December Newsletter 2015

President's Message



How about that, 2016 is right around the corner and the CCHS has another great year in the planning stages. I am going to get right down to business this month starting with something old and something new. First I want you to think about our “Mission Statement” (1954):

The Mission of the Conference is the preservation of California history by unifying and strengthening historical organizations throughout the State.

Most historical organizations have a Mission Statement. However, more recently many historical Societies have introduced a “Vision Statement” so as to plan for the future. CCHS is planning a “Vision Statement” starting next year 2016.

This is one long sentence that will spell out the future for the CCHS. Our Strategic Planning committee will be making this and other recommendations to the Executive Committee in the next few months. The CCHS will succeed in the future if we step up to the plate and take the bull by the horns.


The CCHS Bylaws under Article XI spells out the “The Trust”. The purpose of the Trust is to receive funds/property on the behalf of the Trust, and to manage the same to provide income to carry out the mission of the CCHS.

Bottom line is that while you are making out your checks to donate to charitable organizations you might consider donating to our “TRUST”. Please check out our web site (WWW.CALIFORNIAHISTORIAN.COM) for the address of the CCHS office to make your tax free donation. CCHS is a 501c3.

We could also use more “Corporate Sponsors” as spelled out in our CCHS Brochure. An annual $500 donation will go a long way in supporting our mission.


Attached is an article from one of our Liaisons (Letty Rodella) from the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR). Please take note of the activities that this organization is involved in.




All concerns and complements are welcome.



John Lenau
Conference of California Historical Societies
[email protected]
(760) 249-4650

 First Vice President's Message

Hello CCHS RVP team,


I am calling on each of you to make a sincere and dedicated effort to locate, contact and communicate with all of the CCHS members - both individuals and organizations -- in your respective regions.


We are particularly interested in obtaining the names of the CCHS members in each of the 40 regions, as well as contact information for each of these organizations:  name, contact person(s), telephone #s, mailing addresses, email addresses, website, and any other pertinent information that will identify and help us  communicate with these members.


Contacting CCHS members in your region is important for the following reasons:

  • It will help you know who all of your "customers/members" are, especially those that you are not currently acquainted with
  • It will help expand and improve our current CCHS database by stating some of the short comings of the existing database
  • It will help Arrowhead Management more effectively communicate with the members in each RVP's respective region and relieve the RVPs from that responsibility
  • It will help facilitate moving forward the initiatives that we discussed at the  August 2015 Harris Ranch planning session
  • It will provide a current database to be used to inform members of CCHS events and functions, such as workshops, annual meetings, symposiums, etc.
  • It will provide critical contact information by targeting communications to key decision makers in historical societies.  This will be especially important as CCHS leadership develops a strategic plan to drive CCHS forward as the leader in assisting historical associations and organizations in their mission to save and preserve California history


A few ideas on where to start gathering this vital information:

  • Google historical societies in your region
  • Use any type of county listing of organizations in your county
  • Gather newsletters from member historical societies that have been sent to your "home" historical society.  These newsletters will contain a list of officers of the Board of Directors and some contact information such as website, email address, address and phone numbers
  • Contact historical society alliances in your region
  • Contact your county historical society for a list of local historical societies

Please help with this important effort to reach out to all of the CCHS member organizations! Send the information to [email protected].


Good luck, and thanks for your dedication and commitment to CCHS.


Andrea Blachman

1st Vice President

Conference of California Historical Societies

[email protected], (925) 387-5385




Second Vice President's Message

CCHS and National History Day in Rocklin

(Note: This is adapted from a column for The Placer, a Placer County Museums publication with a circulation of 2,000 and available online)

Be one in a 100. Or make a history minded friend or organization one. With annual dues now due and payable and various membership options available, now is the time. Let the holiday spirit of giving move you.

You can by joining a group that comes together to learn from each other while celebrating the remarkable history of our communities.

I’m recruiting museums and history-oriented organizations and individuals to become members of the Conference of California Historical Societies.

After a decade as president of the Placer County Historical Societies I have been elected 2nd Vice President of the Conference (CCHS) as well as Region 8 VP president. Of the 40 CCHS Regions, my Sierra Gateway Region has the most counties: Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Sutter and Yuba. I am also temporary VP for Region 7, dubbed the Goldfield Gateway covering Sacramento and Yolo, until a permanent replacement can be found.

At the October Symposium in Redding, CCHS set a goal of 100 new members for 2016. My goal is to have the biggest boost from our area.

The CCHS is a strong supporter of National History Day. This year the California County Coordinators voted to make William Jessup University in Rocklin the permanent home of the state contest. Mark May 6-7, 2016, to attend. This is a special opportunity for students grade 4 to 12 to be involved in creating a project based on the theme of “exploration, encounter, exchange in history.” For information go to

To join CCHS please go to or contact me at [email protected] or 530 888-7837

Happy holidays, Michael Otten, immediate past president, PCHS

Michael Otten
2nd Vice President
Conference of California Historical Societies
[email protected]  (530) 888-7837




Celebrating the 1849 California Bilingual Constitution

Galal Kernahan has been working for many years promoting a little known historical fact about California's history, the 1849 California Bilingual Constitution. SHHAR, in partnership with the Heritage Museum of Orange County, sponsored a special event held on November 5, 2015, showcasing this Constitution. The Orange County Department of Education and the Santa Ana Unified School District also gave their support. The event, "Remembering California's Bilingual Constitution and the Spanish/Mexican Legacy" was held at the Heritage Museum of Orange County.

A major component leading up to the event was the writing of a 4th grade Social Studies unit about the 1849 California Constitution. The unit was developed by Marta Moya, Curriculum Specialist, and Jennifer Wood, 4th grade teacher, both from Santa Ana Unified School District. The 10-day 4th grade Social Studies unit supports the Common Core Literacy Skills and the Historical Analysis Skills. The unit includes a Teacher's Edition and a Student's Journal Packet.

The evening program consisted of a reenactment of California's Constitutional Convention Debate performed by Santa Ana Public Library Youth, a display of the work by the 4th grade class who completed the unit, and a Spanish Historical Map Exhibition by artist Eddie Martinez. Keynote speaker was the Honorable E.F. Butler, who gave a PowerPoint presentation about the contributions of Spain during the American Revolution.

SHHAR plans to continue this event in the future with a middle school Social Studies unit and then a high school Social Studies unit centered around the 1849 California Bilingual Constitution.


Letty Rodella

SHAAR President



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