Friday, August 26, 2011

COLLECTION #41: Vintage California Social Studies Textbooks

California fourth graders have been studying California history as a big part of their Social Studies curriculum for decades.  A big part of that history is learning about the California Missions, and their effects on the state and its culture. Lots of us have no memory of the fourth grade except for building a model of one of the missions as our big Social Studies project. I can still remember mine: the San Luis Obispo Mission, built in 1772.  Back when I was in the 4th grade, we built our models from plaster of paris, or cardboard, or salt dough, or clay... today you can go to Michael's and buy a pre-cut scale model, complete with faux tile and miniature trees. But I digress! 

I have a number of California textbooks, dating from the 30s to the 60s. I remember clearly my own book, or actually books... there were two books that we studied that year: California Yesterdays, and Our California Today.

Generally, these books have a lot of fairly boring photos of things like crops in the Central Valley and the port of San Pedro, but some of the older ones have lovely illustrations.  I hope you enjoy my little collection!


E Kenney said...

Hi, I am doing some research on California history as taught in the 1970's. Would any of your books be from that decade? In particular I am interested in whether there is any mention of Rosa Mendez who sued the Orange County Unified School District in 1946 - a case that went to the California Supreme Court after being ruled against by the lower court. The final Mendez vs. OCUSD ruling wound up desegregating California schools statewide, six years before Brown vs. Board of Ed. Thurgood Marshall represented the NAACP in the appellate case and Earl Warren was the presiding judge who ruled in favor of Mendez. Warren would also rule in favor of Brown as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. I was in 4th grade in 1976 and do not recall learning anything about this fact - and I lived in the town directly adjacent to Westminster where Rosa Mendez lived. Thanks!

Wendy said...

Would you mind telling me which book those illustrations are from? It seems like it may be one that you didn't show the title of. Thank you!

Stefanie Eskander said...

You're right! Those books are packed away, I'll try to find it this week and I'll let you know.

Wendy said...

Thank you Stephanie!