02 September 1945 to Allied forces, officially ending World War II, bringing down the curtain on the costliest conflict in history. The 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima will take place with ceremonies in the Japanese city on 06 August 2005.   AFP PHOTO/FILES  (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
ROSWELL, UNITED STATES: END OF THE WAR/HIROSHIMA PHOTO PACKAGE (FILES) This file photo taken 29 March 1946 in Roswell, New Mexico shows the US military airplane nicknamed Bockscar which dropped the atomic bomb on Nakasaki, Japan, 09 August 1945 at the end of World War II. Around 140,000 people, or more than half of Hiroshima's population at the time, died in the first atomic bombing 06 August 1945, with another 70,000 people perishing in the bomb dropped over Nagasaki 09 August 1945. Following the bombings, Japan surrendered 02 September 1945 to Allied forces, officially ending World War II, bringing down the curtain on the costliest conflict in history. The 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima will take place with ceremonies in the Japanese city on 06 August 2005. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

L.A.'s history of nuclear deterrents

For nearly half of the 20th century, a cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union kept both civilians and the military on alert, especially in Southern California. Some of L.A.'s nuclear deterrents are still hidden in plain sight. 

Ford's Canvas car subscription service lets drivers rent cars by the month for a cost of $400-500, including insurance, maintenance, registration and delivery. It launched in West L.A. this week.
Ford's Canvas car subscription service lets drivers rent cars by the month for a cost of $400-500, including insurance, maintenance, registration and delivery. It launched in West L.A. this week.
Canvas

Car subscriptions are gaining traction

Of the 17 million cars that are expected to be sold in the U.S. this year, about a third are leased. The rest are purchased. But there's a new option for drivers coming on strong in So Cal this year: car subscriptions.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen over Los Angeles, California after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base, February 22, 2018.  



The Space X rocket, which will deliver Spain's Paz Earth-observation satellite into low earth orbit, is also carrying the first Space X prototype satellites which the company hopes will eventually power a network of thousands of satellites blanketing planet Earth with broadband Internet coverage. 
 / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen over Los Angeles, California after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base, February 22, 2018. The Space X rocket, which will deliver Spain's Paz Earth-observation satellite into low earth orbit, is also carrying the first Space X prototype satellites which the company hopes will eventually power a network of thousands of satellites blanketing planet Earth with broadband Internet coverage. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

L.A. could again be America's spaceport

If you Google "entertainment capital of the world," the first thing that pops up is "Los Angeles." No surprise, right? L.A. has long been the epicenter of show business, but that wasn't the only industry to make its mark. Decades before Elon Musk came to Hawthorne and set up Space X, L.A. was the hub for another avenue to the stars -- the real ones -- way up in the sky.

Guest:

- Geoff Manaugh, writer of The Atlantic magazine article "Los Angeles, America's Future Spaceport"

En route to Mariachi Plaza.
En route to Mariachi Plaza.
KPCC/Lori Galarreta

Cycling for tacos

How do you like your tacos? Street style with onion, cilantro and salsa? Or maybe you're one of those people who like to pile it high with cheese and guac? But what about having tacos in between stops on a nine-mile bike ride through Boyle Heights, with a side of local history, of course. That's what Arturo Palacios offers on his taco route. He's the owner and tour guide of L.A. Cycle Tours.

Louis Troiani, an architect, is responsible for remodeling the Citadel Outlets in Commerce, California.
Louis Troiani, an architect, is responsible for remodeling the Citadel Outlets in Commerce, California.
Andrew Cullen for KPCC

The history of the Citadel outlet mall

Once upon a time, near the Santa Ana Freeway, there was a shopping center inside a castle wall, and countless commuters asked: "What IS that?" It's called the Citadel -- L.A's only outlet mall. The regal structure sits in a peculiar place, nine miles southeast of Downtown, and its history is one of those "only in L.A." stories. 

Which cities in L.A. County have the fewest native-born Californians

So Cal So Curious is a segment where we answer your questions about how things work in Southern California – and why. Today's question is one we answered last September. It came from KPCC listener Mick. He didn't want to share his last name...and he wanted to know: which cities in L.A. County have the fewest native-born Californians?