Thursday, August 10, 2017

Photos and Video from the Launch of Teaching California

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) stands at the podium to announce a $5 million state grant to the California Historical Society. The California Historical Society will work with the California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP) at UC Davis to establish and implement Teaching California: an innovative, free, online resource of instructional materials to support the State’s new History-Social Science Framework. Also pictured: Dr. Anthea Hartig, CEO & Executive Director, California Historical Society.

Kate Bowen, 5th Grade teacher at Patwin Elementary School in Davis, California, stands at the podium at the California Historical Society in San Francisco to explain the positive impact the new $5 million state grant will establish and implement Teaching California: an innovative, free, online, resource of instructional materials to support the State's new History-Social Science Framework will have on her students and fellow teachers. Also pictured: Assemblymember Phil Ting and Michael J. Sangiacomo, Chair, CHS Board of Trustees. 

Nancy McTygue, Executive Director of the California History-Science Project, Dr. Brent Stephens, Chief Academic Officer, San Francisco Unified School District and Dr. Anthea Hartig, Executive Director, California Historical Society listen as Assemblymember Phil Ting announces a $5 million state grant to the California Historical Society (CHS). CHS will work with the California Historical-Social Science Project (CHSSP) at UC Davis to establish and implement Teaching California: an innovative, free, online resource of instructional materials to support the State's new History- Social Science Framework.

Dr. Anthea Hartig, Executive Director of the California Historical Society, and Assemblymember Phil Ting view materials from the California Historical Society archives that will be included as part of Teaching California: an innovative, free, online resource of instructional materials to support the State’s new History-­Social Science Framework. 


News Release: $5 Million State Grant to Help Transform K-12 History Education

News Release: $5 Million State Grant to Help Transform K-12 History Education

California Historical Society to lead statewide effort with California History-Social Science Project

Initiative will digitize historic archives and create free, innovative online resources to foster better understanding of California’s history, improve student literacy and promote civic learning and engagement

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Efforts to transform K-12 history education in California received a major boost today with Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) announcing a $5 million state grant to the California Historical Society (CHS).  CHS will work with the California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP) at UC Davis to establish and implement Teaching California: an innovative, free, online resource of instructional materials to support the State’s new History-Social Science Framework. 

The objective of the program is to ensure California’s large historical and archival resources, starting with those held at CHS, are readily accessible to all K-12 students to foster better understanding of the state’s history, improve student literacy, and promote civic learning and engagement.  The initiative creates a sustainable model for instructional material development in history-social science as well as other content areas. 

“The tools of our education system must adapt to the tech we use every day. This $5 million investment by the state will provide students and their teachers with the resources they need to learn about – and from – the people, places, and events that have shaped California for thousands of years,” said Assemblymember Ting, who spearheaded funding for the new initiative. “Teaching California will adopt the model of today’s multimedia age to innovative learning.”

Through Teaching California, CHS and CHSSP will develop dynamic, expansive online curriculum composed of primary and secondary source materials, drawing upon CHS’s vast archival resources and those of the libraries across the state and nation.  These resources will be carefully curated and tailored to provide K-12 teachers and students with online resources they need to analyze and understand the past.  Critically, these materials will also embody an interpretation of history that places California at the center of the study of the past by offering local and state examples of national and worldwide histories, highlighting the rich, varied, and impactful contributions of Californians. 

“The California Historical Society is honored to help lead this program and work together with educators throughout the State to help implement California’s new History-Social Science Framework,” said Dr. Anthea Hartig, Executive Director of CHS. “Teaching California helps ensure that California teachers and students will have access to the rich, complex history that has made our state what it is today.”

Teaching California, helps implement California’s new History-Social Science Framework, which was adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) in July 2016. The CHSSP served as the primary writer of the new Framework, which outlines an instructional approach that promotes student-centered inquiry and encourages students to develop clear and persuasive arguments based on their own interpretations of the past, using relevant evidence.  The Framework also details how teachers can teach students history-social science, while at the same time developing their proficiency in English, as outlined in the Common Core and English Language Development Standards. 

“At the heart of Teaching California is a one of a kind partnership between a state historical society and a statewide network of history educators, working together to help California students understand and appreciate the contributions of Californians to our national history and our global past.” said Nancy McTygue, Executive Director of the California History-Social Science Project. 

Teaching California will offer schools, teachers, and students a free and classroom-ready collection of resources designed to engage children in exciting and inspiring investigations of the past.  At the same time, the collection will offer teachers a research-based approach to improve student reading, writing, and critical thinking.

Importantly, leaders from San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), along with several educators and history advocates from across the state participated in the announcement at the California Historical Society’s headquarters.  With its exhibition galleries and free research library as a backdrop to illustrate resources that will be available through the new initiative, they had an opportunity to see first-hand rare artifacts and documents from the CHS archives that will be digitized as part of the program. 

Dr. Brent Stephens, Chief Academic Officer, SFUSD, spoke to the significance of the grant, saying, “SFUSD’s path-breaking work in teaching with primary source materials has proved to increase student engagement and learning. We look forward to working together to create Teaching California and enhance history education here and around the State.”

Kate Bowen, who leads teacher training programs for the CHSSP, said the new materials will give her fifth graders at Patwin Elementary School in Davis a deeper understanding of history, adding, “the partnership between the CHS and CHSSP will give educators around California a golden opportunity to engage students in history.  The carefully selected online sources will be ideal for teachers and students.”

The $5 million grant was approved as part of the FY 2017/2018 fiscal budget (Assembly Bill 99, Section 82), which was introduced by Assemblymember Ting, chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.  San Francisco Unified School District will contract with CHS to administer the grant in partnership with CHSSP to develop the resources for California schools.  CHS and CHSSP will work with the State Department of Education to make the online resources available and accessible to all teachers statewide. 

About the California Historical Society:  Founded in 1871, the California Historical Society (CHS) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California's richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives—in order to create a more informed and just future. CHS provides access to residents of the State of California to its vast collection, research library, exhibitions, publications, and over fifty educational programs annually representing a wide range of California communities, perspectives and experiences. Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature declared CHS the State’s official historical society in 1979. In 2015, the CHS established the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Educational Fund to both honor Mrs. Hearst’s remarkable legacy and to work to change the very face of K-12history education in California. Also that year, CHS laid the foundations for its Digital Library, which launched in the autumn of 2016, with the support of the California State Library, the Hearst Foundations, the Henry M. Newhall Foundation, the Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation, and David Rumsey. In partnership with the City and County of San Francisco and with the support of the State, CHS is now undertaking a comprehensive feasibility analysis to develop a sustainable rehabilitation project of the Old U.S. Mint (1874) as its new headquarters and as vibrant history and cultural center.  For more information, please visit

About the California History-Social Science Project:  The California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP), a network of scholars and teachers dedicated to improving student literacy and learning in history-social science, served as the primary writers of the new Framework. Each year, the CHSSP – headquartered at UC Davis – serves more than 4,000 teachers in over 150 different professional learning programs at local schools and universities. The CHSSP has also developed a wide variety of free instructional materials, including its History Blueprint series, which featured an instructional approach that integrated the Common Core and History-Social Science Standards. The CHSSP is part of the California Subject Matter Projects, administered by UC Office of the President. For more information, please visit

Click HERE to view photos and videos from the announcement event at the California Historical Society.

Friday, August 4, 2017

History Keepers: Eleven Stories that Moved Los Angeles

For more than two hundred years, our community, our Los Angeles, has been molded and shaped by its people. In small ways and big, individuals impact the city, inching us collectively one way and then another. This exhibition tells eleven compelling stories that are part of our city’s complex fabric. Some are stories of promise, others are of despair.

The Sunset Limited
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Union Station Historical Society 

           Garden Court Apartments, Front Entrance, 1976 
 Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library

Two of them aren’t specifically about people. One is about a train with staying power, and another is about a building that despite a promising pedigree came to a violent end. But they still have something to teach us about both loss and endurance. 

Special issue of La Raza, September 3, 1970, with cover photographs by Raul Ruiz of the Silver Dollar bar where Ruben Salazar was killed
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Records on the Homicide Investigation of Ruben Salazar, USC Libraries, Special Collections                                         

The objects on view come from university libraries, museums, and nonprofit organizations. We invited caretakers of these collections to bring forward objects and share with us the histories that they illuminate. The librarians, historians, archivists, collectors, volunteers, and local citizens who maintain these collections are the keepers of our history. They devotedly research, organize, store, and repair these items and make them available to the public in person, online, in exhibitions, and through publications.

In the retelling, these stories that have shaped our city move us emotionally in the present, helping us to understand how we got to where we are, and perhaps better see where we are going. Should we ever forget or lose sight of our past, we need only return to these primary source materials to once again illuminate our history.

Courtesy of UCLA Library Special Collections
Ruth Strout McCandless with Nyogen Senzaki

History Keepers: Eleven Stories that moved Los Angeles
August 4, 2017 – October 1, 2017
El Tranquilo Gallery & Visitor Center Olvera Street
El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument
Tuesday-Friday 10am- 3pm Saturday/Sunday 9am-4pm
Learn More

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Remembering the Zoot Suit Riots

Detail, Zoot Suit Riots, from Barbara Carrasco’s mural L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective (1981)
Courtesy California Historical Society / LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes; photo: Sean Meredith

During World War II, a cultural war smoldered on the streets of Los Angeles. The wartime fear that swept across the country, resulting in the forced incarceration of West Coast Japanese Americans, reached other L.A. minority communities. In June 1943, this atmosphere of tension exploded in more than a week of fighting between white servicemen and primarily Chicana/o youth.

“Whites Only,” 1942

Racial sentiment against Latinos had existed before the war, certainly. But wartime restrictions—including rationing of fabrics used to manufacture clothing popular among Latinos, African Americans, and Filipino/Filipino Americans—appeared to exacerbate it. 

Mexican American teenagers asserted a distinct identity with zoot suits—high-waisted wool trousers ballooning upward from the ground and baggy, long-tailed suit coats, popular originally among African Americans in the 1930s jazz culture. Many critics of minority populations associated zoot suits with juvenile delinquency and crime. Zoot suits, they asserted, flouted a disrespect for the new wartime society and what historian Stuart Cosgrove calls its “fragile harmony.” 

Zoot Suit Wearer, 1930s

“As the war furthered the dislocation of family relationships," Cosgrove explains, "the pachucos [migrant youths dressed in zoot suits or in attire influenced by them] gravitated away from the home to the only place where their status was visible, the streets and bars of the towns and cities.” There the pachucos sported zoot suits, pork pie hats, and dangling watch chains—easily identifiable in a city already wary of and hostile to them.

The Progress of Rioting, 1943
Published in Eduardo Pagan, Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003)

In January 2017, Chicano playwright Luis Valdez, founder of El Teatro Campesino—a theater troupe active with Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers, revived his 1978 play Zoot Suit in Los Angeles. Valdez, who incorporated actual court transcripts of prison letters written by Chicana/o youths into his play, recalled the testimony of a police officer who described the youths’ “‘inborn’ tendency for violence inherited from ‘the bloodthirsty Aztecs.’” “I didn’t invent that stuff,” he told a New York Times reporter. “That wasn’t agitprop.”

By 1943, Southern California was teeming was servicemen. PBS has described the region “as a key military location with bases located in and between San Diego and Los Angeles. Consequently, up to 50,000 servicemen could be found in L.A. on any given weekend.” Clashes among servicemen and L.A.’s largest minority group—some 250,000 Mexicans (including Mexican Americans, many of whom had enlisted in the military)—are summarized in the following PBS timeline, enhanced for this blog with primary source images and accounts. 

Uniformed servicemen rioted throughout Los Angeles, targeting young men in zoot suits, 1943
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Examiner Collection, USC Libraries

Spring: Clashes between servicemen and Mexican American youth occur up to two to three times per day.

May: The Venice Riot. High school boys at the Aragon Ballroom complain that “Zoots” have taken over the beachfront. Soldiers appear at the ballroom claiming a sailor has been stabbed. An estimated crowd of 500 sailors and civilians attack Mexican American young people as they exit the dance. The fighting continues until 2:00 a.m. The police arrest Mexican American youth “for their own protection.”

May 31: Twelve sailors and soldiers clash violently with Mexican American boys near downtown. Seaman Second Class Joe Dacy Coleman, U.S.N., is badly wounded.

U.S. armed forces personnel with wood clubs on street during “zoot suit” riot, Los Angeles 1943
Courtesy Library of Congress

Gene Sherman, “Youth Gangs Leading Cause of Delinquency,” Los Angeles Times, June 2, 1943 
Fresh in the memory, of Los Angeles is last year's surge of gang violence that made the "zoot suit" a badge of delinquency. . . . 
Although "zoot suits" became a uniform of delinquency because of their popularity among the gangs, their adoption by some of the city's youth was more a bid for recognition, a way of being "different," in the opinion of Heman G. Stark, County Protection Office chief of delinquency prevention. 
Stark and Superior Judge Robert H. Scott of Juvenile Court concur in the belief that the formation of gangs was an outgrowth of a feeling of inferiority on the part of minority groups.

June 3: Approximately 50 sailors leave the Naval Reserve Armory with concealed weapons to revenge the attack on Coleman. They target the neighborhoods near the Armory and attack anyone they can find wearing zoot suits—giving birth to the name “Zoot Suit Riots.” 

U.S. military personnel stopping a streetcar while roaming the streets of Los Angeles in search of zoot-suiters, June 1943
AP Images courtesy 

Policemen, servicemen, and civilians patrolling the streets of Los Angeles, 1943

Quoted in Selden Menefee, Assignment: USA (New York, 1943): 
. . . zoot-suits smoldered in the ashes of street bonfires where they had been tossed by grimly methodical tank forces of service men. . . . The zooters, who earlier in the day had spread boasts that they were organized to 'kill every cop' they could find, showed no inclination to try to make good their boasts. . . . Searching parties of soldiers, sailors and Marines hunted them out and drove them out into the open like bird dogs flushing quail. Procedure was standard: grab a zooter. Take off his pants and frock coat and tear them up or burn them. Trim the “Argentine Ducktail” haircut that goes with the screwy costume. 
Police stand by as Zoot Suit wearers are beaten and stripped of their clothes, 1943

June 4: Rioting servicemen conduct "search and destroy" raids on Mexican Americans in the downtown area—whether their victims are wearing zoot suits or not. The servicemen employ twenty taxis to look for zoot suiters.

June 5: The rioting continues with attacks on all “pachuco”-looking males. A group of musicians leaving the Aztec Recording Company on Third and Main Streets are attacked. Attorney Manuel Ruíz and other Mexican American professionals meet with city officials. Carey McWilliams calls California Attorney General Robert Kenny to encourage Governor Earl Warren to appoint an investigatory commission.

“Zoot Suiters” under Arrest in Los Angeles, 1943
Courtesy Library of Congress

Mexican American youths detained for questioning, 1943
Courtesy Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California at Los Angeles. Copyright UC Regents
Carey McWilliams, North from Mexico: The Spanish-speaking People of the United States (1948) 
Marching through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, a mob of several thousand soldiers, sailors, and civilians, proceeded to beat up every zoot suiter they could find. Pushing its way into the important motion picture theaters, the mob ordered the management to turn on the house lights and then ran up and down the aisles dragging Mexicans out of their seats. Streetcars were halted while Mexicans, and some Filipinos and Negroes, were jerked from their seats, pushed into the streets and beaten with a sadistic frenzy.

June 6: The rioting escalates and spreads into East Los Angeles. Kenny meets with McWilliams regarding the investigation and creates the McGucken Committee. Chaired by the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Joseph T. McGucken, the committee blames the press for its irresponsible tone and the police for overreacting to the riot.

June 7: The worst of the rioting violence occurs as soldiers, sailors, and marines from as far away as San Diego travel to Los Angeles to join in the fighting. Taxi drivers offer free rides to servicemen and civilians to the riot areas. Approximately 5,000 civilians and military men gather downtown. The riot spreads into the predominantly African American section of Watts.

Alleged leaders of Zoot Suit groups before the County Grand Jury, 1943
Los Angeles Public Library, Herald-Examiner Collection

June 8: Senior military officials bring the riot under control by declaring Los Angeles off-limits to all sailors, soldiers, and marines. The Shore Patrol is under orders to arrest any disorderly personnel. The Los Angeles City Council passes a resolution banning the wearing of zoot suits in public, punishable by a 50-day jail term.

June 9: Sporadic confrontations continue, but not at nearly the same intensity.

“Zoot-Suiters Again on the Prowl as Navy Holds Back Sailor,” Washington Post, Wednesday, June 9, 1943:
Disgusted with being robbed and beaten with tire irons, weighted ropes, belts and fists employed by overwhelming numbers of the youthful hoodlums, the uniformed men passed the word quietly among themselves and opened their campaign in force on Friday night. 
At central jail, where spectators jammed the sidewalks and police made no efforts to halt auto loads of servicemen openly cruising in search of zoot-suiters, the youths streamed gladly into the sanctity of the cells after being snatched from bar rooms, pool halls and theaters and stripped of their attire.
Zoot suit rioters celebrate after they are acquitted, October 26, 1944; photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

In a 1943 report, a citizens’ committee formed by Governor Earl Warren charged racism as being a primary cause of the riots. Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Brown, however, dismissed these findings, and attributed the riots to juvenile delinquents and white Southerners. And on June 20 in Mexico, where the riots were front-page news, a Mexico City newspaper charged Foreign Minister Ezequiel Padilla as being responsible “for perpetuating anti-Mexican acts in the United States by his failure to take a harder line towards the government of that country.” 

In today’s environment of fear in the face of nationalism and terrorism, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s reaction to the Zoot Suit Riots is well heeded: “The question goes deeper than just [zoot] suits. It is a racial protest. I have been worried for a long time about the Mexican racial situation. It is a problem with roots going a long way back, and we do not always face these problems as we should.”

Shelly Kale
Publications and Strategic Projects Manager


Saturday, May 20, 2017

This Day in History - May 20, 1942: “S.F. Clear of All But 6 Sick Japs”

Clem Albers (Photographer), Evidence of the Forthcoming Evacuation of Residents of Japanese Ancestry, San Francisco, March 29, 1942
Courtesy The Bancroft Library 
From May 1942 to January 1945, in the name of national security, nearly 120,000 West Coast residents of Japanese ancestry occupied ten permanent camps in isolated inland areas for the duration of World War II. Their forced evacuations and relocations following the bombing of Pearl Harbor were not secret: there was much controversy over the government’s action, and a number of photographers officially documented the event.

Nevertheless, it was not until the 1970s that individuals and institutions—within and outside Japanese American communities, where they were a source of shame—began to open a wider window into this egregious chapter of American history.

On this day seventy-five years ago, as the San Francisco Chronicle recorded, “for the first time in 81 years, not a single Japanese is walking the streets of San Francisco.” Today, we remember the incarceration of Japanese Americans through the work of one press photographer whose “professional eye,” scholar Arielle Emmett notes, “captured contradicting realities between the government and public perceptions of the Japanese and the people themselves.”

Clem Albers (1903–1990)

Under contract by the War Relocation Authority’s Information Division, San Francisco Chronicle press photographer Clem Albers photographed the incarceration of Japanese Americans, primarily in northern to southern California. From March to late April/early May 1942, with his 4-by-5-inch Speed Graphic press camera, he documented relocations to and arrivals at Manzanar, Tule Lake, and Poston camps. After his brief assignment, he was a warrant officer at the U.S. Maritime Service, returning to his job with the San Francisco Chronicle after the war.

Clem Albers, Impounded Japanese American automobiles,
Manzanar Relocation Center, April 1942
Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration
Clem Albers, A truck packed with Japanese American residents of San Pedro, California, leaves for a temporary detention center, April 5, 1942
Clem Albers, While military police stand guard, this detachment watches arrival of evacuees at Manzanar War Relocation Authority center, April 2, 1942
Courtesy The Bancroft Library
One of Albers’ photographs contrasts a young girl wearing simple clothes and a kerchief around her head with a sign that calls her barracks “Manzanar Mansion.” As Arielle Emmett writes in a study of internee portraiture, he “depicted the emotional extremes of evacuees in a full range of facial expressions, including frowns, grimaces, and even the ‘beguiling’ smile that he may have encouraged in his quick, ‘get it done’ newspaper style.”

Clem Albers, “Manzanar, Calif.—In the doorway of her barrack apartment at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry,” 1942
Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration

As we now know, the U.S. government impounded not only cars of Japanese families, but also
photographs taken of the incarcerations, such as the military’s oversight of camps and residents. As the New York Times has observed, “Photographs of barbed wire, machine gun-wielding guards or dissent within the camps were forbidden . . . photographs of resiliency and civic engagement in the camps were encouraged.” And as Karen J. Leong notes, “particularly those depicting the reality of armed guards supervising the evacuees” were censored.

Such images by Albers and other internment photographers, notably Dorothea Lange, were reviewed by military commanders and branded “Impounded.” Housed at the National Archives, where they were rediscovered only in the last decade, they have lost their restricted status.

Clem Albers, Military police officers checking their weapons at
Manzanar Relocation Center, c. 1942
Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration

Clem Albers, Dressed in uniform marking service in the First World War, 
this veteran enters Santa Anita assembly center for persons of Japanese ancestry 
evacuated from the West Coast, 1942
Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration
Today, internment photography continues to have wide-ranging impact: from connections made between the internment and the current administration’s call for Muslim bans and registries, to studies about prison photography, to representations by contemporary artists of minority populations and their roles in the histories of communities, cities, and nations.

One example is Albers’ haunting and perhaps most iconic image depicting the mass relocations of Japanese Americans in Southern California. His 1942 photograph of two-year-old Yukiko Okinaga Hayakawa awaiting evacuation at Union Station in Los Angeles found relevance nearly forty years later in L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective (1981), a mural by Chicana artist Barbara Carrasco.

Clem Albers, A young evacuee of Japanese ancestry waits with the family baggage before
leaving by bus for an assembly center, April 1942
Courtesy National Archives
Ironically, Carrasco’s mural, featuring scenes of the marginalization of Los Angeles’s minorities among more celebratory historic events, itself was censored. Objections to less laudable depictions of the city’s history were, perhaps, unwelcomed during Los Angeles’s bicentennial (1981) and Summer Olympic (1984) festivities.

Detail, Barbara Carrasco, L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective, 1981 (Censored 1981)
California Historical Society/LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes; photograph by Sean Meredith
Even how we speak about the internment era is undergoing change. Organizations such as Densho suggests internment terminology conforming to the Resolution on Terminology put forth by the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund, which has recognized the limitations of the wartime-era terminologies in today’s world. For example, “relocation” is suggested as “imprisonment, incarceration, internment, detention, confinement.” “Relocation camps” are better described as “internment camps, detention camps, prison camps, or concentration camps.”

At a press conference on October 20, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called relocation centers “concentration camps,” despite the War Relocation Authority’s denial of the term’s accuracy. Seventy-five years later, we have come full circle.

Shelly Kale
Publications and Strategic Projects Manager

Tim Chambers, “Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Concentration Camps,”

Chronology of WWII Incarceration;

James Estrin, “A Lesson from the 1940s: ‘America Is Capable of Being Un-American,’”

Karen J. Leong, “Envisioning a Usable Past,” in Todd Stewart, Placing Memory: A Photographic Exploration of Japanese American Internment (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008)

Resolution on Terminology, “Civil Liberties Public Education Fund;

“S.F. Clear of All but 6 Sick Japs,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 21, 1942

Patricia Wakida, “Clem Albers,” Densho Encyclopedia;

WWII Japanese American Internment and Relocation Records in the National Archives: Introduction;

Read more about Japanese internment on the CHS blog:

Barbara Carrasco’s mural is part of CHS’s forthcoming exhibition and publication ¡Murales Rebeldes!: L.A. Chicana/o Art under Siege. Read more on the CHS blog:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Digital Collections Highlight Historic Photographs of California

Today the California Historical Society published in its digital library four collections comprising nearly 300 historic photographs showcasing stunning photos of Los Angeles at the turn of the century; Rancho Santa Anita; massive engineering projects throughout California; and volunteers mustering for the Spanish-American War in San Francisco.

These collections are now available for browsing and searching via CHS’s digital library, available at Previous collections published in the digital library include photographs of Los Angeles taken by the urban geographer Anton Wagner and a set of rare or unique maps of California.

Fremont Gate, Elysian Park, Los Angeles, Views of Los Angeles, California, PC-GS-Photographers-Los Angeles-Putnam & Valentine, California Historical Society

John R. Putnam and Carlton Valentine (Putnam & Valentine) documented the growth and development of Southern California over a fifty-year period with John R. Putnam primarily handling the photography and C. O. Valentine the business end of the company. These photographs depict landmarks such as Mission Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles, Casa de Rosas, and Elysian Park.

Parkside Transit Co., San Francisco, Chadwick & Sykes photograph albums of contract engineering projects, PC 013, California Historical Society

Chadwick & Sykes (George C. Chadwick and Frank C. Sykes) was a contracting and engineering firm located in San Francisco, circa 1906-1920s. The photographs in this collection document engineering projects such as railroad and highways. Of particular interest are photographs of the Parkside neighborhood of San Francisco.

Group portrait of men under a tree, Rancho Santa Anita, Photographs of Rancho Santa Anita, PC 008, California Historical Society

The unattributed photographs of Rancho Santa Anita (Hollister Ranch) in the San Gabriel Valley depict ranching activities, including men riding horses, roping cattle, and posing for portraits in the Ranchos environs. Also included are photographs of the painting studio of Charles Rollo Peters.

Spanish-American War, California and Oregon volunteer infantries departing to Manila, Burr-Allyne Family Papers and Photographs, MSP 717, California Historical Society.

Alice Burr (1883-1968) was just 15 years old at the start of the Spanish-American War. Her photographs show volunteers mustering at Camp Merritt in San Francisco, men departing San Francisco on troopships, and a Decoration Day parade.

CHS’s digital library and digitization projects are supported by the Hearst Foundations, California State Library, Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation, the Califa Group, Luna Imaging, Steve Silberstein, and David Rumsey. Institutional support is provided by San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Sherwin Williams, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.