Events in 2020
As of Sunday, March 15, 2020, in the interest of the health of our
staff and guests, the Museum will be closed until further
Out of an abundance of caution, we buttoned-up the Museum back in March when
instructed to do so. As of late June 2020 we have not yet set our reopening
date, but are working with City Staff to make sure all appropriate COVID-19
safeguards are in place before we welcome you back.
Questions or items that require research assistance could still be obtained by
leaving a message at the Museum (310.328.5392) or
via this website on the
Contact Us page.
Though it pains us, to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we are cancelling the
rest of the 2020 signature events which include:
Walking Tours of Historic Old Torrance - 4th Sundays, May - October 2020
Annual Meeting & Installation of Officers - Sunday, June 7, 2020
Rock Around the Block - Thursday,July 16,2020 (this would have
been our 16th Annual)
Summer Stroll - Thursday, August 6, 2020
Fall Tour of Historic Homes - Saturday & Sunday, October
10 & 11, 2020
Visit with a Veteran - Sunday, November 8, 2020
Voting in 2020-2021 Slate of Board Members via Email
In early June, the Board had its first Zoom meeting. During that meeting, the
Nominating Committee presented the 2020-2021 Slate of Nominees for
Janet Payne was the Chair of the Nominating Committee. She served with Ann
Strong from the Board and with Lynn Robinson from Membership. Alternates
were Joann Miyamoto and Mary Hoffman.
Now, here's where YOU come in. Though the pandemic prevented us from having
our Annual June Meeting & Installation of Officers, we still need your vote.
Please review the proposed slate below, and email
Debbie Hays with your vote if you agree with the slate as
presented, or not. There is a line at the bottom for any "nominations from
the floor" (a write-in for any office).
Please respond to Debbie by Thursday, July 2nd, 2020.
|President|| Michelle Polcari|
|1st VP (Programs)|| Janet Payne|
|2nd VP (Membership)|| Carolyn Pohlner|
|3rd VP (Fundraising)|| Jill Maroney|
|4th VP (Communication - Newsletter)|| Debbie Hays|
|Treasurer ||Gene Higginbotham|
|Financial Secretary||Kurt Weideman
|Historian ||Jerry Ronan |
|Special Events || Keri Gilbert|
|Museum Volunteer Chair ||Ann Strong|
|Member-at-Large ||Joann Miyamoto|
|_____________________ ||Nomination from the floor|
|Parliamentarian*||Appointment - by President|
* THS By-laws state the position of Parliamentarian is filled by appointment
by the President.
Thank you in advance for submitting your vote via email. We appreciate your
participation - from afar.
Names on the Wall - Remembering Those Who Served
Normally, that means before COVID crept into our lives, on Memorial Day, the
Torrance Historical Society conducts a memorial service for Torrance service
personnel who gave their lives in U.S. military actions. The program takes
place on the Memorial Plaza at the corner of Torrance Blvd. and Maple
and includes the reading of the 146 Names on the Wall. Those Names include war
losses from World War I to those in the Iraq and Afghanistan War.
However, in an abundance of caution, the Torrance Historical Society, adhering
to the social distancing rules in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19,
gathered at the Memorial Wall without an audience for a reading of the names,
May 20, 2020. There was one reader, not seven - Charlie Saulinas, a
Vietnam Veteran. Michelle Polcari, President, welcomed the virtual crowd, and
Jerry Ronan, Coordinator of the event, lead the Flag Salute. It was simple.
It was poignant. It was tradition.
On Monday, we will be grateful for the gift of those who never came home. We
will remember -- every day is Memorial Day. " We will pray that we may never
add another name to that cold, black wall," noted Jerry Ronan, Torrance
Historical Society Board Member and WWll Veteran.
CitiCABLE aired the Reading on Memorial Day , Monday, May 25, 2020 at 7:00
AM, 4:30 PM, and 7:30 PM PST.
View the event on YouTube.
Note: With the help of a handful of volunteers, the Torrance Historical
Society is continuing to gather and preserve the too-short life story of each
of the Torrance military war causalities. To date, the organization is over
halfway to their goal of putting a face on each name. The organization aspires
to research, and place in the Museum archives, the story of each of these
Charlie Saulinas, Vietnam War Veteran,
reading the 146 Names on the Wall in 2020
Remembering Those Who Served and Gave Their Lives.
Women in History Month - POSTPONED - New Date
Kickin' It - AYSO - Girl Power - History of Women's
Torrance Historical Society has decided to postpone their
Kickin' It - AYSO Girl Power
presentation for this Sunday. Jan Smisek, our guest speaker lives
in Washington, and she's worried she might not be able to get back on the
plane to WA after her speaking engagement due to spreading of the CoronaVirus.
New Date TBA.
Presented by Jan Smisek on the first all-girl AYSO team, her parents were
instrumental in getting girls soccer as a legitimate sport in TUSD. She was
on the first Varsity Team at West High School, started intramural soccer at
UCSB, and more!
What: Women In History Month - Kickin' It - AYSO - Girl Power - History of
When: Sunday, March 15, 2020, 2:00 PM
Where: 1345 Post Ave., Old Torrance (The Torrance Historical Society
Cost: Free - Donations accepted. Open to the public.
Notes: Limited Seating. Get there early to obtain a spot!
Seating is first-come/first-served. In the tradition of AYSO, wedged orange
slices will be served.
Info: 310.328-5392 or
In Celebration of Women's History Month, the Torrance Historical Society is
hosting an event entitled: Kickin' It - AYSO Girl Power - History of Women's
Soccer. Our Guest Speaker is Jan Smisek, who was on the first all-girl AYSO
team, on the first Varsity Team at West High School, started the Women's
Soccer Club Team at UCSB, and spearheaded the growth of Women's Soccer in the
USA, and more.
Raised in Torrance, Smisek grew-up in West Torrance where AYSO was founded in
1964 - starting with only nine (all boy) teams lead by a handful of soccer
enthusiasts who wanted American kids to have the opportunity to learn, and
love, the game of soccer. However, it wasn't until 1971, that a girls team
was finally formed. AYSO was an amazing grass-roots effort, and Smisek and
her family were in the epicenter of it all - Jan has ridden the wave, while
creating it, too!
Though knowing nothing about the game of soccer, Smisek's parents didn't just
stand on the sidelines. Her dad, Dick, was recruited as Head Referee (he may
have not known the "rules," but he knew people and could get Referees). Her
mom, Ann, was one of the first Team Mom’s, and promoted the idea of healthy
snacks - hence the tradition of sliced orange wedges at half-time. Together,
her parents were instrumental in getting girls' soccer as a legitimate sport
in Torrance Unified School District. This was the beginning of Women's Soccer
History in Torrance, and the USA!
At West High School (1972-1975), Smisek participated in Soccer, Softball and
Track earning Varsity Letters in all three - Soccer (2), Softball (2), Track
These were lean years for girls' sports, opportunities grew with the advent of
Title IX in 1972, but not without a struggle. At the time, West High only
offered girls interscholastic Volleyball, Gymnastics and Tennis. Soccer and
Softball were added in 1974 and Track in 1975. Up to that point, all other
girls’ sports opportunities were through the Girls Athletic Association Club.
Smisek, who now lives in Washington, was named as one of the Top 50 Soccer
Citizens by Washington Youth Soccer as part of their 50th Anniversary
Celebration in 2016. And, just last year, she was also named a "Soccer
Legend" by the Reign FC, an American professional women's soccer team based in
With no kids, no pets, and very few house plants, Smisek continues kickin' it
for women! Come celebrate Girl Power!
Tea at Two -- a Valentine's Day Tea and Program Tea at Two 2020
now SOLD OUT - no waitlist
The "Queen", herself (a cut-out) requests the pleasure of your company for an
exclusive afternoon: Tea at Two - a Valentine's Day Tea on Sunday, February 9th
at Chado Tea Room in Old Torrance. Tea will be with her Royal Highness - Her Majesty the "Queen".
Proceeds from this fund-raiser directly benefit the Museum - archiving
activities, historical discoveries, research projects, special programs, its
operation and exhibits.
When: Sunday, February 9th, 2020
Where: Chado Tea Room - 1303 El Prado, Old Torrance
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM (doors open at 1:45 PM)
Cost: Cost is $35 per person -- seating is limited, so reservations are
required and will be taken on a first come/first served basis. See RSVP
Checks (made payable to the "Torrance Historical Society") are to be mailed
Torrance Historical Society 1345 Post Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501
Please include first and last names of guests plus a phone number and an email
(if available) along with your check. Checks are accepted until event is sold
out or prior to February 5, 2020 whichever comes first.
RSVP: 310.328.5392 - Check must be received within 48 hours of making the
reservation and no later than Wednesday, February 5, 2020. This has been a
sold out event each year and sells out very quickly and probably will be sold
out prior to February 5th. All reservations must be made directly with the
Torrance Historical Society, NOT with Chado Tea Room.
Info: 310.328.5392 or visit: www.TorranceHistoricalSociety.org
Attire: Tea attire suggested -- hats and gloves optional
Parking: Free on-street parking is available
This year, your afternoon will include:
- Sampling a variety of Chado Tea Room's 10 freshly steeped loose-leaf teas
- Sumptuous tea sandwiches
- Freshly baked scones with Chado Tea Room's famous cream
- Assorted delicious desserts
- Opportunity to win fabulous gift baskets
- Photo opportunity with the "Royal Family" (cut-outs)
Celebrate the 103rd Anniversary of Louis Zamperini's Birth
What: Celebrate what would have been Louis Zamperini's 103rd Birthday.
Join us for cupcakes, can't-see-anywhere-else-in-the-world
memorabilia, and watch the City's Centennial DVD of Louis Zamperini
- Triumph of the Torrance Tornado, and the
clip of when Louis won
the 1934 Southern California Track & Field
"Running in what was celebrated at
the best field of high school milers in history,
Louie routed them all and smoked the mile in
shattering the national high school record, set during World War 1, by more than 2 seconds."
-- Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken.
The DVD is approximately 15 minutes long.
Some of the items on display will include:
- Training shorts and sweatshirt Louis wore during the 1936 Olympics
- Luggage the community bought for him to attend the Olympic Tryouts in NY
- Diary - see the last entry he wrote before he left on the reconnaissance mission that
landed him afloat in the South Pacific for 47 days with barely any water or food
and a prison camp for over 2 years.
When: Sunday, January 26th, 2020
Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum - 1345 Post Ave., Old Torrance.
Time: 3:00 PM
Cost: Free and open to the public
Info: 310.328.5392 or www.TorranceHistoricalSociety.org