Celebrating the Fourth of July in Los Angeles, 1892

by Paul R. Spitzzeri This Independence Day takes on particularly poignant and powerful meanings as the values embodied in colonial America's war of independence against the British Empire continue to be both an inspiration and a challenge to Americans—an inspiration because of the vital expression such essential goals of freedom, the pursuit of happiness and... Continue Reading →

From the Homestead Kitchen: California Lettuce Production and the Popularity of Salads in the 1920s

by Alexandra Rasic Have you ever thought about the origins of salad? While ancient Romans and Greeks enjoyed salata, or salted food dressed in oil, vinegar, and salt (sal is the Latin word for salt), it wasn't until the 1920s that salads became a popular and frequent dish on American dining tables. Addressing homemakers in... Continue Reading →

“We Are In Quarantine”: Letters from Agnes Temple to Her Brother Thomas and Father Walter, 6 May 1923

by Paul R. Spitzzeri As we are in our seventh week of stay-at-home orders in California to reduce the spread and "flatten the curve" of COVID-19 cases, we are all looking forward to what the near-future holds in terms of loosening restrictions and gradually being able to resume some of the "normal" functions of everyday... Continue Reading →

“Nobles of this Temple”: The Spring Ceremonial of the Shriners’ Al Malaikah Temple, Los Angeles, 17 April 1926

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Shriners International, a fraternal order dating to 1870 when Freemasons in New York decided to form an organization based more on fellowship and fun rather than the elaborate and arcane rituals of the traditional Masonic orders, such as ones that included the brothers William and David Workman, F.P.F. Temple, and other... Continue Reading →

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