Dignitaries, including Michael De Young and Mayor Rolph, on the steps of San Francisco City Hall welcoming "Grizzlies" (soldiers) returning from World War I. From the Hamilton Henry Dobbin collection. 1919
Biddy Mason, an African American slave woman who lived in San Bernardino in the 1850s and who, after gaining her freedom, became the first African American woman to own property in Los Angeles. A nurse and midwife by profession, she helped found the first elementary school for African American children in Los Angeles. Biddy Mason has been described as the proud symbol of African American achievement and perseverance, and the embodiment of all that is possible in Southern California.
Kate Olivia Sessions, a horticulturist and landscape architect, graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1881 where she studied science. Her graduation essay was entitled, Natural Sciences a Field of Labor for Women. In 1892 she leased 30 acres in San Diego’s City Park (now Balboa Park) for nursery. In exchange, Miss Sessions agreed to plant 100 trees each year plus 300 trees a year in other parts of San Diego. Many of the oldest trees in Balboa Park were planted by her.