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Events in 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Date: Sunday, December 13, 2009
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Cost: Free - donations accepted
Questions: Call (310) 328-5392

Children of all ages and adults who are young at heart, are invited to the Torrance Historical Society & Museum for a reading of the holiday classic, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Former Torrance City Councilman, Paul Nowatka, will cozy down in an antique wingback chair and delight listeners with this magical tale.

There will be a surprise visit by Santa.

Each guest will leave with a treat, compliments of COSTCO, and one lucky winner will go home with a copy of the book - "Twas the Night before Christmas"!

This event is free, open to the public, and requires no reservations, so bring a friend -- or two!

The Torrance Historical Society & Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance
Rock Around the Block
in Celebration of the All-America City Award

ths logo  providencelogo

Thursday, July 16, 2009
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM IN-N-OUT Burger wagon available.
Burger wagon will close earlier if food is sold out.

See the Rock Around the Blocker Flyer for details.

This is a free event - donations accepted. Nominal fee for food and beverages.

The Torrance Historical Society and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance are hosting the fifth annual 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 . . .
  • View vintage cars on display along Post Avenue, courtesy of Cruisin' 50s Car Club, local car owners - special appearance by the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile
  • Bop to 50s music
  • Munch on burgers from the IN-N-OUT burger wagon (burgers served from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM, nominal fee for food & beverages)
  • See special exhibits featuring the original congratulatory telegram from President Eisenhower, along with the All-America City button & logo
  • Slurp milk shakes made with vintage machines by real "soda jerks"
  • 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!

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)! 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 event is hosted in cooperation with the City of Torrance, the Torrance Historical Society, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, Torrance CitiCABLE 3, Costco, Torrance Bakery and the Old Torrance Neighborhood Association.

The Torrance Historical Society & Museum is located at 1345 Post Avenue, and is open free to the public Tuesday - Thursday & Sunday, from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Special hours can be arranged for private tours or research. The Society has an ever growing collection of photos, documents, books, artifacts and other material relevant to the City's past. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call the Museum at (310) 328-5392 or visit www.TorranceHistoricalSociety.org.


Annual Meeting & History of the Torrance Airport at Zamperini Field

When: Sunday, May 31st
Where: The Western Museum of Flight - 3315 Airport Drive, Torrance
Time: 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Cost: $15 for Torrance Historical Society Members / $30 non-members - includes lunch & tour of
Western Museum of Flight
Guest Speaker: Chuck Lobb, author of Torrance Airport
RSVP: (310) 328-5392


Works in Progress Presents "Whose Story Now"

Once WWII ended, Japanese Americans began telling their stories for the first time. Works in Progress follows their evolving story from that moment to the present, which beg the questions .... Whose Story Now?

For its sixth consecutive year, Works in Progress presents dramas of compelling contemporary events in the intimate Nakano Theatre at Torrance Cultural Arts Center. Q & A and reception will follow each event.

Monday, Feb 16th
"Rabbit in the Moon"
One family's challenge to break the silence of the past and search for the truth.

Wednesday, Feb 25th
"Heroes, My Friend Ted"
Stories of two brothers in the 100th / 142nd and of Torrance's own hero, Ted Tanouye.

Wednesday, March 25th
"Yellow Pearl"
Music and stories of the 1970's emerging American Asian movement.

Wednesday, April 29th
"Big Head"
Stories of Japanese Americans during WWII that also explores the treatment as those perceived as the enemy after 9/11.

Wednesday, May 27th
"It's Great 2B an American"
Multi-media performance about the ironies of having an American passport and an Asian face.

The Torrance Historical Society & Museum is once again working in association with Works in Progress, a program of the Cultural Services Division of the Torrance Community Services Department. This series is presented in association with Japanese American Citizens League, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California, JA Living Legacy, Japanese American National Museum, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, Ted Tanouye Memorial Foundation, The Henry Fukuhara Workshop, Torrance CitiCABLE, Torrance Public Library and Visual Communications.

Meet the Author & Book Signing
Where the V.I.P.'s R.I.P.

What do Frank Zappa and Toto have in common? They're both in unmarked graves.

Author Steve Goldstein, a South Bay resident, has written LA's Graveside Companion: Where the V.I.P.'s R.I.P.--- a guide to a dozen Los Angeles cemeteries which are now home to 400 of the "most interesting" gravesites in Southern California. From Rudolph Valentino, to Marilyn Monroe, to Busy Siegel, to Frank Zappa to Toto . . . Goldstein will highlight the biographies of some of the rich, famous and infamous who now reside six feet under Los Angeles. He'll tell where the bodies are buried -- not all are in cemeteries.

This Meet the Author & Book Signing event will be hosted by the Torrance Historical Society at the Torrance Historical Society & Museum (1345 Post Avenue, Old Torrance) on Sunday, May 3rd, at 2:00 PM.

LA's Graveside Companion: Where the V.I.P.'s R.I.P. will be available for purchase and signing on this day. Light refreshments will be served. No reservations are required. This presentation is free, and open to the public, but seating is limited, so arrive early.

Author's Bio: Steve Goldstein has been a cemetery historian for over 20 years, frequently appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and other media as an expert on the subject. He often contributes to the online reference site, FindAGrave.com, and is a sought after tour guide. Although this is his first book, his work has been published in such books as Weird California and Last Laugh: A Book of Graveyard Humour. He lives with his very understanding wife, Jennifer, in the South Bay. For more information, visit Goldstein's website at www.BeneathLosAngeles.com.

Meet the Author & Book Signing
Sawtelle: West Los Angeles' Japantown

Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum - 1345 Post Avenue, Old Torrance
When: Saturday, March 28th, 2:00 PM
Cost: Free. Donations appreciated. Book is available for purchase.
Who: Author, Jack Fujimoto
What: Book signing & presentation -- Sawtelle: West Los Angeles' Japantown
Info: (310) 328-5392 or www.TorranceHistoricalSociety.org

In partnership with the 2009 Works in Progress "Whose Story Now?" series, the Torrance Historical Society and the Torrance Public Library will take you back to the early 20th Century when Japantown (bisected by Sawtelle Blvd. in Los Angeles) flourished through a close-knit network of Japanese immigrants who were denied citizenship until 1952, and were excluded by law from owning land. It was only through their Nisei children (second-generation American-born children) that they could buy property.

Author, Jack Fujimoto, a 50-year resident of Sawtelle, will tell the story -- through vintage images collected from local families, businesses and organizations -- of the Japanese immigrant experience in Los Angeles. Sawtelle: West Los Angeles' Japantown will be available for purchase and signing on this day. Light refreshments will be served. No reservations are required. This presentation is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please arrive early.

Author's Bio: Author Jack Fujimoto, Ph.D., is a 50-year resident of Sawtelle. He has been president of the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle and its Japanese language school for more than a decade. He has also served as president of the West L.A. Buddhist Temple, the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California, and several community colleges. He was the first Nisei to head a mainland U.S. college when he became president of Sacramento City College in 1977.

Book Signing & Presentation, March 8th, 2009

The Torrance Historical Society & Torrance Public Library presents...

Who: Dale Sato, Community Historian
What: Book signing & presentation -- Japanese Americans of the South Bay, CA
Note: There will be live music to introduce each decade of the book.
When: Sunday, March 8th, 2009
Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum - 1345 Post Avenue, Old Torrance
Time: 2:00 PM
Cost: Free
Info: (310) 328-5392 or www.TorranceHistoricalSociety.org

Light refreshments will be served. No reservations are required. This presentation is free, and open to the public, but seating is limited, so arrive early.


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