From the United States' earliest days the American West was lauded as a land of uncharted opportunity, with westward expansion the nation's ultimate destiny. California's mid-19th-century Gold Rush helped engender the myth of the state's endless possibilities. Late-19th-century descriptions of California as the "Land of Promise" and "Golden State" serve as further evidence of California's mythos and role in the American psyche as a place of affluence and growth.
Collective social action movements have been a part of American life since the nation's earliest days whether spontaneous expressions of dissent or high-reaching attempts to change society. While protest movements are not an exclusively American phenomenon, our ability to express dissent has become a defining characteristic of our American identity, rights, and freedoms.
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Science fiction literature, one of the most popular and entertaining genres in modern fiction, has been read and loved by children and adults for decades. From the earliest pulp publications to modern masterpieces, science fiction short stories and novels have often functioned as a lens through which we express our sense of wonder, marvel at the possibilities of new technologies, and engage in our wildest imaginings.
Few families have played a larger role than the Mulhollands in the development of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Catherine Mulholland's grandfather, William Mulholland, was Chief Superintendent of the Los Angeles Bureau of Water Works and Supply (now the Department of Water and Power.) As such, he built the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which to this day brings water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Owens Valley to the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles.