Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy 100th Birthday, Huntington Beach

These images are from tonight's Huntington Beach centennial confab at the pier. As I mentioned before, today marks the 100th anniversary of the City's incorporation.
The real story of the evening can be seen in the photo above. Look how many people showed up for an (only-semi-well-advertised) event on a cold Monday night, in spite of a rainy forcast! Clearly, there's a strong public interest in local history in Huntington Beach just waiting to be tapped. If the politicians on the dais tonight have any savvy, they'll tap into that interest and make it work for them and for their city -- the way they do in places like Orange and Pasadena. That's how cities get the Mills Act passed, how government begins to support preservation, and how city libraries launch new historical collections. What an opportunity to leave a positive legacy to your community!
This kind of large-scale interest is also how community preservation and historical organizations get started. That could also be a very good thing for Huntington Beach.
The photo above and the photo below include a number of long-time H.B. residents, local historians, former mayors, and descendants of pioneer families. How many can you name? (I was surprised to see how many former mayors are currently free on their own recognizance.)

The last photo (below) shows the array of officials lined up to speak. I won't ask how many politicians it took to fill that inflatable birthday cake (at upper left) with hot air. The joke's just too obvious.

Anyway, happy birthday to my home of 36 years: Huntington Beach! I'll post more updates and related items on this blog throughout the centennial year. I'll also be speaking to various H.B. community groups (if they'll have me), about the city's history and how we can preserve it.


Capt. Tomorrow said...

Happy Birthday HB! I think Orange County and HB are very fortunate to have someone like CJ who is not only interested in local history, but CARES about promoting and preserving it as well.

candice baker said...

was good to see you there, too! i know all of us who are interested in local history view you as a hero :)

dc said...

Very cool stuff. I've been doing some research on OC history and your blog has been super helpful. Keep up the good work. :)

Anonymous said...

When I come to this web site I always see great ideas which build community. HB really needs to start listening to the past in order to build a more healthy future. Thanks again for sharing the real HB and OC through your wonderful blog!

- An HB exile from the cold east coast

Chris Jepsen said...

Wow! Many thanks for all the kind words everyone! Honestly, local history never feels like work to me, and I find writing this blog very rewarding. I've met a lot of great people through it, and have learned so much from all of you who leave comments and send email.

Anonymous Exile: Building community is a big theme underlying many of my efforts. I'm glad that comes across.

walterworld said...

Huntington Beach is a fine place to be...Happy 100th!