What’s New

Saturday, January 18, 2:00 pm, Monthly Program, at the home of Lyn Reese in Berkeley. Joe C. Miller will present: Wild Women Suffragists And Their Reputation as Sex Radicals

The campaign for women’s right to vote hit an obstacle in the 1870s: several newspaper editors accused suffragists of trying to abolish marriage and establish Free Love in its place. To some extent, suffragists deserved this reputation. Joe C. Miller focuses on little-known facts and colorful characters, including Susan B. Anthony’s prudery, Victoria Woodhull’s Free love campaign, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s love of mischief.

Tuesday, January 21, 1:00 pm, Play Readers Group, at the home of Phyllis Maxwell in San Francisco. We will finish reading Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Eugene O’Neill.

Sunday, February 9, 1:30 pm, Writers Group, at the home of Jim Gasperini in Kensington. Jim will present.

Saturday, February 15, 2:00 pm, Monthly Program, at the home of Ann Harlow in Berkeley: Family, fiction, film and history: How we Learn to Remember  – Oliver Pollack

They Shall Not Grow Old and 1917 are the most recent films depicting the Great War, the First World War, Die Erste Weltkrieg. Oliver’s family wore German and English uniforms. Some died, some were disabled or widowed, none were unscathed. His father, born in Vienna, was 15 when the Armistice was signed; family involvement led to silence rather than dinner table discussions. Oliver read, visited art galleries and museums piecing together the impact of WWI. The war intrigued readers, listeners, viewers, poets, novelists, journalists, musicians, film makers, veterans, monument makers and grave diggers. The last veteran died in the 21st century. Oliver’s presentation is based on formative printed sources from his library as well as the Institute for Historical Study archives.

Saturday, February 29,  Annual Meeting, with four short talks by new members.

Member News

Welcome to our newest members: Elise Ackerman, Kevin Knauss, Pam Peirce, and Anne Schnoebelen. Learn about them under Member Profiles.

Members' Recent Activities:

Taryn Edwards has an article in the latest Argonaut (Journal of the San Francisco Historical Society) on “Before the Midwinter Fair: The Mechanics’ Institute’s ‘Pacific Rim’ Industrial Exhibitions of 1869 and 1871."

In October Peter Stansky and his co-author Fred Leventhal are publishing with the Oxford University Press Leonard Woolf: Bloomsbury Socialist. In April, Peter published an “Afterword” to Elisabeth de Waal’s Milton Place (Persephone Books), a novel written shortly after the war but hitherto unpublished. “It came to light through a meeting I had with her grandson, Edmund de Waal, author of the highly regarded memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes.”

Christopher L. Webber has just published Christian Psalms for Worship and Prayer. “The
traditional psalms written between two and three thousand years ago are an irreplaceable treasure,” Christopher writes, “but they can create problems for modern users. They come from an age unimaginably different from ours and take for granted patterns of life unfamiliar to most of us. To supplement, not replace, these psalms, I have taken passages from the writings of some of the greatest Christian teachers of every era, for example, St. Augustine, Julian of Norwich, Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, and restructured them in the poetic style of the Biblical psalms which rhyme ideas, rather than sounds, to provide texts that can be used either in formal worship or in private meditation.”

In May, as part of the series of talks for the Supporters of the Museum of Russian Culture, Maria Sakovich presented “Russian Choral Music in San Francisco in the 1920s and 1930s: Cultural Riches and Cultural Sharing.” She was very pleased to have Rob Robbins in the audience. In the June 22 issue of Russian Life her talk from last year in the same series was published with photos: “Last Steps of a Long Journey – First Steps of a New Life” (part of a panel presentation about the USAT Merritt’s 1923 Russian refugee-emigrant passengers). Anatol Smelov kindly translated the article from English to Russian.

Ann Harlow wrote an article about the history of Berkeley’s City Hall for the Berkeley Historical Society newsletter and is working with a group on a self-guided history walking tour of Solano Avenue. She recently attended the Conference of California Historical Societies in Placerville, as did Peter Meyerhof.

Jody/Judith Offer writes that she is “enjoying readings and some sales of her new
‘soon-to-become-history’ chapbook, The Grating of America, about the disastrous consequences of our current administration and some of the people fighting it. Copies are available at several bookstores in Oakland and Berkeley and online. If you have any ideas for bookstores, clubs, or churches/synagogues that might schedule a reading, please contact me."

Congratulations to Our 2018 Mini-Grant Recipients:

Jim Gasperini, for editing and other expenses in preparation of a book manuscript with the working title Fire in the Mind: How We Imagined the Non-Living Relative that Gave Us Control of the World.
Richard Hurley, to revise and reprint panels of a traveling exhibit, California in the Civil War.
Joe Miller, for research, editing and illustrations for an article, “Wild Women Suffragists and the Sex Scandals that Almost Sank the Movement.”

Members:  Please submit news of your history-related publications, lectures, awards, research finds, etc. to webmaster@instituteforhistoricalstudy.org.