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Grant number: BH-50561-13

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BH-50561-13

California State University, Long Beach Foundation (Long Beach, CA 90840-0004)
Tim Keirn (Project Director: 03/07/2013 to present)

The Cold War Home Front in Southern California

Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers on Southern California's aerospace development and its impact from World War II through the Cold War era.

Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers on Southern California's aerospace development and its impact from World War II through the Cold War era. "The Cold War Home Front: Living and Working in Sunbelt Southern California, 1941-1981" explores the role of aerospace research and production during World War II and the Cold War and its effects on everyday people. The workshop opens by considering how and why the aerospace industry developed in Southern California, with attention to the area's transformation during World War II and to the experiences of women and minorities in wartime aircraft production. Subsequent days address how Cold War aerospace production changed the region and the nation; how the growing diversity of Southern California influenced workers' experiences; how popular culture reflected the "space age" (in such forms as Cold War science fiction films); and how the aerospace industry shaped suburban life. California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) hosts the workshop under the leadership of historians Tim Keirn and Dave Neumann. Three principal faculty members from University of Southern California (USC) guide the participants throughout the week: California historian Kevin Starr; William Deverell (director of the Huntington Library-USC Institute on California and the West [ICW]), whose lecture-discussions on the initial rise and subsequent decline of California aerospace bookend the program on Monday and Friday; and historian of science Peter Westwick, director of the Aerospace History Project within the ICW. CSULB historians Eileen Luhr and Ali Igmen, historian Jon Weiner (University of California at Irvine), and memoirist D. J. Waldie offers additional guest presentations. Site visits include behind-the-scenes tours of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Columbia Memorial Space Center, the historic Long Beach Airport, the Wende Museum's Communist bloc collections, and the California Science Center. Visits are guided by experts such as Gerald Blackburn, a former Boeing project manager and president of the Aerospace Legacy Foundation. In preparation for the workshop, participants read Blue Sky Metropolis: Aerospace and Southern California (a collection edited by Westwick and Deverell). Various additional articles and excerpts from historians and cultural critics are discussed in the course of the workshop, on topics ranging from "Science Fiction Films and Cold War Anxiety" to the housing patterns of "Chocolate Cities and Vanilla Suburbs" in and around Los Angeles. Participants' lesson plans and all supporting digitized materials are to be made publicly available on CSU's interactive Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching site.

Project fields:
Education

Program:
Landmarks of American History

Division:
Education Programs

Total amounts:
$177,527 (approved)
$163,453 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2013 – 12/31/2014