California in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the Golden State

By Works Progress Administration | Go to book overview

Preface 1939

California has so great a diversity of places and people and things that the problem of getting it between the covers of a single book seemed almost unsolvable. The final preparation of this guide has involved the difficult task of choosing between what to put in and what to leave out. The staff of the Federal Writers’ Project in California knows that its own trials in gathering, checking and rechecking, assembling, and selecting the thousands of items that go into the making of a guide book have been shared by the editors of the forty-seven other State books in the American Guide Series. But in the course of eliminating more words than there are in these pages, the California staff has sometimes wished that its State were just a little smaller, so that it might be described in more detail.

And yet there is more in this book than the editors thought it could possibly include; for, although the distance between the borders of Oregon and Mexico is more miles than they like to think about, they have covered every mile. The book, moreover, has been written to be read, not only by those to whom California is still an unseen and fabulous land of sunshine and oranges, but also by those who will look in these pages for something new and little-known about the everyday California in which they live and work. For readers of both kinds, visitors and residents, the editors have tried to make this book a true mirror of the State and its people. Romance has been kept in its place —Joaquin Murrieta does not jump out from behind every tree or boulder in California to hold up travelers, and yet he does pop up often enough that the observant reader will have little trouble finding him.

The editors wish to acknowledge their indebtedness to the work of others who have preceded them in describing California, and especially to California, an Intimate Guide by Aubrey Drury, Rider’s California; A Guidebook for Travelers by Frémont Rider, and Historic Spots in California by H. E. and E. G. Rensch and Mildred Brooke Hoover.

The California staff gratefully acknowledges the aid of Federal, State, and local governmental agencies, and of commercial and civic associations and automobile clubs. Particular appreciation is due the staffs of the Bancroft and State Libraries, for their cooperation.

-xxix-

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California in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the Golden State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations ix
  • Maps xiii
  • General Information xv
  • Calendar of Events xix
  • A Guide to Recreation xxi
  • Preface 1939 xxix
  • Editorial Staff xxxi
  • Introduction xxxiii
  • Part I - California- From Past to Present 1
  • El Dorado Up to Date 3
  • Natural Setting and Conservation 8
  • The First Californians 33
  • California’s Last Four Centuries 41
  • Riches from the Soil 66
  • Industry and Finance 79
  • From Clipper Ship to Clipper Plane 87
  • Workingmen 95
  • Press and Radio 109
  • The Movies 120
  • Education 131
  • The Arts 139
  • Architecture 167
  • Part II - Signposts to City Scenes 177
  • Berkeley 179
  • Fresno 188
  • Hollywood 192
  • Long Beach 201
  • Los Angeles 206
  • Monterey 230
  • Oakland 237
  • Pasadena 245
  • Sacramento 250
  • San Diego 258
  • San Francisco 265
  • San Jose 298
  • Santa Barbara 304
  • Stockton 311
  • Part III - Up and Down the State 315
  • Tour 1 317
  • Death Valley National Monument 645
  • Sequoia and General Grant National Parks 655
  • Yosemite National Park 667
  • Golden Gate International Exposition 680
  • Part IV - Appendices 685
  • Chronology 687
  • A Select Reading List of California Books 694
  • Index 699
  • Agriculture *
  • Education *
  • Cities I *
  • Cities II *
  • History *
  • Industry; Commerce and Transportation *
  • Architecture *
  • The Natural Setting *
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