San Fernando Valley post offices to be named for Marilyn Monroe, Ritchie Valens

(Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday approved the renaming of two Southland post offices -- one in honor of Marilyn Monroe and another after rock 'n' roll legend Ritchie Valens.

Under the measures originally introduced by Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Panorama City, the Van Nuys Civic Center postal depot at 6531 Van Nuys Blvd. will be named the "Marilyn Monroe Post Office," while the Pacoima office at 13507 Van Nuys Blvd. will become the "Ritchie Valens Post Office Building."

Monroe was raised in Van Nuys, attended Van Nuys High School and was discovered by an U.S. Army photographer while she was working at the Radioplane Munitions Factory at Van Nuys Airport during World War II.

"Despite her turbulent childhood, Marilyn Monroe found stability and joy while living in Van Nuys," Cardenas said in October on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of his resolution. "Her hard work and perseverance led her to become a timeless internationally recognized icon.

"In a world where many believe wealth, status, or name determines one's destiny, Marilyn Monroe's story defies the odds and inspires many others to believe they too can also achieve similar success," he said. "She showed us that dreaming big and working hard means something in America."

Valens attended San Fernando High School and became a hit recording artist after being discovered in 1958 at the American Legion hall in Pacoima. He appeared on ABC's "American Bandstand" and recorded such hits as "Come On, Let's Go" and "Donna." His records sold more than 1 million copies.

Valens died at age 17 on Feb. 3, 1959, in a plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. He was the subject of the 1987 feature film "La Bamba" and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

"Ritchie Valens continues to inspire generations of musicians and is an example of how even when it seems like there is no path to your dream, you make your own way and build your own path,"  Cardenas said in October. "Ritchie Valens is an example of the talent that exists in our community and his legacy is a source of pride for our Pacoima community."