History Superstars

Join us in celebrating California's history through reenactments of famous people from California's past, exploration of the local areas, and discussion on crime from the 1800s with its impact still relevant today.

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Research Secrets of a Grassroots Historian and Publisher

Elizabeth Pomeroy, Author and Founder of Many Moons Press
Friday, June 24th - 9:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Is there an aspect of history that grabs your attention and won't let go?  Do you want to find out more about it, but you aren't sure where to start?  Look no further.  Elizabeth Pomeroy will speak on how to conduct research, write about history, and publish.  As an author of multiple books and founder of her own publishing company, this is one expert you do not want to miss.

Battle in a Box Canyon: The Lugo Case of 1851

Paul Spitzzeri, Assistant Director - Homestead Museum
Friday, June 24 - 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Join Paul Spitzzeri as he presents the latest from Homestead Museum's Curious Cases: Exploring Law and Order in Early Los Angeles. This series features real cases from the 1800s that have surprising connections to today's headlines.  In the Lugo case, two young members of a prominent Californio family are arrested for murder, a bandit gang offered a devil's bargain to free them, and the criminal justice system botched the case.

More Than Just a Love Story: Southern California's Ramona Myth

Phil Brigandi
Friday, June 24 - 2:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m.
Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel, Ramona, was written as a call for justice for the American Indian.  But too many readers saw it simply as a romantic story of early California, and it became one of Southern California's first big tourist draws.  The growth and spread of this "Ramona Myth" takes many forms - books, plays, motion pictures, souvenirs, and tourist attractions.  Reminders of this myth can be found throughout the Southland, and its impact survives to this day.

Legends of the 1800s

Bob Minty - Richard Henry Dana Jr.
Charles Rea - Kit Carson
Friday, June 24 - 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

American frontiersman, trapper, soldier and guide, Christopher Carson- aka Kit Carson- is one of the great heroes of the Old West.  During the early 1800s, Carson was a legendary mountain man in the American Southwest, having gained renown for his fur trade and trail-blazing efforts in New Mexico and westward to California.  He served as a United States military guide, an American Indian agent, and a celebrated aide during the Mexican-American War.

Richard Henry Dana Jr., American writer and lawyer, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1815.  He left his studies at Harvard in 1834 in the hope that a sea voyage would aid his failing eyesight.  He shipped out of Boston as a common seaman on board the brig Pilgrim bound for the Pacific and returned to Massachusetts two years later.  Two Years Before the Mast, based on the diary Dana kept while at sea, was first published in 1841.  It is one of America's most famous accounts of life at sea, with a rare and detailed account of life on the California coast a decade before the Gold Rush revolutionized the region's culture and society.

Camanche: California's Forgotten Ironclad

Brian Dervin Dillon, Ph.D.
Saturday, June 25th - 9:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

California gold and Nevada silver financed the Union during the Civil War.  The heavy bullion had to be shipped via Panama in vulnerable, Federal bottoms.  Just one Confederate raider, loose in coastal California, could have severed the Union's most important financial lifeline to her westernmost states and territories.  So, when Californians begged for a U.S. Navy warship, President Lincoln sent the most modern vessel available.  This is was USS Camanche, a second-generation, John Ericsson-designed, Passaic class monitor.  Built twice, sunk once, and launched on both the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts, the Camanche had the most unusual history of any of the 30 Union-built Civil War monitors.

The National Parks: Celebrating a Centennial

David Smith, Superintendent - Joshua Tree National Park
Saturday, June 25th - 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and everyone can take part in the celebration! The centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs. David will talk about the national parks, their history, and the upcoming events you can join.

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