Corrie ten Boom: A Dutch Holocaust Survivor in O.C.

Corrie ten Boom helped many Jews in the Netherlands escape the Nazis during World War II, was eventually sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp herself, survived, and spent the rest of her life helping others, speaking before large audiences, spreading the Gospel, and writing popular books. She spent her latter years living in Orange County, and her inspiring story will be the topic of her good friend Dr. Ron Rietveld’s program at the Orange County Historical Society’s June 10, 2021 meeting at 7:30 p.m., online via Zoom.

To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/OCHStenBoom

Ten Boom told her story of her family involvement in their World War II work in her bestselling 1971 book, The Hiding Place, which was made into a movie in 1975. Two years later, in 1977, this beloved spiritual pioneer, at age 85, moved to Placentia. She continued writing books, making films, speaking, as well as her Christian Ministry in various prisons. It was a more restful time than traveling the world, here she died after her third stroke on her 91st birthday on April 15, 1983. With a simple marker inscribed “Jesus is Victor,” Corrie is buried today in Santa Ana’s Fairhaven Cemetery.

Dr. Ron “Doc” Rietveld is an Emeritus Professor of History at California State University, Fullerton. After completing his A.B in history from Wheaton College [Illinois] in 1959, he completed his Bachelor of Divinity Magna Cum Laude from Bethel Theological Seminary [St. Paul] in 1962.  Upon completing his Ph.D. at Illinois in 1967, he returned to his Alma Mater at Wheaton and began teaching History-Political Science that same fall. In the fall of 1969, Dr. Rietveld began teaching American History at California State University, Fullerton [CA], then a ten-year old college. For 50 years, he has continued to serve as a History Department Faculty Member and Academic Advisor to Cal-State Fraternities.

Juaneño/Acjachemen Culture

 

The culture and history of the Juaneño/Acjachemen indigenous people of Orange County will be the topic of Adelia Sandoval’s program at the Orange County Historical Society’s May 13, 2021 meeting at 7:30 p.m., online via Zoom.

Click here to register: https://tinyurl.com/OCHSAcjachemen

Adelia Sandoval is the Spiritual Overseer (Púul) and Cultural Director for the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians / Acjachemen Nation. Adelia shares her Acjachemen Culture through art, writing, storytelling and singing. She is a Ceremonial Leader, Song Keeper, Wisdom Holder, Tribal teacher and healer.

Adelia is also an ordained minister. She created a ministry called Song of the Earth, a Native American healing service held in outdoor sanctuaries. Sandoval has been a Trustee on the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative, a Global Interfaith organization that “promotes peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.” Adelia is a member of Women of Spirit and Faith and contributed to their book, “Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership, Where Grace Meets Power”. She is an advisor to various interfaith and environmental groups. In November of 2019, Adelia was ordained as a Catholic Deacon in the Old Catholic Tradition and serves at St. Matthew Ecumenical Catholic Communion in Orange.

The Yost Theater / El Cine Yost

The history of Santa Ana’s Yost Theater (El Cine Yost) and its important role in Orange County’s Mexican-American community will be the topic of Professor David-James Gonzales’ program at the Orange County Historical Society’s April 8, 2021 meeting at 7:30 p.m., online via Zoom. To register, visit the OCHS website or https://tinyurl.com/OCHSYost.

Opened in 1913 as The Auditorium, the Yost Theater is Orange County’s oldest and most historic entertainment venue. During its early years, the Yost was considered Orange County’s finest playhouse, as it hosted vaudeville performers and musicians. With its massive stage, 970-seat capacity, and full array of backstage props and dressing rooms, the theater was a popular site for the performing arts, film exhibitions, charitable events, religious services, and political gatherings throughout much of its hundred-plus year history.

But to the ethnic Mexican community, the Yost was much more. The Olivos family, who purchased and then ran the Yost for 33 years, not only introduced Spanish-language cinema to Orange County, but also gave Mexican Americans a public place to gather and “feel proud of their ethnic heritage,” writes Gonzales. “During the early-to-mid-twentieth century when schools, neighborhoods, and parks were segregated throughout Orange County, Latinos could enter the theater and feel a sense of community.”

The theater was, wrote Louis Olivos, Jr., “our answer to the Grand Ole Opry.”

A Southern California native, David-James Gonzales completed his Ph.D. in History at the University of Southern California in 2017, writing his dissertation on the Mexican American struggle against segregation in Orange County from 1920 to 1950. He went on to teach at USC, UCLA and is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is also a producer and host of the scholarly book review podcast “New Books in Latino Studies.”

His article, “El Cine Yost and the Power of Place for Mexican Migrants in Orange County, California, 1930–1990,” was published in the Journal of American Ethnic History in the Summer of 2020. He is currently preparing a book manuscript on the effect of Latino civic engagement and politics on the metropolitan development of Orange County throughout the 20th century.

Caption: The Yost Theater on Spurgeon St. in 1974. Photo by Werner Weiss, courtesy Orange County Archives.

Modesta Avila

The story of Modesta Avila – Orange County’s first convicted felon and a celebrated symbol of protest – is an enduring Early California legend that has long warranted further historical research. Author, attorney, and educator Richard Brock will tell Avila’s story at the Orange County Historical Society’s March 11, 2021 meeting at 7:30 p.m., online via Zoom.

To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/OCHSAvila

Brock’s lecture will include the findings of his article, “Modesta Again” (California History, Fall 2018) as well as even more recent significant findings about Avila’s life.

The tale of Modesta Avila has long been a potent metaphor used by scholars and activists to illustrate themes of social injustice, ethnic intolerance, railroad intransigence, the decline of the Californios, and the treatment of Hispanics following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Because her story is used to explain serious historical themes, accuracy is important. However, the story as it’s always been told was inaccurate and incomplete. Brock’s new research—using original land titles, Mexican land grants, genealogy, trial transcripts, applications for appeals to governors Markham and Waterman, the personal notes of the historian Jim Sleeper in the UCI Special Collections, and hundreds of contemporary news articles—results in a revised and compelling story that has even stronger metaphorical import.

Richard Brock holds a BA from UCI in Classical Civilization focused on Greco-Roman History, Literature, Art, & Myth. He earned an MA in Folklore and Mythology from UCLA and focused on San Juan Capistrano where he did field work with descendants of the Acjachemen, Spanish, Mexicans, and early European settlers. He also holds a JD from Western State University of Law and deploys all of these disciplines in his published papers and novels. He currently teaches law in an ABA program for paralegals at UCR, and also teaches Folklore and Mythology, the Spanish Mission System, and the Pacific Crest Trail through the Osher Foundation.

At the end of the lecture, Brock will also briefly discuss his new work of historical fiction, Laguna Diary, which features such local personalities as Delfina Olivares (storyteller and Matriarch of San Juan Capistrano) and Paul Arbiso (Mission bell-ringer and Patriarch of San Juan Capistrano).

The Enchanted Quest of Dana & Ginger Lamb

If adventure has a name, it must be,…. Lamb? Author and researcher Julie Huffman-klinkowitz will tell the story of Orange County authors and adventurers Dana and Ginger Lamb at the Orange County Historical Society’s Jan. 14, 2020 meeting at 7:30 p.m., online via Zoom.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/OCHSLamb to register.

Almost 90 years ago, Dana and Ginger Lamb made headlines as they adventured their way through life, creating experiences and stories that thrilled and entertained their audiences. Followed by young and old alike, the Lambs presented themselves through the media of the day to an international following. Married in 1933, the Lambs became popular authors, lecturers, documentary filmmakers, entrepreneurs, amateur archaeologists, and spies for the U.S. government. Their best-selling books included Enchanted Vagabonds (1938) and Quest for the Lost City (1951). Huffman-klinkowitz will speak about the Lambs’ personal histories, their lives and work, and their impact on several generations of followers.

Julie Huffman-klinkowitz is an independent scholar whose work focuses on local history, genealogy, and popular culture. She holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and a MA in Spanish. She is Collections Manager of the Cedar Falls (Iowa) Historical Society. She is co-author of the book, The Enchanted Quest of Dana and Ginger Lamb, and is currently working on an annotated index to the Lambs’ voluminous correspondence, which is held at the Sherman Library in Corona del Mar.