Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Please donate to Your Museum this year - still time for tax deduction

If you have enjoyed visiting The Museum in 2016, attended any of the many exhibits, art speaker events, participated in a historic walking tour or enjoy learning about the history, art and culture of the valley, please support YOUR Museum by donating or becoming a member. 

Please click on this Donate link or the button to the right.  The Museum would appreciate memberships at the $50, $100 and $250 or more levels too.

One day left before the end of the year - make your tax deductible donation today!

Thank you very much.

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley team

Debbie Reynolds passes one day after daughter Carrie Fisher; valley ties

What a year, week or few days of so many celebrities passing.

First Carrie Fisher and then iconic movie, stage and television star Debbie Reynolds joins her daughter only one day later.

Debbie Reynolds had strong ties to the San Fernando Valley.

Pegge Forrest, El Portal’s co-manager, stated, "Debbie Reynolds rode her bike from Burbank to North Hollywood’s El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood when she was 8 years old."

She won a Miss Burbank contest at age 16, then went on to be cast in the star-making role opposite Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor in “Singin’ in the Rain,” at age 19. She was not a trained dancer, had a few months of training and kept up with her co-stars in the movie. One of the most famous dances in movie history over the last 64 years is worth watching again.

Debbie Reynolds was fond of North Hollywood and the El Portal Theatre. When El Portal became a live performance theater, Reynolds performed on its stage 46 times, more than anyone.

Today, the theatre’s marquee read: “Debbie Reynolds, we love you. El Portal’s brightest star.”

She starred in several other famous movies including, The Catered Affair (1956), Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964).

Stage credits included: Irene (1973), Debbie (1976), Annie Get Your Gun (1977) and Woman of the Year (1981).

She was also busy with television appearances such as on Will & Grace, Rugrats, Touched by an Angel, Modern Family and had her own show for one year.

Most people know about her marriage to Eddie Fisher in 1955 and the divorce in 1959 and his marriage to Elizabeth Taylor the same day!  Two children, Todd and Carrie Fisher came out of her first marriage.

To read the entire article by Daily News reporter Susan Abram and with support from staff writer Brenda Gazzar and City News Service, please click HERE.

If you enjoy posts such as this one, support YOUR Museum by donating or becoming a member. Click on the Donate button to the right.

One day left before the end of the year - make your tax deductible donation today!

Thank you.

Posted by Mike Stevens

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Closed All Saturdays in December

Hello fellow Museum supporters and friends,

The Museum will not be open on Saturdays in December due to a shortage of volunteers and the holidays.

Please visit on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1-6pm.

Friday, December 9, 2016

John Glenn, Jr. - Astronaut - Senator - Statesman - dead at age 95 - True American Hero

America has lost a true American hero.

John Glenn passed away yesterday at the age of 95. What a life!

Were you old enough to witness or remember his flight and orbit into outer space in 1962? How did it make you feel as an American?

Did you know that the Atlas rockets for this mission were created by Rocketdyne? That the testing of these rockets was performed in Santa Susana Field Labs? Read a nice article in the Daily News article by Greg Wilcox on John Glenn, Jr. and Rocketdyne team members, Ed Monteath, a former Rocketdyne vice president, now 98 and Engine test engineer Lee Solid who recall their work and interactions with Glenn HERE.

The engineering might of Rocketdyne has to be placed in perspective.  The Space Race that occurred in the 1960s placed a tremendous amount of pressure from Washington down to Canoga Park. All of these brilliant minds coming together to drive America to the finish line, in first place,, by placing men in space and ultimately to the moon and safely back to Earth in the same decade. What an achievement!

Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr., pilot of the Mercury Atlas 6 (MA-6) spaceflight, poses for a photo with the Mercury "Friendship 7" spacecraft during preflight activities. On Feb. 20, 1962, Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Launched from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., he completed a successful three-orbit mission around the earth, reaching a maximum altitude (apogee) of approximately 162 statute miles and an orbital velocity of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. Glenn's "Friendship 7" Mercury spacecraft landed approximately 800 miles southeast of KSC in the vicinity of Grand Turk Island. Mission duration from launch to impact was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds.

Souce: NASA

The launch and life of Col.John Glenn, Jr.  

Source: PBS News Hour

Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr., NASA flight surgeon William Douglas and equipment specialist Joseph W. Schmidt leave crew quarters prior to the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission. Glenn is in his pressure suit and is carrying the portable ventilation unit.

Souce: NASA

On Feb. 23, 1962, U.S. President John F. Kennedy pays tribute to astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. for his February 1962 flight aboard Friendship 7. The Mercury-Atlas 6 mission marked the free world's first orbital manned flight. Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson (for whom the Manned Spacecraft Center was later to be named), NASA Administrator James Webb and Glenn family members are among others also in the scene. 

Souce: NASA

Have you ever been to a science museum and looked into one of these older space capsules?  Can you say "Guts of Steel?" With no guarantee of a successful flight and return, he splashed down a hero.

At age 77, he did it again by hopping a ride and offering himself up to research on October 29, 1998 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.

The Museum loves to salute the accomplishments of the aerospace and aviation industries from the San Fernando Valley. A lot of folks are quick to talk about the history and current state of entertainment and music, but the achievements in these fields are easily, if not ahead of these other  fields. It is truly mind-boggling on the advancements in technology during this decade.

And, for today, Rocketdyne continues to devise and bring to reality the rockets for missions to Mars and beyond.

Posted by Mike Stevens

16th Annual Neighborhood Christmas Open House at the Williams Home 12/18/16

Join us at the 16th Annual Neighborhood Christmas Open House at Chris Williams Home on Sunday, December 18th!

Enjoy Food, Music and Drinks! 
Catered by Rosie's BBQ!
Sunday, December 18th
Anytime between 2-5PM at the William Home 19551 Romar St, Northridge, CA, 91324

For more information
Chris Williams 818-694-9000
ReMax Olson BRE#00688014

Optional: Bring canned food for a local shelter - Hope of the Valley 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Become a Museum Associate today - volunteer and support your Museum

The Museum is seeking volunteers to join as Museum Associates for all committees including museum docents, historic walking tour docent, marketing assistants and event organizers. 

All Museum Associates will receive training, a name badge, recognition in all Museum multi-media and social media and support. Docents are needed now to work at The Museum in two and three-hour shifts on either Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays.

If you have experience or interest in areas such as aerospace, agriculture, architecture, art, aviation, culture, entertainment, history, music, nature, pop culture, transportation and water/resources...we have opportunities in all areas.


If you have background in video and editing, you can assist with The Museum's Oral History program...

If you like to present to groups, docents are needed for our historic walking and even driving tours of the valley...

If you like art, please join the Public Art Initiative committee...

If you want to support the Speaker Series...

If you like to talk about exhibits...volunteer at The Museum

Many ways to become involved!  Please contact us today!

To set up a Museum Associates meeting and a tour of The Museum, please contact:

Kristine Keller
Tel: 818-347-9665

Mike Stevens
Tel: 310-890-9182

Please become involved in supporting and educating valley residents and visitors on history, art and culture to the great San Fernando Valley.

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 
18860 Nordhoff St., Suite 204 
Northridge, CA 91324-3885
(SE corner of Wilbur Ave. & Nordhoff St.)
Phone: (818) 347-9665

75th anniversary on attack on the U.S. at Pearl Harbor

On this 75th anniversary on the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, we bring you images and FDR's historic speech declaring war on Japan.

Were you old enough to recall the events on December 7, 1941? If so, please tell us about it. 

Did you ever hear stories from your grandfather or grandmother?  

From an aunt or uncle? 

From your father or mother?

Tell us about it. Leave a comment below.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech:

There is no shortage of conspiracy theories that the U.S., potentially, knew something about an attack. Did the U.S. allow the attack to occur?  Who knows - your thoughts?

No matter your stance, a horrible day for America and the world.


  • 353 Japanese bombers struck Pearl Harbor
  • Destroyed eight U.S. Navy battleships
  • More than 2,400 deaths from events
  • 1,177 died on the USS Arizona

In the Los Angeles Times today, there is a terrific article about a 96-year old Navy veteran that was one of the last people to leave the USS Arizona.  Please review the article HERE by David Montero on his book about Lauren Bruner and his horrific experiences while being on the deck of the USS Arizona.

Posted by Mike Stevens

Sunday, December 4, 2016

All Purchases Help YOUR Museum!


This local preserve history... 
and purchase one of a kind gifts at The Museum.

Paintings, sculptures, jewelry, notecards, books, prints, gift cards 
and more available at The Museum. 

Museum Hours 1-6PM
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
18860 Nordhoff St. Suite 204
Northridge, CA 91324

John Elway, success on and off of the field

There are dozens of truly great athletes to come out of the San Fernando Valley.

One of the many household names is John Elway, who attended Granada Hills High School.

How about naming some ol' comrades that played with John at GHHS.  Chris Sutton, Larry Palmer, Ken Scanlon, Bryan Sherman, Scott Marshall and Paul Scheper, to name a handful.

In this photo, some valley athletes included Chris Duddy, Keith Keller and Jim Ginneti.

 A nice article in the Los Angeles Times by Sam Farmer, outlines some of his most recent accomplishments at the helm of the Denver Broncos in executive management.  Read the article on John Elway HERE.

One the field, did he actually accomplish anything? Well, let's see:

  • 2× Super Bowl champion (XXXII, XXXIII)
  • Super Bowl MVP (XXXIII)
  • NFL Most Valuable Player (1987)
  • 9× Pro Bowl (1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996–1998)
  • First-team All-Pro (1987)
  • 2× Second-team All-Pro (1993, 1996)
  • 2× AFC Offensive Player of the Year (1987, 1993)
  • NFL Man of the Year (1992)
  • NFL passing yards leader (1993)
  • NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
  • Denver Broncos Ring of Fame
  • Denver Broncos No. 7 retired
  • Sammy Baugh Trophy (1982)
  • Pac-10 Player of the Year (1982)
  • Consensus All-American (1982)
  • Stanford Cardinal No. 7 retired

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Closed today 12/3/16 1-6PM

Due to a shortage in volunteers... The Museum will be closed today from 1-6pm.

It will reopen on Tuesday, December 8th, 2016.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Grant Tinker, longtime studio executive dead at age 90

Former NBC chairman-CEO Grant Tinker, and founder of MTM Enterprises with Mary Tyler Moore, has died. He was 90.

The Tinker family lived in the valley and his sons went to valley schools.

“Grant Tinker was a great man who made an indelible mark on NBC and the history of television that continues to this day,” NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said. “He loved creative people and protected them, while still expertly managing the business. Very few people have been able to achieve such a balance. We try to live up to the standards he set each and every day. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”

“My father set the bar high both as a television executive and a father. I never heard anyone speak of him with anything other than respect and admiration. I’m proud to be his son and especially proud of the legacy he leaves behind in business and as a gentleman,” said Mark Tinker, who is an exec producer on NBC’s “Chicago PD.”

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which debuted that same year on CBS, was ground-breaking in its sophistication and the manner in which it depicted the professional life of a single career woman. 

Tinker hired two of the industry’s best writers, Brooks and Allan Burns, and for the next seven years, the show was a highlight every season, commanding 67 Emmy nominations and winning 29, including three for best comedy series.


The list of shows with Grant Tinker's name and MTM Studios in Studio City are pretty incredible:
The Bob Newhart Show
Mary Tyler Moore

He hired some of the best writers and creatives and let them do their work. Leaders in the industry that he worked with included:
James L. Brooks
Steven Bochco 
Jay Tarses
Tom Patchett 
Michael Zimberg

While at NBC, he nurtured shows such as:
Family Ties
The A-Team
St. Elsewhere  
Remington Steele
The Golden Girls
The Cosby Show

Please read the terrific article in Variety magazine HERE on Grant Tinker's life. 

Post by Mike Stevens