Today's photos are scenes from the 1953 National Boy Scout Jamboree, which was held this week (July 17 to 23) fifty-five years ago on the Irvine Ranch. The encampment sprawled through what is now Newport Beach - from the Fashion Island area down toward Upper Newport Bay. Jamboree Road was built during the preparation for the event. The first photo (top) shows the "Avenue of the Flags," including a replica of the Liberty Bell that would later grace the front of the Scout Council office in Santa Ana for many years. The strange figure in the upper right-hand part of the second photo is the back of a large cut-out image of King Neptune, created by well-known cartoonist (and Newport resident) Virgil Partch (a.k.a. "VIP").
Tomorrow, (Tuesday) July 22, is an important day in local history. In fact, it marks the 239th year of recorded history itself here in Orange County. On July 22, 1769 Gaspar de Portola and his men camped at Christianitos Canyon (on the county line in what is now Camp Pendleton). They were the first Europeans to set foot in Orange County, and their travel journals give us the first written record of what the area was like. Also of note, the expedition conducted the first baptisms in California at an Indian village in Christianitos Canyon.
Thanks to La Palma historians Ron and Elfriede MacIver, who pointed out the following series of short local history videos from KDOC's "Daybreak OC" TV program:
- La Palma (Includes footage of the MacIvers)
- Mission San Juan Capistrano
- Fountain Valley
- Jim Kanno, Fountain Valley's first mayor (Inexplicably includes "Dixie" as background music)
- El Adobe Restaurant in San Juan Capistrano
- Garden Grove
- Mission Viejo
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- Pitcher Park in Orange
- Helena Modjeska
- Ulimate Challenge statue in Huntington Beach