Sac History Happenings

News and developments in Sacramento and California history

July 21, 2011
State Library's "Food for Thought" for August

Tiburcio Vasquez .jpgSpeaking at this month's California State Library "Food For Thought" event will be John Boessenecker, author of Bandido: The Life and Times of Tiburcio Vasquez. Vasquez was born Jose Jesus Lopez in Monterey< in 1835, and changed his name to Tiburcio Vasquez after fleeing the scene of a fatal altercation in 1854. In subsequent years Vasquez turned to a life of banditry. Leading a gang, he was in and out of jail during a span of twenty years as he worked a large area of the southern half of California. Vasquez was hanged in San Jose on March 19, 1875, after being convicted of murder committed during a robbery in Tres Pinos. Was he a common thief and heartless killer, or a Mexican-American Robin Hood seeking social justice? Boessenecker will pull back the curtain on a story shrouded in myth--a myth created by Vasquez himself and abetted by writers who saw a tale ripe for embellishment. Historic artifacts associated with Vasquez' life and death, drawn from the Special Collections of the California State Library, will be on display.

"Food for Thought" will take place Wednesday, August 17, from 5:00 to 8:30 pm at the California State Library, 900 N Street, Sacramento. Doors open at 5:00 pm; the program begins at 6:00 pm. Metered street parking is free after 6:00 pm; 8th and O light rail access is nearby. Seating in this venue is limited, so attendees must RSVP to Rebecca Ann Fontaine at (916) 653-9942 or

Shown is a photo of Tiburcio Vasquez from the collection of the State Library's California History Section, a photo owned by Vasquez himself.

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About Sac History Happenings

California and Sacramento have a long, rich, vibrant history. And our region is blessed with an abundance of historical resources maintained by museums, libraries, archives and societies. This blog aims to alert readers to the latest developments in local/state historical education and research.

Send tips concerning upcoming exhibits, tours, lectures and meetings, as well as new books, magazine articles and online collections to the blog's contributors.

The Contributors:

Michael Dolgushkin

Michael Dolgushkin is Manuscript Librarian at the California State Library History Section. He is co-author of San Francisco's California Street Cable Cars and is a frequent contributor to the California State Library Foundation Bulletin. Contact him at

Amanda Graham

Amanda Graham is a Certified Archivist working in the Sacramento Room of the Sacramento Public Library. She earned a BS in History from Southern Oregon University and a MS in Information Studies with an emphasis in archives from The University of Texas at Austin. Contact her at

Pete basofin

Pete Basofin is Director of Editorial Research at The Sacramento Bee. He previously worked at The St. Petersburg Times and Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. Contact him at

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