Yesterday I accompanied my wife on an extra-credit assignment for a class she is taking at Sacramento State. We went to the California History Museum in Sacramento and were treated to a educational trip down memory lane. There were several exhibits that I found interesting and thought provoking.
The Journey – and – the Welcome
One of the exhibits we visited was a video documentary of early migrants who made their way to California in the 1920s – 1950s. One of the stories revolved around a family moving to Anaheim from Texas in a 1950s car emblazoned with a sign that indicated they were from Texas. Upon their arrival they were surprised at how many people would wave to them and say things like, “welcome to California, Texas”! Is that the same greeting they would get today? I don’t think so. In fact I jokingly told my wife that people might wave, but they would probably be waving something else at them besides their open hands. What has happened to our country since the 1960s? Have we lost our innocence?
Cultural Melting Pot
With all the talk of illegal immigrants today, I was astounded to learn that California has always had a large immigrant population. In the 1860s, 39% of California’s populace were immigrants with this number slowly declining to around 13% in the 1990s. With the rise in immigration recently, today 22% of California’s populace were born outside of California. Put in perspective, today we have less foreign born Californians (by percentage) now then we did 100 years ago. So why the big fuss? Have we lost sight of who we are? Are those of us who achieved prosperity by the opportunities provided by America now trying to close the doors on others who have a dream?
All the best!
All the time!