History

Who invented the Electoral College?

The delegates in Philadelphia agreed, in the summer of 1787, that the new country they were creating would not have a king but rather an elected executive. But they did not agree on how to choose that president. Pennsylvania delegate James Wilson called the problem of picking a president “in truth, one of the most difficult of all we have to decide.” Other delegates, when…


Old-time Valley Center newspaper founder Marge Quackenbush dies at age 101

Marge Quackenbush, died December 7 at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, three days after she turned 101 years. Along with husband Derek “Van” Quackenbush, who died in February 2015, Marge Quackenbush came to Valley Center and started The Valley Center Roadrunner in March 1974 with Van as publisher and editor and Marge in charge of the business and advertising. Marge Quackenbush attended Grandview Church, Valley Center…


Women aviation influencers to be feted

The San Diego Air & Space Museum will host its annual International Air & Space Hall of Fame Virtual Gala at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17 where it will induct two influential women in the world of aviation. The museum will induct Barbara Barrett, a businesswoman, attorney and diplomat currently serving as Secretary of the United States Air Force, and Tammie Jo Shults, retired Southwest…


1846 Battle of San Pasqual redux

In the San Pasqual Valley southeast of Escondido, in the darkness of early morning on December 6, 1846, the American Army under Stephen Watts Kearny fought the bloodiest encounter to win California from Mexico. The San Pasqual battle was only one of the military encounters in California in the war, but proved to be the bloodiest and most controversial as to outcome. San Pasqual Battlefield…


San Diego North County Japanese-Americans recall World War II internments

In San Diego County, which had a population of 2,076 Japanese-Americans in 1940, families were sent to Poston, 12 miles south of Parker, Ariz. Poston was one of 10 internment camps created during World War II after an executive order authorized the Secretary of War to designate specific areas as military zones and excluded certain people from living in them. President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order…


Old West theme parks paint a false picture

In 1940, just a year before Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into a world war, Walter and Cordelia Knott began construction on a notable addition to their thriving berry patch and chicken restaurant in the Orange County, California, city of Buena Park. This new venture was an Old West town celebrating both westward expansion and the California Dream – the notion that this Gold…


From San Marcos ‘Dressing’ to Thanksgiving

(Editor’s Note: This was the state of the holiday just one year ago pre-COVID, for those with nostalgia for the way ot was before social distancing and over 260,000 Americans lost their lives…) California supplies the nation’s Thanksgiving tables California ranks #8 in turkey production in the United States (2016), and we supply most of the western states from our poultry farms located in several areas in…


Donald Trump’s Joe McCarthy moment?

When CBS, NBC and ABC cut away from President Donald Trump’s news conference at the White House on the evening of Nov. 5, they took pains to explain why they were shutting off the nation’s commander-in-chief. It was a moment that for me, as a journalism historian, carried echoes of the 1954 takedown of another flamboyant populist demagogue, Sen. Joe McCarthy. Making false accusations The…


Three-Dot Lounge visits Rancho Santa Fe

We are going to consider a few outstanding three-dot items stripped from below, well below, today’s coronavirus headlines. But first, a reminder and salute about he who pioneered the three-dot way It’s been over 20 years since famed San Francisco journalist Herb Caen (1916-1997) died. For journalists and San Franciscans, Caen was a superstar. Known as “Mr. San Francisco,” his columns were a vital piece…


CSUSM: Little-known FDR ‘Black Cabinet’

As a Cal State San Marcos professor of history, of course, Jill Watts is also a student of history. Watts knew that many U.S. history textbooks, in the all-important pages about the hugely consequential Franklin Delano Roosevelt presidency, make passing references to what the black press of the day coined the “Black Cabinet,” an unofficial group of African-American advisers to FDR as he navigated the politics of the Great Depression and the New…