Bi-Weekly Update - April 2nd

Hello CCPHers,

Here are some interesting history events happening soon in California as well as articles pertaining to history.

In other news:

  • CCPH members can now purchase or renew their memberships by using the new PayPal option on the CCPH website. Credit cards and checks are all accepted forms of payment. For more information about renewing your membership, visit our "Join Us" web page here.

  • CCPH invites any announcements or articles relating to history from our members and mailing list to include in our updates. CCPH is also accepting submissions for our California History Action web page. Any Public History articles, book reviews, events and/or projects are welcomed as submissions to help us promote history. Email any of your submissions to

Thank you for your continuous support!

From: Martinez and Contra Costa County Historical Societies

Saturday, May 6

The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis

History talk and book signing with Richard Schwartz

1:00pm – 3:30pm

Shell Clubhouse

1635 Pacheco Blvd., Martinez

The Martinez and Contra Costa County Historical Societies invite you to be the first to hear author & historian Richard Schwartz talk about his new book The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis.

Richard’s presentation will reveal the life of this incredibly influential immigrant actor of the late nineteenth century. As the first Jewish male actor allowed to portray a Jewish male on stage in America, Curtis’ story is one of immigration, assimilation, theatre history and how the invisible wings of comedy can affect the nation’s direction. It is also a story that connects the actor intimately (though forgotten until this book) with the Statue of Liberty, Mark Twain, a murder and the greatest African American entertainment troupe of its day. After all that, Curtis became a pioneer in the still-infant silent movie industry. Focusing on the actor’s early days in San Francisco’s theatrical history and his overnight rise to stardom, Schwartz’s talk will reveal how San Francisco became the actor’s home base from the 1870s through the 1906 Earthquake as he toured the country and how it almost ended his life.

Richard’s talk begins at 1:00 p.m. A wine & cheese reception and book signing with the author will follow at 2:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Martinez Historical Society and the Contra Costa County Historical Society.

For more information, visit

WHEN: May 6, 2017 Richard’s talk begins at 1:00pm

WHERE: Shell Clubhouse 1635 Pacheco Blvd, Martinez

DETAILS: Free Admission and Free Parking.

Refreshments will be served.

RSVP is requested. Email: or Call: (925) 229-1042

A $10 donation is suggested at the door. All proceeds benefit the preservation work of the

Martinez & CoCo County archives.

About the Author

[endif]--Richard Schwartz is a historian and the author of Eccentrics, Heroes, and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley; Earthquake Exodus, 1906; Berkeley 1900; and The Circle of Stones. Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. An outdoor enthusiast and animal lover, Schwartz worked on a Pennsylvania Dutch farm for two years before heading west to find higher mountains. He now lives in Berkeley, California, where he works as a building contractor and documents early Native American sites in the Bay Area. The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty (April 2017) is his fifth book. For further information, visit

From: The United States World War One Centennial Commission

From: The SJSU History Department and the Burdick Military History Project

The 2017 Charles B. Burdick Memorial Military History Symposium

The Lead-Up to America’s Entry into World War One

Saturday April 15, 2017, 1:00 to 5:00 pm

San Jose State University

Washington Square Hall Room 109

“The 1916 Mexican Expedition”

Dr. James Armstead

“American Air Power Before the War”

Dr. RG Head (Brigadier General, USAF, Ret.)

“Not Completely Unprepared: The U.S. Military Before World War One”

Mr. Mike Hanlon

“American Reaction to the Armenian Genocide”

Dr. Dennis Papazian

Moderator: Dr. Jonathan Roth

Admission to this event is free and open to the public.

For Directions to San Jose State University see For more information contact Dr. Roth at (408) 924- 5505 or

From: Save Our Heritage Organisation

We hope to see you with SOHO on Tuesday, April 4 at 202 "C" Street (12th floor), beginning at 2pm to oppose the complete demolition of the California Theatre project before city council.

This is the last stop in the site development permit process and your last chance to let your city councilperson know how you feel about the way they vote on Tuesday.

Please Act Now

  • Begin calling and speaking to staff or leaving a voice message with your councilperson's office. Find your city council member's contact information here, and a sample phone message to leave here.

  • Send an email by contacting your city council member to oppose this unlawful demolition of the irreplaceable. Find your city council members contact information here, and sample email message here.

  • Attend the City council meeting this coming Tuesday, April 4 at 2pm at the City Administration Building, 202 C Street, 12th floor. Attend. We are asking you to stand with SOHO, to take this time to tell the city council why the California Theatre matters to you. You may cede your time to SOHO instead.

Make sure they hear you. Call, write, and show up.

Thank you for your help and for opposing demolition of the California Theatre and murals.

Some background on the California Theatre

Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Time: 2pm Location: City Administration Building

202 C Street, Council Chambers 12th Floor

San Diego, CA 92101


California Council for the Promotion of History

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