Celebrating 100 Years (and More) of Southern California Quarterly

By Merry Ovnick, editor of Southern California Quarterly and Professor of History at California State University, Northridge

2018 marks the 100th volume of Southern California Quarterly, the official publication of the Historical Society of Southern California published by UC Press. In celebration of this milestone anniversary, all articles in SCQ 100.1 will be freely available at scq.ucpress.edu through the end of February 2018.

Southern California Quarterly has been published since 1884. Here, a recent issue of Southern California Quarterly (Winter 2017) with some of its earlier named predecessors (issues for 1901, 1948, and 1962).

The latest issue of the Southern California Quarterly is numbered Volume 100, number 1—a number worth celebrating! But a more accurate figure of 134 years is even more impressive. The Historical Society of Southern California was founded in 1883. In 1884 the Society published its first journal, titled Historical Society of Southern California, Los Angeles. Under that title, it published an annual journal 1884–1887. The Society continued to produce an annual journal, renamed the Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California, in 1888–1889 and 1905–1934, appending Los Angeles to the title for the 1891 and 1893–1896 issues and changing the volume numbering system. For the single year of 1890, the Society’s journal just appeared under the name Historical Society of Southern California. There is no record of an issue for 1892, which means that either one was not published that year or merely that no copies have survived. From 1897 to 1901, a partnership with another historical group was reflected in the long title Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California and Pioneer Register, Los Angeles, slightly amended for 1902–1904 to Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California and of the Pioneers of Los Angeles County. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Historical Society took the bold step of expanding from an annual to a quarterly publication, titled simply Quarterly Publication in 1935, a title qualified as The Quarterly: Historical Society of Southern California for the 1936–1949 issues. For 1949–1961 it came out under the title Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly.

Finally in 1962 we see the title still in use today: Southern California Quarterly. With the possible exception of 1892, the Historical Society of Southern California has published a journal from 1884 to the present—134 years and counting. Despite all the confusing name and volume-numbering changes, this long record of publication reflects the commitment of the Historical Society of Southern California to making available the historical record of and research on the history of California, the West, and, especially, the Southern California region available to readers and researchers.

Inside Vol. 100, No. 1

Fraud and the California State Census of 1852: Power and Demographic Distortion in Gold Rush California
Warren C. Wood

Dred Scott on the Pacific: African Americans, Citizenship, and Subjecthood in the North American West
Stacey L. Smith

Modjeska, Paderewski, and the California Landscape
Kenneth H. Marcus

Book Review: The Other California: Land, Identity, and Politics on the Mexican Borderlands by Verónica Castillo-Muñoz
Ana Elizabeth Rosas

Book Review: A Land Apart: The Southwest and the Nation in the Twentieth Century by Flannery Burke
Linda C. Noel

Book Review: South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s by Kellie Jones
Lisa Gail Collins

ACCESS OVER 100 YEARS OF SCQ CONTENT: When you become a subscriber to Southern California Quarterly, you get access to all current and archival content dating back to 1884. Click here to subscribe or recommend the journal to your institutional library.

Untold Histories of San Francisco’s Restaurant Landscape 

The latest issue of California History, guest edited by Leonard Schmieding (Georgetown University) and Shana Klein (Georgetown University), explores the surprisingly untold histories of San Francisco’s restaurant landscape in the twentieth century. The following is an excerpt from the guest editors’ introduction, which is freely available at ch.ucpress.edu, along with the rest of the issue, until February 21.

“This is how watermelons grow in California.” Cover of California History Vol. 94, No. 4.

Since the Gold Rush, in 1849, San Francisco has always been known as a food city. In the beginning, San Franciscans imported canned goods from all over the globe in order to feed the population of gold miners, and soon after, local agriculture demonstrated that farmers could grow anything—bigger and better, as they were proud to brag, than anywhere else in the United States. With the completion of the transcontinental railway system, San Francisco could export its Northern Californian abundance to the rest of the country and established its great reputation as a culinary paradise. While San Francisco foodways reached the Midwest, the South, and the East Coast, its immigrant populations changed these foodways. For example, Italians, who controlled the city’s farmers markets and dominated the local agriculture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, exposed San Franciscans to a great variety of produce. Chinese played an important role in distributing the produce by buying large quantities at the markets and then carrying them up the steep hills of the city to sell them to residents who did not go down to the markets. Furthermore, immigrant chefs in hotels and restaurants started using seasonal produce for their dishes and coined the term San Francisco cuisine—with Austrian immigrant Victor Hirtzler, chef at the St. Francis Hotel, becoming most famous for his cookbook of California cuisine. A number of dishes like Crab Louie, Cioppino, and also various versions of Pacific abalone were thus made into San Francisco signature dishes.

One major component of San Francisco’s culinary signature could be found in the city’s bohemian culture, which in turn consisted of the desire to eat both cosmopolitan and affordable meals. In their quest for exotic and filling meals, bohemians like Clarence Edwords scoured the local landscape of restaurants and found them in French, Japanese, Chinese, German, Italian, and other ethnic eateries. In view of San Francisco’s reputation as a food city, as a home for bohemians, and as a cosmopolitan metropolis on the Pacific coast, the lack of food historical studies of the city’s restaurant landscape is surprising. This special issue therefore intends to shed more light on San Francisco’s German, Chinese, and Indian restaurants in the course of the twentieth century.

Inside the issue

San Francisco Cuisines: Global Flows in the Food City of the West
Leonard Schmieding, Shana Klein

Johnny Kan: The Untold Story of Chinatown’s Greatest Culinary Ambassador
April Chan

Chinese and Indian Restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area since the 1960s
Laresh Jayasanker

German Restaurants in San Francisco in the Wake of World War I
Leonard Schmieding

Public History: Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA 
Stephanie Narrow

Book Review: Making Black Los Angeles: Class, Gender, and Community by Marne L. Campbell
Michael Slaughter

Book Review: Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual, and Political Freedom by Mireya Loza
Frank Barajas

CALL FOR PAPERS: California History, the premier journal of historical writing on California and the West, invites papers for review and possible publication. Click here for more information about submitting your article.

Must-Read Journals for #AHA18

The American Historical Association is convening in Washington, DC for its 132nd annual meeting from January 4-7, 2018. The theme for this year’s conference is “Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Global Perspective.” UC Press’s history journals are contributing to the conversation by making a selection of content speaking to this theme available for free for a limited time. Please follow the links below and share your comments on social media using #AHA18.

Pacific Historical Review Special Issue:
Alternative Wests: Rethinking Manifest Destiny
Guest Edited by Andrew C. Isenberg

The mid-nineteenth century territorial growth of the United States was complex and contradictory. Not only did Mexico, Britain, and Native Americans contest U.S. territorial objectives; so, too, did many within the United States and in some cases American western settlers themselves. The notion of manifest destiny reflects few of these complexities. Manifest destiny was a partisan idea that emerged in a context of division and uncertainty intended to overawe opponents of expansion. Only in the early twentieth century, as the United States had consolidated its hold on the North American West and was extending its power into the Caribbean and Pacific, did historians begin to describe manifest destiny as something that it never was in the nineteenth century: a consensus. To a significant extent, historians continue to rely on the idea to explain U.S. expansion. This Special Issue argues for returning a sense of context and contingency to the understanding of mid-nineteenth-century U.S. expansion. Read the special issue.


Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences offers the following articles on the #AHA18 theme for you to read for free for a limited time:

Instruments of Science or Conquest: Neocolonialism and Modern American Astronomy
Leandra Swanner

Fellow Travelers and Traveling Fellows: The Intercontinental Shaping of Modern Mathematics in Mid-Twentieth Century Latin America
Michael J. Barany

Darwin and the Ethnologists: Liberal Racialism and the Geological Analogy
Suman Seth

Retouching the Past with Living Things: Indigenous Species, Tradition, and Biological Research in Republican China, 1918-1937
Lijing Jiang

Bred for the Race: Thoroughbred Breeding and Racial Science in the United States, 1900-1940
Brian Terrell

Visualizing ‘Race’ in the Eighteenth Century
Snait B. Missis

Master of the Master Gland: Choh Hao Li, the University of California, and Science, Migration, and Race
Benjamin C. Zulueta


Boom California invites you to read its series of articles on “Undocumented California.”

Undocumented Californians and the Future of the Golden State
Manuel Pastor

Regarding the Documents: Scanning the Mythology of ‘Documented’ California
Jason S. Sexton

California Dreaming? The Integration of Immigrants into American Society
Kevin R. Johnson

The Américas: A Novel of California Begun
David Kipen

On the Road to Opportunity: Racial Disparities in Obtaining an AB 60 Driver Licenses
Laura E. Enriquez, Daisy Vazquez Vera, and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan

California’s Opportunities for Undocumented Students: Are They Enough?
Tanya Golash-Boza and Zulema Valdez

Undocumented Emotional Intelligence: Learning from the Intellectual Investments of California’s Undergraduates
Ana Elizabeth Rosas

Lines and Fences: Writing and Rewriting the California Fence/Wall
Marcel Brousseau


Southern California Quarterly Special Virtual Issue:
Home Strategies: Class, Race, and Empowerment in 20th Century Los Angeles

The Southern California Quarterly, published continuously (under this and earlier titles) since 1884 by the Historical Society of Southern California, has touched repeatedly on the themes of housing development, discrimination, and empowerment. In this virtual issue, we present a sampling of its contributions on these themes. Read the virtual issue.



California History offers the following articles on the #AHA18 theme for you to read for free for a limited time:

Teaching Race in California History Beyond Domination and Diversity
Daniel Martinez HoSang

Victory Abroad, Disaster at Home: Environment, Race, and World War II Shipyard Production
Alistair W. Fortson

Language Education, Race, and the Remaking of American Citizenship in Los Angeles, 1900–1968
Zevi Gutfreund

But Why Glendale? A History of Armenian Immigration to Southern California
Daniel Fittante

Resisting Camelot: Race and Resistance to the San Fernando Valley Secession Movement
Jean-Paul R. deGuzman


The Public Historian Special Virtual Issue:
Monuments, Memory, Politics, and Our Publics

The Public Historian, the official journal of the National Council on Pubic History, shares a special virtual issue featuring dozen essays from the journal’s backlist, ranging across some twenty years, that illustrate the evolving historiography on the issue of monuments, memory, history, and heritage and broaden the discussion beyond the focus of the Civil War, Redemption, and resistance to the expansion of civil rights during the 1960s and 1970s.

May 1: Not a General Strike, but Not Bad

by Fred B. Glass, author of From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement

This guest post is part of a series published in conjunction with the meeting of the Organization of American Historians in New Orleans. The theme of this year’s conference is “Circulation,” which characterizes many of the subjects historians study, whether migrations, pilgrimages, economies, networks, ideas, culture, conflicts, plagues or demography. #OAH17

The call for a national work stoppage on May 1 by some unions and community organizations—alongside a “Day Without Immigrants” like the one eleven years ago—at the very least promises to help ratchet up resistance to consolidation of the fledgling neo-fascist Trump regime. It should therefore find a welcome in corners of the polity that respect and value rational discourse, democratic norms, and the needs of the many over those of the despotic few. The precise mechanism, however—a general strike—is either unlikely to occur, or will fall somewhat short of that majestic act.

Not entirely unknown in United States history, general strikes are hard to come by. A mere dozen citywide general strikes have occurred since the first one in Philadelphia in 1835, and national general strikes have appeared only within the confines of a single industry. This is in contrast to the generalized work stoppages that from time to time scare the hell out of ruling classes in other countries.

The earliest May Day call for a general strike in the United States, in 1886, achieved success in just a handful of places, but was still impressive enough to kick-start a worldwide tradition. Contributing factors included the militancy and determination of the workers and their willingness to confront armed state power. In addition, their cause was a just one: the eight-hour day, at a time when ten and twelve hour days and six-day workweeks were common.

The city with the largest disruption to business as usual was Chicago, where around 80,000 strikers turned out. It was also here that the notorious Haymarket Square events, featuring a bomb explosion and subsequent police riot, led to the kangaroo court conviction of eight radical working class leaders, most of whom were immigrants, and several of whom were physically absent from Haymarket. Four were executed and one committed suicide or was murdered in his cell in the hysterical atmosphere of what became the nation’s first employer-orchestrated red scare. In response to the travesty of justice, the Second Socialist International proclaimed a workers’ holiday the world over each May 1. Continue reading “May 1: Not a General Strike, but Not Bad”