Los Angeles Daily Journal History Columns
CSCHS Board member John Caragozian is writing or co-writing a monthly California legal history column for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, which has kindly permitted the CSCHS to post and reprint the columns.

Current Column

›  America’s Most Famous Lawyer Busted in Los Angeles

Past Columns

›  A 1916 Bombing and “America’s Most Famous Prisoner”

›   The Alexander Pantages Rape Trials

›  Anti-Asian Discrimination Circa 1852

›  The California Travails of Former Slave Archy Lee

›  California’s Violent Chief Justice

›  Chavez Ravine and the Dodgers:  Myths and Realities

›  Clara Foltz:  Pioneer Lawyer for Women, Criminal Defendants and All Californians

›  Death in the Pass:   An 1851 Melodrama

›  The Demise of California’s Ranchos

›  The Dust Bowl and the Supreme Court Part I

›  The Dust Bowl and the Supreme Court Part II

›  Few Heroes:   California Mission Secularization

›  Gambling Ships in Santa Monica Bay

›  The Golden Gate Bridge:  A Legal History

›  Great Depression:  Illegal Deportations or Deportations of Illegals?

›  A History of Discrimination and Progress within California’s Bar Associations

    ›  Los Angeles County Bar Association 1950 Ballot

›  How Baja California Remained Part of Mexico After the Mexican-American War

›  How Many Californias Should We Have? A History of Efforts to Divide the State

›  John Fremont’s California Crimes and Misdemeanors

›  Massacre in Los Angeles’ Old Chinatown

›  Mineral King:  A Remote California Valley and Modern Environmentalism

›  Mutiny in California During World War II

›  Overturning California’s Ban on Interracial Marriages

›  The Pious Fund: Mexico and the U.S. Fought for a Century Over a 250-Year-Old California Charity

›  A Red Flag about a Red Flag in 1920s California

›  San Francisco’s 1934 General Strike:  The Fall and Rise of Organized Labor

›  School Desegregation in California before Brown v. Board of Education

›  The St. Francis Dam:  California’s Worst Civil Engineering Diaster

›  The Thug. The Actress. Her Daughter. And Homicide.

›  The University of California’s Loyalty Oath Fight

›  An Unsung Hero


In Search of California’s Legal History: A Bibliography of Sources

Oral Histories:

Selected Oral Histories of the California Supreme Court
Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

California Appellate Court Legacy Project
This oral history archive comprises more than 80 videotaped interviews of retired justices of the Courts of Appeal, as well as active justices who may be nearing retirement.

Women Trailblazers in the Law Oral History Project
The American Bar Association’s Women Trailblazers in the Law Project (WTP) captures the oral histories of women pioneers in the legal profession nationwide. Several Californians are included in this project including CSCHS Board member Selma Moidel Smith.

Historical Documents:

1878-1879 California Constitutional Convention Working Papers
This site contains the records produced during the convention and includes administrative records, minutes, resolutions, and other document types. The California Supreme Court Historical Society provided financial support to digitize these documents.


“California as I Saw It:” First Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849-1900. American Memory Project, Library of Congress
This site contains the full texts of 190 works, in searchable format, documenting the formative era of California’s history through eyewitness accounts.

Bench and Bar in California: History, Anecdotes, Reminiscences by Oscar T. Shuck
1887 Edition  |  1888 Edition  |  1889 Edition

History of the Bench and Bar in California by Oscar T. Shuck (1901)

History of the Bench and Bar of California by J.C. Bates (1912)