Set 2 (1920-1990)
• Vast land areas, entrepreneurial spirit, and unembarrassed from money motivation led CA
to be a leader in science and technology approach to utopia.
• Natural sciences also studied:
▫ Grayson creates pictorial of the birds of the Pacific Coast
• California Academy of Sciences founded
▫ Survey animals, flowers, tides, mountains etc for importance
▫ New environmentalism: John Muir and Sierra Club
• CA utilizes traditional waterwheel technology as they transfer to an industrial economy
▫ Pelton designs new waterwheel which is able to retain nearly all of its water
• John and James Montgomery experiment with “heavier than air” aviation technologies
▫ August 1883 one brother boards their gull-winged glider while the other
pulls him along with a kite.
▫ Demonstrated that innovation in aviation was compatible with
▫ January 1910 Los Angeles County Chamber of Commerce organizes their first show
▫ By 1920, over a third of California air traffic operated in Los Angeles
• Electronic innovations seen in CA:
▫ Television, radio, international phone calls
▫ Edward Armstrong and Lee de Forest compete as they both innovate
stereo amplification simultaneously
• Philio T. Farnsworth experiments with the electronic transmission
▫ September 7th, 1927 Farnsworth’s “orthicon” transmitted the first image
by completely electronic means
▫ Picture of black glass with a line drawn through the middle
• August 19th, 1937 at Stanford University the first klystron tube was
▫ Upon perfection, it became a vital component in radar machines
• Other Stanford graduates make innovations:
▫ David Packard and William Hewett design/build and audio oscillator
that generates electrical signals within frequencies of human hearing.
• UC Berkeley professor Ernest Orlando Lawrence invents and
develops by 1931 a cyclotron that generates high-energy
beams of nuclear particles.
▫ Allows for exploration of the atom nucleus
• Innovations continue throughout the second World War
• Mass markets of wartime broadened horizons of inventors.
▫ Through the tragedy of war, new electronics were brought to
• Stanford University holds great authority in science and
▫ Owned over 8 acres of land for development, very modern
• Biological basis of all life was manipulated through cutting-
edge technology in California
• Technologies developed in California opened the possibility
for new entertainment media:
▫ Radio, television and film
• Painting, printing, photography, architecture, and music
composition also art forms practiced in CA
• The Arts redefined California as an “Imagined Place”
• Movies/motion pictures seen in CA as early as 1872
▫ Hollywood industrializes movie production by the 1920s with
corporately owned directors, actors and technicians
▫ Smaller film studios bought out by larger presences
• Movie industry never wavered during harsh times
• Dark events in history inspire dark movie scripts
• The arts functioned as an imaginative means of interpreting
life in the California style.
• Late 1940s brings hard-hitting detective stories
• Darker poetry and novels appear
• John Steinbeck transcends nature into literature.
▫ Saw nature as the “everything” in which all living organisms
• Contained and held the common goal of survival.
• Nature annoys critic Edmund Wilson
▫ Sees no metaphors for nature in life
• Classic writers including Horace McCoy, F. Scott
Fitzgerald, James M. Cain migrate to Southern CA in
hopes of having screenplays adapted.
▫ The Grapes of Wrath was the first novel written to be
adapted into a screenplay.
• Writers and filmmakers seek to fill a void in California with
• Raymond Chandler’s existentialism:
▫ Bleak and emotional disconnect from society
▫ Some believe they create their best works during such a period
• William Saroyan fills his void through bohemian art and
▫ Explores questions of love, life, death and the universe
• Additional artists take on bohemianism
▫ John Fante claims that everything in American society “will never
• Many painters depict CA landscapes and boardwalks;
photographers captures beaches and seashells.
• The arts served as a method of interpreting life in California.
• Ethnic diversity has always been prevalent in CA
▫ Native Americans had between seventy and eighty different
• First settlers in 1781 were Europeans and Africans that
encountered Native Americans.
▫ Some possible Spaniards or Mexicans
• Gold Rush sends people from every corner of the globe to CA
• None of these groups treated the others respectfully
▫ Spanish intrude upon Native Americans
• California was essentially founded on racial distinctions and
▫ Aggression from Mexican land titles, disenfranchisement of
Africans and Asians
• San Francisco holds a heavily Jewish community
▫ Influx of immigrants continues during the 1930s by refugees of
▫ Jewish people found countless major enterprises and clubs
• In the early 1900s, Koreans, Mexicans and south east Asians
immigrate to California for better opportunities in labor.
• United States begins to regulate immigration in 1965 with the
Immigration and Nationality Acts
▫ Reforms laws that previously did not allow certain ethnic groups
to migrate to CA
▫ California expected a dramatic rise in immigrants for the next
thirty years from troubled parts of the world
▫ Immigrant children flood LAUSD; by 1999 over eighty languages
besides English are spoken in LA schools.
• Racial, ethnic and religious tensions grow stronger in CA
• Watt Riots in Los Angeles, 1965 were racially motivated..
▫ Black man arrested for drunk driving, angry crowd gathers in his support.
▫ Mainly white police officers draw larger crowd and make more arrests; five days of
• Rodney King beaten so severely by police, he was to be hospitalized while
his police attackers were acquitted, which resulted in more riots.
• Los Angeles riots in 1992 positioned African-Americans and Mexicans
against Whites and Asians.
• Previous riots had mainly been African-Americans versus Whites.
• Illegal immigration anxiety surfaces to these issues:
▫ Public aid to illegal immigrants
▫ Affirmative action
▫ Bilingual school system
• Modern-day Californians cohabitate in a widely diverse state.