History

Post image for Albert Camarillo looks back on four decades teaching Mexican American history at Stanford

Growing up in Compton, California in the 50s and 60s, by his own admission Albert Camarillo was not a particularly good student. “But a light went on in sixth grade when I had my first male teacher,” he recalls, sitting in the living room of his Menlo Park home. “Another inspiration was my older brother who excelled as a high school student.”

Al did his undergraduate and graduate studies at UCLA, where he was mentored by Juan Gómez-Quiñones. “Initially I was going to study marine biology, but that changed quickly,” he chuckled. “I switched to political science but changed again to history, taking the first Mexican-American history class when I was a junior. That became my academic passion.”

After getting his Ph.D., Al came to Stanford where he has remained. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano Studies and has received numerous awards and fellowships over the course of his career.

The moniker, Chicano Studies, he views as a “historical phenomena of my generation that’s lost it’s salience as ‘more acceptable’ phrases were adopted.” Terminology aside, he is incredibly fulfilled “by the huge expansion of a field of study that I helped create.”

“Today there are 1,000 people teaching Mexican American history in higher education,” he said. “When I stared there were a couple of dozen. You can’t understand American history without knowing about our country’s second largest minority group.”

Al will soon be wrapping up his career at Stanford. “I’m teaching my last classed in the winter/spring quarter,” he said. “My wife and I look forward to visiting all of our grandchildren. And I still have a couple of books in the making.”

Photo by Scott R. Kline (c) 2018

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More on The Oasis from author of the book on Camp Fremont

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The building that houses The Oasis, which will close on March 7, has a history that predates its 60 years as a beer garden. Emails Barbara Wilcox, who wrote a book about Camp Fremont during World War I: “[The building] was one of several Camp Fremont YMCAs during the war. Every unit had its own YMCA. […]

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Get the scoop on Casanova at Menlo Park Library on Feb. 12

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Who was the infamous Giacomo Casanova? A docent from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will enlighten us at the Menlo Park Library on Monday, Feb.12 at 6:30 pm. Explore the 18th century across Europe through the eyes of one of its most colorful characters, Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798). A community speaker from the Fine […]

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Black History Month Luncheon & Gospel Fest set for Feb. 23 at Menlo Park Senior Center

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The Menlo Park Senior Center, at 110 Terminal Avenue, will host its 18th Annual Black History Month Luncheon and Gospel Fest on Friday, February 23, 2018 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. Enjoy heart-warming Gospel music, dance by Soul Line Dancers, poetry readings, and a delicious home cooked meal. There is a $10 entry fee […]

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“Moffett Field, Then and Now” is topic of library talk on Jan. 29

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Get an insider’s look at Moffett Field from Docent John Suckow on Monday, January 29 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Menlo Park Library. He will share many fascinating facts about: Admiral William A. Moffett The history of Moffett Field How the Historical Society came to be The “life” of the museum Lt. Suckow […]

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Get to know Bay Area aviation pioneer Stanley Hiller and his amazing “Hiller-copter!” on Jan. 10

Thumbnail image for Get to know Bay Area aviation pioneer Stanley Hiller and his amazing “Hiller-copter!” on Jan. 10

At the age of just 15, Stanley Hiller, Jr. (pictured) designed the XH-44, which became the first successful coaxial rotor helicopter to fly in America, the first to use all metal rotor blades, and the first helicopter to be built on the West Coast. Most locals now know Hiller through his namesake Aviation Museum, which […]

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20 years ago today the oldest and first bridge across the San Francisco Bay caught fire

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Shortly before 7:00 pm on Saturday, January 3, 1998,a fire at, or near, the abandoned Sportsmen’s Gun Club located off of University Avenue at the tip of the City of East Palo Alto was reported to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Acting Battalion Chief (B/C) Harold Schapelhouman (pictured below), now the District’s Fire Chief, […]

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Peninsula Volunteers celebrate 70th anniversary – and it all started with Little House

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In 1947,  a group of forward-thinking women incorporated Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., and with that action started an organization that continues to serve the needs of seniors on the San Francisco Peninsula to this day. To honor this milestone, the organization is taking a look back through the seven decades of its history, and looking forward […]

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Always a local angle: this M-A grad was Playmate of the Month back in the day

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Hu Hefner’s passing brought back memories of one of the stars of M-A’s class of 1966. Under the name Jennifer Liano, Judy Young was Playmate of the Month in May, 1970. Today she posted on Facebook: “RIP Hef.” Judy’s daughter, Lydia McLaughlin is featured on the Real Housewives of Orange County, and Judy herself appears […]

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Filoli makes changes in visitor access, staffing and volunteer training as it looks to the future

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This year, under new leadership, Filoli has expanded hours of operation and the community response was very positive. “We have experienced nearly a 30% increase in attendance just by opening our doors more widely,” said Kara Newport, Chief Executive Officer at Filoli, who was brought on board just a year ago. Filoli is now exploring […]

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Historical photos of Menlo Park available for all to enjoy thanks to Planning Division efforts

Thumbnail image for Historical photos of Menlo Park available for all to enjoy thanks to Planning Division efforts

As part of the recent City Hall Renovation Project, the Planning Division uncovered a number of older photos that were worthy of preservation. After having them professionally scanned, staff has done some basic sorting/labeling and posted them to a public Flickr account for all to enjoy! Photos of interest include: 1968 Downtown Building Survey: This […]

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