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Vandenberg

It began back in 1941 when it was known as Camp Cooke and served as a U.S. Army training facility for tanks and infantry troops. With the advent of the missile age in the 1950s, the land was transferred to the U.S Air Force for use as a missile training base. The first missile was launched from this facility in 1958 and since then almost 2,000 missiles and space boosters have followed suit.

Located on our state's central coast near the town of Lompoc, Vandenberg AFB is not only the U.S. Air Force's third largest installation, but an important part of our state's and nation's space history. In this episode of "California's Gold," host Huell Howser visits Vandenberg for a first-hand look at this huge base which covers over 98,000 acres and is literally filled with reminders and remnants of our space heritage.

Huell is taken on a tour that includes stops at sites of the first satellite launches from California, and an early Thor missile launch facility that is now listed as a National Historic Landmark because it is one of the best and most intact surviving examples of 1950s space technology. Huell also visits Altas missile sites, an underground Titan missile site and the Space and Missile Heritage Center filled with space and missile artifacts. The adventure ends with a look at some of the state-of-the-art facilities and hardware which today are making history and breaking new ground in the space field. Vandenberg AFB continues to be an important and, in fact, vital part of our space program and, as we discover on this visit, it is also a fine example of "California's Gold."



Upcoming Airdates

Kaiser Steel

  • 2016-08-07T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2016-08-13T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Newport Boats

Huell visits Newport Beach to learn about two historic "boats." Family owned since 1919, Balboa Island Ferry has provided continuous service between Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula.

  • 2016-08-10T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Fire Lookout

Travel with Huell to Sequoia National Forest to visit historic Buck Rock Fire Lookout. Established in the early 1900s, Buck Rock Lookout was one of the first fire detection locations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The current lookout building, constructed in 1923, is historically significant as a representation of the earliest live-in towers in California. Huell climbs 172 stairs to an elevation of 8, 500 feet to interview the woman who currently staffs the lookout through the fire season, and to learn what it's like to live perched on the edge of a cliff!

  • 2016-08-11T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Classic Arts Showcase

Huell tours the Glendale office of Classic Arts Showcase, a free cable TV program comprised of video samples from the worlds of ballet, opera and theater. This program is the vision of philanthropist Lloyd Rigler, who practiced the cost-effective use of resources in order to achieve the greatest good.

  • 2016-08-14T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2016-08-20T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Manzanar

Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps at which Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II. It is located at the foot of the imposing Sierra Nevadas in the Owens Valley. Huell Howser is joined by experts and internees to learn about the camp's complex history. And although little remains of the camp itself, Huell discovers a permanent reminder of the internees' detention--their names etched in concrete.

  • 2016-08-14T12:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2016-08-20T12:30:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Pismo Clams

Huell travels to Pismo Beach -- 10 miles south of San Luis Obispo -- and learns how its famous clams, plentiful in the region at the turn of the century, branded an identity for one of the last classic California beach towns.



  • 2016-08-17T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD