Excited to be part of #cbrcrawldtlb!
We're so excited to be partnering with @lbwater for this event on the 23rd! For tickets go to http://ow.ly/i34Q50nbt48 #eatlocal #waterislife LongBeach #HSLB #HistoryLBC #LongBeachLife #LongBeachCA #History #HistoryBuff #HistoryMuseum
If you had exactly 24 hours notice that the ground beneath your feet would rock, how would you prepare? Have you prepared for #thebigone? History reminds us over and over: There's no time like the present! On Friday, March 10, 1933, the earth moved just before 6pm. Luckily, schools had already been dismissed for the weekend. This proved a blessing, because local schools were among the most heavily damaged in the #1933LongBeachEarthquake. #1933 #33earthquake #longbeachearthquake #longbeachca #longbeachcalifornia #earthquake #longbeachhistory #hslb #wherehistorylives #historymuseum #socalhistory #historybuff
Don't miss our closing event! Hear stories of hot rodders, cruisers, drive-ins and social change from the late 1940s to the early 1970s with historian, Craig Hendricks & actress, Lucy Daggett on Mar7th at 6:30pm! Tickets available at http://www.hslb.org #Cruisin #Racing #LionsDragStrip #CarShow #VintageCars #DragRace #ClassicCars #LongBeach #HSLB #HistoryLBC #LongBeachLife #LongBeachCA #LongBeachGrandPrix #CarShow2018 #CarShowLife #LongBeach #HSLB #HistoryLBC #LongBeachLife #LongBeachCA #History #HistoryBuff #HistoryMuseum
Hear stories of hot rodders, cruisers, drive-ins and social change from the late 1940s to the early 1970s with historian, Craig Hendricks & actress, Lucy Daggett on March 7th at 6:30pm! Tockets available at www.hslb.org.
Even the most mundane objects from our past can offer informative glimpses into the context of a particular time. Take this page in a 1925 Long Beach City Directory from our #HSLB archives - at first glance, a simple page full of names and addresses. But look closely. Next to some of those names you'll notice a (c). They indicate colored. Look more closely still and you'll see that this page represents a central stretch of California Av, now MLK Jr. Ave, a section of the city that did not contain restrictive covenants preventing black residents from owning, renting or even staying overnight. During WWII, large numbers of African Americans from all over the country came to Southern California seeking jobs. While they were welcomed, even encouraged, to work in the war industries in support of the victory effort, they were not welcomed in most neighborhoods. Before Google and social media, the city directory was the main source of information the community had about those around them. Quite clearly, it was important for everyone to know that these listed residences and businesses were occupied by black citizens. Unlike cities in the American south, Long Beach didn't have official Jim Crow Laws on its books, but neither did it prevent the restrictions that promoted de facto #segregation. #digdeeper #research #historymatters #historybuff #historymuseum #blackhistorymonth #africanamericanhistory #socalhistory #blackhistory #longbeachca #longbeachcalif #longbeachhistory #historylbc #lbc #historylover #wherehistorylives #nowyouknow
It is with great sadness and utmost respect that we bid farewell to Dave Werts, husband to HSLB’s president, Melanie Werts. Dave passed away February 14, 2019 at the age of 83. Dave was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa on August 10, 1935. He earned aeronautical engineering degrees from Iowa State University and University of Minnesota. He spent his career at TRW working on rocket science and other top-secret projects. In 1972, while working in Washington DC and living in Arlington, Virginia, he met Melanie Retzsch at a swimming pool in the apartment complex where they both lived. It was love at first sight. Within five short months they married on October 1, 1972. They had two sons, Tavis and Brandon (the HSLB's Archivist). Dave’s career took them to Paris and eventually to southern California. Dave sold his Farrari to purchase their home in Long Beach. Dave’s interests included fine wine, cars, jazz, gardening and genealogy. He knew the value of archives, having researched and written histories about his family and the Retzsch family, tracing them back several generations. Dave attended the Grand Prix almost annually. He passed his affection for jazz to his sons and recently served on the board of the Jazz Angels. Our current exhibition, Chrome: Cruisin’, Clubs, and Drag Strips features some of Dave’s collection of miniature cars. He attended the exhibit opening in July and greatly enjoyed the show. Dave clearly adored Melanie, and his sons Tavis and Brandon were lights in his life. He went above and beyond supporting Melanie’s work in the community and even became one of the Historical Society of Long Beach’s go-to bar tenders! We will all remember his warm, charming smile, intelligent conversation, and easy-going demeanor. And of course, we will miss him by Melanie’s side as she continues as president of the Historical Society. Formal services will not be held. Please join us in remembering Dave as the special person that he was to all who knew and loved him. Melanie and Dave graciously request gifts be made in Dave’s name to the Historical Society of Long Beach and/or the Jazz Angels.
All good things must come to and end. The fuel crisis and increasing environmental concerns of the early 1970s spelled the end of the mid-century car culture that came of age following nearly two decades of hardship during the Great Depression and WWII. In this shot of the southwest corner of 4th and Redondo in February, 1974, frustrated motorists line up to fill their tanks. Lines could stretch for endless blocks. Many ran out before reaching the pump or finally pulled up just as the station attendant posted the Out of Gas sign! Fist fights and arguments were not uncommon. This station is a strip mall, but the rest of the scene remains much the same today. And so, it's also time to say good-bye to our #Cruisin' exhibition, all about the Long Beach car culture that evolved following WWII, fed by a hopeful new beginning and the dream of having one's own slice of #Americanpie: a house in the 'burbs and a driveway to park the latest wheels to hit the showrooms. Car clubs flourished, performance was king and Friday and Saturday nights were spent cruising the boulevards, hanging out at The Clock Drive-In or racing at #LionsDragStrip. Join us for a farewell program Cruisin': History & Stories, with historian Craig Hendricks and actress Lucy Daggett, on March 7th. Tickets & info at http://hslb.org. The exhibit can be viewed intact through March 5. Exhibit entry is free thanks to our #HSLB members and sponsors. #longbeachca #longbeachcalifornia #historylbc #lbc #carculture #seventies #gascrunch #gascrisis #wherehistorylives #historymuseum #historylovers #cars #historymatters #historybuff #socal #socalhistory #belmontheights
What leads someone to make a difference? For Mary Dell Butler, it was her children. Mary migrated west from Texas during WWII, seeking job opportunities in the wartime economy. While war industries welcomed African American labor, many Long Beach neighborhoods contained covenants excluding people of color from buying, renting, or even staying overnight. So Mary and her children settled near PCH and California Avenue, where African Americans were allowed to settle. When Mary’s first daughter started kindergarten she joined the PTA, a practice she continued with each local school her kids attended, all the way through Poly High. In 1960 she was elected the first African American PTA president in Long Beach. Amidst the #CivilRightsMovement and #desegregation of public schools, she became a positive force of vision and reason as an influential member of the Poly Community Interracial Committee in 1967, which helped save Poly High School from the wrecking ball, a story we've told at our annual Historical Cemetery tours. Mary was elected the first black PTA president at Poly and became a Recreation Commissioner in 1970, and worked in countless other ways in support of her community. Mary didn’t have the time to volunteer, she made the time, working nights at St. Mary Hospital while dedicating days to family and community. Long Beach lost a treasure when Mary succumbed to cancer in 1986 at the age of 63. But her legacy of positive impact lives on in the lives she touched and the community she loved, a Long Beach citizen who truly made a difference. Image: Mary Dell Butler: Making a Difference Long Beach series available for research and/or purchase at the #HSLB gallery & research center. #blackhistorymonth #makingadifference #africanamericanhistory #civilrights #longbeachhistory #historylbc #historylover #historymuseum #longbeachca #longbeachcalifornia #longbeach #lbc #lbpoly #longbeachpoly #socalhistory