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High in the hills: Famed sign changed to 'Hollyweed' -- again

By Doug G. Ware
High in the hills: Famed sign changed to 'Hollyweed' -- again
People take photos of the famous Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles in 2013. The sign was altered to read "Hollyweed" on Sunday morning by who police believe was a lone individual. The change follows numerous other occasions throughout the sign's history in which is was changed to read something different -- including the same thing, "Hollyweed," exactly 41 years ago. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The new year also brought a new sight for residents of La La Land on Sunday.

The famous "Hollywood" sign in the hills over Los Angeles read slightly differently -- "Hollyweed."

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Someone made the changes to the iconic Los Angeles landmark by obscuring parts of the double-'o' to make them appear as a double-'e.'

The Los Angeles Police Department, which has jurisdiction over the sign, said surveillance video has indicated that a lone individual made the change.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time the sign read "Hollyweed." The same change was made exactly 41 years ago, on the same date -- New Year's Day -- in 1976 by an art student as part of a project assignment. That was also the day California law changed to make possession of marijuana, up to an ounce, a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

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The famous signage, in fact, has been altered numerous times since it was first built on the hill overlooking Tinseltown in 1923. Other creative rapscallions have covered parts of the sign to spell out the words, "Holywood" in 1977 and 1987, "Go Navy" in 1983, "Ollywood" in 1987, "Oil War" in 1990, and "Go UCLA " in 1993.

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The now-legendary sign, though, wasn't erected as a landmark. Rather it started as an advertisement for a new housing development in the area called "Hollywoodland.' The sign was only intended to stay up there for 18 months.

The "land" part of the sign was dropped in 1949 and it became synonymous with Los Angeles in the years that followed.

The sign almost entirely crumbled by the mid-1970s -- at one point missing the upper right corner of the first 'O' and the second O' entirely -- until it was restored by the city with help from private donors, and was returned to pristine condition.

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