FRIDAY LUNCHFeatured speaker:
Glenna Matthews, historian & author
Author of Silicon Valley, Women, and the California Dream: Gender, Class and Opportunity in the 20th Century
When one mentions the name “Silicon Valley,” images come to mind of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that has led to the development of a vast array of products that populate and shape our daily lives, from personal computers and smart phones, to online search engines, social networking websites, and “killer apps” that serve a variety of purposes. What is less well known, however, are the agricultural roots of the region once known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” and of the patterns and precedents from that earlier era that have shaped the nature of the Silicon Valley today.
Historian Glenna Matthews, in her 2003 book Silicon Valley, Women, and the California Dream examined the history of this region through the seemingly divergent industries that have defined the Santa Clara Valley: fruit-packing in the first half of the 20th century, and electronics in the decades since then. What connects the two are the predominantly immigrant, female work forces that staffed the production lines, without which neither industry could have functioned. Come hear Glenna Matthews provide a sweeping overview of the history of this region, one that in its examination of the labor history of the Valley, sheds new light on some of its present day social, economic, and political characteristics and challenges.
Glenna Matthews is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Just a Housewife: The Rise and Fall of Domesticity in America (Oxford, 1987); The Rise of Public Woman: Woman's Power and Woman's Place, 1630-1970 (Oxford, 1992); and Silicon Valley, Women, and the California Dream: Gender, Class and Opportunity in the 20th Century (Stanford University Press, 2003). The author of five books in all and numerous articles, Matthews has also curated an exhibit on the history of San Francisco for the San Francisco Public Library, and served as the principal consultant for an award-winning documentary about the historian Angie Debo.
SCA Awards Ceremony followed by:
John Boessenecker, attorney and historian
Author of Bandido: The Life and Times of Tiburcio Vasquez
In the history of 19th century California, few figures are as shrouded in myth as that of Tiburcio Vasquez, the well-known outlaw who was characterized by his contemporaries as either a bloodthirsty killer or as a Mexican-American Robin Hood. To this day, these varied images linger, but many questions remain as to the actual historical figure behind them.
In his 2010 biography, attorney and historian John Boessenecker sought to reconstruct the life of Vasquez, beginning with his origins in Monterey, through his years of cattle-rustling, robbery, prison, and raids throughout Central and Southern California, which eventually led to his capture in the Hollywood Hills and his hanging in San Jose in 1875. As Boessenecker shows, however, Vasquez’s story is about much more than the fate of one outlaw, but has much to say about the fraught relationship between Mexican-born "Californios" and the new American power elites during the first decades following California’s annexation to the United States.
Yet, as Boessenecker set out to separate the facts from the myths about this larger than life figure, he faced a number of challenges in locating and using the archival record, which he will discuss in his talk.
John Boessenecker, a San Francisco-based attorney, is the author of several books on crime and law enforcement in the Old West, including Badge and Buckshot: Lawlessness in Old California and Lawman: The Life and Times of Harry Morse, 1835-1912.