California History

Christopher M. Sterba
In late 1945, a group of outraged citizens in the small city of El Cerrito formed a “Good Government League” to challenge the gambling and liquor interests who controlled City Hall. In the next few years the League achieved all of its agenda: a city manager plan, civil service reform, and the end of wide-open gambling. A movement like this was fairly typical of the Progressive Era. But the city in question was not a turn-of-the-century metropolis like New York or Chicago. These events happened in the late 1940s in a small bedroom community located just to the north of Berkeley. Within a few years, El Cerrito transformed its reputation from “Little Reno” to the squeaky-clean “City of Homes.” As a case study, the El Cerrito story is interesting for a number of reasons. Read more.

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California History: 92 (3)

Vol. 92 No. 3, Fall 2015
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ISSN: 0162-2897
eISSN: 2327-1485
Frequency: Quarterly
Published: February, May, August, November


About the Journal

Under the stewardship of the California Historical Society for nearly one hundred years, California History is the premier journal of historical writing on California. Beginning in 2014, this tradition continued under the auspices of University of California Press and the editorial direction of Josh Sides, Whitsett Chair of California History and Director of the Center for Southern California Studies at California State University, Northridge. Showcasing exceptional scholarship, engaging writing, and innovative research, California History is essential reading for students and scholars of the history of California and the West, as well as California residents curious to understand the imprint of the state’s rich past.