From Small Farming to Urban Agriculture: El Monte and Subsistence Homesteading

Subsistence Homesteading project in El Monte and San Fernando gave select families the opportunity to supplement their income during the Great Depression with food they grew themselves.

About the Author

Ryan Reft has a PhD in urban history from the University of California San Diego. He is co-editor of the blog Tropics of Meta.
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A Clear Blue Vision: L.A. Light Rail Transit and Twenty Five Years of the Blue Line

A Clear Blue Vision: L.A. Light Rail Transit and Twenty Five Years of the Blue Line

The Blue Line is one of the most used light rail in the nation. With its 25th anniversary on the horizon this July, a look back at its creation proves a useful means to think about ...
The Lakewood Plan: Homeownership, Taxes, and Diversity in Postwar Suburbia

The Lakewood Plan: Homeownership, Taxes, and Diversity in Postwar Suburbia

The city of Lakewood pioneered city contracting for public services, establishing a controversial model replicated by countless other suburbs in Los Angeles and beyond.
Riding the Big Red Car: Work, Leisure, and Community in Multiethnic L.A.

Riding the Big Red Car: Work, Leisure, and Community in Multiethnic L.A.

A look at the history of the Pacific Electric Red Cars and its ability to ferry working class and communities of color to their jobs and cheap amusements provides a useful primer f ...
Pioneering the Pacific Rim: Baseball, California, and the Creation of Transpacific Trade

Pioneering the Pacific Rim: Baseball, California, and the Creation of Transpacific Trade

In the years following WWII, California's athletes served as the transnational bridge between Asia and the United States.
Politics of Surfing: Environmentalism and Feminism Among California's Waves

Politics of Surfing: Environmentalism and Feminism Among California's Waves

California surfers have been especially active in environmentalism, much of which can be attributed to the efforts of pioneering women surfers.
Redefining Asian America: Japanese Americans, Gardena, and the Making of a Transnational Suburb

Redefining Asian America: Japanese Americans, Gardena, and the Making of a Transnational Suburb

In post-war Southern California, Japanese Americans created the built environment as much as much as anyone else, and few suburbs demonstrate Asian American agency like South Bay's ...
Educating Compton: Race, Taxes, and Schools in Southern California's Most Notorious Suburb

Educating Compton: Race, Taxes, and Schools in Southern California's Most Notorious Suburb

The 2010 Parent Trigger controversy provides a valuable window into the city's education history, the evolution of its Latino-African American relations, and the new political real ...
Beyond the Valley: Demography, Failed Secession, and Urban Politics in San Fernando Valley

Beyond the Valley: Demography, Failed Secession, and Urban Politics in San Fernando Valley

Few events reveal the impact of shifting San Fernando Valley demographics like the unsuccessful 2002 secession campaign which, even though it ended in failure, revealed startlingly ...
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