8 Institutions Preserving History In California

California is a diverse state with a rich history, from the Native Americans who originally lived along its coast to the gold rush of the 1800s to the tech boom of the 20th and 21st centuries. Whether you're a Californian yourself or planning a trip to the Golden State soon, consider visiting the eight organizations listed here. These museums and historical societies preserve and share fascinating aspects of the state's past. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

CA Organizations That Preserve And Share History

Organization Location Mission
Muzeo Anaheim Engage the community in exploring and celebrating their diverse heritage, culture, and arts through creative programming
Rosie the Riveter Trust Richmond Inspire current and future generations with the "We Can Do It" spirit and values that energized the World War II Home Front and transformed American government, industry, society, and culture
GLBT Historical Society San Francisco Collect, preserve, exhibit, and make accessible to the public materials and knowledge to support and promote understanding of LGBTQ+ history, culture, and arts in all their diversity
Lakeside Historical Society Lakeside Record & teach Lakeside history and preserve historic buildings in Heritage Park
The Wende Museum Culver City Preserve Cold War art, culture, and history from the Soviet Bloc countries, inspire a broad understanding of the period, and explore its enduring legacy
Planes of Fame Air Museum Chino Preserve aviation history, inspire an interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans
San Diego Automotive Museum San Diego Tell the story of the social and technological past, present, and future of motorized vehicles through collections, exhibitions, educational programs
History San Jose San Jose Preserve and enrich the cultural heritage of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley through research, collections, partnerships, educational programs, and events

Things To Bring on Your California Vacation

8 Great Historical Movies Set In California

  1. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  2. Milk (2008)
  3. California Conquest (1952)
  4. Riding Giants (2004)
  5. Bobby (2006)
  6. Paint Your Wagon (1969)
  7. Straight Outta Compton (2015)
  8. The California Trail (1933)

Cities & Towns in California

The state is home to many famous places, from the sunny beaches in the south to the arid deserts in the east. Here are the ten largest cities and towns in California:

Rank Name Population (as of 2010)
1. Los Angeles 3,976,322
2. San Diego 1,406,630
3. San Jose 1,025,350
4. San Francisco 870,887
5. Fresno 522,053
6. Sacramento 495,234
7. Long Beach 470,130
8. Oakland 420,005
9. Bakersfield 376,380
10. Anaheim 351,043

The History of the California Gold Rush

In Depth

California's rich and vibrant past is as diverse as the millions of people who live in the country's most populous state, and many organizations in "the Golden State" are hard at work keeping the past alive for current and future generations. Here, in no particular order, are eight enlightening institutions preserving California history.

#1 on our list is Muzeo, a museum of local culture, history and art in Anaheim, California. It hosts a permanent exhibit on the history of Anaheim, showcasing historical artifacts to the region such as fossil findings, ancient Indian wares, and citrus-farming tools dating back to the nineteenth century. The exhibition has a unique collection of items that once belonged to the city's founders and leaders, as well as memorabilia from Disneyland, Anaheim Stadium and other historic locations.

Visitors to the space can admire the Carnegie Library, which was built in 1908. The library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, and is now one of the buildings of the Muzeo. Many of its events are held outdoors in the California sun, surrounded by beautiful waterscapes, ambient lighting, olive trees and bamboo lining the plaza. The museum's spaces are available for private events, including weddings. Those who would like to support Muzeo can become a member or volunteer as a docent.

The museum's spaces are available for private events, including weddings.

Next up, in the #2 spot is the Rosie the Riveter Trust, a nonprofit in Richmond, California. Founded in 1997, this group was instrumental in helping to establish a national historical park preserving the legacy of the home front during World War II. Since the park's formation, the Rosie the Riveter Trust has worked with the National Park Service to designate important historical sites, preserve and restore sites and artifacts, and create many more opportunities for visitor access and education about this era in U.S. history.

In addition to preserving significant sites, this nonprofit partnered with UC Berkeley to create a compelling series of videos which tells a wide range of stories relating to the American home front. It has also developed important youth programs like Rosie's Girls, a free summer camp for at-risk girls, modeled on the courageous women who tackled hands-on jobs during WWII and in the process, broke barriers for women in the workforce. To support the Rosie the Riveter Trust, you can donate in a variety of ways on their website.

At #3 we have the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society, an internationally recognized leader in the field of LGBTQ public history. Founded in 1985, this institution is focused on collecting materials to support and promote understanding of LGBTQ former events, culture and arts in all their diversity. To this end, the historical society undertakes special projects such as digitizing archival collections related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the Bay Area.

To this end, the historical society undertakes special projects such as digitizing archival collections related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the Bay Area.

This organization operates the first stand-alone museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history and culture in the United States. It features a permanent exhibition documenting the queer presence in the Bay Area from as far back as the Spanish explorers and missionaries to the present. Those who would like to support the GLBT Historical Society can donate to its annual fund or become a member. You can also volunteer for a variety of projects and tasks, ensuring supporters can get involved regardless of their financial situation.

In the #4 spot is the Lakeside Historical Society, founded in 1972, an organization dedicated to preserving the diverse history of Lakeside, California. In 1983, members of this group created a pilot program to teach a unit on the town's past to children at a local elementary school. Today, the third-grade curriculum in all area schools includes a unit of regional history.

In 2004, the society opened a museum featuring pictures and memorabilia of the town's past. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided walking tour which begins and ends at the home of the historical society, the Olde Community Church. In addition to recording local history for future generations, it also restores old buildings in the town's Heritage Park. Applications to join the Lakeside Historical Society can be found on their website.

Applications to join the Lakeside Historical Society can be found on their website.

#5 on our list is The Wende Museum, a collections-based research and education institute that preserves Cold War artifacts. This organization was founded in the mid-1990s to address the wholesale neglect and rampant destruction of Cold War material culture in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The museum's collection of more than 100,000 artifacts, archives, and personal histories is recognized as an unparalleled resource for insight into the Eastern perspective of the Cold War. In addition to its holdings, this organization challenges and engages the public through experimental exhibitions and interdisciplinary programming. It also hosts monthly family days with kid-friendly activities. To support The Wende Museum, you can donate on their website.

At #6 we have the Planes of Fame Air Museum, located in Chino, California, which seeks to preserve aviation history, inspire an interest in the field, educate the public, and honor early flight pioneers and veterans. This museum boasts one of the most extensive collections of rare and historic aircraft in the world, many of which have been meticulously restored to flight. Aviation enthusiasts can attend the annual air show, in which old-fashioned warbirds, vintage aircraft, and aerobatic performers take to the skies.

This museum boasts one of the most extensive collections of rare and historic aircraft in the world, many of which have been meticulously restored to flight.

Through endeavors such as youth programs, a student art contest, and college scholarships, this organization kindles an interest with young people to the enticing field of aviation. This institution also features a research library containing over 10,000 volumes and other reference materials. Those who would like to support the mission of the Planes of Fame Air Museum can donate, become a member, or volunteer.

In the #7 spot, we have the San Diego Automotive Museum, a living tribute to the automobile and what it has meant to our culture, which opened in December of 1988. The museum features permanent exhibitions on captivating automotive topics such as international motorcycles, Steve McQueen, and cars and society. The restoration of donated vehicles is an integral part of this non-profit's work, and it is home to antique treasures such as a 1914 Ford Model T and Evel Knievel's iconic 1976 Harley Davidson.

The museum hosts an annual summer camp for children who want to learn about car culture, design, and engineering. It also hosts one of the finest collections of automotive research materials on the entire west coast, featuring thousands of books, magazines and repair manuals. If you would like to support this institution, you can donate in a variety of ways. There are also many volunteer opportunities available, including volunteering with the museum's restoration center.

There are also many volunteer opportunities available, including volunteering with the museum's restoration center.

And finally, for #8 we have History San Jose, a nonprofit organization that preserves and enriches the cultural heritage of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley through research, collections, partnerships, educational programs, and events. It manages one of the largest collections of regional artifacts in California, including objects that represent the Valley's past, from Native American baskets and tools, to agricultural equipment, to pre-silicon chip technologies that were pioneered locally.

This organization engages the community by offering free and low-cost family festivals that celebrate the diverse cultures of the region. It also offers engaging educational programs for local schools that informs children on historical topics such as transportation, work, immigration, and westward expansion. You can donate to support History San Jose, or you can volunteer in a variety of ways, including driving a historic trolley.