September Virtual Meeting Saturday September 19

Our next Congress of History meeting will be on Saturday, September 19, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. via videoconferencing using WebEx. If you’d like to join us, please contact us at and we will send you a link to our meeting.

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Memberships Extended


Hi Everybody,
A short note to let everyone know that on July 18, 2020 the Board of the Congress Of History voted unanimously that existing memberships be extended at no cost for one additional year. This of course is in response to the Pandemic’s impact.

Rest assured that we will continue to work toward future Conferences.

Christopher Milnes
President, Congress of History

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Our Next “Virtual” Meeting This Saturday 10 am

Dear Members and Friends of the Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties,

Our next Congress of History meeting will be on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. via videoconferencing using WebEx. If you’d like to join us, please contact us at and we will send you a link to our meeting.

As a reminder, the Remarkable Women conference has been rescheduled to Friday, February 26, and Saturday, February 27, 2021, at Portuguese Hall in Point Loma, San Diego. Please save these dates. We are holding our conference at this guaranteed time next spring rather than trying to reschedule for this summer. 

We are sincerely grateful to our friends and co-sponsor, the Portuguese Historical Center, for their support of this conference, and to the United Portuguese S.E.S., Inc., for accommodating the date change to 2021. We’re excited that most of the scheduled speakers can make the new dates; this conference is too good not to share with you!

Thank you for being understanding as we all endure this global health emergency. As all of us are able to open up and have activities again, please send your event information to us at

As history has shown us, this too shall pass!

Chris Milnes

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2020 Conference Canceled

A message from Congress of History President Christopher Milnes.
Based upon the Governor’s proclamation that all nonessential gatherings be postponed due to the state of emergency regarding this fast-spreading virus, the Congress of History is sad to announce that we must cancel the “Remarkable Women” conference schedule for March 13 and 14, 2020. We do not do this lightly. It is with deep regret that we have no choice. At this time we don’t know when this state of emergency will be lifted and if and when we can reschedule this conference. If we can’t reschedule, we will make a full refund to those who paid for the conference and for our generous sponsors and supporters of this event. We will decide possible next steps in the next few weeks as events unfold. We thank everyone for their understanding. Please stay healthy.

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The Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties 55th Annual History Conference • 2020

Friday, March 13 & Saturday, March 14, 2020
Conference Co-sponsor:
The Portuguese Historical Center

Register Now ( link )


Almost 100 years ago, on August 18, 1920, the passage of the 19th Amendment declared that citizens of the United States shall not be denied the right to vote on account of sex. In 2020, for the 100th anniversary of this milestone, the Congress of History again celebrates the deeds of women of the region. Who were these women, and what are their stories? What did they do that positively impacted the lives of others? Are there women who were trailblazers but have been forgotten by history? Is there a woman that we think we know, but we got it all wrong? This conference explores the many facets and impacts of remarkable women of the San Diego region. Save the dates. Bring a friend. Become a member of the Congress of History!

2-day Conference
Friday, March 13 & Saturday, March 14, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Portuguese Hall Point Loma
Open to everyone who loves history.
Location: the beautiful Portuguese Hall,
Point Loma, San Diego
(619) 469-7283
Register Here ( link )

Base logo of sponsors
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President’s Column

Dianne P. Cowen, President
The Congress of History of
San Diego and Imperial Counties (CoH)

Local Fourth of July celebrations, held recently, reminded
me of the impact that the 200th anniversary of our nation
had on the development of local historical societies. It seemed that every community wanted to be a
part of the Bicentennial events.

Citizens began years in advance to learn more about
their own founding fathers and mothers. Historic locations
and museums were spruced-up. Organizations and
governments joined efforts to remember the linking of
13 newly-independent colonies into what would eventually
become the fifty United States of America. Fundraising, speeches,
exhibits, and dinners culminated on July 4, 1976 with the
national celebration of our nation in Washington, D.C. In San
Diego most of us saw the televised version from the
comfort of our homes even as we enjoyed the local
events before and during East Coast celebrations. . . .

This year the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
( link ) is celebrating the centennial of the San Diego
and Arizona Railway with talks scheduled at many
locations throughout the year. Driving from my Los
Peñasquitos Ranch House Docents meeting directly to
the San Diego Archaeology Center ( link ) on June 8, I was able
to hear most of Reena Deutsch’s presentation on the
construction of the SD&A. What an amazing feat that
men of various ethnicities and backgrounds accomplished
as they tunneled, built bridges, and laid track
across the inhospitable lands from El Centro to National
City. The online San Diego and Arizona Railway
Centennial page lists the schedule of events which vary
in time of day, location, and cost, with many being free.

As Helen Halmay, editor of Adelante, noted in her
column, “Hue and Cry” (in the conference edition of
Adelante) many of our Congress of History organizations
have significant anniversaries this year. Check
current and past Adelante newsletters for information.
Even if specific events have already passed, individual
museums’ anniversary exhibits will continue for
months. . . .

I am looking forward to being in Lakeside on July
20 for the next Congress of History Board Meeting.
Our host, the Lakeside Historical Society, has the Olde
Community Church on the corner of Maine Ave. and
Parkdale. An E Clampus Vitus historical marker faces
Maine Ave. Limited off-street parking is available
on Parkdale between the Lakeside Museum and the
church. Street parking on Parkdale has some shade.
Join us for the meeting, museum tour, and lunch at a
local nearby eatery. I always bring a hat and wear sunscreen for the outdoors. . . .

Our family has had several gatherings over the
past few months as we said goodbye to our 98-year-old
mother, grandmother, and aunt. Mother loved history
and was a longtime member of the Lompoc Historical
Society in her community. When traveling, in years
past, she also enjoyed visiting local historical sites and
museums. Many family members continue to share her

I hope to have a little more time to visit more of the
Congress of History member locations this year. In the
meantime, our family has enjoyed celebrating our own
history and sharing memories and photos. May you
enjoy family and friends in your life.
Hope to see you soon,

Dianne P. Cowen, President

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July Meeting

Lakeside Historical Society (LHS)
Saturday, July 20
10 a.m.
Olde Community Church
9906 Maine Ave.
Lakeside, CA 92040 ( link to website )

The next board meeting of the Congress of History (CoH) will be held on Saturday, July 20 at the Lakeside Historical Society (LHS). Look for their colorful, new, red sign, created by society members. It’s hung outside the church (on the Maine Ave. side of the building).

Business conducted during this CoH meeting will include a report from the Planning Committee about the 2020 CoH History Conference, “Remarkable Women,” which will highlight the history and influence of local women.

Free, on-street parking is available; arrive early for closer parking. All are welcome to attend this CoH meeting and to join us for lunch afterward at a nearby restaurant. Bring a friend!

Following the meeting (and before lunch), those in attendance may tour the Lakeside Museum, located in the old, original “manse” parsonage. The museum is located at 12418 Parkside Ave., adjacent to the church.

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2019-2020 Membership Renewal

Membership renewals are due in June, as the new membership year starts on July 1, 2018. We’re reminding you now, because the next Adelante will not reach you until after July 1. So, IF you have not recently renewed your CoHmembership, please do so before the end of June.

Link For Renewal Form

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OBHS – Event

Tonight – June 20, 2019 7 pm

Ocean Beach Historical Society presents Historian Nancy Carol Carter

WATER’S EDGE FAITH COMMUNITY, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in the U. S., due in large part to its abundance of exotic trees and plants— jacarandas, queen palms, Brazilian pepper trees, bougainvillea, Italian cypress, the bird of paradise, and the poinsettia.
Yet, surprisingly, none of these trees and plants—so identified with our image—are native to San Diego!

All of them—and many more—were introduced to our region by Kate Sessions, the pioneering women horticulturalist who came to San Diego in 1883, and who, over a period of several decades, transformed a semi-arid landscape into a lush paradise.

Historian Nancy Carol Carter is a retired professor of law at USD. She is a frequent lecturer in San Diego and has been published in Pacific Horticulture and The Journal of San Diego History, with articles on Kate Sessions, the San Diego olive industry, and renowned local botanists Katharine and T. S. Brandegee.
Join us on June 20.

This program is free!


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California Revealed Free Summer Workshop

The Congress of History is not sponsoring this event.
The San Diego History Center is hosting this event which does not appear on the SDHC website. The event is intended for historical museums and organizations only
While the California Revealed website does not list the June 14 event on their website, the free workshop is happening.

Dianne Cowen,
President of the Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Hello San Diego Cultural Heritage Groups,

 California Revealed will have a workshop this Friday, June 14th, at the San Diego History Center, from 1:30-5:30pm, and we are hoping more people will attend. The workshop is free, and it’s an opportunity to learn about how to participate in California Revealed, a State Library initiative that provides FREE digitization, online access, and long-term preservation of your collections. We work with digitization vendors to digitize your archival materials related to California history – books, newspapers, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and more. We very much want to represent more history from the San Diego area.
Please consider attending!

RSVP here

Friday, June 14, 2019 | 1:30-5:30pm

San Diego History Center

1649 El Prado, Suite #3, San Diego, CA 92101

In the heart of Balboa Park
Please read our latest newsletter too; and keep in touch. We’d love to add you to our mailing list for future newsletters and other announcements.
If you have any questions about the workshop, or about participating in the California Revealed program, please feel free to call or email.
We look forward to working with you to save our state history!
my best,Pamela

Pamela VadakanCalifornia Revealed
900 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

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