America’s Most Productive Agricultural Region Is Also One of Its Most Diverse

Since the 19th Century, California’s San Joaquin Valley Has Drawn Farmers From Around the World

California’s San Joaquin Valley is often dismissed as small and rural. To the contrary, it’s a massive area of farms, ranches, small towns, and growing cities, emblematic of the American West as a blend of Old West values and New West technology. It’s also historically distinctive as one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the United States.

Most Americans know little, and think less, about this complicated and neglected region. Novelist Manuel Muñoz describes the valley, where he was born and grew up, as “a strangely unexplored area of our …

How the US Military Taught Americans to Smoke | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How the US Military Taught Americans to Smoke

A 1918 Policy Devised to Calm Soldiers’ Nerves Sparked a Bad Habit That Was Difficult to Stop

Mention of the American military-industrial complex conjures up images of massive weapons procurement programs and advanced technologies: supersonic bombers, strategic missiles, armor-plated tanks, nuclear submarines, and complex space systems. However, …

TK | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Rising Sea Levels Will Leave California With Fewer Beaches—and More Hard Decisions

In the Decades to Come, Some Coastal Homes, Highways, and Ecosystems Will Be Saved, While Others Will Surrender to the Ocean

The Pacific Coast Highway, an iconic symbol of California and vital transportation route, runs along the state’s coastline from Dana Point in Orange County to Leggett in Mendocino County. But …

Chasing the Sun’s Medicinal Rays | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Chasing the Sun’s Medicinal Rays

At the Turn of the 20th Century, Southern California Became a Testing Ground for Healthy Living

Southern California has long attracted those seeking a mild climate, a healthy lifestyle, and sunshine. According to Lyra Kilston, author of Sun Seekers: The Cure of California, the origins of …

Why California Will Matter More in the 2020 Election

With an Earlier Primary Date, the Golden State May Sway National Debates and Even the Presidential Contest

The California presidential primary traditionally has taken place in June, often well after the presidential candidates for all parties have been decided. But next year, California will join 12 other …

When San Francisco Kicked Hollywood to the Curb

Angered by Negative Depictions of Their City, in the Early 1970s Civic Leaders Regulated Filmmakers Out of Town

Canada’s motion picture industry earned the nickname “Hollywood North” because the country so often serves as a center of location production for American films. But in the early 1970s, this …