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What's New in Local History
Latino Americans: Prejudice and Pride

The second program in our Latino Americans: Shared Orange Heritage series will be a screening of the fifth episode of the Latino Americans documentary episode "Prejudice and Pride." The episode focuses on the time period between 1965 and 1980 and explores a generation of Mexicans who through social action and the building of a new "Chicano" identity, strove to overcome discrimination and poverty. Viewing and discussion led by Alexandro Gradilla, Ph.D., California State University, Fullerton. Professor Gradilla currently serves as the chair of Chicana and Chicano Studies at CSUF.

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 7:00 PM
Orange Public Library & History Center
Community Room
407 E. Chapman Ave.

For more information on the documentary, please visit the following PBS website:


Latino Americans: Empire of Dreams

Join us as we kick off our programming for Latino Americans: Shared Orange Heritage! We will begin with the screening of the Latino Americans documentary episode "Empire of Dreams" that covers the years 1880-1942, a formative time in California and the City of Orange. Viewing and discussion led by Vicki L. Ruiz, Ph.D., of the University of California, Irvine. Professor Ruiz was recently honored by President Barack Obama, who presented her with the 2014 National Humanities Medal.

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 7:00 PM
Orange Public Library & History Center
Community Room
407 E. Chapman Ave.

For more information on the documentary, please visit the following PBS website:


Orange Public Library Awarded $10,000 Latino Americans Grant

The Orange Public Library & History Center has been selected to receive a $10,000 programming grant for Latino Americans: 500 Years of History. The National Endowment for the Humanities has generously provided support for 203 institutions nationwide to participate in this program. The grant is meant to highlight and promote the history and experiences of Latinos in the United States by means of the six-part documentary Latino Americans presented on PBS.

Grant funds will be used to present the documentary and a variety of programs highlighting the contributions of Latino Americans to the City of Orange. These programs will include topics such as Chicano art, desegregation of schools, and Latino Veterans. Programming will begin in November 2015 and continue through May 2016.

Join us in exploring another chapter of Orange history!

Megalodon Shark Tooth found in Orange!

While working on water lines in Northeast Orange, crew from the Public Works Department found a shark tooth. After some research, it was found that the tooth belonged to a Megalodon shark, which lived during the Cenozoic Era, 15 million years ago. The Megalodon shark was up to 60 feet long, longer than a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Teeth are all that remain of this prehistoric shark, because sharks do not have bones.

To learn more about the Megalodon shark and to see the shark tooth, visit the Orange Public Library & History Center! We are located at 407 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866.

Snow at Irvine Regional Park, January 1949

Two photographs of a snowy Irvine Regional Park taken in January 1949 were donated to the Orange Public Library & History Center. The image above shows the lake and the boathouse surrounded by snow. The photographs were taken by John Taylor and they were donated via the Orange Community Historical Society. To see more images of Irvine Regional Park or images of snow in Orange, please visit www.cityoforange.org/localhistory and click on Digital Collection.

United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve Uniforms, WWII

These uniforms belonged to Genevieve C. Brown, who was part of the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve during WWII. A long time resident of Orange, she donated a total of three uniforms and a number of photographs. Two of the uniforms will be on display in the Orange Public Library second floor History Center and the photographs can be accessed in our Digital Collection online at http://www.cityoforange.org/localhistory.

Bathgate Family Donation: Surveyor's Equipment from the late 1800s

The Bathgate family has donated surveyor's equipment that once belonged to Mr. William George Bathgate, who surveyed locations in the City of Orange, including the Plaza. The surveying equipment includes measuring chains, tripods, a rod, a level, and a transit.

Kenneth Bathgate and his wife are photographed with the equipment in the History Center at the Orange Public Library. Mr. Bathgate and his family had previously donated photographs and documents relating to their family. The family was originally from Scotland, but settled in the City of Orange in the late 1800s.

Orange Barrio Historical Society Donates $1,000!

The Orange Barrio Historical Society donated $1,000 to the Orange Public Library and History Center at the August 12, 2014 Orange City Council Meeting.

OBHS, with the help of the library, launched the first "Shades of Orange" project, creating a database of historic photographs, documents, oral histories, articles, and family narratives about the Cypress Street Barrio neighborhood. It is available on the library's website: http://www.cityoforange.org/depts/library/history/

We greatly appreciate their support. If you, your organization, or your business would like to donate to the library please call (714)288-2471 or contact jeriksen@cityoforange.org.

Emigdio Vasquez, Orange's Renowned Chicano Artist, Passes Away

Emigdio Vasquez, a Chicano artist famous for his murals who called Orange and the Cypress Street Barrio home, passed away on August 9, 2014 at the age of 75. Unofficially known as the Godfather of Chicano Artists, Vasquez painted 22 murals throughout Orange County. His mural "Proletariado de Aztlan" [also referred to as "Tribute to the Chicano Working Class"] is located in the Cypress Street Barrio and was recently restored by his son, Emigdio "Higgy" Vasquez, Jr.

For more information on Emigdio Vasquez, please visit the Orange Public Library & History Center or visit our website and digital collection at: http://www.cityoforange.org/localhistory.

Orange Fire Department Display

The Orange Public Library & History Center has a new display featuring the Orange Fire Department and one of its past Fire Chiefs, Floyd D. Higgins. The items on display include photographs and badges of Chief Higgins, as well as artifacts such a fire-hose nozzle dating from 1922. These times are on loan from the Orange Fire Department. The display can be found on the second floor Former Mayor Joanne Coontz Reading Room.

Online Newspaper Archive

Searching for a family ancestor? Looking for historic information about a house or business? Search our newly updated newspaper archive online! The Orange Public Library & History Center offers full access to a Digital Collection that includes historic city newspapers. Dating from as early as December 19, 1888 to as late as December 28, 1946, these newspapers are available online and are full text searchable. Visit http://www.cityoforange.org/localhistory and click on Digital Database. Questions? Ask us!

Bathgate Family home in Villa Park, 1885

Newly donated photograph to the Orange Public Library local history archive shows a home in Villa Park in 1895. The photograph shows the Bathgate family standing in front of their home, located where Villa Park High School stands now. In the center of the photograph are Mr. William George Bathgate and Mrs. Violet Kirkwood Bathgate. The family was originally from Scotland and Mr. Bathgate was a surveyor in the City of Orange.

News ImageLocal History Volunteers Wanted
Are you interested in local history? Do you enjoy genealogy? Do you like helping others in their research projects? The Orange Public Library & History Center offers you the opportunity volunteer in our History Center.
( Local History Volunteer Flyer )

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