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!

Visit: obhistory.org

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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 herehttp://bit.ly/2019-CA-Rworkshops

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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Great Meeting

Image of the Chula Vista Library showing the Heritage Museum

Our appreciation to Barbara Zaragoza of the South
Bay Historical Society (SBHS) for making the meeting
arrangements and to Harry Orgovan, SBHS president,
who gave us a tour of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum
exhibit located in the Chula Vista Library,
Civic Center Branch

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The President’s Column

Graphic of an old typewriter with the headline "The President's Column"

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

Wow! I am still basking in the afterglow of the 2019
Congress of History Conference, Defining Moments
250 Years Extraordinary Events that Shaped the History
of the San Diego Region (1769-2019). We are so appreciative
of the sponsorship of the Portuguese History
Center and the Portuguese Hall for the use of their
convenient and comfortable venue for the conference.
Thank you Louise Torio for leading the 2019 Conference
Planning Committee.

Has it really been less than two months since we
listened to engaging speakers deliver interesting talks
that covered a range of topics over 250 years of history?
From those speakers and from member organizations
and our vendors, I am continuing to learn as I read
through my 2019 book purchases.

Every year I enjoy exploring histories of new and
familiar areas and people of the San Diego, Imperial,
and Riverside Counties and Baja California. I have already
passed-along one riveting read to a daughter-inlaw
who is an avid reader. Some of the talks also led me
to reread previous years’ purchases that are pertinent to
this year’s topics.

Our appreciation to the South Bay Historical Society
for hosting the upcoming May 18 Congress of History
Board Meeting. Harry Orgovan, SBHS President,
will lead a tour of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum
exhibit following the meeting.

I am excited for this opportunity to update my
knowledge of South Bay history. You are always welcome
to attend and join our meetings. That is how
I became involved in the Congress of History, after
attending a few conferences with a friend.

The Congress of History has greatly increased my
knowledge of local history. When I moved to San Diego
in 1975, I was in new territory far from my Santa
Barbara County home base. I am from that part of
California where the ocean is south of the roadways.

Hawaii’s directions of “makai” (toward the ocean)
or “mauka” (toward the mountain) make more sense
when the ocean and the sunset don’t line-up like they
do in all those gorgeous photos.

As a newcomer to San Diego, I read signs at the
intersection of Interstates 8 and 5 in San Diego that
gave me choices that I didn’t understand: “El Cajon
and Beaches.” I didn’t want to go to the beach and I
didn’t know where El Cajon was! There wasn’t GPS in
those days, and there wasn’t even the handy Thomas
Brothers map books.

Trying to both drive and read a foldout map with
small print (and it wasn’t as small to me then as it is
now) contributed to a lot of wrong turns or not turning
when I should have. I did, however, become familiar
with areas that were far from our rented house in
North Park.

Through attending Congress of History meetings
and conferences I have purposely explored east, west,
north, and south. Even with all the GPS I still sometimes
make wrong turns. However, now when I see
signs for Coronado, Lakeside, National City, Vista,
Fallbrook, Lemon Grove, Oceanside, Spring Valley,
Barona, Çamp Pendleton, Sycuan, Villa Montezuma,
Warner Springs, Tecate, Temecula, and many others,
I’m confident that I know where to recommend a great
museum or historic site in each community.

If I haven’t been to a place for a few years, I like to
return to see what has changed. If you have children or
grandchildren, you may have noticed that our member
organizations and museums have many activities
geared to children of various ages. Give it a go. You
might find yourself enjoying those “kid” activities too!

Our 2020 conference will focus on the history of
women in the San Diego Region. Co-chairs Rosanne
Goodwin and Helen Halmay are enthusiastic about
the topic. They are forming the committee and will set
meeting dates and places. You are welcome to join in
the fun and participate in preparing another first-rate
history conference.

The Vista Historical Society will host the September 21
CoH Board Meeting at their Rancho Minerva site.
On November 16 the Barona Cultural Center and Museum will
open their doors to us. A special thanks to these members
and to Lemon Grove Historical Society and the National
City Historical Society for providing free meeting
space and an opportunity to tour your museums. Each and every year six member organizations host the Congress of History Board Meetings.
If you feel slighted because we haven’t visited your site, please
contact me so that I can try to schedule you for 2020.

I invite you to commit to attend at least one event
promoted in Adelante by our member organizations and
museums. We are all busy with our own responsibilities
so it takes commitment to reach out and explore. You
will find some fun and interesting slants on history that
will add to your own enjoyment and knowledge. Then
tell me where you have been and one thing that you
took away with you.

Dianne P. Cowen,
Happy Spring!

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Reminder: COH Next Meeting

This Saturday (May 18 ) at 10 am.

We will be meeting at the:
Chula Vista Public Library – Civic Center Branch:

365 F Street
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 691-5069


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2019 COH Thank you

We would like to thank our sponsors for helping make this year’s conference a success. See you next year!
Link to 2019 photos from Jack & Sharon Larimer ( Vista Historical Society )

logo sheet showing the various sponsors for our recent show.
COH would like to thank this years sponsors.
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54th Annual Conference

Great Speakers to Share Important “Defining Moments” at our 54th Annual Conference March 29 & 30

Logo for 250 anniversary of San Diego - conference by the Congress of History

We are excited to share with you the names of the historians who will be presenting “Defining Moments” at the 54th Annual Conference on March 29 and 30, 2019, at Portuguese Hall. See the end of this article for the list. You may recognize some names of experts who have spoken at past conferences, while other speakers are joining us for the first time. Many of our talented speakers are also authors, and they will have their books available at the conference.

Topics from the Founding Era (1769 to 1850) will range from the initial Spanish exploration and settlement of the region, where Native American trails became the El Camino Real, the road northward, to how a modern day “mission walker” made the entire 1,600 mile journey herself while beating cancer. Sometimes fate can turn on a dime. But for the want of an anchor in 1770, the fragile San Diego settlement would not have survived. You’ll hear the extraordinary history of how Franciscan frontiersmen traveled all over the southwest, and their lasting contributions to the region.

For the Middle Era (1851-1950), we’ll see how dangerous sea travel was before building our first Point Loma lighthouse. Travelers discovered Southern California in droves, thanks in part to Helen Hunt Jackson turning her deeply detailed but rarely read research on the treatment of the Native Americans into the romantic myth of “Ramona.” By the booming 1880s, streetcar service evolved into more than transportation: it seeded neighborhoods and allowed for a growing population to live farther away from a city center. John D. Spreckels was one of those amazing men who had he not made San Diego his home, we never would be the same. And when we talk about “southern” California, it’s important to remember how much bigger San Diego County used to be. You’ll hear how Riverside County was formed
and what it meant to the success of both counties.

Sometimes history sneaks up on you and has unintended consequences. You’ll learn how a San Diego neighborhood railroad became part of a giant national rail connection. You’ll also find out how a Progressive, well-intentioned state law to help build public works projects backfired terribly from the crushing local burden of repaying bonds. Without proper infrastructure for a growing region, we wouldn’t be able to feed ourselves. Representative of so many rural areas, learn how the creation of a water district allowed for a steady supply of water for rural agricultural development. The Native Americans have always lived here. In 1932, one band took the long view with clever thinking while being relocated to keep their people and their future intact.

The Congress of History has had conferences about wars before. You’ll see a different side of war via the poignant letters of students from San Diego State College, some of whom returned and some of whom did not. We’ll tell you the story about a very important African-American San Diego man who illegally (for the time) purchased a home for his family in 1947 in a restricted neighborhood, then went on to continue to break barriers and build partnerships in public service for over 50 years.

Does anyone remember slide rules and outstanding accomplishments made before computers? In the Modern Era (1951-2000), hear the fascinating true story of General Dynamics, the Atlas missile, and San Diego’s role in space from the youngest engineer on the team. Were you here in 1963? Culturally the Modern Era was extremely dynamic. Learn about how art and poetry came together for the avant garde, then hear how the Mexican-American community made history with the creation of Chicano Park from someone who was actually there. In theater, our region is known for developing plays and sending them to Broadway. You’ll understand what forces lead to that happening. And finally, everyone deserves a voice in preserving their history. You’ll see how one group claimed their history and created their own archives to share their struggles.

I am excited to be part of the Congress of History and the dedicated historians and history buffs who have volunteered untold hours to bring this conference to you. Thanks goes to our cosponsor, the Portuguese Historical Center, without whose support and partnership we couldn’t bring this quality programming to you in such a great setting. We again will have more than a dozen historical organizations with booths at the event, along with two history-supportive booksellers. Thank you to everyone for making this another great conference!

The conference registration form is available at our website atwww.CongressOfHistory.org and in Adelante. Please register today, and bring a friend. Share with others in your organization about this event. Support the organization that supports your work. And if you know of a deserving person or organization doing great things in our southern California region, don’t forget to nominate them for a Congress of History award.

Below is a list of confirmed speakers and the working titles for their presentations. We can’t wait for you to meet them in person at the Conference!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Founding Era ( 1769 – 1850 )

  • Max Kurillo: “1769: The First Spanish Intrusion into San Diego – From El Camino Real to the 1906 Commemorative Bells” [author]
  • Alex Bevil: “March 23, 1770: For the Want of an Anchor – How a Lost Sea Anchor Contributed to the Founding of San Diego 250 Years Ago” [author]
  • Robert Kittle: “1775: How Franciscan Frontiersmen Charted the West” [author]
  • Edie Littlefield Sundby: “December 2015: The Mission Walker’s 1,600 Mile El Camino Real Trek – Following in the Footsteps of Serra and Portola” [author]

Middle Era (1851-1950)

  • Karen Scanlon: “November 15, 1855: Finally a Lighthouse at San Diego – Creating the Beacon of Safety for Southern California Maritime Travel” [author]
  • Rosanne Goodwin: ‘1884: Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona – How A Romantic Myth of San Diego Captured America’s Heart and Brought Tourism To Town”
  • Douglas Mengers and Rhiannon Killian: “July 3, 1886: All Aboard! San Diego’s First Streetcar Service Blossoms into a Neighborhood-Seeding Commuter Rail Industry” [author]
  • Dr. Sandra (Sandee) Bonura: “1887 and Beyond: John D. Spreckels: Builder of San Diego”
  • Steve Lech, Riverside County Heritage Association: “May 1893: San Diego County Loses One-Third of its Territory – The Formation of Riverside County out of San Diego County” [author]
  • Bruce Semelsberger: “November 15, 1919: With the Driving of a Golden Spike, a Neighborhood Railroad Became Part of a Transcontinental Giant”

Saturday, March 30, 2019

  • Helen Ofield: “1925: Unintended Consequences – How the Mattoon Act Nearly Killed Southern California Development”
  • Jack Larimer, Vista Historical Museum: “February 27, 1926: The Vista Irrigation District Opens the Door to Rural Agricultural Development and the Creation of the City of Vista”
  • Laurie Egan-Hedley: “1932: The Barona Band of Mission Indians – Maintaining Sovereignty Through the Relocation Process”
  • Lisa K. Shapiro: “World War II: No Forgotten Fronts – The Poignant Letters from San Diego State College Students at War” [author]
  • Lynne Carrier: “1947: Leon Williams – Together We Can Do More; Breaking Barriers for the African-American Community” [author]

Modern Era (1951-2000)

  • Bill Ketchum: “1957: To The Moon on a Slide Rule – General Dynamics, the Atlas Missile, and San Diego’s Extraordinary Role in Space Exploration” [author]
  • Dave Hampton: “1963: Guy Williams’ Poems for Painters – Evidence of the Avant Garde in San Diego”
  • Maria Garcia: “April 22,1970: The Mexican-American Community is Heard – the Founding of Chicano Park” [author]
  • Welton Jones: “1980s: When San Diego Actors Stopped Giving It Away – Theatre Turns Pro”
  • Lambda Archives Staff: “1987: Deserving of Preservation – The Founding of the Lambda Archives to Preserve LGBTQ+ History”

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“Defining Moments”

Conference Showcases Unique Historic Happenings that Shaped Our Region

Register Now ( link to form )

The Congress of History 54th Annual Conference will be March 29 and 30, 2019. Once again, we think we’ve succeeded in gathering the best speakers of a wide range of historical “defining moments” that changed the course of our region. With 2 50 years of history to consider, we are delighted at the outpouring of interest from historians, authors, and dedicated history buffs who will bring to life important events. Some of these events were understood to be momentous at the time they happened. Some events, like the gentle rustling of a butterfly’s wings, were small stirring that resulted in big changes. Never have you seen a conference like this one!

 Past conferences have tackled many topics. While acknowledging certain major historical events that shaped our history, we will not be covering ground covered at previous conferences. Instead, “Defining Moments” will bring you speakers who will explore new perspectives on some major moments from new and interesting angles. What we love about history is how historians and researchers can find a clue and follow a lead that will bring to light a fresh interpretation and give us a new way of thinking about the past.  

Divided into a Founding Era, Middle Era, and Modern Era, we’ll cover 250 years of “moments that have changed everything What would have happened had the Spanish packet boat San Antonio not needed an anchor? Who could have imagined that a romantic novel would do more to highlight the plight of local Native Americans than a scholarly work? What movers and shakers of the region almost didn’t choose to be here? What former secrets of the military changed the path of the Navy? What cultural happenings had big impacts on our region? Ah, you’ll have to attend the conference to find out! 

We will again be in Portuguese Hall in Point Loma, thanks to the support of our conference co-sponsors, the Portuguese Historical Center. The conference dates are Friday, March 29, and Saturday, March 30. The conference registration form is available now for you to use. Don’t delay in sending it in. Consider bringing a friend. You will not want to miss these speakers, nor the exciting vendors and booksellers. Come for the speakers, stay for the networking, and let us enjoy the company of others like us who love a good (historical) story!

 The Congress of History thanks you for your support of our 54th conference. Details of speakers and titles of talks will be confirmed and posted soon.

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