1820s -1850s

Clash of Cultures & the Discovery of Gold

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  • Filmmakers

    The birth of American cinema came in the early days of the 20th century. By 1905, the first filmmakers were producing short silent films. Soon, East Coast studios such as Biograph and Edison Studios began producing longer silent pictures, and producers and directors headed to Los Angeles. Learn More

  • Dust Bowl Migrants

    By the early 1930s the nation was in the grips of the Great Depression. Millions of unemployed and poor Americans were without basic food and housing, and were suffering the sense of hopelessness that comes with extreme poverty. The tragedy of the Dust Bowl hit the southern and midwestern plains just two years after the stock market collapse of 1929 set off the Depression. Learn More

    Dust Bowl Migrants
  • Mexicans and Mexican-Americans

    The Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the period of civil war that followed displaced many rural Mexican communities. Jesus Moreno, who moved to Los Angeles in 1915, remarked, “We were running away from the rebellion. . . . We came to the United States to wait out the conclusion of the Revolution. We thought it would be over in a few months." But it lasted for years. Learn More

    Mexicans and Mexican-Americans
  • African Americans

    World War II brought an enormous economic boom to America and to California. Across the United States, new and expanded shipyards and defense plants seemed to emerge overnight to support the war effort. California’s war production and shipping industries received a number of financially lucrative federal contracts.
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    African Americans
  • Filipinos

    Filipinos began migrating to California by the thousands during the mid-1920s, arriving primarily to work as farm laborers in the rural areas of the Central and Imperial valleys or as manual laborers in urban centers such as Stockton, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Learn More