It was the summer of 1987. I was 17, and taking a speech class at Los Angeles Valley College before my sophomore year in college. One day I noticed an entire section in the LAVC library on the San Fernando Valley. I chanced upon a book Called the San Fernando Valley PAST AND PRESENT. Whether this marks the start of my book, and "other" collection on the Valley, and Los Angeles, or it solidified my study into adulthood, I cannot exactly say, but do consider the event a milestone.
September 1, 2023, I recovered files off an old hard drive. From the summer of 1987, for my speech class, I found the following outline, entitled, "Orig" meaning origin which does tend to capture the essence, at least my grandiose notion of the San Fernando Valley. My discovery today was perhaps a once in a lifetime moment, generally past the middle section, looking back and clearly seeing how the path started:
Attention Getter In the mid 1970's, New Yorker magazine depicted the Mayflower in 1620, as it approached the Plymouth Rock of the promised lands. Standing in the bow of the ship two pilgrims discussed their reasons for coming to the new world. One Pilgrim said, "While my primary motive for coming to the here is religious freedom, I later hope to get into real estate."
Topic Sentence Almost three hundred years after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, Americans were coming Westward to the San Fernando Valley, in the first two decades of the 20th century for the same opportunities of getting into real estate.
Reason To Know Knowing more about the San Fernando Valley's early history and origin can only benefit those here in this class who interact daily with at least one part of the San Fernando Valley when they come to Valley College every day this summer. Many of you even live in the San Fernando Valley. Knowing more about how the Valley used to be and who settled it should be of interest and importance to San Fernando Valley residents and daily visitors.
The Pre-World War II San Fernando Valley
The San Fernando Valley's cheap land attracted more of its share of early land developers.
The physical make-up of the San Fernando Valley, early Indians, and the aqueduct system.
The early San Fernando Valley as poultry farms, a small town, and a home for rich movie star's ranches. Quotes from early Valley residents, Sam Greenberg, and Lynn Langford.
The Post World War II San Fernando Valley
A few years after World War II ended, the San Fernando Valley (and particularly Van Nuys) became the home of the many men returning home after war.
The growth and development of tract housing after 1949.
The changing Valley. The San Fernando Valley as a metropolises with busy streets and many shopping centers.
Lynn Langford's impressions of post 1960 Ventura Boulevard.