I have heard it said that you do not really appreciate history until you have some history of your own. That being said, you may not have a good recollection of California history from your fourth-grade class. No worries, A.K. Smiley Public Library has a pretty impressive collection of California history, old and new!
“Fascinating True Tales from Old California: Crooked Con Men, Eccentric Immigrants, and Fearless Females Who Shaped the Golden State” is informative and entertaining. It is authored by historian Colleen Adair Fliedner and begins with a brief chronological timeline. Short chapters tell interesting tales of Californians and events from 1542 through 1940. There is some overlap and references between chapters of some of the individuals highlighted as they were in the same time-frames and may have crossed paths at some point. Trivia fans can glean some little-known facts about how California was once infested with fleas, experienced pirate attacks, and possibly discover some locations of buried treasure.
Another enjoyable read on our beautiful state is historian Noelle Sullivan’s “It Happened in Southern California: Stories of Events and People that Shaped Golden State History.” Short chapters range from “1600s Big Bears and Basketmakers” to “2003 The Governator.” The book concludes with “Southern California/Hollywood/Silver Screen Facts and Trivia,” a bulleted section to further enhance your trivia arsenal.
If you would like to visit some of the places mentioned in the two previous books, check out “Moon Southern California Road Trips: Drives along the Beaches, Mountains, and Deserts with the Best Stops along the Way,” and “Fodor’s Northern California.” These selections can help you plan your excursions. “Route 66 Adventure Handbook,” by Drew Knowles will take you to some of these locations, as well as beyond California on the “mother road.” Create more of your own memories and history using these books as your guide.
If you are inspired to do a deeper dive into California history, A.K. Smiley Library has plenty of books waiting for you, and our Heritage Room has more than just books for your perusal.