Speaking 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.