O BRAVE NEW WORLD 3

The Italian Jesuits who staffed St. Ignatius College were thoroughly at home with the scientific Enlightenment, and Montgomery received a first-rate education there; indeed, in 1880 the U.S. Bureau of Education ranked St. Ignatius Col¬lege—despite its remoteness and small size—in the superior cat¬egory as far as its scientific program and laboratory facilities were concerned. Much of the credit for this ... Read More »

O BRAVE NEW WORLD 2

Even before the establishment of the survey, Californians had been aware of a great valley in the central Sierra Nevada, which in 1852 they began to call Yosemite. Years before academically trained geologists arrived there, however, yet another English emigre, James Mason Hutchings, began to promote the beauty of the Yosemite Valley through Hutchings’ Illustrated California Magazine, which he founded ... Read More »

O BRAVE NEW WORLD

Through engineering and technology, California invented it¬self as an American place. The completion of the trans-Sierra portion of the transcontinental railroad can be seen as an engi¬neering feat of the highest order. The development of mining technology led to the Pelton turbine, a Cahfornia invention, which in turn brought hydroelectricity to California, which in turn made possible an industrial infrastructure. ... Read More »

WAR AND PEACE 8

At the entrance to Disneyland was Main Street USA: that mythologized small town fixed forever in the American imagi¬nation (sometimes for better, other times for worse), which was now being transferred West and reimposed onto the new devel¬opments. Like these new developments, Disneyland was based on a mythologized reverence for the past, Main Street USA, and the related values of ... Read More »

WAR AND PEACE 7

In 1944 Bing Crosby had been singing a popular song by Gordon Jenkins about making the San Fernando Valley his home. Between 1945 and 1960, the San Fernando Valley—ac¬quired by the City of Los Angeles in 1915 as a kind of local Louisiana Purchase, doubling the area of the city—was trans¬formed from a landscape of ranches, farms, and small towns ... Read More »

WAR AND PEACE 6

Still, it remained difficult to be a minority in wartime Los Angeles, as African American novelist Chester Himes discov¬ered through personal experience and chronicled in If He Hollers Let Him Go (1945), the story of a black shipyard worker in an industrial culture based on segregation, which was the norm in the armed forces as well. Black Navy stevedores, for ... Read More »

WAR AND PEACE 5

Leave patterns in Southern California lacked the geograph¬ical concentration of the Bay Area, although the Biltmore Hotel on Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles became a popu¬lar spot for air cadets on leave. Just down from the Biltmore ex¬tended a zone of honky-tonk bars, burlesque theaters, cheap movie houses, dance halls, and tattoo parlors, most of it cen¬tered on Main ... Read More »

WAR AND PEACE 4

As 1942 edged into 1943, the San Francisco Bay Area was emerging as the premier military command center and port of embarkation and supply on the Pacific Coast. Shipping experts such as Roger Lapharn lent their expertise to the military. Ap¬proximately two hundred thousand military vehicles—-jeeps, trucks, half-tracks, tanks—were given precombat checkouts and prepared for shipment overseas at the Ordnance ... Read More »

WAR AND PEACE 3

The White California movement, in short, represented the common, even vulgar, side of the California identity, however highly placed its leadership. It was, moreover, a racism based on envy. Japanese immigrants to California did well. They worked effectively as agricultural laborers, skillfully brokering their con¬tracts through appointed leaders. With their savings, they rented land and started profitable farms. In the ... Read More »

WAR AND PEACE 2

The attack on Pearl Harbor threw California, indeed the en¬tire Pacific Coast, into a panic—a state compounded on Febru¬ary 23, 1942, when Submarine 1-17 of the Japanese Imperial Navy, under Commander Kozo Nishino, surfaced in the Santa Barbara Channel and fired twenty-five five-inch shells across the Pacific Coast Highway into oil storage tanks at Elwood, causing minor damage but effecting ... Read More »