History

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…


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…


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…


Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at Ground Zero following Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2001: Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at “Ground Zero” following the terrorist attack. His major complaint in the years following concerned his inability to get correct, and affordable, treatment due to the costs involved, costs that Congress finally agreed to add funding to the 9/11 First Responders fund almost 18 years later. “Ironworkers worked every day,” Pursley said. “We went on 12-hour shifts…


Sending in the llamas and clowns on 9/11

Sept. 10, 2001 was pretty much like any other day. That is to say honored only in its passing, don’t remember what happened. Sept. 11, 2001, as we all know, was a day seared in our personal and national memories like few others. Don’t know when the carnage began, but at my Del Dios home phones started ringing way too early in the morning and…


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…


Remembering my Lake San Marcos neighbor

Our next-door neighbor died last night. But he was much more than a neighbor. He was a best friend, a father figure, and a 103 year-old icon of a life well-lived. Karen and I met him when we moved in to this retirement community two years ago. He stopped us as we passed on the sidewalk in front of our new home. He was pushing…


Coronavirus culture: ‘Walden’ and fashion

Seeking to bend the coronavirus curve, governors and mayors have told millions of Americans to stay home. If you’re pondering what to read, it’s easy to find lists featuring books about disease outbreaks, solitude and living a simpler life. But it’s much harder to find a book that combines these themes. As the author of three books about essayist, poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau,…


Esc-RSF Adobe Home Tour; holocaust exhibit

An historic landmark home built in 1831 and three residences built between 1926 and 1982 represent the spectrum of San Diego County’s romance with its adobe heritage. The Ninth Annual San Diego Adobe Home Tour, Sunday will allow visitors to experience California’s multi-cultural roots in the rancho hacienda and California ranch house styles, where immigrant pioneer, Spanish and Mexican influences coalesce. This year’s tour showcases…


Beyer’s Byways: At San Pasqual Battlefield

One of the habits Laureen has when we travel, and I believe everyone should, is using her phone to search for interesting sites near us when we stop. No matter where we are, there seems to be someplace we haven’t visited or — in this case — never even knew existed. After visiting friends in San Diego recently, we stopped off in Escondido for fuel….