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Today in
S.C.V. History
July 22
2000 - Historic Larinan house in Pico Canyon burns down [story]
Larinan house burning

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Thursday, Jul 3, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieWhat a week so far. Seems there have already been a lot of “fireworks” on these pages. So may I just say this: “Lighten up.” At least most of you can read and most of you know a little history.

So here I go again. My Placerita Canyon Road experiences were in the 1960s. I clearly stated that the road shouldn’t be widened. I also said I don’t like the Dockweiler connection, but it looks as if it will happen. What I proposed was a raffle for 10 keys every week for the gate. After a week, 10 other folks would get the same 10 keys. Was that so hard to understand? I don’t want the road opened. On one of the curves, a good friend was severely injured in a collision with an oak tree. The tree won.

We do need another cross-valley crossing near downtown Newhall. That is what I wrote about. So please, I ask all of you, be neighbors in the most beautiful canyon. Put away the claws and daggers. I’m not advocating reopening your road.

On to the “Lights Out” commentary. I’ll just say the responses made me think we have few folks here who can disagree without being disagreeable. I was simply stating the lights around town are too bright.

Oh, I want to correct one thing on that picture of the billboard in Acton. That wasn’t the setting sun reflecting on the billboard. All of that brightness was from the lights mounted on it. The sun had already set.

These are small molehills compared to what I was reading and listening to today from some young adults right here in the SCV. This is more alarming than billboards and roads through Placerita Canyon. I found it appalling in the extreme.


Retaliation for something the U.S. did to Japan, right?

I was listening to a discussion about World War II. A group of five young adults were discussing the causes and the ending of the war. Here is a synopsis of what I heard:

1. The war was started because the United States wanted a war to end the Depression, and after a few initial battles, the Empire of Japan had to retaliate and attacked Pearl Harbor.

2. Germany was only protecting other Germans who had been excluded from being in Germany after World War I.

3. The United States only used the atomic bombs on Japan as an experiment. The U.S. Army thought it better to test the bombs on a non-white race.

4. The pictures of the Holocaust were faked so that the occupation of Germany could be justified.

Just what in the heck are kids being taught these days? Of course I got into the discussion and found out that our kids are being taught that our country is usually the aggressor and cannot be trusted in the international community.

They went on to say we, the United States, are much worse than the old colonial powers just prior to World War I.

I was feeling my skin crawl and my blood boil. These kids are absolutely crazy – and stupid, too.

So I picked up my trusty iPhone and Googled some information so we all could see the pictures.

For the better part of an hour, I sat with those kids, and they finally got a history lesson without political or religious bias. They remarked that their teachers had them convinced that the U.S. started World War II, Korea, Vietnam and even 9/11.

So here it is, just a day before we celebrate the birth of our nation, and I find out our educational system is not educating. It has indoctrinated the kids well and wrong.

That is why I feel my little shots at Placerita and billboards and the City Council and whatever else are tiny problems that will be resolved rather quickly. We need to work on the huge problem of education – because it really seems our kids are not prepared with knowing history.

And them that don’t know it will somehow repeat it.

I hope today I may have sparked some interest in learning the history of our country and our world.

I hate to think what will happen if those kids and their peers fail to learn our lessons and the lessons of our forefathers.

There is one other lesson for all y’all to know. We are in a tinderbox. Wildfires are possible at any time. If you want to light off your own fireworks, move to South Carolina. Even if things there were dry enough to burn with all the humidity, nothing of value would be lost.

So go watch a fireworks display. Don’t try it at home. Leave it to the professionals.


Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

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  1. msc545 says:

    I think you would be very hard pressed to find a sane person who doesn’t think that the US started Vietnam and every single war we’ve been in so far thereafter.

    I’m glad to hear that kids are learning the truth.

  2. Mr. Manzer: you didn’t mention where these youngsters attended school. If you know where, you should bring your concerns before the school(s), even their school board.
    One of the things historians are trying to do today (as contrasted to previous eras) is present a more balanced and nuanced analysis of historical events. While I agree with you that your examples here seem troubling, perhaps the students were told these things with the caveat that there were excuses given for the behavior?
    The classic example of one-sided historical analysis, of course, is the way previous generations were taught that the white man was right and just in taking over this continent and nearly wiping out the natives in the process. Today, it is widely accepted and taught that what the Europeans did was perpetrate genocide on the Indians, and this is a valid viewpoint on the matter, don’t you think?
    History always has two (or more) viewpoints. And the winners always get to write the story to suit themselves. As long as viewpoints are properly presented by teachers, there is nothing wrong with doing so. Perhaps there is more to your story than you know or present here?

  3. Chris Dunne says:

    You should have a discussion with the kids teacher or principal too.

  4. Chris Dunne says:

    msc545. The discussion was about WWII, not Vietnam. Are you arguing that WWII was started by the US also?

  5. SCV Janie says:

    msc545, my father was there for WWII. The holocaust happened. Germany also did a lot of ethnic cleansing. From what Mr. Manzer heard, it sounds like these young people have been taught revisionist history. Our colleges thrive on painting America in the worst light, and don’t take me to task on that, because I have three kids who have just been through the system. We can’t even celebrate
    Columbus Day in California schools because Columbus is the bad guy now. Sure, America is not perfect, but we are the best country there is, we give more foreign aid and are more humane than any other country. My father sacrificed his youth, documenting in photos the horrors of.WWII, and, America was not the aggressor. America was isolationist at first, until we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, our only sin being that we stopped supplying Japan with our natural resources. To hear what our youth has to say made me sick to the stomach, as the educational system is BROKEN if they are teaching our kids that. I have it first hand from dad, God rest his soul, so if you want to be in a dictatorship, go. Move to another country, but do not denigrate my father’s sacrifice.

  6. SCV Janie says:

    And Dave, don’t forget all the good the dreaded White man brought to the people; things like cures and vaccinations and sanitation. White people from Europe were not all evil Indian killers. There is far too much Christian and White bashing in our schools, I’ve seen it personally. Remember what Hitler was all about, and remember my dad’s sacrifice so that YOU ALL can be speaking and writing in English now.

  7. Greg Brown says:

    Nice new mug shot my friend.

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