The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: A history talk and book signing with author Richard Schwartz

The Martinez and Contra Costa County Historical Societies invite you to be the first to hear author & historian Richard Schwartz talk about his new book The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M.B. Curtis.   

Richard’s presentation will reveal the life of this incredibly influential immigrant actor of the late nineteenth century. As the first Jewish male actor allowed to portray a Jewish male on stage in America, Curtis’ story is one of immigration, assimilation, theatre history and how the invisible wings of comedy can affect the nation’s direction.   Focusing on the actor’s early days in San Francisco’s theatrical history and his overnight rise to stardom, Schwartz’s talk will reveal how San Francisco became the actor’s home base from the 1870s through the 1906 Earthquake as he toured the country and how it almost ended his life.

Richard’s talk begins at 1:00 p.m.  A wine & cheese reception and book signing with the author will follow at 2:30 p.m.     

Hosted by the Martinez Historical Society and the Contra Costa County Historical Society.

Free Admission and Free Parking.  Refreshments will be served.

RSVP is requested.  Email: [email protected] or Call: (925) 229-1042

For more information, visit

A $10 donation is suggested at the door.  All proceeds benefit the preservation work of the Martinez & CoCo County archives.

May 06, 2017 at 1:00pm - 3:30pm
Shell Clubhouse
1635 Pacheco Blvd
Martinez, CA 94553
United States
Google map and directions
Tara Weber & Andrea Blachman · · 925-229-1042

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Conference of California Historical Societies
Bringing together California's historical community to share California's heritage, learn from one another and strengthen our communities.