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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


2010 - The Year of Valley Adventures
1980 Political Button - Reagan and Bush. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Jerry Berns 2010.

The Museum’s Political Collections
- “Man is by nature a political animal.”
Aristotle, founder of the first great museum in the western world.

Political behavior has certainly been around for at least as long as recorded history. But, formal politics in the modern sense might be said to have arrived in the San Fernando Valley with John C. Fremont, who played a significant role in the acquisition of California by the United States after the Battle of Cahuenga in 1845. Fremont was to be one of the first of two United States Senators from California, and the first Republican Party candidate for the presidency of the United States in 1856.

From Richard Nixon’s speech in front of Burbank High School, to Bill Clinton’s visit to Valley College, presidential politics has been an important part of Valley history.

Ronal Reagan, who would become the 33rd Governor of California and the 40th President of the United States, married his first wife Jane Wyman in 1940 at the Wee Kirk of the Heather chapel at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale. After his divorce, Reagan married Nancy Davis in 1952 in Little Brown Church in Studio City. Just prior to making war movies, Ronald Reagan played the role of General George Custer in the Valley's Republic Studios’ film, the Santa Fe Trail.

Politics has played a major role in Valley life from neighborhood councils, to movements such as the annexation to the City of Los Angeles (and attempts to separate from the city), zoning matters, City Council elections and County politics, as well as in California, Congressional and other campaigns.

Your Museum collects political memorabilia from all aspects of government. We archive documents, pamphlets and other accounts of political campaigns, books, photographs and recordings of political life in the greater San Fernando Valley.

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