Blogs: Local History

Looking Back: San Jose's Public Library

This month, in light of our newest digital collection, the "San Jose Public Library Collection," the California Room is Looking Back at the history of the San Jose Public Library system. The public…

Ralph Pearce
Monday, July 15, 2013 - 12:56 PM

The 45th Anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy's Speech in San Jose's St. James Park

This year marks the forty-fifth anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign.  Kennedy had announced his candidacy on March 16, 1968, and he spoke in San Jose’s St. James Park about a…

Ralph Pearce
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 4:07 PM

Looking Back: The Great Earthquake of 1906

This month we are looking back at the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake in the City of San José. While the greatest casualties in the county were at Agnews State Hospital, the City of San José saw a…

Ralph Pearce
Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 9:00 AM

Looking Back: Agnews State Hospital

This week we are looking back at the Agnews State Hospital. The hospital is most famously known as the site of the greatest loss of life in Santa Clara County after the 1906 earthquake. Eleven…

Ralph Pearce
Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 9:00 AM

Looking Back: San Jose's Electric Light Tower

San José's history is full of interesting stories and anecdotes. The story of the San José Electric Light Tower that spanned the intersection of Market and Santa Clara Streets until 1915 is no…

Ralph Pearce
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 1:00 PM

Looking Back: Canning in the Valley of Heart's Delight

In the history of San José, before the tech growth and boom from the 1960s to the present, the most significant industry in the Santa Clara Valley was in agricultural products. While the agricultural…

Ralph Pearce
Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 4:55 PM

Looking Back: A Mansion of a Native Son

Villa Montalvo is the former residence of California businessman and politician James Duval Phelan. Taken between 1915-1902, this photo illustrates the estate's grandeur, but also how little it has…

Ralph Pearce
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 3:42 PM