In the 1930s, there was a Hindenberg Park in La Canada, just west of Dunsmore Avenue. It was owned by the German-American League. Every weekend, there was beer, German food, and polka bands. But filmmaker John Newcombe says an American Nazi group, the German American Bund, started crashing events at the park. They staged rallies and waved flags with swastikas.
"At one point, they had a torchlight parade with 2,000 attendees, and they used to fly over the Crescenta/Canada Valley and drop off these Nationalist Socialist pro-Nazi leaflets."
Newcombe, whose documentary is "Rancho La Canada: Then and Now," says the Bund didn't get a lot of support.
"A lot of locals really, really didn't appreciate them being there at all. So they took a cue from the Nazis and flew over that rally and dropped anti-Nazi leaflets on their rally."
Once the U.S. entered the war, the Bund disappeared. But German festivals continued in Hindenberg Park. Southern California's first Oktoberfest was celebrated there in 1956. The park still hosts more informal gatherings today. It's now known as Crescenta Valley Park.