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Visit With a Veteran

Veterans Day is an important day for showing appreciation to members of our military -- a celebration to honor America's Veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

The Torrance Historical Society invites you, your family, and friends to join them in honoring our Veterans. Pull up a chair and visit with a Veteran: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan

What: Visit with a Veteran
When: Sunday,November 12th, 2017
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum - 1345 Post Avenue, (at Cravens), Old Torrance
No RSVP and No Charge: Please come, honor our Veterans and learn something new!
Info: 310.328.5392 or visit: www.TorranceHistoricalSociety.org

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory." -- George S. Patton



Meet the Author and Book Signing
With Loralee Spradlin and Her Book Torrance High School

Author, Loralee Spradlin, a Torrance Tartar herself (1993) discusses and signs her new book entitled, Torrance High School, this Sunday. On this day, we will also have "all things Torrance High" on display in the Museum.

Torrance High School opened in war-time on September 11, 1917. The new school initially served all school-age children in one building - 19 high school students, and grades one to eight. By 1923, the elementary students had their own school, and Torrance High stood as the only high school until the 1950s. Today, it remains the oldest school still in continuous use in the state, and last month it was selected by Architectural Digest Magazine as the most beautiful public high school in California

What: Book Signing with Loralee Spradlin with her book Torrance High School
When: Sunday, October 15, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: The Torrance Historical Society & Museum
Cost: No Charge - Donations accepted. Book can be purchased at the museum with cash or check for $22.00, no credit/debit cards and no Paypal.
More info: (310) 328-5392

Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come / first-served basis. No reservations required. Light refreshments will be served

Note: Wednesday, October 11th, Loralee will also be at Barnes & Noble, Torrance at 4:30 PM discussing and signing her book! Stop by and see her!


History! History! Read all about it!
Torrance High School
1917 - 2017

Torrance High School opened in war-time on September 11, 1917. The new school initially served all school-age children in one building - 19 high school students, and grades one to eight. By 1923, the elementary students had their own school, and Torrance High stood as the only high school until the 1950s. Today, it remains the oldest school still in continuous use in the City of Torrance - and does it have a history to share!

Author, Loralee Spradlin, a Torrance Tartar herself (1993), captures this 100-year history in a 128-page Arcadia Publishing book entitled Torrance High School. Many of the images used are from the collection of the Torrance Historical Society and the Torrance High School Alumni Association, as well, from individual Torrance High alumni.

Back in the day, the City of Torrance was developing a reputation as an industrial powerhouse. As the population of the city grew, so did the campus of Torrance High. The rich history of Torrance High School is filled with academic and athletic successes, as well as storied alumni like Louis Zamperini and Ted Tanouye, who served the United States during World War II. In the 1990s, the highly recognizable Main Building was the set for several television shows, including Beverly Hills 90210 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer , and movies, such as She's All That and Not Another Teen Movie.

Torrance High School ($21.99) will be available for purchase on August 28, 2017.

Books will be for sale:

  • Torrance High School Student Activities Office (2200 W. Carson St., Torrance 90501)
    August 28th - August 31st, and September 6th, from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Starting September 7th, the office is open Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  • "Tartar Family" Reunion (Torrance High campus - 2200 W. Carson St., Torrance 90501)
    Saturday, September 9th, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    Note: The author will be on campus that day to sign your book
  • Torrance Historical Society & Museum (1345 Post Ave., Torrance 90501)
    Wednesday, Thursday and Sundays from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

    This book is being published in celebration of Torrance High School's 100th birthday. For details regarding associated Centennial events, visit: www.TorranceHighCentennial.com

    Get your copy hot off the press!


    Late Night Thursdays

    Woo-hoo! It's summer, so it's time to stay open late! The Torrance Historical Society would LOVE it if you'd join us for Late Night Thursdays for the rest of this month at the Museum (1345 Post Ave., Old Torrance). By extending the Museum hours until 8:00 PM, we'll be adding to the buzz of Old Torrance!

    When: Thursday nights, Thursday, August 17th - Thursday, August 31st The Museum will be open until 8:00 PM Thursday evenings (open 1:00 - 8:00PM). treats served from 5:00 - 8:00pm and Special Guests will be there 6:00 - 8:00 pm. See guest list below.

    Location: Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue
    Cost: Free and open to the public - donations accepted.
    Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit www.torrancehistoricalsociety.org or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392. While you're out-and-about, pop in the Museum and explore the Torrance Historical Society's collection including

    • See a photo of Mrs. Jared Sidney Torrance (Helena), and ... take your own photo with Jared
    • Check out the historic Red Car photos and original ticket on display
    • Touch one of the original Torrance cowboy's saddle (yes, Torrance used to be a farming community -- right down to cows, pigs, minks, turkeys, strawberries and flowers)
    • View the training shorts and sweatshirt Louis Zamperini wore during the 1936 Olympics, the luggage the community bought for him to attend the Olympic Tryouts in NY, and other "Lucky Louie" treasures
    • On these Late Night Thursdays, the Museum will be open from 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM, and treats will be served.

      Special Guest list - Guests will be at the Museum from 6:00 - 8:00 PM:

      Thursday, August 17th
      Mike the Map Man is back by popular demand --- view decades worth of maps from the Historic Map Archives.

      Thursday, August 24th
      View Torrance Rose Float Parade entries photos from over the decades, and preview the 2018 Torrance Rose Float design.

      Thursday, August 31st
      See the City's Centennial DVD of Lois Zamperini - Triumph of the Torrance Tornado, and the clip of when Louis won the 1934 Southern California Track & Field Championship. "Running in what was celebrated at the best field of high school milers in history, Louie routed them all and smoked the mile in 4:21:3, shattering the national high school record, set during World War I, by more than 2 seconds."

      -- Laura Hillenbrand (The DVD will be playing from 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM - pop in any time -- it's only about 14 minutes long). We'll also have information regarding Torrance High School's Centennial.

      While you're downtown for these events, make a day of it, and dine at one of our local restaurants ...

      • Red Car Brewery & Restaurant - 1266 Sartori Ave. - http://www.redcarbrewery.com/
      • Tortilla Cantina - 1225 El Prado Avenue (Corner of Sartori Ave.) - www.TortillaCantina.com
      • Kech Cafe - 1231 Cabrillo Ave., #103 - 424.376.5000 - kechcafeinfo@gmail.com
      • Depot - 1250 Cabrillo Ave. - www.depotrestaurant.com
      • Local Kitchen - 1321 Sartori Ave. - 424.337.1321 or www.localkitchentavern.com
      • Chado Tea Room - 1303 El Prado Ave., Old Torrance - https://chadotearoom.com/catering-menu/
      • La Capilla - 1332 Sartori Ave. - 310.533.1048
      • Lucio's - 1605 Cabrillo Ave. - 310.328.9810
      • By Brazil - 1615 Cabrillo Ave. - www.bybrazilbbq.com
      • Restoration Kitchen & Wine - 1437 Marcelina Ave. - www.restorationkitchenandwine.com
      • Keegan's Pub & Grill - 1434 Marcelina Ave. - 310.328.3750
      • Crest Restaurant & Bar - 1625 Cabrillo Ave. - 310.320.9347
      • Irifune Japanese Restaurant - 1231 Cabrillo Ave., #107 - 310.782.7330
      • Eat at Rudy's - 1340 Post Ave. (open 6:00 AM - 2:30 PM) - 310.533.0752
      • Old Torrance Coffee & Tea - 1413 Marcelina Avenue - http://otcoffeetea.com
      • Angara Indian Restaurant - 2170 Torrance Blvd, Torrance 90501 - http://www.angara.us
      • Fosters Freeze - 1624 Cravens Ave. - 310.328.1375
      • Torrance Bakery - 1341 El Prado Ave. - www.TorranceBakery.com



      Summer Stroll

      Thursday, August 10, 2017

      What: 6th Annual Summer Stroll - docent-led walking tour of Old Torrance Historic Buildings and a taste of what is inside.

      You will tour some of the hip restaurants in Old Torrance for a sip & a snack, and a peek into the past behind the brick and mortar.

      When Torrance was founded 100 years ago, business began to build. Downtown Torrance, which was in the center of the original footprint of the City, soon became the heartbeat of the town. A century later, many a business has come and gone through those old buildings - they each have a story to tell.

      Not only will you learn the building's history, we'll show you old photos of the "before", as you stand in the "now."

      When:Thursday, August 10, 2017 6:00PM SHARP! - You must be on time!
      Location: Meet at Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue.
      Who: Adults, 21 years and older only
      RSVP: 310.328.5392 or email Debbie Hays: debbie.simpson@acssoftware.com Reservations honored on a first come/first-served basis. Payment must be received within 48 hours of reservation in order to hold your spot. This has been a SOLD-OUT event every year!
      Cost: $35.00 per person - Reservations required. Space is limited. Make checks payable to: "Torrance Historical Society" No credit or debit cards, no Paypal accepted. Mail checks to and please include names, phone numbers and email of participants:

      Torrance Historical Society
      1345 Post Ave.
      Torrance, CA 90501

      All money raised will be used to fund programs and projects for the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.

      Buildings on Tour:The Torrance Historical Society Museum, Red Car Brewery & Restaurant, Tortilla Cantina, Kech Cafe., Depot, Local Kitchen, Restoration Kitchen & Wine and Torrance Bakery.
      Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit www.torrancehistoricalsociety.org or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392.



      The Torrance Historical Society Rocks Around the Block in Celebration of the All-America City Award

      When: Thursday, July 20, 2017 5:00PM - 8:00PM
      Location: Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue
      Cost: Free and open to the public - donations accepted. Nominal fee for food and beverage
      Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392.

      This is a fund raiser for the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.

      The Torrance Historical Society and our sponsors will host this 1950s-style family summer event in celebration of Torrance's All-America City Award -- one of America's original and most prestigious community recognition awards. The City received this award for "Growth without strain" back in the 1956 when Albert Isen was Mayor of Torrance. This free event is open to the public and will be held in front of the Museum (1345 Post Avenue). Post Avenue will be blocked off from Cravens to Sartori, so guests can:

      • Bop to 50s music - by DJ Ozzie
      • Munch on burgers from the IN-N-OUT burger wagon (burgers served from 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM, see below for pricing)
      • See special exhibits featuring the original congratulatory telegram from President Eisenhower, along with the All-America City button & logo
      • Check-out high school yearbooks -- the Torrance Historical Society has the largest collection
      • Enter the hula hoop, bubble gum blowin', cake walk and pie eating contests - there are prizes!
      • View vintage cars on display along Post Avenue, courtesy of Cruisin' 50s Car Club, Touring A's and local car owners
      • Alex Hattori, 3-time US National Champion and currently 2nd Place World yo-yo champ, will also be on stage amazing the crowd with his award winning tricks and will do a live demo for those who want to learn the skill of yo-yo-ing
      • Guests have the opportunity to learn hands-on CPR from the Torrance Fire Dept. to the Bee Gee's tune of "Stayin' Alive."

      Tickets for the IN-N-OUT burger wagon can be purchased at the "burger desk" on the Museum lawn during the event. Cash or personal check, made payable to the Torrance Historical Society will be accepted. Sorry no credit cards are accepted. Exact change is appreciated.

      One burger or grilled cheese sandwich, chips and a fountain drink will be available for $9.00 until 7:30 p.m. or until sold out. Please arrive early due limited availability.

      Cash or personal check, made payable to the Torrance Historical Society will be accepted. Sorry, no credit cards are accepted. Exact change is appreciated and please no large bills.

      The Bartlett Senior (over 50) Center will also be hosting an Open House this same night -- you can dine on their patio and listen to The South Bay Strummers (ukulele group) and dance to the Liz Holmes Retro Swing Band. The Torrance Woman's Club will also have their 1950s Club scrapbook available for viewing. Also, the Torrelles -- a group of City employees who sing 50s and 60s songs in a cappella, will entertain guests.

      This FREE 1950s-style family event is sponsored by TBA and hosted in partnership with the City of Torrance, Old Torrance Neighborhood Association, CitiCABLE 3, and Torrance Bakery. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call the Museum at (310) 328-5392 or visit www.TorranceHistoricalSociety.org.


      Downtown Torrance Art Walk

      What: Outstanding local artists from the South Bay will be showcased in over a dozen venues including the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.
      When: Saturday, June 24th - 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
      Where: Starts at APC Fine Arts Gallery - 1621 Cabrillo Ave., Old Torrance
      Cost: Free


      Annual Meeting & Installation of Officers

      Guided Bus Tour of Louis Zamperini's Old Haunts

      Celebrating 100 Years

      2017 marks the year Torrance's Hometown Hero, Louis Zamperini, would have turned 100. In celebration of his Centennial year, the Torrance Historical Society will be hosting Zamperini-themed events, including a Guided Bus Tour of his Old Haunts.

      Have you ever wondered this about Louis Zamperini . . .

      • Where did he used to hang out in his youth?
      • At what age did he start smoking and drinking?
      • Who was his idol?
      • How did he get even with the girls who teased him at school?
      • What were some of his nick names?
      • At what age did he turn his life around and become a championship runner?
      • What piece of advice did his brother give him in the final lap of a mile race which he drew upon to keep going -- even when he was in pain and exhausted -- and still uses today?

      The answers to these questions, and many more, will be shared with those who are fortunate enough to grab a seat on the guided bus tour of Louis' old stompin' grounds on Sunday, June 4th.

      In addition, we'll cruise along the two-mile stretch of the 405 Fwy., between Redondo Beach Blvd. and Western Ave., which will soon be dedicated the Zamperini Memorial Highway. The new signage will be installed the day prior to the Bus Tour.

      One lucky winner will go home with a copy of Louis Zamperini's book, "Don't Give Up, Don't Give In" (completed two days before his death) signed by his son Luke Zamperini.

      What: Annual Meeting & installation of Officers.
      Guided Bus Tour - Zamperini's Old Haunts given by Torrance Historians Debbie Hays & Janet Payne
      When: Sunday, June 4th
      Time: 9:30AM - Check-in
      9:45AM - Installation of new Torrance Historical Society Officers
      10:00AM - Tour begins (leaves from Museum - 1345 Post AVe.)
      Where: Tour starts and ends at the Torrance Historical Society Museum, 1345 Post Ave. (at Cravens)
      Cost: THS Members - $20.00 per person / Non-Members - $25.00 per person
      No credit card, debit cards, no Paypal accepted. Either mail in a check or bring cash or check when the Museum is open. Exact change appreciated. please no $50 or $100 bills.
      Mail checks to: Torrance Historical Society
      1345 Post Ave.
      Torrance, CA 90501
      Include the name, email address, and phone number of each person in your group, and mail to Torrance Historical Society, 1345 Post Ave., Torrance, CA 90501.
      Checks payable to "Torrance Historical Society"
      RSVP: 310.328.5392 or email Debbie Hays: debbie.simpson@acssoftware.com
      Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit www.torrancehistoricalsociety.org or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392.
      Note: Seating for this event is limited, so mail your check now to reserve your spot.
      Attire: Dress casual, walking shoes recommended, as we will get on-and-off the bus several times, and some walking is involved.


      Names on the Wall Remembrance

      The Torrance Historical Society will conduct a memorial service for Torrance service personnel who gave their lives in U. S. military actions. The program will include the reading of the 146 Names on the Wall. Those names include war losses from World War I to those in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

      What: Names on the Wall Remembrance
      When: Memorial Day - Monday, May 29th 2:00 PM (see location)
      Location: City of Torrance Veterans' Memorial Wall at Memorial Plaza, Torrance Blvd. at Maple at 2:00PM
      Cost: Free and open to the public
      Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit Torrance Historical & Society and Museum, or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392.

      "On Monday, we will be grateful for the gift of those who never came home. We will remember -- every day is Memorial Day. We will pray that we may never add another name to that cold, black wall," noted Jerry Ronan, Torrance Historical Society Board Member and WWII Veteran.


      Meet the Authors & Book Signing

      96 years young - WWII Veterans Mel and Muriel Engleman share their story.

      Behind the Front Lines

      Mel served as a Marine in the Pacific Theatre while Muriel served as an Army nurse behind the front lines at the Battle of the Bulge.

      A 1st Lieutenant, ANC, Muriel was a staff member of the 16th General Hospital, Liege, Belgium, 1944 to 1945, and was awarded the European Theatre Medal with three Battle Stars and the Belgian Fourragere. The 16th General Hospital was under experiment by the U.S. War Department to place a general hospital with a triage system in tents as close to the fighting lines as possible. The hospital was ravaged by buzz bombs, each carrying 2000 pounds of explosives, which fell every 12-15 minutes, 24 hours a day, for 2 1/2 months, destroying hospital tents and inflicting heavy casualties. On Christmas Eve, Germans strafed and bombed the hospital, killing and wounding scores of patients and staff. The enemy had surrounded Bastogne. As they approached Liège, nurses were told to be ready to move out within minutes and expect capture by the Germans. Muriel wore dog tags with an H for Hebrew.

      What: Meet the Author and book signing event with Mel and Muriel Engleman.
      When: Sunday, May 21, 2017
      Time: 2:00 PM
      Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue
      No RSVP and No Charge: Free event. No reservations but seating is limited to first-come / first-served. $20 charge for book.
      Info: 310.328.5392 or visit torrancehistoricalsociety.org.
      The book, Mission Accomplished: Stop The Clock, by Muriel Engleman will be available for signing and purchase. $20 fee for book, event is free. Check & cash accepted, no credit or debit cards and Paypal not accepted. Please no $50 nor $100 bills.

      To contact author:
      engelmanma@aol.com and www.MurielEngelman.com

      To order book: www.CreateSpace.com/4829908 or order on Amazon

      Let's Eat Cake

      Celebrating 55 Years of the Torrance Area's League of Women Voters

      This Sunday, in honor of Women's History Month, the Torrance Historical Society will be hosting the League of Women Voters (Torrance Area) 55th Birthday Celebration..

      You're invited to join both organizations in strolling down memory lane in viewing memorabilia, photos, documents and treasures. A favorite is the image of Former Mayor Katy Geissert, in her 20's, pointing to a poster highlighting the pros and cons of upcoming state ballot proposals, and . . . lots more!

      What: "Let's Eat Cake" with Torrance Area's League of Women Voters celebrating 50 years
      When: Sunday, March 12th
      Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
      Where: Torrance Historical Society Museum - 1345 Post Ave (at Cravens)
      Cost: Free - Donations appreciated
      RSVP: No RSVP required - come and bring a friend or more
      Additional Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, call the Museum at (310) 328-5392


      Tea at Two - a Valentine's Day Tea and Program

      The Torrance Historical Society & Museum is hosting Tea at Two - a Valentine's Day Tea and Program at the Museum. The pleasure of your company is requested for this afternoon of tea, delicious delicacies and history!

      Proceeds from this fund-raiser directly benefit the Museum - archiving activities, historical discoveries, research projects, special programs, its operation and exhibits.

      When: Saturday, February 4th, 2017
      Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum - 1345 Post Avenue, Old Torrance
      Time: 2:00 PM, doors open at 1:45 PM
      Cost: $25 per person -- seating is limited, so reservations are required and will be taken on a first come/first served basis. See RSVP.
      Checks made payable to "Torrance Historical Society" are to be mailed to:
      Torrance Historical Society
      1345 Post Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501
      RSVP: 310.328.5392 - this has been a sold out event each year
      * Checks must be received within 48 hours of the event
      * of reservation to hold your spot.

      Info: 310.328.5392 or visit: www.TorranceHistoricalSociety.org Attire: Tea attire -- hats and gloves optional

      The day will include:

      • Vintage Boutique by Janet Stancliff of Sunnyland Estate Sales - including vintage hankies
      • Each table will feature a teapot from the private collection of Jamie Ruth Watson, Past President of the Torrance Historical Society
      • A showing and presentation of the private Vintage Hankie Collecton of Beth Wilson
      • Opportunity to win fabulous gift baskets


      Meet the Authors - Judith Gerber & Rachel Surls

      The Torrance Historical Society is getting the New Year moving with a Meet the Author(s) event with farm-friendly authors Rachel Surls and Judith Gerber who will dish the dirt on their new book, From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles.

      They will share the epic tale of how agriculture forged Los Angeles into an urban metropolis, and how, ultimately, the Los Angeles farm empire spurred the very growth that paved it over, as sprawling suburbs swallowed up thousands of acres of prime farmland. And how, on the same land once squandered by corporate greed and “progress,” urban farmers are making inroads to a greener future.

      What: Meet the Author event with Judith Gerber & Rachel Surls.

      Judi Gerber is a THS board member, Torrance Library Commissioner, book author, Torrance Community Garden Instructor and more. She is author of Farming in Torrance and the South Bay and her latest book written in conjunction with Rachel Surls is From Cows to Concrete. Rachel Surls is a Sustainable Food Sytems Advisor for University of California Extension, Los Angeles County and Co-Author of From Cows to Concrete.

      When: Sunday, January 15, 2017
      Time: 2:00 PM
      Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum
      No RSVP and no charge: Free event. No reservations but seating is limited to first-come / first-served. Fee for book purchase.
      Info: 310.328.5392 or visit torrancehistoricalsociety.org.

      Both books will be available for signing and purchase.

      From Cows to Concrete books (9x9 inch hardcover) will be available for signing and purchase ($40) - cash, checks AND credit cards accepted for purchase of this book.

      Farming in Torrance and the South Bay by Judith Gerber, will also be available for signing and purchase ($20) – cash or checks ONLY accepted for purchase of this book).

      Until the 1950's, Los Angeles County was the agricultural center of North America. Today, few Angelenos realize that so much of the land was once home to ranchos, orange groves and celery fields. Rachel Surls and Judith Gerber reconnect us with LA's farm roots in their new book, From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles.




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