CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY HONORS LEADER NANCY PELOSI AND THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS AT ANNUAL GALA IN SAN FRANCISCO
(SAN FRANCISCO) – August 8, 2012 -- The California Historical Society (CHS) last night honored current House Democratic Leader and first female Speaker of the House, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, with its “Legends of California” Award at its 2012 Annual Recognition and Gala.
The Gala also honored the League of Women Voters of California for its groundbreaking work in California’s electoral history. The California Historical Society stewards the collection of official records generated by the League of Women Voters of California and the League of Women Voters of San Francisco from 1900 to the present.
The awards Gala took place at the California Historical Society, located at 678 Mission Street in San Francisco. Twenty-five years ago, the former San Francisco Builder’s Exchange building served as the campaign headquarters for Pelosi’s first candidacy to the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, as the headquarters for the California Historical Society, the building houses one of the four major research collections on California history, including some of the most cherished and valuable documents and images of California’s past.
“We are proud to present Leader Pelosi with this year’s ‘Legends of California’ Award for her many ground-breaking and courageous accomplishments on behalf of all Californians and the nation,” said Dr. Anthea Hartig, Executive Director of the California Historical Society. “Leader Pelosi and the League of Women Voters of California are integral to the political and cultural history of California and continue to inspire us all.”
"It is especially meaningful to receive this award on the very steps where my first congressional campaign was launched 25 years ago," said Congresswoman Pelosi. "I am proud and humbled to join so many friends, family, and colleagues here at the California Historical Society to celebrate our state's rich history and tradition, and to build a path toward a brighter future."
Emmy-award winning anchor Cheryl Jennings (ABC7/KGO) emceed the Gala event that included a special video montage produced by students at BAYCAT Center for Arts and Technology highlighting Leader Pelosi’s 25 years of service and her role in helping to elevate the role of women in California, the nation’s Capitol and around the world. The tribute video can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/fpMDCLr9GEo.
The San Francisco Girls Chorus also performed several songs, highlighting an evening of recognition that brought together supporters of California’s rich history.
Among the friends, family and colleagues who attended and gave special tributes to Congresswoman Pelosi included California U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson and George Miller; State Senators Mark Leno and Leland Yee; State Assembly Member Fiona Ma; former UNICEF Executive Director and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman; former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown; and Captain Chesley Sullenberger.
Others who served as honorary co-hosts for the event included California U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, Mike Honda, Peter Stark and Lynn Woolsey; Governor Jerry Brown; Attorney General Kamala Harris; Secretary of State Debra Bowen; San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa; historian par excellence Dr. Kevin Starr; and Rachelle Chong, Tracy Curtis, R. Thomas Decker, Robert Jay Chattel AIA, Charlene Harvey, Mary Huss, Cheryl Jennings, Maribelle and Steve Leavitt, Michael McCone, Carlotta and Knox Mellon, Thomas R. Owens, Edith and George Pines, Jennifer A. Waggoner and Jim Wunderman.
The “Legends of California” Award celebrates achievement, recognizes uniquely Californian contributions, and acknowledges history in the making. Started in 2009, the award acknowledges individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to the advancement of California’s reputation as an inspirational place where history is often made. Other Legends honorees include Grammy-award winning musician and humanitarian Carlos Santana and the founders of Silicon Valley, known as the Traitorous Eight – Julius Blank, Victor Grinich, Jean Hoerni, Gene Kleiner, Jay Last, Gordon Moore, Robert Noyce, and C. Shelton Roberts.
Since her election in 1987, Nancy Pelosi has represented California's 8th District in the House of Representatives. She is currently serving as Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 112th Congress, having made history in November 2002 when House Democrats elected her the first woman to lead a major party in the Congress. In 2007, she became the first woman in American history to be elected as Speaker of the House.
The California Historical Society is proud to steward the collection of official records generated by the League of Women Voters of California and the League of Women Voters of San Francisco from 1900 to present. These records are invaluable resources for everyone interested in the history of the League, the history of women’s organizations, the suffragette movement and civic reform in the twentieth century. Proceeds from this event will support the archival work needed to make these collections more readily accessible and usable for research and learning.
This year’s Legends award is a one-of-a-kind handcrafted carved glass dalle created by noted Californian artists at the Judson Studios, a 115 year old company located in Southern California. Crafted from one single, hand cast glass slab, the unique creation displays a wonderful array of color, tone and individual characteristics. The award will be permanently displayed at the California Historical Society as part of the Legends of California collection honoring awardees.
For more information about the Legends of California annual event or for more details, events and historical references at the California Historical Society call 415-357-1848 or visit www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.
About the California Historical Society: The California Historical Society is a membership-based, non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. The California Historical Society maintains and shares one of the four major research collections on California history, which includes over 35,000 volumes of books and pamphlets, more than 4,000 manuscript collections, and some 500,000 photographs documenting California’s social, cultural, economic, and political history and development, including some of the most cherished and valuable documents and images of California’s past. Learn more at www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.