Believe It or Not – It’s Time to Register for the 2018 Conference!

For the past 53 years the Congress of History has shared it’s love of all things historic by hosting a history conference. Local historians and talented authors volunteer their time to give exciting talks that will captivate you. The conference theme this year,
“Believe It or Not – It Happened in My Neighborhood!,” is a celebration of adventures in local history, with historic tales about places that you may THINK you know, but there is so much more.
You are invited to join us on Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, 2018, in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego at Portuguese Hall, 2818 Avenida de Portugal, San Diego. You don’t have to be a member of the Congress of History to attend; everyone is welcome to the conference. While this is the major fundraising event for the Congress of History, pricing for the two-day conference is extremely reasonable: $35 for adults, $25 for seniors (65+), and $15 for active military or any student with ID. (There is no discount if you will only attend one day.)
We’re delighted that our conference cosponsor is the Portuguese Historical Center (PHC), located in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego. For over 40 years the PHC has promoted the history and appreciation of the Portuguese immigrants and Portuguese culture in the region. Because the conference location is just across the street from the Portuguese Museum, conference guests will be invited to visit the Portuguese Museum as well as the beautiful 1922 Portuguese Chapel located next door to the hall. The chapel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in February 2017.
The Portuguese community is currently spearheading the adoption of a Little Portugal District to best preserve and commemorate the accomplishments of this community.
Portuguese Hall has its own parking lot, although we always encourage guests to carpool. Within a block walking distance are many locations for lunch, so lunch is on your own. (At the conference we will provide coffee and light refreshments, as well as a map showing nearby easy-to-walk-to local restaurants.)
The registration form for the conference posted on our website. Please register early. While we can take walk-ups in a conference hall this size, you will help out your Congress of History volunteers greatly by preregistering. No tickets will be mailed. When you arrive you will receive a name badge upon check in. This will serve as you ticket for each day. Please mail your registration and payment no later than February 27 to reach us in time. If after February 27, email your registration form to and pay at the door (cash or check). Your badge will be waiting for you. Bring cash for all the vendor tables and book sellers.
Please arrive before the start of the conference at 9:00 a.m. After a welcome by our President, Dianne Cowen, Congress of History Vice President and Conference Co-Chair Louise Torio will serve as you emcee. Each speaker will give a 20-minute presentation, with five minutes for Q&A.
There will be a break after every few speakers in order for guests to browse the many organizational exhibit tables and vendor tables set up by the museums and historical organizations. We’ll also have an author table; for speakers who have written books, they will bring their books for sale. To take advantage of this opportunity, please bring cash for your purchases; some vendors will also take a check, but very few will be able to take credit cards.
Believe It or Not – our speakers are coming from all around the region to share their unique neighborhood stories with you. We put out the call for speakers to members and local historical societies to share those interesting, odd, funny, beautiful, or weird stories about their particular location, stories that may not have fit into the other past 52 conference themes. Below is the schedule of our distinguished historians and the fascinating “believe it or not” neighborhood stories they will present:

                Rosanne Goodwin: “The Name Game: Community and Neighborhood Names Over the Decades”
                Christopher Milnes: “University Heights: What’s that Ostrich doing in My Neighborhood? 1904 and the Arrival of Harvey Bentley’s Ostrich Farm”
                Charles Spratley: “My Neighborhood Disappeared: Cuyamaca City, Gone With The Gold”
                Kathy Blavatt: “From Our Local Beach to the English Channel: The Amazing Achievements of the World Champion Water Women of Ocean Beach”
                Susan Walter: “Alpine: Where the Most Beautiful Woman on Stage…was a Man”
                Jennifer Grahlman: “Delights of the Round Table(s): How El Monte County Park’s Concrete Behemoths Embody Lakeside History and Reflect National Trends”
                John Martin: “El Capitan: The Dam That Divided the City”
                Vonn Marie May: “Rancho Santa Fe: The Town the Railroad Built”
                John Webster: “When Pacific Beach was the Home of the West Point of the West”
                Alex Bevil: “A Neighborhood in Flames: the 40th Anniversary of the Crash of PSA Flight 182 in North Park”
                Sandee Wilhoit: “San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter: There’s a Spy in the Attic!”
                Barbara Zaragoza: “South Bay Border Barons: Racetracks, Saloons, Opium Bens, and Brothels During the 1920s and ‘30s”

So, get excited about attending our regions longest running history conference, send in your registration today, and tell your friends that they must attend this very fun networking opportunity where we delight in supporting one another (“unity and joint effort”). We look forward to see you at the conference!

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2018 – Next Meeting Temecula

coh_temecula January 20, 2018 10 am

Rebecca Farnbach, President of the Temecula Valley Historical Society, has confirmed that the TVHS will host the January 20, 2018 Congress of History Board Meeting. The Vail Ranch Restoration Association which operates the Wolf Barn will provide the location.
Temecula Valley Historical Society members will be on site to interpret museum displays and to show the restored Vail Ranch Headquarters buildings which were officially dedicated in July 2016.
For directions use Vail Headquarters, Temecula, CA as the destination.
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Thank you from COH

Happy Thanksgiving

COH wishes Happy Thanksgiving

We would like to extend our thanks to the Santee Historical Society for being such wonderful hosts. We had a great turnout with much of the conversation focusing on our upcoming conference in March.

The COH Wishes all a wonderful holiday season and stay tuned for more info on the upcoming conference.

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Next Meeting: Santee Historical

Join us November 18 at 10 am as we visit the Edgemoor Farm Dairy Barn which is home to the Santee Historical Society. ( link to website )

When: November 18 at 10 am
Where: 9200 North Magnolia Avenue, Santee CA 92129
Phone: (619) 224-2024

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Special Event

building_logo_newJoin Congress of History and the San Diego History Center for this event Saturday September 23 2017 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Building to the next level is a forum for local history groups in which speakers will share expertise with interaction from the audience.

Tickets are $15

More info: link to SD History Website

Come join us.

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Thank you California Surf Museum

The Congress of History would like to thank Jane Schmauss, historian for the California Surf Museum ( link ), for hosting our meeting and for the guided tour of Surfing Viet Nam. We encourage others to visit this incredible exhibit.


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Reminder: Meeting Saturday

Just a note to remind all we will be meeting this Saturday 10 am at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside.
Come join us  ( link to website )
When: September 16 2017 at 10 am
Where: 312 Pier View Way – Oceanside CA 92054
Phone: (760) 721-6876


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