The impetus for the organization of the Metropolitan Recreation and Youth Services Council, like that for innovative programs such as the Los Angeles Youth Project and Special Services for Groups, came from the notorious "Zoot Suit" disturbances of May 1943, when minority youth gangs fought back against attacks made against them by servicemen stationed in the area. While Angelenos were alarmed by the violence, and disturbed by national media attention paid to it as evidence of racial tension, the Los Angeles Welfare Federation and its Council of Social Agencies acknowledged that social services for youth in the most disadvantaged and congested areas of the city had been seriously neglected. Preoccupied with war production, and plans for post-war industrial "reconversion", Los Angeles had allowed many of its public recreation facilities to deteriorate beyond repair. A first step for the Metropolitan Recreation and Youth Services Council was to commission--with difficulty, given the lack of qualified civilian manpower during the war--the detailed city-wide survey of its surviving recreational assets. In the post war years, while city and county government engaged in capital projects including freeway and airport construction, the Metropolitan Recreation and Youth Services Council worked with private and public agencies, including the Los Angeles City Board of Education and the City Recreation and Parks Commission, to meet the recommendations of its Sorenson Survey Report, both volumes of which can be found in the collection.