The Book Club of California has chosen Gray Brechin as the 2015 recipient of their Oscar Lewis Award for outstanding contributions to Western history, largely because of his 2006 Imperial San Francisco. Gray notes, “Oscar Lewis’s books are what got me interested in Western history.” The award will be presented at an event Monday, March 30.
MAY 28, 2014
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, BUT VERY LIMITED SPACE, PLEASE RSVP TO RSVP@LIVINGNEWDEAL.ORGTO RESERVE A SPACE AND LUNCH
Next stops… Long Beach, San Diego….
Long Beach Museum of Art
MAY 29, 2014
6-7PM, RECEPTION TO FOLLOW
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, BUT PLEASE RSVP TO LISAM@LBMA.ORG
San Diego History Center
JUNE 2, 2014
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Then: up to Sacramento….
Sacramento Historical Society
JUNE 24, 2014
Lecture hosted by the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art – Northern California
Monday, May 13, 2013 – 6:00pm
The Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco
Gray Brechin’s talk will illustrate University of California Berkeley campus architectural triumphs, such as the Hearst Greek Theatre, Hearst Mining Building, and Hearst Gymnasium, which were born from spirited competition between three of the Bay Area’s most distinguished architects.
For more information, see the ICAA-NC website.
Gray Brechin, the Project Scholar at the Living New Deal Project at UC-Berkeley, will be giving at talk entitled “Excavating the New Deal in Southern California“ at the Long Beach Historical Society at 3:00 PM, July 23, 2011. From the description of the talk:
The powerful earthquake that emanated from Long Beach six days after President Franklin Roosevelt’s inauguration in 1933 coincided with the kickoff of New Deal programs to lift the U.S. out of the Great Depression. A plethora of public works agencies soon put legions of the unemployed to work rebuilding and embellishing the wrecked schools of Long Beach and beyond. They did far more than that, however, in a spasm of public building that left an indelible mark on Southern California and improved the lives of generations. Dr. Gray Brechin will show what lessons those public works have for us today if we would only see and understand them.
Long Beach Historical Society
3:00 PM, July 23, 2011
4260 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90807
Last fall, in remarks at the FDR Library on the 75th anniversary of the WPA, Gray Brechin gave a speech focusing on the multifaceted impact of the New Deal, in which he highlighted the California Living New Deal project at UC-Berkeley’s Geography Department (of which Prof. Brechin a the founder) and efforts to expand it nationwide. From the speech:
The people responsible for building this invisible New Deal archipelago had a big idea: they believed they were building a civilization worthy of the name, a democratic civilization that would endure and be a beacon to the world then darkening with the fundamentalist ideologies of those times. They had no idea that we would let it fall into ruin because we were persuaded that we should not have to pay taxes, as, for example, the governor and university administrators are now doing at the University of California because (as they say) they have no alternative. The example of the New Deal shows that there is an alternative — it’s a matter of priorities.The people responsible for building this invisible New Deal archipelago had a big idea: they believed they were building a civilization worthy of the name, a democratic civilization that would endure and be a beacon to the world then darkening with the fundamentalist ideologies of those times. They had no idea that we would let it fall into ruin because we were persuaded that we should not have to pay taxes, as, for example, the governor and university administrators are now doing at the University of California because (as they say) they have no alternative. The example of the New Deal shows that there is an alternative — it’s a matter of priorities.
To read the whole speech, click here.
As part of Laborfest, the massive, month-long program of events that includes a film festival, tours, lectures and discussions in the Bay Area, historian and author Gray Brechin, author of Imperial San Francisco and principle investigator on The Living New Deal Project, will be leading a discussion and a tour toward the end of July. Reservations are recommended.
July 28 at 3:00 pm: “The Living New Deal: Excavating the Public Landscape of the Great Depression”
In less than a decade, President Franklin Roosevelt’s various public works agencies radically transformed the United States, giving employment to and improving the lives of millions while setting the stage for the post-war economic boom. For the past quarter century, however, the New Deal’s ideological enemies have systematically rolled back and erased the memory of its epochal accomplishments without understanding how it profited them and continues to do so. Dr. Gray Brechin will discuss the Living New Deal Project – a statewide collaborative effort to document and map the physical legacy of the New Deal in California and to honor the surviving veterans. The Project will provide the foundation for a national inventory and for a discussion of the role of the public sector in a just society.
ILWU Local 6 Hall 255 9th St. near Howard, SF
July 29 at 10:00 am: WPA-PWA Bus Tour with Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith
Join Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith as they travel through history on a bus tour of historic sites built by unionized labor. You will learn about the major contribution workers made during the depression era of the New Deal program. They will discuss about 75 years of WPA.
Aquatic Park Next to Ghiradelli Square, SF
Co-sponsored by UTU Local 1741
Meet at the bottom corner of Aquatic Park Hyde & Jefferson
Reservation required: call (415) 642-8066
or by e-mail: laborfest@
Make reservation, then send $15 check to:
LaborFest, P.O. Box 40983, SF, CA 94140
(Sandwiches and drinks will be available on the bus.) Bus will be back at Hyde & Jefferson
Tour lasts about 5 hours