History

Post image for Memorial Day gains new meaning after visiting Normandy beaches

In April, we visited the invasion beaches in Normandy for the first time. On a trip that featured sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures throughout, it rained. That seemed fitting.

Those of us who grew up in Menlo Park in the 50s and 60s shared a common bond. Almost all of our fathers had served in World War II. For us early baby boomers, that war had immediacy. Few of our fathers talked about their experiences, but whether they’d served in Europe or in the Pacific, they were lucky enough to return home alive and begin life again on the Peninsula.

The Normandy American Cemetery contains the graves of 9,387 military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations.  It’s on the  site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944, and the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II.

On our visit, we walked the beaches and climbed up to various points where other military actions took place. Following the footsteps on the windswept beaches and bluffs, we could only imagine the bravery — and the horror.

On this Memorial Day, we remember all those who served their country.

 

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M.A. Harris estate is one of Atherton’s historical best – then and now

Thumbnail image for M.A. Harris estate is one of Atherton’s historical best – then and now

Over the past 100 years, there are a few special properties in Atherton that have maintained their prominence. The estate located at 120 Selby Lane is one. Originally part of a 16+ acre parcel, this estate was home to Matthew A. Harris, member of the first Atherton city council, subsequent Mayor of Atherton and president […]

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Calling all Add Janes Swim School alums – a reunion is being planned

Thumbnail image for Calling all Add Janes Swim School alums – a reunion is being planned

A group of swimmers who hung out at Add Janes Swim School, which was located on Willow Road in Menlo Park, are organizing a reunion for anyone who swam there, whether it was for lessons, on the swim team, or recreationally. We stopped by the Dutch Goose a couple weeks back to talk to the organizers […]

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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Menlo Park, a city with deep Irish roots

Thumbnail image for Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Menlo Park, a city with deep Irish roots

We spotted this not quite four leaf clover attached to a car in downtown Menlo Park lot, with a matching clover on the passenger side. Many local restaurants are serving corned beef and cabbage today, but best to call ahead to confirm. If you want to make your own, Draegers offers two cuts of corned beef […]

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Discover the history of Menlo College at Kepler’s this Thursday evening

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Whether or not you have ever set foot on the Menlo College campus in Atherton, you can learn about its 85-year history when Pam Gullard, author of Through the Gates, discusses the college’s past, present, and future with the new president, Dr. Richard Moran at Kepler’s Books on Thursday, Feb. 19. The event will begin with a 7:00 […]

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“Do you remember (the old Menlo Park?)” is hit Facebook group with folks who grew up here

Thumbnail image for “Do you remember (the old Menlo Park?)” is hit Facebook group with folks who grew up here

Philip Peters’ Facebook group, Do you remember (the old Menlo Park?), strikes a chord with people who grew up here, so we thought it high time we caught up with Philip to learn how it all came about. He told us that he’d seen a similar group dedicated to Palo Alto, and given that lots […]

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Former Menlo Park City Attorney Jack Jorgeson talks about the 60s and 70s at Menlo Park Historical Association annual meeting

Thumbnail image for Former Menlo Park City Attorney Jack Jorgeson talks about the 60s and 70s at Menlo Park Historical Association annual meeting

At the annual meeting of the Menlo Park Historical Association an audience of about 50 were taken back to the City of the 1960s and 70s by Jack Jorgenson, the Menlo Park City Attorney from 1961 to 1985. In 1960, Jorgenson was assistant to City Attorney James O’Keefe, Jr. when O’Keefe left to take an elective […]

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Personal remembrance: A disappointed Giants fan 25 years ago today

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When I was growing up in Menlo Park, the Giants moved to San Francisco. My extended family would attend games together, and my two uncles, who both lived in the City, taught me baseball and sowed the seeds for the lifetime fan I am. Twenty five years ago today, I was still technically living in Southern […]

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It all started with the Loma Prieta earthquake 25 years today for two fire fighters involved in search and rescue

Thumbnail image for It all started with the Loma Prieta earthquake 25 years today for two fire fighters involved in search and rescue

Editor’s note: The Loma Prieta earthquake struck at 5:04 pm on Oct. 17, 1989, recording a magnitude of 6.9.  Menlo Park sustained little damage, but the quake did prompt lasting changes to local search and rescue procedures as chronicled below. Twenty five years ago, Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Manny Navarro was off duty when […]

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Author Pamela Gullard tells the story of Menlo College’s 85 years set within each decade

Thumbnail image for Author Pamela Gullard tells the story of Menlo College’s 85 years set within each decade

Ever wonder how the tiny town of Atherton got an institution of higher learning and what goes on behind its gates? A new book about Menlo College filled with over 100 archival photos and reminiscences of staff and alumni reveals the answers. Titled Through the Gates: Eighty-five Years of Menlo College and its Times, the book sets the […]

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Were you in Menlo Park or Atherton in 1967? Then Polk’s has you!

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Dave Waters posted this on the Facebook group, Do You Remember the (old Menlo Park). For those of us of a certain era, it’s a real jaunt down memory lane. Note: In somewhat of a quirk, children are listed separately from parents. Wrote Dave: “Here’s a link to a 1967 Polk’s edition. These are fun […]

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