Season of the Witch - Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love
Tuesday, April 30
guest speaker: David Talbot
David Talbot—author of the bestselling Season of the Witch, a history of San Francisco during the turbulent period between the 1960s and early 1980s—will discuss the Peoples Temple and the rise of Jim Jones’s political machine in the city. San Francisco’s liberal political establishment, including Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, was deeply compromised by its association with the cult leader in the 1970s. Talbot will explore the controversial 1975 mayoral election, which was narrowly won by Moscone with strong support from Jones’s organization. He will also examine how Jones was able to avoid official inquiries and press scrutiny, until he finally fled to the Guyana jungle retreat where his followers met their doom. Talbot will offer a rare inside look at San Francisco’s political culture during a particularly fraught and terrifying time. The new paperback version of Talbot’s book will be available for purchase and signing.
Jews and the Making of San Francisco
Tuesday, May 28
guest speaker: Marc Shaffer
The upcoming documentary film American Jerusalem traces the history of the San Francisco Jewish community from the Gold Rush to 1915. Because of the openness of Gold Rush California, the Jews of the San Francisco were far more assimilated into and had a greater impact on the building and defining of a major city than any other Jewish community in America. For the first time in American Jewish history, the ultimate outsiders, the Jews, became insiders.
Marc Shaffer has produced critically acclaimed documentary films and news programs for American television. His films include Rollover: The Hidden History of the SUV, Bigger than Enron, and Remaking American Medicine. Shaffer will show clips from and talk about American Jerusalem.
A LOOK BACK:
San Francisco Through Magic Lantern Slides
Tuesday, June 25
guest speaker: Ron Ross
Fresh from his successful and popular presentations at the History Expo at the Old Mint in March, SFHA president Ron Ross will share his collection of Magic Lantern slides, featuring scores of images of early San Francisco, including some new ones! This is always a popular event. Ron has great stories to tell, and the group has more to add. For those of you who missed Ron’s presentation at the History Expo (and for those who saw it and would like to see it again), don’t miss this month’s meeting!
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