Monthly Programs

Monthly programs are generally held on the second Tuesday evening of each month except for August and December. Programs are free to SFMHS members. Admission for non-members is $10 per person ($5 for seniors, students, K-12 teachers, and persons with disabilities), which may be applied to membership dues within 30 days.

Program dates and topics are subject to change. Please check this page for any last-minute updates.

Important: Monthly Programs beginning in March, 2015 may take place in a new venue. Check back for details before each program.

Unless otherwise noted, it is not necessary to RSVP for a monthly program.

Please join us at 7 PM for a reception before each program.

February 2015 Program

Illuminating the Jewel City: Spectacular Lighting at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition
Laura Ackley

Tuesday, February 10 - 7:30 PM
The Old Mint
88 Fifth Street
Please use the side entrance on Mint Plaza

This lecture will take us on a nighttime tour of San Francisco’s beautiful 1915 World’s Fair. We will explore how Illuminating Engineer Walter D’Arcy Ryan implemented groundbreaking lighting effects like The Great Scintillator and The Electric Kaleidoscope in the face of tremendous skepticism. Learn about the more than 100,000 large, cut-glass Novagems that adorned the Tower of Jewels, how the San Francisco fog facilitated “The Devil’s Fan” and “Fighting Serpents and Octopus,” and how Ryan’s advances permanently affected how architecture is lit. Ackley’s talk includes a discussion of World’s Fairs prior to 1915 and is illustrated using photographs, stereoviews, postcards, maps, newspaper illustrations, architectural renderings, and lantern slides.

March 2015 Program

Integrity in the Line of Duty: Lessons Learned as an SF Cop in the Turbulent 1960s Challenged as an FBI Agent Unraveling the Watergate Scandal
John Mindermann

Tuesday, March 10 - 7:30 PM
Location TBA

John Mindermann’s father had been a San Francisco policeman for forty years, so John thought he knew the cop culture he decided to join after completing college. SFPD ran this city with impunity. Cops supported one another when in trouble or making trouble. But this was the 1960s, when challenging authority and social experimentation thrived in San Francisco. What resources were available to a young police officer, when even his superiors were struggling to find a plan of action to maintain authority and social order?

After working for more than eight years at SFPD, Officer Mindermann joined the FBI. He was confronted with more sophisticated and politically sensitive law enforcement that tested his skills and challenged his integrity.