Liam O’Donoghue, the host and producer of the podcast series East Bay Yesterday, just released an hour-long episode on the early history of Berkeley. His tagline is “A podcast about history that is not stuck in the past.” You can listen to the podcast below or on Apple, Spotify or other sites where podcasts are played.
Here’s O’Donoghue’s intro into the podcast:
In many ways, Berkeley is a city defined by dichotomies. The hills and the flatlands, academia and industry, counterculture and The Establishment. Despite the city’s progressive reputation, Berkeley has never been a monolith. The tensions between conflicting political and cultural forces are what have made it such dynamic and unique place.
Although Berkeley’s reputation will forever be tied to the momentous student uprisings of the 1960s, the century or so leading up to those conflicts is just as fascinating. Charles Wollenberg wrote the definitive book on Berkeley’s early years, “Berkeley: A City in History” (UC Press) and on today’s episode we cover major milestones between roughly the Gold Rush and World War II. Listen now to hear about Berkeley’s first businesses, a socialist mayor, some very ironic squatters, Bernard Maybeck, single-family zoning laws, Phoebe Hearst, a boozy urban legend, and even an extremely symbolic sword fight.