Sac History Happenings

News and developments in Sacramento and California history

January 31, 2013
African American History Month events in Sacramento

WHITEW1.JPGFebruary is African American History Month (aka Black History Month). This year's theme is "Black Women in American Culture and History," honoring the many roles they've played in the development of the nation.

Sacramento will celebrate the month with a variety of cultural events.

At the Sacramento Public Library:

Ladies of Lincoln's Era Exhibit. Twelve women who made a difference, including Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Clara Barton. Feb. 1 thru March 11.

Celebrate Black History Month with Ebo Okokan. Explore Afro-Cuban culture through music, dance and drumming. Feb. 10, 2 p.m.

Here's to the Ladies with the Vivian Lee Quartet. Sacramento vocalist Vivian Lee will share stories and music of the great jazz singers of the past, Carmen McRea, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson and Dinah Washington. Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. (for adults).

March on Washington, Fifty Years Later. CSUS Professor Joseph Palermo will discuss the 1963 March on Washington during which Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Feb. 26, 6 p.m. (for adults).

At the Crocker Art Museum:

Black History Month Family Festival. African American history celebrated in a program of music, dance, dramatic performance, gallery experiences, hands-on art and arts/crafts market. Feb. 18, 11 to 3 p.m.

At the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum:

Greatness: A Celebration And Legacy Of Black History. Six art exhibits: "Family: Those We Love," Sacramento Africa American Art Collective; "Mudcloth Madness," Kuumba Collective Art Gallery; "The Slave Experience," Joe Pollakoff; "Past, Lessons Learned" and "Black History is World History," Roshumba Clarke; "Through My Eyes," James House; and the Phoenix Park Magic Johnson Community Empowerment Youth Exhibit. Special Museum Day activities include Magician Forrest Barnes, The Youth Aviation Academy, pianist Ras-Nico, the Kucheza Ngoma II Dance Company. Also there will be a marketplace, museum guided tours, food, entertainment, storytelling and children's art activities. Feb. 2, 10 to 4 p.m.

PHOTO CREDIT: "Woman Worker" by Charles White. The painting is oil on canvas from 1951. It was displayed at the Crocker Art Museum in 2000.

January 30, 2013
Weinstock's history talk at Pocket-Greenhaven Library

Thumbnail image for 444-5-weinstocks-cover-blog.jpgLocal author Annette Kassis will visit the Pocket-Greenhaven Branch Library on Saturday for a discussion and signing of her new book on the former Sacramento retailer Weinstock's: Sacramento's Finest Department Store. Her book traces the origins, growth, innovations, decline and closure of one of Sacramento's most famous downtown landmarks.

Kassis provided a preview of the book in an interview posted on the History Press website.

Annette Kassis studied history at CSU Sacramento and UC Santa Barbara. She is a historian specializing in media, advertising, consumerism and popular culture.

What: Weinstock's book discussion and signing
When: Feb. 2, 11 to 12 noon.
Where: Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven branch library, 7335 Gloria Drive, Sacramento
Cost: Free
For more info: (916) 264-2920 or website

January 28, 2013
15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day

RB Sculpture 4.JPGMuseum Day is your once-a-year opportunity to sample the region's wealth of art, history, science and wildlife exhibits for free or half-price.

The event features 28 facilities, including the Sacramento History Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Aerospace Museum of California, the California Museum, State Capitol Museum, State Indian Museum, State Military Museum and Sutter's Fort.

Many of the venues are within walking distance of each other. Event planners suggest that guest visit no more than three museums so as to have enough time to experience each one fully and to travel between them.

Please note that shuttle buses will not operate this time.

What: Sacramento Museum Day 2013
Where: 28 museums located throughout the Sacramento region (complete list and map)
When: Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last guests are admitted at 4 p.m.)
Cost: free at 26 museums; half-priced at Sacramento Zoo & Fairytale Town (Sacramento Zoo is $5.75 for adults, $3.75 for children ages 2-11 and free for children under two; Fairytale Town is $2.50 for everyone and free for children under two years of age).
For more info: 916-808-7777 or website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: "Folded Circle Cube and Disc," a 14-foot, 3,000-pound sculpture by artist Fletcher Benton sits in front of the Crocker Art Museum. 2011 Sacramento Bee photograph by Randall Benton

January 25, 2013
UC Davis featured in Arcadia college history series

UC Davis opened in 1908 as the University of California Farm. Since then it has grown into one of the nation's leading educational institutions, offering degrees across many disciplines. The evolution of the campus is documented in a new Arcadia volume that's lavishly illustrated with photographs gleaned from the University Archives, as well as the McMurray and Eastman collections.

The book was produced by Dennis Dingemans, retired UCD Professor of Geography, and Ann Foley Scheuring, author of Abundant Harvest -- the definitive history of the university -- and many other books of historical interest.

University of California, Davis (Campus History series)
by Dennis Dingemans and Ann Foley Scheuring
Arcadia Publishing
128 pages
200 b/w images

Arcadia Publishing is known for producing small, richly illustrated books on local and regional history. It typically partners with local historians and organizations in developing its publications, which now number nearly 7,500 titles that celebrate communities all across the country.

January 24, 2013
Celebrate Gold Discovery Day in Coloma

In a real sense, California was born 165 years ago today when John W. Marshall found gold in the tail race of the sawmill he was building for John Sutter in Coloma.

As Steve Wiegand wrote in The Bee's 1998 Gold Rush edition, that monumental discovery would attract some 90,000 fortune hunters to the state during the next two years. The prospectors (who numbered 300,000 by 1854) came from all parts of the world, many making the 15,000-mile sea voyage around the tip of South America or overland, 2,200 miles from Missouri or Iowa.

This vast influx of people propelled the territory into statehood in 1850. And it helped transform Sacramento into a major commercial, transportation and agricultural hub -- and eventually the state capital.

Every year, the history-minded folks in Coloma celebrate Gold Discovery Day with a day-long program of activities for the whole family, including the Sutter's Mill reenactment, carpentry demonstrations, tour of a Miwok Village, wagon rides, gold panning and Gold Rush period entertainment. Gold Rush writers will be on hand at the Museum Store to sign books, and guests can visit the Museum and Visitor Center which opens at 10 a.m.

What: Gold Discovery Day
Where: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Highway 49, Coloma
When: Jan 26, 10 to 3 p.m.
Cost: All activities are free. Parking is $7 per car.
For more info: call 530-295-2162, 530-622-3470 or see website

PHOTO CREDIT: Carol Timmerman, left, of Cool portrays a pioneer woman and Ed Allen of El Dorado portrays 1848 gold discoverer James W. Marshall at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. 2009 Sacramento Bee photograph by Michael Allen Jones

January 23, 2013
Railroad Museum honks the horn for volunteers

RR Volunteers.jpgYou don't have to be a history expert to become a volunteer at the State Railroad Museum, just a willingness to help educate the public on the essential role trains have played in the development of Sacramento and California.

The Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park (SHP) are now recruiting adults to join a new class of volunteers. Volunteers serve as docents and tour guides, help with steam train operations, track construction, restoration and maintenance, and perform clerical work. Training is free, but participants must commit to at least 84 hours of service during the year. (The schedule is flexible.) Perks include free parking while on duty, invitation to an annual Volunteer Recognition Banquet and complimentary Museum membership.

If interested, download a volunteer application or call 916-324-7593 or email the Museum's Volunteer Training Coordinator for more information.

What: Volunteer Applications Accepted Now
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: Volunteer applications are due Feb. 4. Orientation and volunteer training begins on Feb. 11.
Cost: free
For more info: 916-324-7593 or visit website

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of the California State Railroad Museum

January 22, 2013
Judges needed for Sacramento County History Day

History_075a.JPGNational History Day is a year-long competition in the area of historical research, writing and analysis (sort of history's equivalent of a science fair for primary and secondary school students around the country). Contestants who qualify at the regional level go on to compete at state gatherings where winners are chosen for the national competition.

This year's NHD theme is Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events. Students choose a related issue from local, state, national or world history and present their research in one of six formats: 2-D display, documentary video, exhibit, paper, performance or website.

Judges are needed for the local 2013 History Day event. You don't have to be a history expert to judge -- just have an interest in the subject and the willingness to evaluate student entries with positive feedback and constructive criticism. If interested, fill out the online registration form.

What: Sacramento County History Day
Where: Inderkum High School, 2500 New Market Drive, Sacramento
When: March 9, 7:30 to 2:00 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: call 916-808-7072, email or view website

Event flyer
News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Joshua Fender from Toby Johnson Middle School in Elk Grove performs a monologue called "The Triumph and Tragedy of the Battle of Lexington" at the 25th Annual  Sacramento County History Day. 2007 Sacramento Bee photograph by Autumn Cruz

January 21, 2013
Genealogy class focuses on female ancestors

For family historians, finding information about female ancestors can be particularly challenging. The next meeting of the Placer County Genealogical Society will focus just on the problem of discovering a maiden name so you can further your research about a relative.

The lecture will be given by Pam Dallas, a professional genealogist who has been affiliated with several societies, including the Genealogical and Historical Council of Sacramento Valley and the California State Genealogical Alliance. She has also appeared on local TV and radio programs and has spoken at local, regional and national conferences.

What: "Remember the Ladies: Find Your Female Ancestors"
Where: Beecher Room, Auburn-Placer County Library, 350 Nevada Street, Auburn
When: Jan. 24, 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: Free and visitors are welcome.
For more info: (866) 894-2076 or website.

January 21, 2013
Historical Sanborn maps of California now accessible online

Sacramento Sanborn maps.jpgThe Sacramento Public Library has purchased perpetual access to a vast database of California Digital Sanborn Maps, detailed fire insurance maps of California cities and towns dating from the 1880s to the 1960s.  The maps are now accessible to library card holders through the Sacramento Public Library website. Sanborn Maps are, as noted by ProQuest's Digital Sanborn Maps website, "a visual expression of history":

"Sanborn maps are valuable historical tools for urban specialists, social historians, architects, geographers, genealogists, local historians, planners, environmentalists and anyone who wants to learn about the history, growth, and development of American cities, towns, and neighborhoods. They are large-scale plans containing data that can be used to estimate the potential risk for urban structures. This includes information such as the outline of each building, the size, shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors."

Sacramento County maps include Courtland (1919-1929), Galt (1884-1940), Isleton (1919-1931), Locke (1927-1930), Elk Grove (1884-1941), Folsom (1891-1942), Sacramento (1895-1952), North Sacramento (1926-1949) and Walnut Grove (1921-1933).

To access the maps and other useful library databases, visit the Research section of the Sacramento Public Library website. For information about Sacramento Public Library's access to Digital Sanborn Maps, visit or call (916) 264-2920.

January 18, 2013
Classes offered for beginning genealogists

Thumbnail image for CC CENSUS MICROFILM.JPGInterested in researching your family's history, but don't know the first thing about it?

Glenda Gardner Lloyd of Root Cellar (Sacramento Genealogical Society) will offer a series of four classes to jump start your research. Topics include: How to Get Started, Vital Records, Census Records and Getting Organized. The program will be held at the Sacramento FamilySearch Library.

Classes are limited to 12 participants. So reserve a spot by calling 916-487-2090.

What: Beginning Genealogy Classes with Glenda Gardner Lloyd
Where: Sacramento FamilySearch Library, 2745 Eastern Ave., Sacramento
When: Feb. 5, 13, 20 and 28. 10 to 11 a.m.
Cost: free
For more info: 916-487-2090 or Sacramento FamilySearch Library

PHOTO CREDIT: Harold Nash of Sacramento uses microfilm to explore his family's roots at the Family History Center on Eastern Ave. 2001 Sacramento Bee photograph by Chris Crewell

January 17, 2013
'Simeon's Story' author will tell the tragedy of Emmett Till

ASAP NEWS EMMETT TILL.jpgSimeon Wright, civil-rights activist and author of "Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till," will give a free presentation at 4 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Capitol City Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 6701 Lemon Hill Ave., Sacramento; (916) 381-5353.

In the coming-of-age memoir, Wright recalls the horrific scenario surrounding the 1955 kidnap and murder of his teenage cousin, Emmett Till, and the sensational trial that followed. The case had a major impact on advancing the nation's civil-rights movement.

-- Allen Pierleoni

PHOTO CREDIT: Emmett Louis Till, who was 14 when he was killed. AP Photo

January 17, 2013
Dinner will benefit firefighting museum

Founded in 1990, the Pioneer Mutual Hook & Ladder Society is dedicated to establishing a fire museum in Sacramento. The group has been collecting vintage equipment and memorabilia for years and hopes to secure a permanent building to display it all.

The Jan. 26 crab dinner is the Society's biggest fundraising event of the year.

What: Pioneer Mutual Hook & Ladder Society's 22nd Annual Crab Feed
Where: St. Mary's Parish Hall, 58th & M Sts., Sacramento
When: Jan. 26, 6 p.m. no host cocktails; 7 p.m. dinner (antipasto, salad, pasta and crab).
Cost: $40 donation
For more info: contact: Craig Barmby, 916-686-8395 or Ed Basurto, 916-457-9998

Event flyer

PHOTO CREDIT: A historic leather Sacramento Fire Department helmet, left, and a fire extinguisher from the Victorian era, right, are among the items Randy Wootton has been collecting in hopes to open a fire museum. Currently most of the artifacts are housed at Station 21 in Citrus Heights, where he works. 2007 Sacramento Bee photograph by Lezlie Sterling

January 16, 2013
Maidu Museum film and docent training

Maidu Museum & Historic Site. The 3rd Saturday Art Walk will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, with the program starting at 7 p.m. for the free event. Monique Sonoquie, filmmaker, educator and activist, will show a film and speak about her experiences working with native elders to document and learn about traditional foods and medicines, oral histories, language and crafts. A training program for future Maidu docents will begin Jan. 22, concluding Feb. 28. Docents lead tours of the museum and historic site to help teach about native culture and the environment. Trainees meet 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for six weeks. Call (916) 774-5934 or visit The Maidu Museum is at 1970 Johnson Ranch Drive, Roseville.

-- Gloria Glyer

January 16, 2013
A scholarly history of the Black Panther Party

Black Against Empire.jpgIn what LA Magazine called the "first comprehensive book on the Black Panther Party, its members, its leaders, and its resistance to the politics of the American government," authors Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr. explore the rapid rise and fall of the militant civil rights movement that started in Oakland and eventually spread to 68 U.S. cities.

Based on 12 years of archival research and as well as familiarity with the Panthers' leaders and followers, Black Against Empire cuts through the mythology to reveal the political forces that shaped the organization.

Bloom is a doctoral student and Fellow at the Ralph J. Bunche Center at UCLA. Martin is Professor of History at UC Berkeley.

Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party
by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr.
University of California Press
hardback, 560 pages

January 15, 2013
Colfax is latest Arcadia volume

Colfax book.jpgArcadia's latest illustrated community history celebrates the Placer County village of Colfax. Originally called Alder grove, Colfax served as a transportation hub for miners working their claims during the Gold Rush. Later it became the southern terminus of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Author Jan Westmore is a Sierra Nevada foothills resident, writer and photographer. She contributed chapters to Nature Companies, A Walkers Companion (1996) and The Sages Among Us (2012), and has penned more than 50 magazine and newspaper articles. Westmore drew upon private and public collections for images that appear in this new Colfax volume.

Colfax (Images of America series)
by Jan Westmore
128 pages
200 b/w images

Arcadia Publishing is known for producing small, richly illustrated books on local and regional history. It typically partners with local historians and organizations in developing its publications, which now number nearly 7,500 titles that celebrate communities all across the country.

January 14, 2013
Sutter's Fort puts the spotlight on trappers

Thumbnail image for trapper.JPGTrappers played an important role in the development of early California. Sutter's Fort pays tribute to these entrepreneurial pioneers at the first "Hands on History" event of the year.

In tours led by docents in period clothing, visitors this Saturday will learn how trappers lived, worked, traded and explored. You'll watch musket demonstrations and have the chance to examine fur pelts, write with a quill pen and oak gall ink and string trading beads.

What: Hands on History: Trappers, Trades, and Treaties
Where: Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, 2701 L Street, Midtown, Sacramento
When: Jan. 19, 10 to 5 p.m. Cannon firing demonstrations: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. Musket demonstrations periodically throughout the day.
Cost: $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and under.
For more info: 916-445-4422 or visit website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: A Mexican Officer (Tom Hill) checks the passport of an American trapper (Jeff Volberg) at Sutter's Fort Living History Day. 2006 photograph by Eileen Hook

January 13, 2013
In History's Spotlight: Enriqueta Andazola

Died: July 31, 1980

Known for: Enriqueta Andazola was a longtime Sacramento resident and activist for Mexican American causes beginning in the 1920s.

Background: Born in northern Mexico, Andazola fled the Mexican Revolution with her husband to the United States, settling in Sacramento in 1917. In addition to raising a family and working for 25 years at a local cannery, she formed a club for Mexican American women, Las Amigas del Hogar, and in 1939 she founded Union Femenie. Andazola sent four sons and a son-in-law off to World War II, and led a group called the Mexican War Mothers. It marked one of the first times locally that Mexican Americans asserted themselves publicly. Andazola also was instrumental in helping organize Sacramento's Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day celebrations.

A highlight: Across the street from the state Capitol stands one of Andazola's dreams: A statue paying tribute to Mexican American men lost during World War II. The likeness of the statue was inspired by one of Andazola's sons from a photograph of him in his Army uniform.

-- Anthony Sorci

January 10, 2013
New book describes California Indian experience from the inside

Bad Indians.jpgPart factual history, part verse and part family chronicle, Bad Indians: a Memoir is a provocative, alternative description of Native American life written from an insider's perspective.

Author Deborah A. Miranda, a member of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation, relates her family's story, her tribe's history and the overall experience of California Indians through a collection of "oral histories, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, personal reflections, and poems." The result is what Frederick E. Hoxie called "a moving, personal account of loss and survival."

Miranda is Associate Professor of English at Washington and Lee University. A writer, poet and critic, she blogs at When Turtles Fly.

Bad Indians: a Tribal Memoir
by Deborah A. Miranda
Heyday Books
Paperback, 240 pages

January 8, 2013
Huell Howser's Sacramento visits

Howser.jpegHuell Howser, the avuncular public television personality and indefatigable promoter of California's historic and natural treasures, died Sunday. He will be missed by thousands of fans who followed his travels in the Golden State via California's Gold and related TV series.

Over the years, Howser visited parts of the Sacramento region. Here's a partial listing from the Huell Howser Productions website. Some of these episodes can be viewed online. Others are available for purchase on DVD.

Delta Queen (local riverboat) California's Gold #905
Underground Old Sacramento California's Golden Parks #145
Railcars (U.S. National Handcar Races at the California State Railroad Museum) California's Gold #802
Our State's Front Yard (Capitol Park) California's Gold #405
State Library Treasures (in Sacramento) California's Gold #2010
First Theater (Eagle Theater) California's Gold #2001
Governors Mansion (in Sacramento) Visiting...With Huell Howser #417
Hidden Treasures of Sutter's Fort (in Sacramento) California's Golden Parks #154
American River Parkway (along the bike trail) California's Golden Parks #136
Historic Preservation: Winters (downtown and bridge) California's Communities #101
UC Davis (Bike Barn, Arboretum, etc.) Road Trip With Huell Howser #141
Placerville (El Dorado County Historical Museum) Road Trip With Huell Howser #118
Auburn (Placer County Courthouse Museum) Road Trip With Huell Howser #119
Donner Memorial (Donner Lake) California's Golden Parks #112

January 8, 2013
Using wikis for genealogy

RootCellarLogo.gifThe next meeting of the Sacramento Genealogical Society (Root Cellar) will feature a webinar on using wikis in genealogy.

What's a wiki? Generally speaking it's a online, collaborative encyclopedia that can be added to and edited by its users. But according to professional genealogist Thomas MacEntee, wikis can be used specifically by family historians to document their research and share it with other family members.

In this webinar (recorded in August), MacEntee will survey the various types of wikis and explain the basics for setting one up. Handouts accompanying the webinar will be available at the meeting.

What: Root Cellar Membership Meeting, "Wikis for Genealogists"
Where: Christ Community Church, 5025 Manzanita Ave., Carmichael
When: Jan. 10, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: free, visitors welcome
For more info: email or website

January 7, 2013
California and the Civil War subject of multimedia presentation

Starr King.jpgThere were no major Civil War battles in California, but the state played a significant role as a source of gold and volunteer troops for the Union. It was also a state where pro-slavery sympathy was strong in some sections -- particularly in southern California where there were attempts at secession by splitting the state.

Two Grass Valley authors will survey the political and military history of California from the Mexican-American War through the Civil War in a multimedia lecture at the next meeting of the Sacramento Civil War Roundtable. Richard Hurley and TJ Meekins draw upon research gathered for their historical novel Queen of the Northern Mines. They'll relate stories of heroism and daring in the struggle to secure the state for the Union.

Space is limited, so please call 916-726-4432 to reserve a seat.

What: "California and the Civil War" at the Sacramento Civil War Roundtable
Where: Sam's Hofbrau, 2500 Watt Ave., Sacramento
When: Jan. 9, 7 p.m.
Cost: free and open to the public
For more info: contact Dennis at 916-726-4432 or email

PHOTO CREDIT: The Reverend Thomas Starr King, a San Francisco Unitarian minister who spoke out eloquently in support of the Union during the Civil War.

January 6, 2013
In History's Spotlight: Wilson C. Riles

WILSON RILES.JPGBorn: June 27, 1917
Died: April 1, 1999

Known for: Wilson C. Riles rose from deep poverty in Louisiana to become superintendent of the California public school system and the first African American to hold statewide elective office.

Background: When Riles was young, his mother died, and shortly after, his father. Family friends took him in. Following high school, Riles moved with his foster family to Arizona where he attended Northern Arizona University. He began teaching in a segregated one-room schoolhouse, and continued working in Arizona public schools as a teacher and administrator for 12 years. Riles joined the California Department of Education in 1958, became director of compensatory education in 1965, and a deputy superintendent under then-Superintendent Max Rafferty in 1969. A year later, he ran against Rafferty and won. He was re-elected in 1974 and 1978. In 1982, Riles was defeated by Bill Honig. After leaving office, he headed his own educational consulting firm.

A highlight: Riles was known especially for developing early childhood education programs and pushing parents to become involved in schooling.

-- Anthony Sorci

January 4, 2013
Western construction of the transcontinental railroad began 150 years ago

LS TRAIN DEPOT MURAL.JPGSacramento has the distinction of being the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad. 150 years ago the Central Pacific began its race with the Union Pacific to link this nation by rail.

To commemorate the start of that monumental effort, the State Railroad Museum will debut a new sign at Front and K Sts next Tuesday. An afternoon program will follow that features three speakers discussing the significance of Sacramento as CP's starting point:

1:30 p.m.
William Burg, local author and historian: "Sacramento's Victory," will explain how and why Sacramento became the western terminus.

2:30 p.m.
Dr. Richard Orsi, author and professor emeritus of history at California State University, Hayward: "Rising Above" includes a film and discussion on how the Central Pacific Railroad's construction helped hold back the flood waters of the Sacramento River.

4 p.m.
Kyle K. Wyatt, curator of history and technology at the California State Railroad Museum: "Dreamers Wanted" will address how the U.S. grappled with locating a suitable route and why Sacramento was ultimately chosen.

The speakers program is free and open to the public with museum admission. However space in the hall is limited to the first 135 attendees.

What: Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Western Starting Point of the Transcontinental Railroad
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Front and K Sts., Old Sacramento
When: Jan. 8, 12:30 p.m. (new sign debut)
Cost: Regular museum admission: $10 adults; $5 youths ages 6-17; children ages 5 and under free.
For more info: (916) 445-6645 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: A mural depicts the celebration of Jan. 8, 1863 when California Governor Leland Stanford turned a ceremonial shovelful of earth to mark the starting point for the Central Pacific Railroad. 2000 Sacramento Bee photograph by Lezlie Sterling

January 3, 2013
Book explores the history of technology in California

Tech in the West.jpgA new collection of scholarly essays explores the intersection of the history of the American West with the history of U.S. technological achievement.

Where Minds and Matters Meet considers the production of some of the region's greatest projects -- such as San Diego's Panama-California Exposition, the Hetch Hetchy Dam and traffic planning in Los Angeles -- in light of political, social and cultural forces that shaped them.

The volume is edited by Volker Janssen, Associate Professor of History at California State University, Fullerton.

Where Minds and Matters Meet: Technology in California and the West
Volker Janssen (Editor)
University of California Press
Hardcover, 400 pages

January 2, 2013
SHH begins its third year

Old Bee Building.JPGThis blog begins its third year today. It's a good occasion to thank our tipsters (especially the regular ones) who sent us information about items of historical interest.

As mentioned in the first blog posting, the Sacramento region is blessed with extensive historical resources. And we're fortunate to have so many dedicated professionals and volunteers who preserve and make them available in museums, archives and libraries. Our local culture is that much richer for their efforts.

Sac History Happenings aims to support the history community by providing news about the latest exhibits, lectures, tours, meetings, as well as new research, publications and online resources.

SHH also supplements the Sacbee History Section. That web page features related articles written by Bee staffers as well as stories from the paper's wire services. It also contains links to essential historical sites, such as AP's Today in History chronology and the reader photo gallery (where you can display family snapshots of historical interest). If you're a Twitter user, the Bee's history section and blog share a combined feed: @Sac_History_Hap.

Finally I want to thank the blog's co-writers -- Michael Dolgushkin and Amanda Graham -- for their continuing help this past year. They're dedicated experts in the field of historic preservation and research. I much appreciate their professional work and their contributions to SHH.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Sacramento Bee was located on 7th Street between "I" and "J" Streets from 1902 until 1957. Bee archives

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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