Landmarks in History University Partners with Historic Dominguez Rancho to Strengthen Understanding of American History through NEH Teacher Workshops n Joanie Harmon
ighty elementary and high school teachers from across the United States spent a week in June at California State University, Dominguez Hills and nearby Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum (DRAM) learning about the people and cultures that shaped this region in order to enhance their teaching of American history in the classroom. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the workshops were part of the agency’s “Landmarks in History” program. 12
Jerry Moore, professor of anthropology, discusses archaeological excavations at the site of the Dominguez Rancho Adobe.
Organized by the CSU Dominguez Hills history department and the Office of Service Learning, Internships and Civic Engagement (SLICE), in partnership with DRAM, “American History through the Eyes of a California Family, 1780s–1920s” workshops were funded by a “We the People” grant from the NEH. The program focused on teaching ways to interpret history using the story of the Dominguez family, whose members were instrumental in establishing the South Bay region of Los Angeles.
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CSU Dominguez Hills is named after the land on which the campus is located, part of the first Spanish land grant in California. Seventy-five thousand acres—what is now most of the South Bay up through Compton— was granted in 1784 by King Carlos III of Spain to Juan Jose Dominguez for his participation in expeditions with Gaspar de Portolà and Father Junipero Serra. The land was known from the 18th to early 20th centuries as the Rancho San Pedro and a large portion of it remains in the families