Friday, May 31, 2013

Learning Local History from my Students

I've been grading lots of papers the past few days, and I've been learning a lot.  For their last essays, my English students at Fullerton College and Cal State Fullerton wrote essays about local history, on a topic of their choice.  Reading their papers connects me to the multi-faceted history of Southern California.  Here are some of my students' paper topics.  Click the topic for more information:

Michael Miyamoto Day in Walnut, California
The development of San Ysidro, the "gateway city" between San Diego and Tijuana
The Florencia 13 (F-13) gang in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Yost Theater in Santa Ana

Gangs in Santa Ana
The El Monte Legion Stadium
The San Bernadino Rendezvous (a Route 66-themed car show)
The Mongols (a motorcycle gang from Montebello)
Orange County during the Vietnam War
Black Star Canyon
The San Gabriel Mission

A massacre of 17 Chinese-Americans in LA in 1871
The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego
The Kendo dojo  at the Japanese Cultural Institute in Gardena
Old Towne Orange
Street races in Corona
Gene Autry and the Angels baseball team

Little Saigon (Westminster)
The Coachella Music Festival
The man-made Mission Viejo Lake
The Mendez vs. Westminster school de-segregation case

The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana
The development of Glendale
The Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills
The Stanley Ranch Museum in Garden Grove
Charles C. Chapman: the "father of the valencia orange"
The gold rush in Big Bear

Motocross in Carlsbad
CSUF's Championship baseball team
Skinheads in Huntington Beach

Casino ships off the coast of Southern California in the 1930s
The Ramona Pageant in Hemet
The history of "The Pike" in Long Beach
The Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana
Exxonmobil's refinery in Torrance/local oil spills

Public perceptions of Inglewood
The Dr. Wilella How-Waffle House Museum in Santa Ana (celebrating one of OC's first female doctors)
George and William Chaffey, developers of Ontario
Historic Buildings in Chino: the Opera House, the Chino Community Building, and the Old School House Museum
The Nestor Motion Picture Company (Hollywood's first movie studio)
The Avo Theater in Vista
The Aerospace Industry in Downey

The Bracero Program
Dairy Farms in Cypress
Richard Henry Dana (whom Dana Point is named after)
How the LA River got changed from a real, natural river to a polluted cement channel
The History of Pomona
The KKK in Fullerton and Anaheim 

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