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History San José

Has An App!

History San José has launched a mobile app through the Google Cultural Institute. See previews of exhibits, tour our locations, and revisit exhibits all from your mobile device. Available through the Google Play Store -- just search for History San José! 

Print of the Month!
This photo, circa 1942, was taken at San Jose's Municipal Rose Garden.
CLICK HERE to check out this image and hundreds more available for purchase from our online Zenfolio site

Each photograph you buy helps support the History San José Research Library & Archives.
New Faces at History San José!
Welcome to Wendy Abelmann, the newest HSJ staff member.

Wendy is the new Director of Education & Community Engagement responsible for education programs and building new community partnerships. Welcome, Wendy!

Dear Friends,

Thank you! On May 5, we participated in Silicon Valley Gives, a 24-hour online effort devoted to promoting and raising funds for nonprofit organizations in Santa Clara Valley. This year, we are proud to announce that you - our wonderful community of friends - helped us raise $15,660 from 40 donors

We want to extend a special thank you to The Lee Lester Family who provided the additional incentive of a generous $10,000 matching gift. Their leadership and commitment to History San José's mission and future is genuinely appreciated.

As we jump into our summer "event season," there are numerous opportunities to become involved with History San José. Please come and join the fun this weekend for Hands-On History: Digging Up San Jose's Past!

Until next time, 


Alida J. Bray

President & CEO

June 27 - Come Celebrate With Us!

Our 10th Annual Valley of Hearts Delight fundraiser celebrates a history of diversity in San Jose, while supporting our most crucial projects. The night will be filled will local entertainment, featuring performers such as the Akoma DrummersLos Lupeños de San Jose, Vinh Son Liem Lion Dance, Khamsin Belly Dance, Fiddle Road, and Millenium SoundsThis year, our featured project is the renovation of the Empire Firehouse at History Park. We will transform the lower level of the Firehouse into an interactive exhibit and educational space for school children and park visitors to enjoy. Please join us for this very special evening! CLICK HERE for more information.
New Online Exhibit: Soccer in San Jose

After a long road trip, the San Jose Earthquakes return home to Avaya Stadium on May 16 to face the Columbus Crew! In celebration of this game and 40 years of pro soccer in San Jose, we are pleased to announce our latest online exhibit -- Earthquakes Come Home -- drawn from our San Jose Soccer Legacy Collection. Get this exhibit and more with the History San Jose app for Android through the Google Play Store.
Changing Boundaries: Television Premiere!
Wednesday, May 20 at 8:30pm

Changing Boundaries, the first-ever documentary about the remarkable history of San Jose, will debut on Silicon Valley Channel 30 (viewable on Comcast Cable in San Jose and Campbell). Please save the date for the next showing, which will be Wednesday, May 20 at 8:30pm.
Collections Corner
Recent Acquisitions:

Peterson Cycling Collection
Gift of Terry & Jeff Peterson
Don Peterson started bicycle racing as a 16-year-old on a San Jose board track. He won several road races before WWII, but his forte was the track. After breaking his back in a cycling spill in in 1953, he left the sport until 1960, when he started cycling again to help his son Terry develop as a racer. He became a coach to many riders in the San Jose Bicycle Club (SJBC) in the 1970s, then launched the "Breaking Away Friday Peterson Cycling
Memorabilia Nights" series at Hellyer Park Velodrome in 1980, acting as race director as well as executive director of the SJBC. This collection of 
photographs and scrapbooks, donated by Peterson's sons Terry & Jeff, documents Peterson's career and includes over 100 professional shots from those action-packed
Friday nights at the velodrome. 

Victory Discs from WWII
Gift of John and Valerie Hopkins
This collection of 78 rpm V-Disc (V for Victory!) 
gramophone recordings were  produced during World War II by special arrangement between the United States government and private U.S. record companies to entertain the overseas
troops. They featured popular recording artists of the time and only a limited number were produced. They were only allowed to be used outside the United States due to ongoing strike negotiations between the American Federation of Musicians and the recording industry. The discs were supposed to be destroyed after the war, and were never intended to be heard back in the States. Many survived, and we are grateful to now have 86 in our collection! 
Upcoming Events
Hands-On History: 
 Digging Up San Jose's Past 
Sunday, May 17: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
History Park
HSJ and CHCP members free; 
children 2 and under free; all others $5

Join Stanford Archaeology Center students and conduct a mock excavation, screening, artifact identification, and artifact reconstruction. This event is hosted by the
Chinese Historical and Cultural Project; and join us for the dedication of the Lillian Gong-Guy Plaza at 12:00 pm. 


Taco Festival of Innovation
Saturday, May 23: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 24: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
History Park 
 ages 12 and up $10; ages 11 and under free

Celebrate the 4th annual Taco Festival of

Innovation with great family fun and delicious street eats from Moveable Feast. Enjoy innovative freestyle tacos; art, jewelry, clothing, and other various local goods from local SJ MADE vendors; Lucha Libre wrestling; live music and DJs; 90's prom photo booth; and awesome kids area! 


Matthew Briar & 
The Age of Resurrection:
the Immersive Theatrical Experience
Sunday, May 31: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
History Park
Check out this one-night only immersive theatrical experience and explore three worlds! In 1881 San Jose, one man invents the ultimate disruptive biotechnology: the ability to resurrect the dead. Enjoy dinner and drinks and then travel through an 1880s World's Fair, the glitz and glamour of the 1920s, and a Depression-era camp in this stunning, immersive fable for Silicon Valley, resplendent with circus performers, aerialists, live music, classic cars, opera singers, vaudeville performers, and a hundred townspeople. CLICK HERE for more information or to purchase tickets!

Dia de Portugal
Saturday, June 13: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

 History Park


Enjoy a day of entertainment and savor a variety of Portuguese foods and watch a traditional Portuguese parade - there's enjoyment for the entire family! Sponsored by the Portuguese Heritage Society of California.


El Dia de San Juan Festival
Saturday, June 20: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
History Park

The Western Region Puerto Rican Council presents their 37th annual El "Dia de San Juan" Festival. This event brings together the community to enjoy music, food and family fun; socialize, eat, and show off your dance moves. The event is filled with exciting entertainment for the entire family, including live bands, authentic Puerto Rican food, Main Stage and Youth Stage entertainment. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!

Hands-On History:
Trains, Trolleys & Automobiles!
Sunday, June 21: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
History Park
HSJ members free; children 2 and under free; 
all others $5

Celebrate Father's Day at our annual Historic Transportation Day! In partnership with the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation, families will be able to ride the trolley, antique Horse Car, pump a railroad hand car, hop in the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, and participate in a pony express relay around our plaza.

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