History

Post image for Meet aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman via Betty Slater’s performance on April 14

In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first woman of African-American descent, and the first of Native American descent, to hold a pilot license. Because she was black and female, Coleman could not find anyone in the U.S. willing to teach her how to fly, so she headed off to France.

Coleman toured the country with her barnstorming flight shows, but she only perform at venues where the crowds were desegregated and entered through the same gates.

This flying legend will be brought back to life in a special one-woman show from Betty Slater, on April 14 from 11:00 to noon at the Menlo Park City Council Chambers (701 Laurel St.).

Betty Jewell Slater is a playwright, director, poet and actress. She writes and performs monologues of historic black women and women of the Bible including Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Bessie Coleman, Coretta Scott King, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. Betty brings each woman’s history to life with costumes, props, and humor. She performs for theaters, libraries, schools, corporations, universities, civic, and religious groups.

The event is free, and beverages will be provided, both thanks to funding from the Friends of the Menlo Park Library. No preregistration is necessary to attend.

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It was 25 years ago today that the Peninsula Times Tribune closed – so let’s gather at the Goose

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Full disclosure: this writer was not there the day 25 years ago that the Peninsula Times Tribune ceased publication (here’s the Tribune Co. announcement), We’d left three months earlier when a friend from high school called and asked us to join his start up. But that in no way diminished how much we enjoyed working […]

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

Thumbnail 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 […]

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

Thumbnail image for More on The Oasis from author of the book on Camp Fremont

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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