Following the 1957 Major League Baseball season, the owner of the Dodgers, Walter O'Malley, decides to move the team to Los Angeles, hoping to get more fans and make more money. Eventually, he makes a deal with the city of Los Angeles to build Dodger Stadium over the ruins of Chavez Ravine.
One of the main supporters of the public housing plan, Frank Wilkinson, is shot down as a communist. Wilkinson testifies before the House Un-American Activities Committee and is sentenced to one year in jail. In the essentially no-communist era of the 1950s, the plan quickly dissolves. Therefore, the Chavez Ravine land is now unclaimed and can be used for a different purpose. Below is an image of the Un-American Activities Committee.
All Chavez Ravine residents receive letters from the city ordering them to sell their houses and move out. This is accomplished under eminent domain: the right of the government to take away property with just compensation. However, most of the Chavez Ravine residents did not receive just compensation, because the public housing where they might have lived was never constructed.
The Federal Housing Act of 1949 granted money to cities from the federal government to build public housing projects. Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron voted and approved a housing project locating thousands of new public houses in Chavez Ravine. The image below is a drawing of plans for the public housing that never came to be.
The Zoot Suit Riots begin between Navy seamen on leave, and the so-called "Zoot Suiters." The Navy seamen are angry with the Zoot Suiters because they are fighting and dying to protect the Zoot Suiters' rights to even wear their Zoot Suits. At this time, there is also much prejudice against immigrants, including the mostly Mexican-Americans who wear the Zoot Suits. These things all lead to the riots.
21 teenagers are arrested and are all charged with the murder of one other boy. People from their neighborhood are upset because they do not think that 21 people could kill just one person. They feel that the 21 teenagers have been done an injustice.