California History

Courtesy of Al Bronzini

 

“This is old Italian neighborhood,” Al Bronzini says. “That’s the house I was raised in, right there.” Al is showing me some of the places that were important to him growing up in East Oakland, almost 80 years ago. “Boy this is different,” he says. “Wow.”

Prop 13: Mad as Hell

Nov 14, 2016
Photo courtesy of Retro Report

In 1978, when Howard Jarvis declared that he was mad as hell about rising property taxes in California, he started a tax revolt in the state. Thirty-eight years later, Jarvis’s Proposition 13 is still on the books in California, but the debate over its consequences remains.

Courtesy of Grant Avenue Follies

From the 1940s until the 1960s, San Francisco’s Chinatown was home to a thriving Chinese American nightclub scene. The clubs had names like Forbidden City, the Chinese Skyroom, and the Shanghai Low. They had showgirls, ballroom duos, comedians, jazz singers, and magic acts -- all featuring Asian-American entertainers. These clubs had wide appeal: celebrities like Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, and Lauren Bacall were all spotted over the years, along with tourists, businessmen and locals.

Liz Pfeffer

A few hours north of San Francisco is the town of Boonville, nestled in the quaint Anderson Valley of Mendocino County. Like Silicon Valley, this place is known for its innovations in communication – but in a completely different way.