A People's History Tour of Anaheim

I've known Cynthia Ward, president of the Anaheim Historical Society, for a couple of years now, and have always found her to be someone with an open mind and a passion for what's ultimately right. Ever an Anaheim booster, she's the lady who escorted Huell Howser 'round our hometown for his Anaheim special this weekend. All the places Ward took ol' Huell to--the last remaining working orange grove in Anaheim, the Anaheim History Room, old homes and the like--are all deserving of love. In the spirit of promoting Anaheim history through my wannabe-Carey McWilliams eyes, I'd provide a somewhat different tour for out-of-towners:

*PRESSEL ORCHARD: The same grove Ward took Howell to, but I'd highlight it for a different reason--this is where the 1936 Citrus War started (I'd link to my 2006 cover story on the subject, but...). On the corner of Santa Ana and Helena streets, Anaheim.

More after the jump!

*LITTLE PEOPLE'S PARK: In 1978, residents of the city's Penguin City barrio rioted against the Anaheim Police Department for years of police abuse. The subsequent Grand Jury investigation instituted sweeping police reforms across Orange County and also inspired the creation of Los Amigos, the longtime Latino advocacy group. The riot also led to the creation of a magnificent Emigdio Vasquez mural just across the street from Little People's Park. 220 W. Elm St., Anaheim

PEARSON PARK: A beautiful, wonderful place! Hosted a Klu Klux Klan rally during the 1920s that attracted tens of thousands of kluckers! Its iconic swimming pool was segregated for decades! When OC's Woody Guthrie, Emilio Martinez, tried to lead a protest against the a policy by Anaheim parks superintendent (and father of the boysenberry) Rudy Boysen that penned up Mexicans at Pearson behind a fence, Boysen had him arrested! And countless chicks broke up with me here! A beautiful, wonderful place! 400 N. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim

JOEL DVORMAN'S HOUSE: Dvorman was the Magnolia School District trustee who, in 1960, became a liberal martyr by becoming the first victim of OC's peculiar conservatives after hosting a meeting of the ACLU in his backyard. I have the exact address of Dvorman's Anaheim home (which his critics said featured a telltale sign of the World War II vet's pinko leanings--the abode's red front door) and will reveal it upon email request.

SAVANNA HIGH SCHOOL: Just how does a high school assume the mascot of the Rebels and wave around Confederate flags as if we were in Mississippi? Could it be because of Orange County's traitor-friendly founders?

We can go on, but we'll stop. In the meanwhile, see Huell and bowl at Anaheim's Linbrook Bowl this Sunday!


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