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California Historical Society San Francisco

Society Happenings

Society Happenings

Society Happenings

Society Happenings

October 6, 2015
Exhibitions, Programs and Events at the California Historical Society. 
October is full of exciting events across California! In San Francisco, join us at events about the history of transit, wine, politics, and social turmoil; or in Los Angeles as we launch our newest book Game Changers: Twelve Elections That Transformed California and participate in the LA as Subject Archives Bazaar. 

This month, we’re also celebrating National Filipino American History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, California Archives Month, and remembering historic events such as the 125th Anniversary of Yosemite National Park, and the 51st anniversary of the birth of the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley. Check out the CHS Blog for more articles and essays on these topics (and many more!)
Tuesday, October 6, 6:00 PM
Doheny Memorial Library, University of Southern California
3550 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Attend

Winner of the California Historical Society Book Award, Game Changers examines California’s history through the prism of twelve elections – revealing the forces behind the voter choices and the consequences that carry over to this day. This evening, the authors will focus their discussion on the role of the Los Angeles Times both in state politics and the explosive growth of LA during the early 20th century, the ground-breaking political leadership of legendary Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh, the pioneering technological transformation of political campaigning by a new breed of young Southern Californians in the late 1960s and 1970s, and Howard Jarvis and the Proposition 13 tax revolt.
Transformations in SF Public Transit—Then, Now, Tomorrow
Wednesday, October 7, 6:00 PM

The Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) celebrated the emergence of San Francisco from the devastation of the 1906 earthquake and fire, launching it as the most modern city in the world, an economic gateway between the United States, the Pacific, and Europe, and a cultural center. The Palace of Fine Arts and the Civic Auditorium are lasting monuments to the PPIE. An artistic and programmatic success, the exposition’s financial success was dependent on its transportation system. Learn how PPIE infrastructure improvements have served San Franciscans every day for the past 100 years and how these arteries are being transformed today to serve us during the next century: Central Subway, Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit, and E-Embarcadero Streetcars to Fort Mason.
Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California
Thursday, October 8, 2015, 6:00 pm (Wine Tasting and Reception), 7:00pm (Program)
Mechanics Institute

Author Frances Dinkelspiel in conversation with journalist Julia Flynn Siler

On October 12, 2005, a fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California’s finest wine worth more than $250 million, the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire was deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, and among the priceless bottles destroyed were 175 bottles of Port and Angelica from one of the oldest vineyards in California made by Frances Dinkelspiel’s great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman, in 1875. Mark Anderson was not the first to harm the industry. The history of the California wine trade is a story of vineyards with dark and bloody pasts. In her new book, Frances Dinkelspiel looks beneath the casually elegant veneer of California’s wine regions to find the obsession, greed and violence lying in wait.
The Devil’s Acre: Litquake’s Opening Night Celebrates 19th Century San Francisco
Friday, October 9, 8:00 PM
Z Space, 450 Florida Street
Get Tickets

Litquake’s opening night celebrates the infamous and unhinged 1800s San Francisco, marking both the 150th anniversary of both the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, and the official book launch for Drinking the Devil’s Acre, Duggan McDonnell’s illustrated history of cocktails from the wild and wicked saloons of the Barbary Coast. With sea shanty singers from the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, a rarely seen archival slideshow, and a special appearance by Emperor Norton himself. Costumes are encouraged!

Schmooze up the Bay Area literary scene, buy books, and grab a festival guide to plan your Litquake week. Featuring complimentary Pisco Punch and other historic cocktails, beers from Anchor Steam, and tasty nibbles from Boccalone, Peter’s Kettle Corn, Ghirardelli chocolates, Semifreddi’s baked goods, and more. Doors open at 8 pm for the general public.

Co-Presented by Anchor Brewing Company, California Historical Society, Chronicle Books, San Francisco Travel
History for Half Pints: Building California
Saturday, October 10, 11:30 – 2:00

Every second Saturday of the month, CHS celebrates families with History for Half Pints, a family program that includes art, crafts, and more!
In October, join CHS in building California for the Cardboard Challenge, build your own, bring it in, or create it in our space! Guests for the day include:

The Mexican Museum who will be on hand making cardboard piñatas! Dave Martinez Ventures will bring: Samsung VR, Oculus, Satellites, Drones, and Google Glass 

In partnership with The Mexican Museum and Dave Martinez Ventures
Tuesday, October 13, 6:00 PM

Winner of the California Historical Society Book Award, Game Changers examines California’s history through the prism of twelve elections – revealing the forces behind the voter choices and the consequences that carry over to this day. This evening the authors will focus their discussion on the role of key San Franciscans in the 1878-79 chaotic re-write of California’s enigmatic constitution that remains in force to this day, how San Francisco prosecutor Hiram Johnson revolutionized state government in the early 20th century, how the extraordinary leadership of Earl Warren launched California’s post-war growth, and how legendary lobbyist Artie Samish – a native San Franciscan – dictated policy making at the capitol in the run-up to historic political reform.
Third Thursday in Yerba Buena: Reception and Talk with Elise Baldwin
Thursday, October 15, 5:00 – 8:00 PM

About Field of Vision
Much as the completion of the Panama Canal in 1915 was a twentieth-century engineering triumph over geographical obstacles, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) was a demonstration of human and cultural resilience in response to the devastation of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires. The fantastical city of the PPIE was born from the shadow of this disaster, a message to the world celebrating the combined powers of technology, industrialization, cultural determinism, and globalization. In her installation, Elise Baldwin juxtaposes panoramic landscape photographs of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake with panoramics of the PPIE. Overlaying photographic panoramas from different years, maps, and other documents from the era, she underscores the surreal phoenix-like rebuilding of the city and construction of the fairgrounds.
Saturday, October 17, 9:00 – 5:00

University of Southern California, 3550 Trousdale Parkway

Celebrate the 10th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar and the 20th Anniversary of LA as Subject . The California Historical Society, along with more than 70 other exhibitors, will be on hand to offer visitors a one-stop opportunity to learn about the wealth of local historical resources available to them.

Experience the diversity of stories that make Southern California such a place of discovery. At this 10th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, presented by LA as Subject and the USC Libraries, anyone with an interest in the region’s history will find something of value. A broad array of institutions and archives will have experts on hand to show off their collections and answer questions—from the Autry National Center of the American West and the Los Angeles Public Library to private collectors whose materials fill the gaps left in the region’s history.
Peoples Temple Panel Discussion and Collection Viewing
Wednesday, October 21, 3:30 PM 

The California Historical Society (CHS) is happy to announce its participation in San Francisco Public Library’s (SFPL) 11th Annual One City One Book with a public program that presents the history of Peoples Temple and Jonestown, key components of SFPL’s 2015 Book Choice, Season of the Witch.

Join us for an engaging discussion between David Talbot, author of Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love, Marshall Kilduff, San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Writer, Eugene Smith, writing a book about Peoples Temple, Jonestown, and Jim Jones from a young Black man’s point of view, John Cobb, an author who was born into Peoples Temple and was a member until it’s end on 11/18/78; moderated by Anthea Hartig, CHS Executive Director. Close the evening with a Season of the Witch book signing and a viewing of Peoples Temple and Jonestown letters, photos, and artifacts from the CHS collection.
EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS
In celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the California Historical Society presents two related exhibitions exploring the PPIE as a critical event that shaped the San Francisco we know today—a city undaunted by tragedy, audaciously innovative, rising to meet the challenges of the day.

At the California Historical Society through January 3, 2016

At the Palace of Fine Arts through January 10, 2016
What better place to explore the exposition’s legacy than the only fair building still standing at its original location? City Rising at the Palace of Fine Arts provides an overview of the fair and how it captured the attention of the city, state, nation, and world during an era of international conflict and America’s can-do spirit. Why did so many people visit the fair and what did they see? How did the fair transform the city’s geographic, social, economic, and cultural landscapes? What did the Palace of Fine Arts represent, and why was it saved from destruction? An illustrated map and an animated video complements images and artifacts in telling the story of this captivating world’s fair.

Field of Vision: Landscapes from the Imagination, by Elise Baldwin
October 8 – November 22, 2015
Every night after dark
Read More

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
10 San Francisco Buildings and How They Reflect Today: Cityscapes 2 Book Talk with John King 

On September 23, 2015 the California Historical Society hosted John King, urban design critic of the San Francisco Chronicle to talk about his latest book “Cityscapes 2: Reading the Architecture of San Francisco” (Heyday, 2015). 

The older buildings around us are provocative not just for their architecture, good or bad, but also for what they say about the way we live now, our values and tensions. That’s especially true in San Francisco, says architecture critic John King as he shows how our culture is reshaping—and being shaped by—buildings ranging from beloved landmarks to once-scorned office towers.

View many of CHS’s past programs online
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG
City Rising for the 21st Century: San Francisco Public Transit 1915, now, tomorrow

The 288-day Panama-Pacific International Exposition was more than a celebration of technological achievement and art.  It marked the rebirth of San Francisco after the 1906 calamity and its new global position as gateway to the U.S.’s newly acquired possessions in the Pacific after the completion of the Panama Canal.  Just rebuilt, San Francisco was also the “most modern city on Earth.” 

Lawrence Halprin and the Plaza that Changed the World

On October 1, 1964, in the midst of a growing protest, University of California student Mario Savio hopped onto the roof of a police car in Sproul Plaza, the open space in front of the University’s administration building.  Sitting in the car was former UC student Jack Weinberg who had been arrested for staffing an “illegal” table on Sproul on behalf of the civil rights organization, the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). Their actions, and those of others, helped launch the Free Speech Movement, which would forever alter not only the UC campus, but the fabric of American society as well.

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