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Events in 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Date: Sunday, December 14, 2008
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Cost: Free - donations accepted
Questions: (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.

Looking dapper with his waxed handlebar mustache, silk lounging jacket and spats, Michael George, guest historian, 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. This event is free, open to the public, and requires no reservations, so bring a friend -- or two!

Author's Day at the Museum, November 16th

What: Author's Day at the Museum
Over a half dozen local authors will be on hand to share their insights into local history. Each author will have a few minutes to summarize their publication, and will be available for questions and to sign books.

When: Sunday, November 16th at 2:00 p.m.

Cost: This presentation is free but donations are graciously accepted. Free gift wrapping on purchases!

No reservations are required; however, seating is limited so please arrive early.

Light refreshments will be served.

Authors include:

  • Devil at my Heels - Louis Zamperini
  • Farming in Torrance and the South Bay - Judi Gerber
  • History of the Early Hollywood Riviera - Marshall Stewart
  • Lawndale - James Osborne
  • Mexican Americans in Redondo Beach & Hermosa Beach - Alex Moreno Areyan
  • Old Torrance Olmsted Districts - Bonnie Mae Barnard
  • Ridge Route: The Road that United California - Harrison I. Scott
  • The History of Torrance Schools - 1890 - 2000 - Tom Rische
  • Torrance Airport - Chuck Lobb

Torrance Historical Society & Museum presents
The Original Torrance Fall Tour of Historic Homes

Saturday & Sunday, October 11-12, 2008
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
No reservations required
Fee $18 per person

book cover
The primary fund-raiser and signature event for the Torrance Historical Society & Museum is its biennial Tour of Historic Homes - a long standing tradition in the City of Torrance since 1980.  This event is held on even years the second weekend in October.

Torrance High School 4th Annual Car & Motorcycle Show

The Torrance High School Alumni Association is holding its 4th Annual Car & Motorcycle Show on October 11th.

If you're interested in showing a car/motorcycle, there's still time to enter your vehicle -- over 25 trophies will be awarded! For details, contact Gail Morgan at (310) 326-8676 or (put "THS Car Show" in the subject line). You can register online: Entry fees are tax-deductible.

Entry Fees
Car/Truck - $25
Motorcycle - $15

Public Admission
Adult - $5
Student (under 18) with school ID - $3
Children (5, and under) - Free

All proceeds from this event benefit the students and programs at Torrance High School.

Farming in Torrance and the South Bay
Author Judith Gerber at THS Sunday, September 14th, 2pm

Come celebrate the beginning of Fall with us, and meet the farmers of Torrance and the South Bay. Judith Gerber, Torrance native and author of Farming in Torrance and the South Bay, will introduce you, vicariously through her new book, to the men and women who once farmed the land of Torrance and surrounding cities.

book cover
With a collection of photos obtained from the Torrance Historical Society and other sources, Judi documents how family farmers, throughout the early years, contributed to the City's economy by raising cattle, pigs, turkeys, as well as sugar beets, alfalfa, beans, hay, oats, barley and flowers. Judi is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the state's family farmers.

Farming in Torrance and the South Bay will be available for purchase and signing on this day - be one of the first to own a copy!

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: Author Judith Gerber, a Torrance native, writes about California's small and family-owned farms, and about urban agriculture. She is actively involved in the Torrance Certified Farmers' Market. Judi is also a certified University of California Master Gardener, and has completed a certificate program in Horticultural Therapy. Her interests are sustainable farming, local eating, organic gardening, and small farms. She is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the state's family farmers.

Rock Around the Block!

Thursday, July 17, 2008
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM IN-N-OUT Burger wagon available. Burger wagon will close earlier if food is sold out.

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

A 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 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, and local car owners.
  • Bop to 50s music.
  • Dine on burgers from the IN-N-OUT burger wagon (burgers served from 5:30 PM - 7:30 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" Nominal fee for shakes.
  • Check out high school yearbooks -- the Torrance Historical Society has the biggest collection
  • Enter the hula hoop, bubble gum blowin’, and pie eating contest

The Bartlett 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 Torrelle's -- 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, Torrance Historical Society, Toyota, Torrance CitiCABLE 3, Costco, Torrance Bakery, and the Old Torrance Neighborhood Association. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call the Museum at (310) 328-5392 or visit

So . . . put on your pedal pushers, poodle skirts or Pendleton's, and cruise on down to the Torrance Historical Society & Museum (1345 Post Avenue). Together, we'll rock around the block! Be there, or be square!

Jerome, Arkansas Exhibit

Exhibit open through June 15th, 2008 during normal Museum hours.

"That's just the way it was."
October 6, 1942 - June 20, 1944

February 19th, 2007 marked the 65th Anniversary since the issuance of United States Executive Order 9066.

This was a presidential executive order issued during World War II by President Franklin D. Roosevelt who, using his authority as Commander-in-Chief, exercised his war powers to send "ethnic groups" (mainly of Japanese ancestry) to internment camps. The result of this legal action was the relocation of more than 120,000 people from their homes to camps throughout the duration of the War.

In remembrance, the Torrance Historical Society & Museum hosts this special exhibit.

This special exhibit features photos & a scale model replica of a camp barrack similar to those in which over 120,000 Japanese Americans were relocated from their homes as a result of Presidential Executive Order 9066 in 1942.

Books and educational materials are available for purchase.

Breakfast with Louis Zamperini

Annual Meeting and Board Installation

Sunday, June 1, 2008
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
$15 - Members, $30 - Non-members
Bartlett Senior Center
1318 Cravens Avenue, Torrance

Join the Torrance Historical Society and Louis Zamperini for a sneak preview of our Museum Collection of Zamperini memorabilia.

Reservations are limited. RSVP by Wednesday, May 21st, 310-328-5392

The Year is 1968, and Torrance is Groovin'!

The Torrance Historical Society is also partnering with Works In Progress, who through theater will explore 1968 -- the Year that Rocked! Works in Progress will present a four-part theater experience -- exploring the most shocking moments of this most shocking year -

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis - February 27th
  • Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles - March 26th
  • Students in Chicago - April 30th
  • Olympic athletes in Mexico City - May 28th

All performances are held on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM in the intimate Nakano Theatre at Torrance Cultural Arts Center. Q & A and reception will follow each event.

Tickets $25 Adults / $23 Senior & Students / $20 Subscribers Box Office @ 310-781-7171.

THS Fundraiser Dinner

Join the Torrance Historical Society on Thursday, May 8th, at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza, and 20% of your purchases will be donated back to our organization.

The Torrance Historical Society is a nonprofit organization run by all volunteers. It is our goal to perpetuate our City's history to those who live here now, and to preserve it for those to come. Thanks to donations like yours, we're able to do just that.

Who: Torrance Historical Society & Museum
What: Fundraiser - 20% of your food and beverage purchases will be donated back to Torrance Historical Society
When: Thursday, May 8, 2008
Where: Sammy's Woodfired Pizza - Located in the Rolling Hills Plaza - 2575 Pacific Coast Hwy. - Torrance, CA 90505
Time: 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Come join the FUN! Invite your friends and family for a taste of Sammy's Woodfired Pizza - the place where they serve award-winning pizzas, tapas, soups, salads, tacos, wraps, pastas and delicious desserts. And . . . the selections are all moderately priced -- who knew raising money could taste so good?!

You must print out the flyer, take it with you to Sammy's, and present the flyer to your server to to receive credit for our organization. You may also pick up copies of the flyer at the Museum.

Angi Ma Wong at THS March 16th, 2pm

What do Women, Alligators & History have in common? Angi Ma Wong!

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Torrance Historical Society has invited South Bay's best-selling and award-winning author Angi Ma Wong to share her story of Reggie the L.A. Gator -- the most famous alligator in the world.

Reggie is a 6 1/2-foot "pet" alligator who grew too large for the backyard pond in which he was kept, and was later abandoned at Lake Machado in Harbor City, CA. Reggie now resides at the Los Angeles Zoo. This children's literature, as noted in her book, "is a story of rejection, abandonment and exclusion that leads to self-discovery and hope."

The presentation and book signing will be hosted at the Torrance Historical Society & Museum (1345 Post Avenue, Old Torrance) on Sunday, March 16, 2008, at 2:00 PM. Stuffed plush Reggie's will also be available.

This event is free, open to the public - seating is limited. No reservations are required.

Memories of the City of Torrance's First Entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade

To celebrate the City of Torrance's longstanding tradition of participating in Pasadena's Tournament of Roses Parade, the Torrance Historical Society will display a collection of memorabilia from the City's very first entry in 1914.

The exhibit will include -

  • the original 1914 front page article from the Torrance Herald newspaper detailing the first float that the "new City of Torrance" entered into the Parade
  • a 1914 postcard of Torrance's Float entry
  • the engraved, silver trophy awarded on January 1, 1914, to the City of Torrance

This exhibit is free, open to the public and will be on display through the end of January, 2008. For additional information, contact the Museum at (310) 328-5392.

The Year is 1968, and Torrance is Groovin'!

The Grateful Dead are in town, peace marchers are on Torrance Blvd., the 107 freeway is slated to slice through Walteria, Miss Torrance leads the annual Armed Forces Parade, and the farsighted voters approve the creation of the Torrance Public Library. "Industry, Finance, Business" is the motto of the "Headquarters City."

Join us on Saturday, February 23, 2008, at 2:00 PM in the Torrance Historical Society & Museum (1345 Post Ave.) for a short look at Torrance in the pivotal year of 1968. Michael George, Reference Librarian and Board Member of the Torrance Historical Society, will use "The Torrance Herald" and other sources for this lighthearted and unique look at the City's past. This program is free, and open to the public.

First International Aviation Meet In America

Program at Torrance Historical Society & Museum

When: 2:00 PM, Sunday, January 27th, 2008
Location: Torrance Historical Society & Museum
1345 Post Ave., Old Torrance

Donna Harris, Dominguez Rancho Adobe Manager, will give a program on this international event that is credited for making the South Bay the landing strip for the aerospace industry. This event is free, and is open to the public. Reservations are not required. Light refreshments will be served.

Program Background

Aviation got a soaring start in America -- the year that made aviation history in southern California was 1910. The first International Aviation Meet in America took place January 10th-20th.

The place was Dominguez Field in Los Angeles. Dominguez Field was part of the original Spanish land grant, Rancho San Pedro -- the same land grant from which the land for the City of Torrance was purchased.

The 10-day event included American & foreign aviators who flew aeroplanes, hot-air balloons and dirigibles. Cash prizes were awarded for altitude, speed and endurance competitions. Attendance surpassed all expectations. The Los Angeles Times called it:

"One of the greatest public events in the history of the west!"

The first International Air Meet was held in Reims, France in 1909.

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