They Built This City

San Francisco experienced such a population boom during the Gold Rush that it had to physically expand using landfill created atop the scuttled, docked ships of stranded prospectors who came here from around the world but failed to strike it rich. It’s also a city that has more in common with the jackhammer than you might think — had Adolph Sutro not helped miners with his invention, silver wealth would not have flowed from Nevada’s Comstock Lode into the Bay Area. Plus, the technology might not have helped bend the existing rules of engineering to create the Bay Bridge. Such are the amalgamated stories of our liberal outpost, and today you can see some 40 “mini museums” at the San Francisco History Expo inside one of our biggest landmarks. After the colossal success of last year’s expo, organizers have expanded to bring together nearly twice as many local organizations. Displays include those from historical neighborhood groups (including the Bernal History Project and Potrero Hill Archives Project), the Market Street Railway, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Japanese American Historical Society, and the GLBT Historical Society. Organizers also have it on good authority that Joshua Norton, self-anointed emperor of the United States and guardian of Mexico (who turned 132 this year), will be in attendance.
March 3-4, 11 a.m., 2012

 
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