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January 2023 - History Corner

by David Mostardi, Club Historian

Once Upon A Hillside: 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago

January 1923

New Year’s Party: Since New Year’s Eve came on Sunday, the usual reception of the

New Year was postponed until New Year’s Night. Dr. Grant and his Committee

furnished a delightful program which began with old-fashioned dances for which good

music had been provided. Lancers and waltzes gave all an opportunity to take part in the

fun. Later, Old Father Time, excellently portrayed by Mr. McFarlan, told of happenings

in the Club and then gave way to the New Year, represented by Mr. Irving Whitney, who

with timely resolutions on the part of certain members of the Club amused those present.

With particularly attractive decorations of great boughs of greenery hung with

varicolored bells, the Clubhouse was most attractive and set off the few old-fashioned

costumes worn by the members. No costume was more quaint and charming than Mrs.

Preble’s, who, with Mr. Preble, was celebrating not only the coming of a New Year but

also their 45 th wedding anniversary.

Business Meeting: Dr. William S. Morgan, chairman of the Civic Affairs Committee,

began his program in connection with the matters to be on the ballot in the election of

January 20, 1923. Dr. Morgan gave a brief resume of the various measures and then

spoke at length in favor of the city Manager Plan. Mr. Carol Aronovici, Consultant for

the City Planning Commission, gave a brief review of some of the city’s problems, and

gave suggestions and advice as to the possibilities of the future. [Carol Aronovici (1882-

1975) a native of Romania, received his Ph.D. from Brown University. At the University

of Pennsylvania, he taught what has been described as the first city planning course in the

United States. He came to California in 1919 as State Commissioner of Housing and

Immigration. He became Berkeley’s City Planning Director in the early 1920s, and later

consulted for the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Richmond. He was one of a

group of naturalized citizens honored in 1939 at the New York City World’s Fair for their

contributions to “the welfare and progress of the United States.”]

Directors Meeting: Moved and seconded that the Directors recommend to the Club that it

pass a resolution condemning the showing of Arbuckle films in the motion picture

theaters. Unanimously carried. [Roscoe Arbuckle (1887-1933) was one of the most

popular and highly-paid actors in silent-film Hollywood, but he was accused of rape after

a September 1921 party in San Francisco which ended in the illness and death of actress

Virginia Rappe. There was no solid evidence against Arbuckle, but there were three

courtroom trials which were gaudily sensationalized by the Hearst newspapers: it was

Hollywood’s first big scandal. The first two ended in mistrials and the third in an

emotional acquittal, but by then Arbuckle’s reputation was completely ruined. The

Hollywood studios, fearful of association with Arbuckle, forbade other actors from

coming to his defense. Most theaters refused to show Arbuckle’s films, and as a result

several of them have been lost.]

January 1948

Fireside Meeting: Professor Frank L. Kidner of the Department of Economics, University

of California, will speak on the subject “Inflation: What Caused It, and What Can Be

Done About It.” This will be of interest to all of us. [Frank Leroy Kidner (1910-1979)

had an almost lifelong association with the University of California. He was an

undergraduate here, then earned his Ph.D. at Columbia Unviersity. He returned to

Berkeley in 1939 and remained an active member of the Department of Economics until

1960. University President Clark Kerr then asked him to accept appointment as

University Dean of Educational Relations, where he served until 1975.]

International Relations: The section will present Dr. S. Mosk of the Department of

Economics, University of California, who will talk on “Political Implications of the

Economic Interdependence of the Americas.” Dr. Mosk will also clarify the program of

the Ninth International Conference of American States in Bogotá, Colombia. [Sanford

Alexander Mosk (1904-1960) was born in San Francisco and received BS and Ph.D.

degrees from the University of California. He first joined the UC faculty in 1934 as

Research Associate in Geography, later joining the Department of Economics where he

served for twenty-four years. He was a specialist in Latin America, wrote a major work

on the Industrial Revolution in Mexico. He was given fellowships by Guggenheim

Foundation and the Social Science Research Council, and was awarded an honorary

doctorate from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala.]

Evening of Art: This year’s Evening of Art is being devoted to the works of members.

There will be original music and poetry by our own members, as well as an exhibit of

their own arts and crafts. Our member Theodore A. Heinrich [profiled in this column in

September 2009], now Director of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Monuments Section for

Greater Hesse under OMGUS, will address us on “Restoring the Lost Art of Europe.”

[The Office of Military Government, United States, or OMGUS, was a military-

established government created shortly after the end of hostilities in occupied Germany in

World War II. It administered the area of Germany and Berlin that was controlled by the

US Army. Greater Hesse was one of the five offices in the US zone.]

January 1973

Fireside Meeting: A crucial question for all Hillsiders will be raised at the January

Fireside Meeting by the Civic Affairs Committee when its selected topic—WHITHER

BERKELEY?—will be discussed by Vice-Mayor Wilmont Sweeney. Every member of

the Club has a stake in the outcome of Berkeley’s problems. Not only current Berkeley

residents but also former Berkeleyans who have moved to nearby locations are bound to

be affected by what happens in this community.

Mel Bequest: Attention of all members is directed to the enclosed announcement of a

most generous bequest to the Hillside Club from the late Florence Mel.

Photographic Arts Section: Fondness for primitive cultures has drawn our member,

Gordon Whitehead, to many remote areas of the earth—Yucatan, the Amazon, the Andes

of Chile and Peru, and to his beloved thrice-visited New Guinea—where he has lived

with the natives, some of them cannibals, in a habitat scarcely touched by industrialism.

Gordon will present “New Guinea Today,” a record of his most recent trip to that South

Sea island, taken last May, composed of color slides and movies with running

commentary. Those of us who saw Gordon’s “Head-hunters of New Guinea,” presented

at Hillside two years ago, will attest to the excellence of his pictures and the

perceptiveness of his remarks.

Evening of Art: “Catch the London bus for Calcutta and share a hilarious adventure with

sculptor Dick O’Hanlon and his painter wife, Ann.” Professor O’Hanlon will tell about

their trip and project slides of art treasures he photographed along the way for the

University of California Art Department’s library. He will conclude with films of some of

his own sculptures and point out how many show the influence of the visual arts

discovered on their journey. On special exhibition will be a book of paintings by Muriel

Backman, Victoria Kimball, and Clotilde Taylor depicting each of the Club’s sets and

backdrops. It is designed to aid those responsible for Hillside events in choosing

appropriate stage backgrounds.

January 1998

The Club’s archive of printed monthly newsletters ended with the May 1994 issue. If you

know of a source for any newsletters between 1994 and the Club’s renaissance in the

early 2000s, your historian would love to hear about it!

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