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Happy Birthday Hollywood Sign

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The Hollywood sign turns 87 today. The original sign was erected as an advertisement in 1923 and read “Hollywoodland” –  it received so much attention that it was left up. Like many temporary installations that become popular, the sign went through it’s share of structural troubles, including when the caretaker hit the sign while driving drunk and knocked down the “H” in the early 1940s: the “H” wasn’t repaired until 1949, the same year that “Land” was removed. The sign was a constant target for pranks, including the 1973 prank that changed “Hollywood” to “Hollyweed”. By the late 70s the sign was in total disrepair and celebrities like Hugh Hefner rallied to rescue it. It was rebuilt out of steel – originally wood and sheet metal – and continues to stand today as an icon of California and the movie industry.

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Above: Hollywood sign 1923

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Above: Hollywood sign 1923

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Above: Hollywood sign 1924, 1930s

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Above: Hollywood sign 1950s, Hugh Hefner 1978, “Hollyweed” Prank 1973

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