Historical Miscellany

2nd July
2013
written by Richard

The big move to the new Central Library is underway.  Here’s some footage of the action and a some brief  interviews.

 

3rd June
2013
written by Richard

Save the date.  On Sunday, June 16 I’ll be at the Santa Ysabel Store to talk and show San Diego Yesterday.944472_608142449204319_1044540653_n

 

11th January
2013
written by Richard

Back in May 1991, San Diego Union reporter Roger Showley wrote a nice piece on local history books, which included a valuable list of favorite titles nominated by local historians (list attached here: Favorite Books).

That was 22 years ago. How about we update that list?  This doesn’t have to be limited to professional historians.  Let’s hear from students and history buffs, too.

What I’d like to know is simply:

a. What are your favorite San Diego history books (perhaps your top five?)

and

b. Why do you like these books?

You can leave a comment below or send me an email at r-crawford@cox.net. I’ll give you all a couple of weeks then I’ll post the results on this site.

4th January
2013
written by Richard

In 1960, Long Beach entrepreneur Allen Parkinson (inventor of Sleep-Eze) had a clever idea to speed people across the international border at San Ysidro.  Partnering with Tijuana businessmen, Parkinson would build a mile-long aerial tramway to whisk passengers across the line in a Disneyland-style skyride.  Regrettably, the scheme fizzled, but not before architect Frank L. Hope  produced this fascinating rendering.

Special Collections, San Diego Public Library.

Special Collections, San Diego Public Library.

28th December
2012
written by Richard

Chris Boyd’s superb documentary on “The First Padres” is now available on DVD.  Check it out on this link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thefirstpadres.  Chris includes great archival footage of the Lane Field days and interviews with players and local historians.  The film premiered on KPBS back on October 8.  It’s well-worth owning.Padres

 

5th December
2012
written by Richard

The “Great Thirst” of Prohibition ended in April 1933 with the repeal of the 18th Amendment.  Here’s how drinkers celebrated the arrival of retail beer in San Diego:

San Diego Union, April 8, 1933.

 

11th September
2012
written by Richard

The premier of  “The First Padres” by filmmaker Chris Boyd is coming to KPBS television on October 8 at 9:00.  Check the website for more details  http://thefirstpadres.com/ and view the trailer here.  This is a wonderful documentary on the history of our team.  Be sure to tune in.

28th August
2012
written by Richard

Reading Room of the Wangenheim Collection.

In my day job at the San Diego Public Library, I supervise the Wangenheim Rare Book on the third floor at the Central Library. (Here’s the library web pages that describe this great collection: http://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/locations/wangenheim.shtml) We try to keep this special place open daily in the afternoons. But we rely on docents to make this happen and right now we need some new volunteers.

Docents are vital to Wangenheim Room operations. Docents welcome visitors, conduct tours, and answer questions about exhibits in the Room. To be a docent, you must interact well with people, be able to remember text of tour script, present in friendly manner and feel comfortable working in a quiet setting. An appreciation and understanding of historical artifacts is desirable. You also must commit to working 1 day a week for 3 hours a day for at least 6 months. For more information, contact me, Rick Crawford, at (619) 236-5852.

4th June
2012
written by Richard

Now on sale

For those of you I’ve missed so far . . . On Tuesday evening, June 19, I’ll be giving a book talk and signing for The Way We Were in San Diego.  It starts at 6:30 at the Clairemont branch library, 2920 Burgener Blvd.  Interesting tales and photographs of San Diego history and maybe a good discussion, as well.

 

26th April
2012
written by Richard

The library at San Diego State University has unveiled an invaluable tool for researching local history: a digitized database of the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune. This product by NewsBank Inc. is keyword searchable and provides pdf images of the original newspaper copy.

For decades local researchers have relied on the microfiche index to the Union produced by city librarians years ago. As important as this index as always been, it was never completed by the Public Library and was limited by the infamous “gap”—the years between 1904 and 1930 that were left un-indexed. The NewsBank database bridges that gap and also covers the historic Tribune, a separate newspaper until its merger with the Union in 1992. The digitizing is not yet complete and some years are not available.

I would encourage anyone looking for historical information in San Diego newspapers to make a trip to the SDSU library. Parking is a minor hassle but there are several lots on the campus perimeter that cost $1 per hour. The best way to go is on the San Diego Trolley, which takes you close to the library from a station in the center of campus.

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