history

Janice Nimura

Japan and the U.S. have a long history together. In the late 1800s, Japan had just emerged from a civil war, and the government had a mission to build the country back up again by learning the ways of the West. So they started sending young men to the U.S., to learn how Americans do business, build and work. Then, came the idea to send young women. Actually -- girls.

Many people still think of San Francisco’s most famous intersection -- Haight-Ashbury -- as the epicenter of the hippie movement of the mid-1960s. Plenty of the businesses along Haight Street ensure that era is not forgotten.

What is forgotten is why that particular corner became the namesake of Flower Power. About 20 other streets intersect Haight Street, so why choose Ashbury? Greg Pabst of San Francisco City Guides says it has to do with its location along the Panhandle section of Golden Gate Park.

Who are your favorite rad American women? On the next Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about City Lights’ first children’s book Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!  Writer by Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl chose 26 famous and unsung heroines. A is for Angela Davis, E is for Ella Baker, and P is for Patti Smith. Who would you add to the list? It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Guests:

angelisland.org

The San Francisco Bay has long been a gateway for immigrants. Between 1910 and 1940, more than a million people from 80 different countries entered the United States through the immigration station on Angel Island. 

 


On today’s episode of “Crosscurrents,” we are talking about identity. We have heard how people, whether intentionally or not, can “pass” as another race, just by the sound of their voice. Passing can also be a full-time, physical endeavor. The United States has a long history of African Americans who chose to live as white in their daily lives. 

Berkeley South Asian Radical Walking Tour


There are a thousand hidden histories in the Bay Area – stories in the cement, just beneath the surface of our routes to work or school or play. There are also a handful of guided walking tours that aim to pull these stories from the pavement: Architecture tours, neighborhood tours, literary tours. And then, there is the Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour. In 2012, Barnali Ghosh began the tour with her husband, Anirvan Chatterjee.

Navigating San Francisco’s pretzel bureaucracy

Jan 13, 2015

Starting a small business in the Bay Area can be quite a chore. To be successful, you have to twist yourself into unusual shapes.

Out In The Bay 9/18/14

Sep 18, 2014

Interview with Rick Shelton, aka Lola Montez.

Julie Blaumstein

As the city of San Francisco experiences new waves of growth and expansion, we travel back to another time before redevelopment reshaped the Fillmore District. 

In the 40’s and 50’s the Fillmore was a vibrant mix of cultures, and a national hotspot for jazz musicians. On any given night you could hear the voice of Billie Holiday, or the playing of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Dizzy Gillespie. The lively and diverse neighborhood quickly earned a nickname: The Harlem of the West.   

Bayview Opera House


This year marks the 125th birthday of a San Francisco historic Landmark. Not City Hall, not the Golden Gate. The Bayview Opera House — San Francisco’s oldest theatre. 

Our part of the world is famous, or maybe infamous, for its interest in food and how it’s grown. We’re also known for local specialties ranging from sourdough bread to the super burrito. Author Erica J. Peters of Mountain View explains the history of several “signature dishes” in her book San Francisco, A Food Biography.

The book highlights a number of Gold Rush-era specialties. Two of note are the Hangtown Fry, and sourdough bread.

Creative Commons

Courtesy of www.freedomhousedoc.com

The story behind the country's real first ambulance system carries themes of race and class. It was created in the late 1960s. Up until then, police would take patients to the hospital in wagons that weren't equipped with gurneys or medical equipment.

WEB EXTRA: A brief history of 9-1-1

Oct 8, 2013

The coordinated 9-1-1 system has grown up in fits and starts in different parts of the country.

Up until the late 1960s, you had to dial “0” or a 7-digit number to reach an emergency switchboard, and those numbers varied city to city.

Radical Skeletons

Aug 21, 2013
Sandip Roy

It turns out that a community best known for winning spelling bees also has some radical skeletons in its closet. Anirvan Chatterjee and Barnali Ghosh who live in Berkeley curate the South Asian Radical History Walking Tour.

Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour: www.berkeleysouthasian.org

After leafing through local newspapers from the 19th century, local author Jan Batiste Adkins found stories of African Americans who helped shape San Francisco. She dug deeper and decided to write a book about the city’s black history, African Americans of San Francisco. The photo book chronicles the lives of significant black pioneers from the Gold Rush to today, covering everyone from escaped slaves who landed in the city, to the Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris. Jan Adkins joined KALW’s Hana Baba to talk more about that history.

Sandip Roy

The telegram was 163 which I guess is a fine age to finally give up the ghost. The last telegram went out somewhere in India on Sunday July 15. Order No. 111-23/93/T-II (Pt. IV) from the government finally put the poor thing to its rest.  A rather dry bureaucratic way to end a very colourful life....

Today on Your Call: Why are Americans in so much debt?

Mar 25, 2013



California's outer coast once boasted 27 miles of Bay Area beaches. Up until the 20th Century, these beaches provided a natural buffer for the inner land areas; then came freeways, airports and downtowns. KALW's Ben Trefny spoke with Robin M. Grossinger, Senior Scientist and Historical Ecology Program Director at the San Francisco Estuary Institute about California beaches, landscape heritage and how some of these areas have rebuilt themselves.