History

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…


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…


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…


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….