Griffith Jenkins Griffith Statue, L.A

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Griffith Jenkins Griffith Statue

 

A Welsh-American industrialist and philanthropist, Griffith Jenkins Griffith was born on January 4, 1850. After making a fortune from a mining syndicate in the 1880s, Griffith donated 12 square kilometers to the City of Los Angeles which was then called Griffith Park. This park is located at 4730 Crystal Springs Drive Los Angeles. The Griffith Jenkins Griffith monument was erected here in his honor. He also donated more money to build the park’s Greek Theater and Griffith Observatory.

Griffith shot his wife Christina Griffith on September 3, 1903 in a Santa Monica hotel. Fortunately, she jerked her head to one side and was able to survive. But the wound left her face disfigured and she became blind in one eye. Griffith was sentenced to two years in San Quentin State Prison, most probably because his defense attorney was Earl Rogers, noted defense lawyer. The ex-governor of California, Henry T. Gage, led the prosecution.

Griffith initially offered $100,000 to the city of Los Angeles in 1912 to build an observatory, but the city rejected the donation and replied, in part “On behalf of the rising generation of girls and boys, we protest against the acceptance of this bribe ... This community is neither so poor nor so lost to sense of public decency that it can afford to accept this money.” Several years after his death however, on July 6, 1919, the city finally accepted the donation and the Griffith Observatory was erected.

 
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