California Local History Topics
Here are some fun topics you and your students might research to write a California Local History. Choose one of these topics, or any idea that interests you.
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California Local History
- Native American Beginnings: Native American groups lived throughout our continent when the first European explorers arrived here. Who were some of the first people that lived in your area? How did they live off the land? What were their beliefs? Dig into the earliest history of your community. It may be only a phone call away. Your phone directory will list the tribal councils nearby. These Native Americans may be willing to share information about their peoples' history.
It's All in the Name:
Be a detective. Find out more about the people, events, geography, or industry of your city or town by looking in public places. Signs, statues, monuments, and streets have names that may be clues to unlocking historical facts about your community. Find the clues and do some research. You may be surprised at how much a name can tell you about a place.
Home Town Heroes
People change communities. Who were the men, women, or children that did extraordinary things or became famous in your community? Heroes might be a local firefighter or a city mayor. A doctor, musician, librarian, or author may have caused your town to change. Find out about your community's heroes.
Our Town Is Special:
Is your town a special place? There are old towns. There are new towns. There are river towns and cities too. Some towns have farms all around them. Some towns have factories. Find out about the geography and history that makes your town a special place.
Our Community at Work:
Roll up your sleeves. You have work to do. Find out about the work people did in your community 50 years ago, 100 years ago, and even 200 years ago. Most communities grow up around an industry, a business, or because of a favorable location for trade. What made your community grow?
People Make a Difference:
Who are the people in your community today? Do they have ties to first settlers? Older people may be able to tell you about what your community was like long ago. What groups of people settled your town? Did early settlers come from Europe, Asia, Africa, or another part of the United States? What made them settle in your area? Dig into the past to find out about the people who made your community what it is today.
Something Happened Here:
People make changes to cities or towns all the time. Look around. Do you have a bridge in your town? Was that bridge always there? Who built it and why? Does a train chug through your city? What was life like before the train came? Find out about the past by talking to others, reading old newspapers or books about the things that happened in your town long ago.
Community Fun Facts:
Almost every town or city can brag about something. Did you know that the town of Allensworth, California disappeared? What person, event, or product makes your town or city of interest to others? Ask your parents and neighbors or head to the local Chamber of Commerce to find your community's fun facts.
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