Several special fighting forces from the United States, made up of single ethnic groups, made significant contributions during World War II, including the African American Tuskegee Airmen and the Navajo Code Talkers. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was made up solely of Japanese Americans, some of whom were recruited directly from internment camps. (Some Japanese American men who would later become leaders, such as Senator Daniel Inouye, were members of the 442nd.) The images in this group provide a look at the lives and sacrifices of the men of the 442nd, the most highly decorated American unit in WWII. The photographs in this group were all taken for the government-run War Relocation Authority (WRA) and are meant to portray the proud patriotism of the men and their families. One photo shows three women holding their babies, with photographs of their enlisted husbands. Another is a portrait of an older couple who had five sons in the 442nd. Other photographs reflect the training the soldiers of the 442nd received, their life in the battlefield, and their triumphant homecoming. Other documents in this group show a more personal side of the men of the 442nd. One soldier's photo album depicts his personal experiences as a member of the combat team. A 50-page booklet, The Story of the 442nd Combat Team, compiled by members of the team, has this quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt on the dedication page: "Americanism is a matter of the mind and heart; Americanism is not and never was a matter of race and ancestry." On a more poignant note, oil paintings by Japanese American artist Henry Sugimoto reflect the emotions, pain, and suffering these individuals and their families experienced as a result of the war. In Senninbari (Thousand Stiches), a woman holds a scarf of remembrance as a ghostly Nisei soldier looks down from the sky. And in Send Off Husband at Jerome Camp, an internee family stays behind the camp gates as their soldier father/husband goes off to fight for the United States.
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The government-sponsored Bracero Program was the temporary importation of workers from Mexico to aid the American agricultural economy. This was an important historical event that many Americans are unaware of today. A bracero (from brazo, the Spanish word for arm) was a Mexican worker allowed entry into the United States for a limited time, usually to work on a farm. In 1942, facing an extreme shortage of farm labor workers due to the war, Congress enacted the Emergency Labor Program. It approved the temporary immigration of thousands of Mexican workers to replace the American men who were in the armed services. During the 22 years of the Bracero Program, more than 4 million Mexican workers left their families behind and came to work in the fields of California. This migration had an enormous and lasting impact on the economy and demographics of California. The photograph "Battle for Work" shows hundreds of Mexican workers waiting at the border to be selected for the Bracero Program. The contrast between Mexico and the United States at this time is shown in the photograph of the dusty streets of Mexicali in "Street Scene of Mexicans Awaiting Legal Employment in the United States" and "View from Mexicali Toward the United States." Many Mexican workers were eager to be selected for the Bracero Program. "Battle for Work" shows hundreds of Mexican workers massed at the border, hoping to be chosen. Some of the images in this group show the arrival of the first braceros by train. Some of these photographs were taken by photographer Dorothea Lange as part of a government assignment to document this event.
The large development projects of the 1930s, designed to serve a growing population, helped shape California in many ways. Most are still integral today. Photographs show the progress of two massive Northern California projects: the Golden Gate Bridge, which links San Francisco and Marin County, and the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco with Oakland and the East Bay. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized bridges in the world. It is unique not only because of its vermilion orange color: this steel suspension bridge, with a 4,200-foot-long central span and two towers that are 746 feet tall, is the largest ever built. The photographs in this group, taken between 1933 and 1934, show the various phases of construction from different perspectives, looking down, up, and across the span as it was being built. Some photos also show the workers who helped build this famous structure. The Golden Gate Bridge was built under the direction of Joseph Baermann Strauss, an Ohio-born engineer who built more than 400 bridges. The portrait of Strauss also shows the partially built bridge in the background. The Golden Gate Bridge opened to vehicles and pedestrians in 1937. The Bay Bridge construction began in 1933, and the span opened to vehicles in 1936. At 8.25 miles, it is the world?s longest steel bridge. The bridge consists of twin suspension bridges. Many of the photos show workers on catwalks with cables and pulleys, building the bridge. Growing cities also created greater demands for resources, including electrical power. The building of powerhouses like the Pitt River Power House and the Las Plumas Power House near Oroville, shown here, helped to meet this need. Southern California also saw large construction projects. One image in this group shows the San Vicente Dam under construction.A few of these images were taken by Jervie Henry Eastman, who established Eastman's Studio in 1921. His photographs were often turned into picture postcards, such as the one of the oil rigs along Ocean Boulevard in Huntington Beach, in 1935.
These images of the California missions show the transformation of the mission structures over the past two centuries. Some show the types of people who would have lived in or visited the missions. The missions mark California’s Spanish colonial past, and remain today as sites for community gatherings and heritage.
This is a primary source photo collection on Californios, elite families that received large land grants from Spain and Mexico, flourished during the 1830s to 1880s. The hand-drawn diseño maps underscore their vital connection to land ownership. The more formal surveyed maps that followed US acquisition of California show changing values regarding land ownership. As Californios lost land and power in the late 19th century, they tried to adapt to these changes by using social networks to maintain their identities as elites. The formal portraits were one way to bolster this image. Photographs of the Ramona Pageant from the 1950s testify to the mythologizing of California's Mexican and Spanish pastoral heritage less than 100 years later.
California has always been a place of cultural interaction. Early California evolved and changed with each new group of settlers. These images depict the developing interconnectedness of California's early cultures. They also underscore the importance of movement and later settlement of peoples in California. Some of the modern images underscore the contested and often romanticized nature of California’s Spanish and Mexican heritage. This is a collection of primary source images.
The images in this topic depict everyday life in California during a time of explosive growth. Even as the state’s mix of cultures became more interconnected, they still managed to maintain and express their unique identities. People at work, at play, posing for formal portraits, and simply walking down the street are part of a diverse and vibrant population.
These images show the importance of both California's natural and human resource potential to the state’s development and subsequent wealth. Natural resources like water, lumber, and oil — along with human-driven resources like transportation, agriculture, and technology — have all contributed to California's growth. These natural resources drew many different ethnic groups to the state: human resources that would construct railways and aqueducts, plant crops and harvest them, strike it rich in oil or minerals, and innovate new technology.
The images in this topic show how Californians in the late 19th century worked and played. Many of these photographs reflect the manual labor (mining, logging, agriculture) and services (like barber shops and grocery stores) that supported the rapid growth of cities and towns. As they do today, people spent their free time doing quiet activities like painting, enjoying themselves outdoors, riding bicycles and camping.
The images in this topic offer a glimpse of the ways people in cities and towns across California relaxed and entertained themselves during the first half of the 20th century. As new technologies and improved communications brought changes to the work week, people had more free time and new choices about how to spend it.
The images in this topic provide a look at the everyday lives of Californians during the decade of the 1930s. Although many people struggled to survive during the Great Depression, these photographs also show that some still found employment, and many managed to enjoy themselves despite the hard economic times.
These images by Los Angeles–based photographer Maynard L. Parker show suburban homes in California in the two decades following World War II. Many appeared in popular house and design magazines of the era. They offered middle–class consumers a new way of living that emphasized a relaxed, low–maintenance, private, indoor–outdoor experience.
The images in this topic provide a look at the everyday lives of Californians just before, during, and shortly after the years that the United States entered World War II. Although many men and women joined the military, many stayed home. These photographs show men, women, and children at work—many in war-related industries—at play, and at home. They also provide a glimpse into the lives of Japanese Americans, who were forced off their property and housed in internment camps for the duration of the war.
The images in this topic provide a glimpse into the daily lives and changing lifestyles of Californians during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, as the country moved from postwar to protest. From birthday parties and family meals to homecoming rallies and political protests, these photographs reflect how life looked during those years. Two images show Californians interacting with political figures who shaped those decades.
Historical images on a map of California show city scenes throughout the state in the late-19th and early-to-mid-20th centuries.
Historical images on a map of California show the development of civic buildings--missions, courthouses, city halls, and the State Capitol building--throughout the state.
Historical images on a map of California show everyday life throughout the state in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Historical images on a map of California show the development of transportation in the mid-1800s through early 1900s.
Historical images show San Francisco’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride parades in 1977 and 1978.Currently one of the largest and most well known LBGT events in the world, in these years the parade took on its identity as a potent symbol of LGBT politics and culture.
The 20th century ushered in a change from handcrafting to machine tooling. Henry Ford introduced one of the first moving assembly lines as a way to turn out more cars more quickly, and the emerging auto industry popularized this mode. A photo of the Doble Steam Motors Corporation factory shows a line of workers and car chassis in production. This new technology, and the spread of industrialization, changed forever the way that work was completed. A wide variety of industries all across the country converted to mechanization, and California was no exception. One 1929 image shows young women working in a towel factory in Orange. Photographs taken in San Francisco illustrate that workers used machines to make products as different as Ghirardelli Chocolate and music rolls for automated player pianos. Images also show women working on an assembly line in a soap factory, and men sewing clothes in a shop (at a time when a good suit, cut on machines instead of by hand, retailed for $40 to $50). Automation and mechanization also changed agricultural practices. The combined traction steam harvester built by Stockton J. Barry on his California ranch was one of the machines that changed the way produce was harvested. Mechanized canning changed the way fruit and vegetables were processed and preserved, and made out-of-season produce available year round. Photographs in this group show cannery workers at tables, and cans going through a labeling machine. The introduction of mechanized food processing eventually brought a new awareness of the importance of standards for foods production. The Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act were both passed in 1906. As workers nationwide adjusted to an increasingly mechanized workplace, good working conditions took on new importance. Workers in several industries formed unions (such as the Berryessa Fruit Growers formed in 1920, shown here) to promote safer working conditions and limit maximum working hours.
Starting with the Gold Rush, Chinese migrated to California and other regions of the United States in search of work. As several photographs show, many Chinese found work in the gold mines and on the railroads. They accepted $32.50 a month to work on the Union Pacific in Wyoming in 1870 for the same job that paid white workers $52 a month. This led to deep resentment by the whites, who felt the Chinese were competing unfairly for jobs. White labor unions blamed the Chinese for lower wages and lack of jobs, and anti-Chinese feelings grew. The cartoon "You Know How It Is Yourself" expresses this sentiment. Several political cartoons in this topic are graphic representations of racism and conflicts between whites and Chinese. "Won't They Remain Here in Spite of the New Constitution?" shows a demonized figure of political corruption protecting Chinese cheap labor, dirty politicians, capital, and financiers. "The Tables Turned" shows Denis Kearney (head of the Workingman's Party of California, a union that had criticized Chinese laborers) in jail, being taunted by Chinese men. In 1880, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed the Chinese Exclusion Treaty, which placed strict limitations on the number of Chinese allowed to enter the United States and the number allowed to become naturalized citizens. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited immigration from China (The Act was not repealed until 1943). The two-part cartoon from the July-December 1882 issue of The Wasp reflects how some citizens saw the situation. After the Act was passed, anti-Chinese violence increased. One illustration depicts the Rock Springs Massacre of 1885, a Wyoming race riot in which 28 Chinese were killed by British and Swedish miners. The "Certificate of Residence" document illustrates that Chinese individuals were required to prove their residence in the United States prior to the passage of the Exclusion Act. The poster offering a reward for Wong Yuk, a Chinese man, makes it clear that the United States was actively deporting Chinese. Despite discrimination and prejudice, this first wave of immigrants established thriving communities. Photographs taken in San Francisco's Chinatown show prosperous businesses, such as the "Chinese Butcher and Grocery Shop." Wealthy merchants formed active business associations, represented by the image "Officers of the Chinese Six Companies." The Chinese celebrated their heritage by holding cultural festivals, as shown in the photograph from 1896. The photographs "Children of High Class," "Golden Gate Park," and "Chinese Passengers on Ferry" are evidence that some Chinese adopted Western-style clothing while others wore more traditional attire.
In 1948, President Harry Truman took an early step towards civil rights reform by issuing Executive Order 9981, which eliminated racial segregation in the military. After World War II, African Americans ? then often called Negroes or "coloreds," began to mobilize against discrimination. They demanded an end to segregation and fought for equality in education, housing, and employment opportunities. The images in this topic show that by the 1960s, their struggle ? which began in the segregated South ? had reached California. As a number of photographs in this topic show, many Californians showed their support for Civil Rights activists and victims of racial discrimination in the South by holding marches, rallies, and demonstrations urging equality for African Americans. In one image three white children in San Francisco hold a sign in support of the four young black girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Photographs also show people in San Francisco boycotting Kress and Woolworth's department stores, sites of racial discrimination in the South. Documents shown here include a flyer urging the boycott of the stores; and a Western Union telegram sent in 1963, stating that Civil Rights activists Roy Wilkins and Medgar Evers were arrested attempting to picket Woolworth's in Jackson, Mississippi. Two photographs of memorials for slain civil rights leaders ? a march in honor Medgar Evers in 1963, in Los Angeles, and a memorial in the San Francisco Bay Area for Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 ? show racially mixed crowds in attendance. But not all Californians sympathized with the Civil Rights movement. Images of racial hatred and prejudice are reflected in the photograph of an African American woman holding a rock that had been thrown through an office window, and Klu Klux Klan graffiti spray-painted on a home. Various groups formed to fight in the struggle for equal rights. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), formed in 1909, entered a new phase during this period, leading in the organized struggle for civil rights. An example of how the NAACP communicated about events is reflected in a letter from the Alameda County branch of the NAACP on June 13, 1950, which reported segregation on the Southern Pacific Railroad trains leaving Los Angeles. A flyer promoting the boycott of California grapes exemplifies NAACP support for other rights movements, in this case the United Farm Workers. Other flyers urged Californians to fight sharecropper wages and "Keep Mississippi Out of California." Groups such as the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and student groups also protested segregation and incidents of racial discrimination in the South. Several important African American leaders ? including Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, and Ralph Abernathy ? all came to California, as documented by photographs included here. Sometimes, the price of fighting for social justice was high. Two images capture events held for leaders in the social justice movement who were assassinated: the 1963 memorial march in Los Angeles for civil rights leader Medgar Evers; and a crowd attending a Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Rally in honor of the slain civil rights leader.
The people who came to California in search of gold were faced with the threat of disaster in every step of their journey. Many came by ship, even though shipwrecks were commonplace ? one set of lithographs depicts four shipwrecks that occurred within 60 days. Earthquakes were another fact of life in California. Sensational newspaper illustrations like "Earth Quakey Times," and photographs showing buildings in shambles, helped build the state's reputation as an "earthquake capital." Earthquakes were not the only disasters. Several images show the city of Sacramento flooded and on fire, others show fires that destroyed parts of San Francisco and other cities. As the photograph of the firefighters at the Eureka firehouse show, some services were in place to deal with this constant threat. The popular culture of the time reflected these recurring disasters. Artists drew pictures based on survivors? accounts of train crashes and shipwrecks. Composers wrote music such as the "Flood Mazurka," about a flood in Sacramento, and songs such as "I Do Not Want to Be Drowned," dedicated to survivors of the shipwreck of the Golden Gate. Despite the many potential dangers and risks of traveling to and living in California, new people kept flowing into the state. In many ways, this situation still holds true today.
The Gold Rush had a tremendous impact on the population and culture of California. Before the Gold Rush, the population consisted mainly of Native Californians and Californios (settlers and landowners of mixed Spanish, Native Californian, and African descent). But gold fever brought people to California from all over the country and world. The Anglo Americans (of English, Irish, or Scots descent), other Europeans (including Italians, Russians, and others), Chinese, Asians, African Americans, and many more who came and stayed changed the ethnic makeup of the state's population. Some images show different ethnic groups working and living side by side: in a saloon, a horse market, and along a riverbank mining for gold. The drawing entitled "A Road Scene in California" depicts social changes ? European American miners drive a wagon, and a group of Native Americans leaves the mining area as Chinese miners enter it. Daguerreotypes show a group of Chinese and European American pioneers panning for gold; and African Americans working alongside European American pioneers at the mines. The Modoc War (1872-73) was a result of the conflict between the interests of the European American pioneers and Native Californians. Photographs of various tribes, some taken by noted photographer Eadweard Muybridge, give a glimpse of how they lived. Three-dimensional stereoscopic views offered people outside of California a glimpse of the West. Stereo views in this topic include portraits of Native Americans and Chinese workers.
In 1931, a severe drought hit the Southern and Midwestern plains. As crops died and winds picked up, dust storms began. As the "Dust Bowl" photograph shows, crops literally blew away in "black blizzards" as years of poor farming practices and over-cultivation combined with the lack of rain. By 1934, 75% of the United States was severely affected by this terrible drought.The one-two punch of economic depression and bad weather put many farmers out of business. In the early 1930s, thousands of Dust Bowl refugees ? mainly from Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico ? packed up their families and migrated west, hoping to find work. Entire families migrated together (such as the men shown in "Three generations of Texans now Drought Refugees") in search of a better life. Images such as "Midcontinent ? Family Standing on the Road with Car," "Drought Refugees," and "Untitled, ca. 1935 (Worn-Down Family in Front of Tent)" offer a glimpse into their experience on the road, and show that cars provided many families both transportation and shelter on the road. About 200,000 of the migrants headed for California. The state needed to figure out how to absorb the thousands of destitute people crossing its borders daily. One of their tactics was to document the plight of the refugees. In 1935, photographer Dorothea Lange joined the Rural Rehabilitation Division of the California State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA), a section of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. She was assigned the job of using her camera to document the growing number of homeless Dust Bowl refugees migrating to California. She worked with Paul S. Taylor, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who was researching conditions of rural poverty in order to make recommendations on how to improve the workers' conditions. The work by Taylor and Lange played an important role in helping to raise public awareness of the crisis. The reports they made for the government included both data and striking images that revealed the desperate conditions in which the migrants lived and confirmed the need for government intervention. Stark images such as "Home of Oklahoma Drought Refugees" resonated with the public, and portraits of drought refugees like "Ruby from Arkansas" and others shown in this topic humanized the migrants for more fortunate citizens. In March 1936, Lange took what became one of her most famous images, "Migrant Mother." This image of a 32-year-old woman became an icon for the suffering of ordinary people during Great Depression.
The modern advertising industry really began in the early 1900s. These early advertising images show how companies approached the business of selling products, places, and ideas in the early 20th century.OverviewThe promotion of products, particularly national brands, began to become more prevalent in the early 1900s. Some categories of advertising shown in this group of images are still with us today: cars, cigarettes, and products aimed at homemakers. In California, car dealers and garages used advertising to promote products and services early on. One photograph shows the Lush Garage in Orange promoting Goodrich Tires as the "Best in the Long Run." In 1936, a photographic postcard for the Chevrolet Garage in Pomona offered 12 lube jobs for $6 in time payments. And as another image illustrates, one still-recognizable brand, Schlitz Beer, got on the advertising bandwagon early at an automobile race in 1908.Photographs of displays from the Westwood Hardware and Furniture Store in 1936 advertise kitchen stoves and camps stoves from Coleman; and Dr. West's toothbrushes, with bristles that "will not get soggy." A 1929 photo shows a baker and two women in costume advertising Piping Pan Cakery Compound in San Diego.
The Gold Rush, positive for California in so many ways, had a devastating effect on the state's environment. Many of these problems were directly related to gold-mining technology. The process of hydraulic mining, which became popular in the 1850s, caused irreparable environmental destruction. Two images show California's largest hydraulic mine ? Malakoff Diggings, in Nevada County ? in action. (Malakoff Diggings is now a state park and open to visitors.) Dams (such as the English Dam in Nevada County, shown in one photograph), which were constructed to help supply water to the mines during the dry summer months, changed the course of rivers. The sediment washed away by hydraulic mining clogged riverbeds and lakes, threatening agriculture throughout the Central Valley. Conflicts over water arose between mining and farming interests. Hydraulic mining essentially came to an end in 1884 with the Sawyer Decision, legislation passed to resolve this conflict. The mining industry also needed a great deal of wood, both to fuel the boilers at the mines and to build extensive canal systems. This demand for lumber helped create the logging industry. California's forests had plenty of trees to log, many quite large. The lithograph "The Stump and Trunk of the Mammoth Tree of Calaveras" depicts a society ball at which 32 people danced on the stump of a giant sequoia tree. Photographer Carleton E. Watkins was well known for his images of the grand views of the West. He was the first to capture Yosemite on film, and helped shape how people throughout the country and the world viewed California. He took many of the broad landscape photos in this group. Watkins also made use of the new technology of the day to create stereoscopic views, including the image of the Malakoff Diggings. There are also several Daguerreotypes in this topic. They include a portrait of John A. Sutter (at whose mill gold was first discovered); miners at work; miners with equipment; and general scenes of mining operations.
The images in this group offer a glimpse of daily life in California during the mid-1800s in big cities like San Francisco and in smaller, rural towns like Dixon and Nevada City. These photographs show some of the everyday people of the time, as well as the shops, saloons, and other establishments that served them. Many people who came to California to strike it rich eventually abandoned their dreams of gold. They stayed in California and worked as farmers or merchants, relaxing in saloons or coffee houses and marrying and raising families. This group contains several portraits captured in Daguerreotypes and cased photographs that depict a variety of everyday people: a young Gold Rush widow in black mourning attire; a gold seeker with a pick axe, a pan, and a gun; and a farmer and wagon maker (who founded the town of Dixon in 1852), alongside images of his two children.
The Free Speech Movement (FSM) was a college campus phenomenon inspired first by the struggle for civil rights and later fueled by opposition to the Vietnam War. The Free Speech Movement began in 1964, when students at the University of California, Berkeley protested a ban on on-campus political activities. The protest was led by several students, who also demanded their right to free speech and academic freedom. The FSM sparked an unprecedented wave of student activism and involvement. Many images in this group make it clear that the center of the activity on the UC Berkeley campus was in Sproul Plaza. One photograph shows students occupying the balconies of Sproul Hall, a campus administration building, holding FSM banners and an American flag. Another photograph shows student leader Mario Savio leading a group of students through Sather Gate toward a meeting of the UC Regents. In defiance of the ban on on-campus political activities, graduate student Jack Weinberg set up a table with political information and was arrested. But a group of approximately 3,000 students surrounded the police car in which he was held, preventing it from moving for 36 hours. Photographs show Weinberg in the car, both Mario Savio and Jack Weinberg on top of the surrounded car speaking to the crowd, and the car encircled by protesters and police. Other photographs that portray key people and events of the Free Speech Movement include the eight students (including Mario Savio) suspended for operating a table on campus without a permit and raising money for unauthorized purposes; Mario Savio speaking to a crowd; students signing a pledge; and students sleeping on the steps of Sproul Plaza. Photographs of students being arrested, holding a mass sit-in, and picketing in support of the student-faculty strike as they protest demonstrators' arrests reflect other aspects of the Free Speech Movement. Singer Joan Baez supported the FSM, and a photograph shows her singing to the demonstrators. Bettina Aptheker, who later became a professor of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz, also supported the FSM. A photograph shows her speaking in front of Sproul Hall. Other photographs in this topic demonstrate that groups such as Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the International Workers of the World (IWW) showed solidarity and supported the FSM. Other images in this group include UC President Clark Kerr speaking at the UC Berkeley Greek Theater, and CORE co-founder James Farmer at a CORE rally.
People from around the world continued to come to California in the early 1900s, many in search of work and a better life. These images reflect some of the diverse ethnic groups that came to the West Coast from locations around the globe. They also illustrate some of the challenges they faced in assimilating into California society.
Cities up and down the state of California grew rapidly during the Gold Rush era. Some of these cities were veritable boomtowns: San Francisco, a small village in 1847, was a bustling city by 1849, just two years later. San Francisco's population boom even had an impact on its geography. One image from 1847 shows Montgomery Street on the waterfront; but a photograph taken in 1862 shows that the waterfront had been filled to increase the city's real estate, pushing Montgomery Street inland. Southern California also had its share of rapidly growing cities. Between 1850 and 1870, a span of just 20 years, the population of Los Angeles County grew from 3,530 and 15,309. Lithographs show a bird's eye view of the city and outlying farmland, a vastly different city than the Los Angeles of today. Two photographs of substantial buildings taken in Anaheim in the 1880s ? one of a hotel ? show clear evidence of growth.The cities continued to grow because more and more people migrated to California, despite the long and difficult journey. Many transportation businesses encouraged travel to California, and posters advertising travel fares reflected the different ways that people could travel to and within the Golden State: by ship, by train, or in a horse-drawn stagecoach. Some ads even played to travelers' fears, suggesting that crossing by land was safer than by sea.
The US stock market crash of 1929 set off the most severe economic depression in the Western world. The so-called Great Depression lasted more than a decade, until approximately 1941. In the United States, the general atmosphere was one of desolation, as expressed in the Dorothea Lange photograph "Thirteen Million Unemployed Fill the City in the Early Thirties," which shows men leaning against a wall in San Francisco. Many photographs in this topic were taken by Lange, one of the primary chroniclers of the Great Depression. Lange had been taking portraits of wealthy individuals in her studio, but she felt compelled to go out on the streets and take photographs of everyday people. In 1933, she marked the start of her documentary career what she called her "first street image": "White Angel Bread Line," a photograph of a man waiting for food at a soup kitchen run by a San Francisco widow. The images in this group reflect the lives of average citizens struggling to get by. Photographs show unemployed men waiting in long lines. One Lange photo shows a man sleeping in a parking lot. Rural areas were also hard hit. As several of these images show, some people lived in "Hoovervilles" ? temporary towns of makeshift housing that got their name from President Herbert Hoover, who was blamed for the problems that led to the Depression. The image captions written at the time (such as "Not much room in this one room shack, but it?s shelter from a trying winter" and "These Hooverville children are ashamed of their home ? can you blame them?") express the conditions that people endured and reveal the way people felt.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (photographed in 1935 with his wife, Eleanor) created the New Deal as a solution for bringing the United States out of the Great Depression. The New Deal created a new role for the federal government, one that involved infusing money into the economy largely through the creation of new jobs and social programs. One photograph shows Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act of 1935, which was designed to keep citizens from becoming destitute. The New Deal also created the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which funded artists to create public art projects and others to complete a wide variety of work projects, such as the construction of roads, trails, theaters, and public buildings. Several images show the wide variety of work that the WPA helped fund: an artist painting a mural, a man tending a butterfly collection in the Natural History Museum, and people clipping articles. Not everyone supported the government's new, expanded role. The image of men holding a banner that reads "Against Roosevelt's New Deal" was taken at a Communist demonstration in San Diego in 1933. Still others created their own solution to the Depression's hard times by forming cooperative organizations. The aim of the co-op movement was for people to work together and share the proceeds of their labors. In the early years of the Depression in California, many sorts of self-help cooperatives were formed by individuals (often called "cooperators"). The images in this group show cooperative pie-making, sewing and quilting ventures, and a cooperative barber shop, art studio, construction enterprises, and cannery.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which established 10 internment camps for "national security" purposes. Although most internment camps were along the West Coast, others could be found in Wyoming and Colorado, and as far east as Arkansas. One photo shows Japanese American boys in San Francisco shortly before the evacuation order; another shows a woman waiting for the evacuation bus in Hayward; approximately 660 people being evacuated by bus from San Francisco on the first day of the program; and an aerial image of people sitting on their belongings, waiting to be taken to Manzanar. The government-sponsored War Relocation Authority (WRA) hired Dorothea Lange and other photographers to take pictures of the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans. Lange?s photographs, some of which were suppressed by the WRA and only released later, often capture the irony inherent in the situation. Although internees were allowed to take only what they could carry with them to the camps, one Lange photo juxtaposes a bus poster "Such a load off my mind ? Bekins stored my things" next to a pile of internees' belongings. Another striking Lange image shows a Japanese American-owned corner store with a large "I am an American" banner hanging beneath a "Sold" sign. Another photograph of an engine's distributor, removed from a car owned by an internee, showed that people were truly prisoners at the camp, unable to drive their own cars away. Several paintings by interned Japanese American artists Henry Sugimoto and Hisako Hibi reflect their emotional experiences and give viewers a sense of what life was like for them. The paintings express the pain, suffering, and anger of those subjected to internment. Over 100,000 Japanese American men, women, and children were relocated and detained at these camps. Photographs here show people of all ages, including a grandfather and grandchild, and young children. This internment is now recognized as a violation of their human and civil rights. In 1980, the US government officially apologized and reparations were paid to survivors.
As the picture of the 1942 Santa Ana High School graduating class shows, uniformed graduates were headed into the service right after graduation day some may have been volunteers and others drafted. Those who weren't eligible for service could volunteer to help the war effort at home. As the images in this topic show, people at home contributed to the war effort in a variety of ways. Many people readied for possible enemy attack. In one photograph men carry glass globes that will dim street lamps and allow for a "blackout" so that enemy planes won't be able to see the location of a city or town. Another photograph shows volunteer air spotters looking at a map, and another shows a women at a table recruiting volunteers to help spot suspicious aircraft. Raising money was another way to help. Some civilians supported the war effort by buying war bonds directly. Others raised money for war bonds through fundraisers like the Shangri La Queen beauty contest, pictured here. Many products were rationed during the war, and the government emphasized the importance of self-sufficiency. Nearly 20 million Americans including the fourth-grade children in Colorado and a Japanese-American family relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, shown here answered the government's request to plant "victory gardens" to raise their own food. These gardens, large and small, produced up to 40% of all food that was consumed. One photo even shows children raising rabbits for food in their back yard. Not everyone supported the war effort. As you can see in the photograph of a peace protest at UC Berkeley, some citizens wanted no part in the war and held peace strikes and rallies. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, life at home changed for Japanese Americans. Those on the West Coast faced internment in addition to prejudice and discrimination. During a brief period before internment became mandatory, Japanese Americans were allowed to choose voluntary evacuation to the Midwest. A photograph shows the Nomura family standing in front of their new home in Madison, Wisconsin.
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The Gold Rush era was marked by lawlessness: duels, murders in broad daylight, public hangings, jail breakouts, and vigilantism were everyday occurrences. The images in this group are a vivid record of those times. Included here are photographs of convicted murderers like James Egan, who was sent to San Quentin for 35 years for killing a man in a saloon brawl; and John "Chicken" Devine, who beat a man to death with a rock. A newspaper article reports that former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California David. S. Terry killed US Senator David C. Broderick in a duel, and a half-page drawing depicts the crime. Men weren't the only criminals: pickpockets Jennie Hastings and Dolly Mickey are also represented here. Law officers were in short supply, and laws were not uniformly enforced. Some men ? such as those in the photograph "Sharpshooters of the Vigilante Committee" ? took the law into their own hands, enforcing "justice" as they saw fit. They posted public notices like the "Warning!" sign, which threatens hanging as retribution for "pilfering, robbing, stealing, or any act of lawless violence." Several images portray individuals "rescued from the authorities" and hanged ? before being tried or even given a hearing for the crimes of which they were accused. Drugs were also part of Gold Rush communities. As several images show, people sometimes smoked opium in underground opium dens. And, as one photograph makes clear, opium smoking crossed racial and cultural boundaries. Eventually, law-abiding citizens grew weary of the uncontrolled murder and mayhem in their rapidly growing communities. As the Gold Rush era drew to an end, people felt that existing legal and judicial institutions had to be strengthened.
Beginning in the 1700s, the Spaniards built the California Missions to make contact with Native Americans in the hope of converting them to Christianity. One painting by a Russian artist depicts a group of Native Americans dancing in front of Mission Dolores in San Francisco; a later photograph shows a group of nuns with westernized native children in front of the Pala Mission in Southern California. As European Americans continued to migrate West throughout the 1800s, they came into conflict with the native peoples who lived there. Native Americans were increasingly pushed off their lands and forced onto reservations. At the same time, whites pressured Native Americans to assimilate. Native American children were sent away to boarding schools with the goal of socializing them and teaching them ?white ways.? Several photographs depict young Native American children wearing western dress in boarding school settings. Some of the photographs taken in the mid-1800s show Native Americans wearing traditional clothing (including "Jicarilla Apache Brave and Squaw, lately wedded," "Coyotero Apache Scouts," and "Group of Apaches, in front of the Wick-8-ups [sic]"). Photographs taken at the turn of the 20th century, such as "Pummuke" and "Chief Chepah, his wife, son, and daughter-in-law," indicate that by then even older Native Americans were adopting Western dress. Several photographs in this topic are from government-sponsored survey expeditions launched in the early 1870s to chart western lands and native peoples. These expeditions coincided with the beginning of anthropology as a science. In 1879, Congress created the Bureau of Ethnology to study and document the native people and their cultures. Included here are three portraits taken for these ethnographic field studies, and a painting of Sitting Bull, the famous Sioux medicine chief. Native Americans clashed violently and repeatedly with the white European Americans moving into their territory. The whites wanted to push the Indians off their land and onto reservations, but the Indians often refused to go. The Lakota branch of the Sioux tribe was one such group, and in 1875 their refusal resulted in the Lakota War. A famous battle in the Lakota War took place at the Little Bighorn River in Montana in 1876; there, US forces under General George Armstrong Custer attacked Crazy Horse and hundreds of Lakota and Northern Cheyenne warriors. In the battle, which came to be known as Custer's Last Stand, Custer's men were outnumbered four to one and every white man was killed. A drawing and a color lithograph show versions of this battle. Some Crow served as scouts for General Custer in the 7th Cavalry. One stereoscopic view shows "Curley" ? the only Indian survivor fighting on Custer's side ? wearing a buffalo coat and sitting astride a horse.
Many forms of entertainment and leisure activities people participated in during the early decades of the 20th century are not that different from those we enjoy today. At the turn of the century people found entertainment at carnivals and festivals and exhibitions. Photographs here include the California Midwinter International Exposition in San Francisco in 1894, and the Anaheim Carnival of 1911. Sports were also a popular pastime. Photographs show people participating in tennis and golf, but spectator sports were also popular. In 1929, Miss Jessie Darnley apparently swam her way to the title of Miss Anaheim in a pool filled with three tons of oranges. A number of players became celebrities, as witnessed by publicity stills of baseball greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Carl Klindt. Electricity and improved communications meant that entertainment was no longer confined to live theater. People turned to the radio for both information and entertainment. One photograph shows the family of a Democratic nominee for US Senator, Sheridan Downey, gathered around the radio listening to election results. Another depicts a live radio broadcast. During this era the film industry boomed in Hollywood, generating popular images and mythologies surrounding the movies and movie stars. Photographs in this group include some on-set shots of actors, directors, and movie-making equipment. The owner of the famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Sid Grauman, is pictured with film star Mary Pickford. Other images include silent film stars, the original "Our Gang" cast at the opening of the Broadway Theater, and a shot of the Spreckels Theater on the night of a Three Stooges film premiere in 1934.As had been true for centuries, people enjoyed music, literature, and the arts. Images here include jazz musicians performing and a studio portrait of Roland Hayes, considered one of the greatest tenors in the 1920s. Popular literary figures pictured include author Upton Sinclair, whose 1906 book The Jungle helped raise popular awareness about food processing and contributed in large part to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. Photographs of poets and writers who wrote about or resided in California include Joaquin Miller, George Sterling, Charles Warren Stoddard, Robinson Jeffers, Edwin Markham, and Mary Austin (standing in front of a mural with Mexican artist Diego Rivera).
During the late 1800s, American industry's demand for more and more natural resources pushed Congress to recognize the need to explore and chart the geological characteristics and mineral wealth of the country. In 1864, William Brewer (seen third from the left in "Field Party of 1864"), chief botanist of the California Geological Survey, led the first state-sponsored expedition to survey, map, chart, document, and photograph vast, previously unexplored areas of California. The government sponsored several such expeditions to survey and map the territories of the United States. The many photographs taken on these expeditions were used to promote the geographic wonders and scenic beauty of the West to the rest of the country and led to a move to preserve areas of natural beauty and protect them against development. In 1871, photographer William H. Jackson traveled to Yellowstone with an expedition led by Ferdinand V. Hayden, a Civil War veteran and later head of the US Geological Survey (the USGS was officially established in 1879). Jackson took the stereoscopic views of the park included here. The following year, as a result of this expedition, Congress passed the Yellowstone Act of 1872 to protect over 2 million acres in northwest Wyoming, designating the Yellowstone area as the world?s first National Park. In California, naturalist and conservationist John Muir (shown seated on a boulder in one photograph) educated and informed the public about the beauty of the state and its need to be preserved. He was instrumental in the move to set aside Yosemite as a National Park. Muir was influential in convincing President Teddy Roosevelt of the need to conserve these lands. One photograph of the president's visit to Yosemite shows Muir and Roosevelt standing on a rock at Yosemite's Glacier Point. Another shows Roosevelt with a party of Secret Service men and government officials at Mariposa Grove. Carlton Watkins was among the first to photograph Yosemite. He became well known for his magnificent, large plate images of the park, including the images of Bridal Veil, El Capitan, and Nevada Fall, shown here. His images played a significant role in promoting the West to the rest of the country. An image of sheet music from 1873 called "Yosemite Waltzes" reflects how the park was quickly incorporated into popular culture. The logging industry, which began during the Gold Rush years, had gained a foothold in California and the Pacific Northwest. One 1872 photograph depicts loggers in Mammoth Forest about to cut down a massive tree (said to be 5,000 years old) that would later be reassembled for the World's Fair in order to show the rest of the world just how big things were in the West. But as logging and other industries grew, and it became clear that the West had a finite amount of natural wealth, the conservation movement gained momentum. In 1892, the Sierra Club began at the University of California, Berkeley, to promote conservation and involve people in the great outdoors by organizing hikes and outings. One photograph shows club members on an outing in Sequoia Forest in 1902. Other photographs picture two women hiking to Glacier Point, and a family camping in Yosemite in 1906.