Santa Clara County Local News: History

All Local History News articles contributed by our local media allies and other local newsrooms.

Image caption: The California mental health crisis is tied to both homelessness and rising crime.
UPDATE: California’s Mental Health Crisis: How We Got Here

How the California mental health crisis emerged out of the state’s history of deinstitutionalization and laws designed to protect the mentally ill, as well as the communities around them.

Image caption: The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works

The Williamson Act, passed in 1965, now keeps more than 16 million acres of farmland out of the hands of developers. Here's how the law puts the brakes on the development of California agricultural properties.

Image caption: The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

Image caption: Translated from the Greek, “Democracy” means “people power.” How much power do the people have in California?
People Power! What Is Democracy, and How Does It Work in California?

Democracy is a 2,500-year-old system of government still looked on today as the best system, because under a democratic system, the people govern themselves. But is that all there is to it? What is democracy? And how does it work …

Image caption: Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation has cost California 90 percent of its wetlands.
How Land Reclamation Hurts California’s Environment

Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation projects have helped to build California, but they are also damaging the state’s environment for people, plants and animals by eliminating essential wetlands.

Image caption: How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‘Swamps’ Into Farmland

California has used reclamation districts to turn millions of acres of unusable swamps into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush. Here’s how it happened.

Image caption: The California Supreme Court has defined the state’s legal and political agenda for more than 170 years.
How the California Supreme Court Blazes Legal Trails

The California Supreme Court has kept the state at the forefront of legal issues surrounding abortion, the death penalty and same-sex marriage, starting in its earliest days in the Gold Rush era.

Image caption: From nitrates to arsenic to “forever chemicals,” California’s water supply faces a serious pollution threat.
Dirty Water: California Faces a Water Contamination Crisis

Almost one million California residents are forced to drink from contaminated water supplies, or pay for bottled water. Economic inequality makes the crisis worse. What is the state doing to fix it?

Image caption: Founding artistic director Robert Kelley (front of train) in TheatreWorks’ 1981 production of “Merry Wives of Windsor.”
Valley of Art’s Delight

Thanks to these cultural groups, whose roots date back before this millennium, Silicon Valley is known for more than just technological artistry.

Image caption: Moss Landing in Monterey Bay is the world’s largest battery storage facility for solar and other renewable energy.
Solar Power and California’s Clean Energy Goals

Solar power, and a network of giant battery storage facilities, are playing an essential role in moving California toward its goal of exclusive reliance on renewable energy sources.

Image caption: Like ripples in a pond, the hip impulse moved through Santa Cruz and beyond, and continues across generations.
How Did Santa Cruz Get So Hip?

Looking back at the Sixties and Seventies in Santa Cruz

Image caption: California transportation history runs from railroads to today’s car culture.
California’s History of Transportation: From Railroads to Highways

The history of transportation in California has shaped the state, from the railroads to today’s highways, making the need for planning increasingly urgent. Here’s how it all happened, and where we stand today.

Image caption: Over two weekends last October, residents of Santa Cruz and Watsonville  participated in demonstration rides aboard an electric streetcar on rails.
The ‘Rail Trail’ Movement, Explained

Thousands of miles of railroad track, including some in Santa Cruz County, now sit idle. The fate of those largely abandoned tracks has become a burning controversy.

Image caption: California continues to work on legislation that would make voting easier.
Voting Rites

California keeps on taking legislative steps that will keep it ranked in the top 10 of voter-friendly states.

Image caption: Access to abortion in California is limited in many areas, though state laws protect a woman’s right to choose.
Abortion Rights in California, Explained

California has historically been ahead of the rest of the country in expanding the legal right to abortion services. Here’s what state laws say today, and how we got here.

Image caption: Old Sacramento Historic District Sacramento is an open-air museum of historic buildings.
Capital Collections

Sacramento’s rich past can be explored by visiting its many and varied historical museums.

Image caption: Now home to a museum with artifacts from the town’s old quicksilver mine, New Almaden hasn't changed much in 170 years.
Santa Clara County: A Historical Bibiliography

A compendium of online resources that delve into the long, varied history of one of California’s oldest settled regions.

San Jose Spotlight logo From San Jose Spotlight...

Image for display with article titled San Jose Development Advances Despite Historical Significance

A former North San Jose Japanese farming area found to have historical significance, especially during World War II, could become home to more than 1,000 multi-family residences and commercial space.

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Image for display with article titled New Indigenous-Led Initiatives and Trail Access at the Historic Filoli Estate

The new Lamchin Interpretive Center, sharing the story of the original inhabitants of this land, and the Spring Creek Trail open at Filoli.

California Local Pin Marker From The Mercury News...

A proposal to bulldoze the historic Burbank Theater on South Bascom Avenue in San Jose to build 62 units of housing is causing concern among preservationists.

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Image for display with article titled Old-School Advocates Preserve California Cannabis History

The movement to legalize cannabis began in earnest in the ’60s and ’70s, and California was at the epicenter of it all the way up until the passage of Prop. 64, which legalized weed for adult use.

California Local Pin Marker From Palo Alto Online...

Increases in construction costs for the renovation of the Palo Alto Museum have it turning to the City for help.

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Image for display with article titled San Jose Neighborhood Fights to Preserve Its Identity

After decades of residents requesting historic status, San Jose is starting the process to create a new city landmark district — the first since 2007.

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Image for display with article titled Sunnyvale Approves History Museum Expansion

The Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum, which catalogs the city’s history from the first orchards to aerospace companies, has plans to expand.

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Image for display with article titled San Jose Quilt Museum Needs Community’s Help to Survive

A decades old staple in San Jose's art scene is at risk of closing, so it's turning to the community for help.

California Local Pin Marker From Palo Alto Online...

Homeowner protest results in Palo Alto dropping plans to expand "historic" structure designations.

California Local Pin Marker From Mountain View Voice...

An ongoing project researching the history of Los Altos' street names is featured in the "What's in a Name?" exhibition at the Los Altos History Museum, on view through April 7.

California Local Pin Marker From Mountain View Voice...

The Mountain View-based company, which supplies building materials to contractors and homeowners, got its start when Harry Jr. Morey established a supply yard, stocking road base that paved the way for the automobile era.

California Local Pin Marker From Los Angeles Times...

Members of the board gathered to put forward a resolution that takes responsibility for the history of discrimination against Black San Franciscans.

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Image for display with article titled San Jose Earthquakes Celebrate 50 Years

The San Jose Earthquakes were not just invented from scratch a few years ago. The current team expands on a vibrant historical body of work dating back to 1974.

California Local Pin Marker From Los Angeles Times...

She toured the world wowing audiences, and she captured the public’s imagination for decades. No, not Taylor Swift; Ellen Beach Yaw, also known as Lark Ellen.

California Local Pin Marker From Los Angeles Times...

James Dean’s last stop before he died in a car crash was at Blackwell’s Corner, a gas station in rural Kern County. His memory isn’t the draw it once was.

California Local Pin Marker From SF Gate...

An extinct species of walrus was unearthed in Santa Cruz County, evoking a time when California was teeming with odd creatures that feel closer to fantasy than reality, researchers said.

California Local Pin Marker From Los Angeles Times...

The California Legislative Black Caucus released a list of 14 bills as a first set of reparations for the descendants of African Americans who were enslaved.

California Local Pin Marker From CalMatters...

Lawmakers introduced a package of bills designed to tackle some forms of reparations. The measures may face budget constraints and opposition.

California Local Pin Marker From Mountain View Voice...

In a packed room of Apple enthusiasts, the original makers of the Macintosh celebrated the 40-year history of the desktop computer that launched a new way of interacting with the digital world.
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