How Downey got its official slogan

DOWNEY – “Downey: Future Unlimited” — This slogan came from a prize-winning speech at the California Real Estate Convention of 1950 by Pauline Riggs Haines.

Seventy-eight years ago a group of forward-looking pioneers headed by ex-governor Downey founded Los Angeles County’s oldest town, and gave us the slogan, “Downey: Future Unlimited.”

Downey is my home, a community of thrifty, liberty loving, God-fearing Americans, but not even the fine things these people did for the community can match what God did for it. This little city is nestled in the shadow of the mountains, cooled by ocean breezes with an abundance of rich, fertile soil, checkered with groves of oranges and avocados and interspersed with ever-fragrant magnolia.

Favored from the beginning with a temperate climate, adequate water supply and easy accessibility. Downey became the focal point for more until today through explosive growth, we have reached a population of over 65,000, representing an increase of 85 percent in the last 10 years. With her unlimited room for growth, Downey is on the threshold of her greatest development.

Lakewood and Firestone boulevards are now proved to be among the busiest intersections in the world. Downey is not sprawling but compact and as time-saving as a two-penny postcard with its proximity to the mountains, the beaches, the harbor and major shopping centers. Downey attracts major industries, among these larger industries for employment are the North American Aircraft, Rheem Manufacturing and Arrowhead Rubber. Downey is not dependent upon one industry alone but has agriculture, dairy interest to help with its survival.

Downey’s values are best exemplified by our 22 churches, modern theaters and our service clubs. Board of Realtors, Chamber of Commerce and public officials who all strive to maintain these values, and the qualities of a “hometown,” a place of dear hearts and gentle people -- where life is more cooperative and strangers are made to feel welcome.

Downey invites you to live within its confines where you have assured education, peace and security for happy, healthy children and parents. You will find it a balanced community with an ever-growing future. Downey is truly a city with “Future Unlimited.”

Wouldn’t you want to live in Downey?

Bobbi Bruce is a docent with the Downey Historical Society.