You might think that traveling across town on Labor Day not once but twice to take part in an intellectual pigfight about L.A. history trivia might be defeating the whole point of this star-crossed holiday. Untrue. In the process, you learn about the things you noticed on your trip over, and you can buy a book with which you can pass Labor Day as it was meant to be passed. Former NEA Director of Literature and author David Kipen launches the Crosstown Progressive L.A. History Trivia Contest, an initiative between the Hammer and Libros Schmibros, Kipen's Boyle Heights lending library/used bookshop. It's a more fully fleshed-out excuse to plug his latest book, Los Angeles in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to Los Angeles ($24.95, University of California Press), but here's the plan: Go to the Hammer first for the trivia contest curated by Jeopardy! champ Jerome Vered (he also took $5,000 of that cheap bastard Ben Stein's money). The second part of the contest happens at Libros Schmibros at 7 p.m., and both totals are added up to determine the final champion. Kipen also signs his book on Sunday at the soon-to-be-closed Metropolis Books downtown. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Sat., Sept. 3, 4 p.m., free, (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.

Sat., Sept. 3, 4 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly