keep coming in; people loved your discussion. Thanks
for your passion and dedication to the native peoples and
keeping their memory alive... Schwartz' talk was
informative and thought provoking about a subject
too little discussed today in Berkeley, pre-Columbian
civilization in the East Bay. For over two hours he
captivated an audience of over 60 Berkeleyeans with
tales of discovery and study of the people who lived in
what is now Berkeley centuries ago. Excellent job
-Jef Findley, Berkeley History Room, Berkeley Public
Library, Main Branch.
Saturday, September 24th, with a
standing-room only crowd in
attendance, the Contra Costa
County Historical Society honored
the culture and heritage of the
County's first inhabitants.
Schwartz gave an excellent
introduction to the earliest
migrants into what is now
California. He also spoke of
the weather and geography changes
that gave rise to the landforms
that we know today. He spoke
particularly about the imminent
destruction of the remaining East
Bay Shellmounds and their
importance to understanding
McLeod, Contra Costa Historical
Schwartz held the audience in
rapt attention when he spoke to
the San Leandro Historical
Society on June 17, 2017 about
the remarkable story of M. B.
Curtis. Schwartz knows how to
tell a good story, and he is the
kind of researcher who dives in
to discover and follow the
fascinating details and side
trails of his subject.
Simons, President, San Leandro
Schwartz kept our Commonwealth
Club audience entertained
while informing them about a
missing piece of history: the
19th century actor and
entrepreneur M.B. Curtis's
fascinating life on stage and
off. Schwartz rescues
this once-famous man from the
dustbin of history, where he
did not belong. Curtis
hobnobbed with other
celebrities of the time, but
was a man of deep substance as
well. Schwartz makes it
all clear with a storytelling
style that matches his 19th
the Humanities Forum at The Commonwealth Club of
Event Dates in 2020- Speaking Events
and Media Events
2020. Berkeley Public Library Foundation. The Berkeley
Public Library Foundation will honor author Richard
Schwartz at their "Berkeley Public Library Foundation's
18th Annual Authors Dinner." Berkeley City Club.
2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94707. 510-848-7800. "This event spotlights the Bay Area’s literary tradition and celebrates the authors who enrich our community. Proceeds from the event fund library innovations, capital improvements, and expand literacy projects that help make a strong public library possible. This year’s event will be held at the prestigious Berkeley City Club. The evening begins with a cocktail reception, an opportunity for authors and guests to mingle, followed by dinner, where each author is seated with a group of library-loving guests and introduced briefly to the attendees at large by the evening’s host emcees. Our 2020 hosts include Emmy Award winner Linda Schacht Gage, Pulitzer Prize author T.J. Stiles, and SF Chronicle columnist and author Vanessa Hua. For a peek at what to expect, you can view our gallery from the 2019 gathering here.
The Foundation raises funds to benefit all five locations of the Berkeley Public Library by supporting innovations, building improvements, and literacy projects for all ages. This summer brings exciting news, as construction has just begun on building out the new Teen Space, as well as to create other common areas for gathering, reading, and programming. This is all made possible thanks to authors, sponsors, and donors who support the beloved annual Authors Dinner." Further
details listed as they are announced.
Event Dates in 2019- Speaking Events
and Media Events
Events (Media Events Listed below this
2019. Central High School, 1700 W. Olney Ave.,
Philadelphia, PA. Richard will speak to the theater
department students and teachers about the theatrical
career of M. B. Curtis and how he changed the American
theater and culture and how it changed him. He will
also discuss the structural changes in the theater in the
way plays were presented. Central High School is Richard's
26, 2019. Barnes
and Noble, Rittenhouse Square, 1805 Walnut St.,
Philadelphia, PA. Richard will talk about M. B. Curtis'
life, career and cultural influence, with a focus on his
Philadelphia activities and popularity. 7pm.
May 5, 2019. The
Richmond Museum of History. Richard will give an
illustrated talk on the amazing life of immigrant actor M.
B. Curtis and his life in Richmond and the East Bay. 2pm.
400 Nevin Ave., Richmond, CA 94801. 510-235-7387.
May 16, 2019. The Pt. Richmond Writers Group. Richard will
speak about how he came to write his book "The Man Who Lit
Lady Liberty." Private event.
May 18, 2019 through August 22,
San Francisco Library Main Branch. The library
and Richard will produce a multi-room display of the
life and career of M. B. Curtis in the Arts
Department on the Third Floor. Actual theater
posters, programs, memorabilia, autographs, ads,
images and other items will be hung, cased and
displayed. A speaking event will also be offered in
the library's auditorium. 100 Larkin St., San
Francisco, CA 94102. 415-557-4400.
June 2, 2019. San
Francisco Public Library Main Branch.
Richard will give an illustrated talk on M. B.
Curtis and his San Francisco exploits and the
effects his life had on the nation. Latino Room
100 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94102.
June 19, 2019. See's the Day kids
camp, Tilden Park, Lake Anza, Contra Costa
County, CA. Richard will show the kids what there
lives would have been like in what is now Tilden Park
if they were in an Ohlone family that had lived in
that spot for hundreds or thousands of years. They
will go through exercises in culture and awareness and
learn from experiencing things they had not tried or
thought of before. 10am-1.30pm.
September 5, 2019. Builders
RELEASE PARTY AND ILLUSTRATED TALK. This will
be the official paperback release party for "The Man
Who Lit Lady Liberty" ($19.95). Refreshments will be
served and a social half-hour will occur 6.30-7 and
Richard will present an illustrated talk "How an 1880s
Immigrant Actor Changed America's views of Immigrants
Through His play "Sam'l of Posen" at 7pm. He will be
signing books after the talk. Builders Booksource,
1817 Fourth St., Berkeley, CA 94710. 510-845-6874.
14, 2019. Commonwealth
Club "The Cultures of the Bay Area's Indigenous
People, The Hidden Signs All Around Us."
Richard will speak about the amazingly
ubiquitous, but generally unknown,
presence of ancient Bay Area Native
American life. He will tell stories of the
villages and revered ceremonial sites
still amongst us but rarely seen or
totally unknown. Richard will reveal
mysteries of an amazingly rich and
complex culture. The talk will take
place on Indigenous Peoples' Day. 6
pm. 5.30 pm check-in. 110 Embarcadero,
San Francisco, CA 94105. 415-597-6705.
October 27, 2019. East
Bay Media Center. 28th Annual
Berkeley Video Film Festival, Inde
Film. Richard will give a talk on the
silent movie industry in 1910 and M.
B. Curtis's role in it. Curtis was
Berkeley's biggest eccentric ever.
Time:2.25 pm. 1939 Addison Street.,
Berkeley, CA 94707. 510-843-3699.
November 2, 2019. Berkeley Public Library, North
Berkeley Branch. "The Hidden Indian Life in
Berkeley." Richard will give an illustrated talk on
the evidence of the hidden Indian life in Berkeley
from thousands of years of Native habitation here. He
will demonstrate how the discovery and protection of
village sites, artifacts, and history
combine as a powerful tool to begin to understand the
extent Native Americans lived within what became the city
of Berkeley and a tiny glimpse into their lives and what
meant a lot to them. He will demonstrate how a culture can
be learned or lost by the efforts and actions of current
residents and how this history might exist in your own
back yard. 1170 The Alameda, Berkeley, CA 94707.
November 4, 2019. Joint Event with The Hillside Club and the Berkeley Architectural Heritage
Association. "M. B.
Curtis: An Immigrant, Actor and Philanthropist
in Berkeley,1886, His Lingering Significance to our
City." Historian Richard Schwartz will tell the
fascinating story of the numerous philanthropic and
significant deeds of immigrant M. B. Curtis, a once famed
but now largely forgotten actor, for the city of Berkeley,
and that still has an effect on us today. As Curtis catapulted to fame and
fortune, he was thrilled to help the town he loved and
its people thrive.
Schwartz will also discuss many
never-before-shared events at Curtis's Berkeley-based
Peralta Park Hotel, the tallest hotel in the Bay Area at the
time (now the site of the Saint Mary's College High School).
This presentation will include Berkeley-specific stories not included
in Schwartz's book, The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty,
The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor
M. B. Curtis, which was recently released in
paperback. 7.30 pm at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St.,
Berkeley, CA 94709. 510-848-3227.
November 7, 2019. Shakespeare and Co. Richard
will speak about the life of actor M. B. Curtis
emphasizing his Philadelphia presence as well as the
mind-boggling story of Curtis lighting the Statue of
Liberty and how the immigrant experience and
perception was influenced by Curtis's play "Sam'l of
Posen." 1632 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103.
215-240-1000. 6.30 pm.
Schwartz Media Events
2019. San Francisco Chronicle online
version SF Gate. Editor
David Curran writes a piece titled, When American's
most famous actor went on trial for a San Francisco
cop's murder. https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/The-amazing-forgotten-trial-of-a-famed-actor-in-13721249.php
April 29, 2019. JWeekly. Laura Paull writes a
feature article on M. B. Curtis and his Bay Area life. She
also includes the story about Curtis and the Statue of
Liberty and his effect on the nation's culture and the
author's journey in discovering the story.
July 9, 2019. Berkeleyside.
Richard's article on the history of the 1868 Hayward
Fault Earthquake and suggestions to prepare for the next
article are published in this newspaper online.
July 9, 2019. SpliceToday,
an entertainment publication. Writer Kenneth
Silber wrote an article entitled Escape from Albania.
In it he reveals he has been reading The Man Who
Lit Lady Liberty and notes it was M. B. Curtis
who paid to light the Statue of Liberty right after it was
July 25, 2019. The Jewish
Ledger, Rodchester, New
York. The Ledger publishes
a column called Book Shelf
listed and The Man Who
Lit Lady Liberty as its
first pick for this summer.
August 21, 2019. Midwest
Review of Books. A review posted for the
paperback release on the site by historian and author
Barry Moreno at the Bob Hope Memorial Library at Ellis
Island, Statue of Liberty National Monument.
"In this outstanding new
biography of that remarkable immigrant thespian M.
B. Curtis, Richard Schwartz gives readers a lost
episode in the story of the Statue of Liberty and
her torch - that it was none other than Curtis
himself who helped pay for Miss Liberty's first
electric lighting bills in November 1886. This is
just one of the many absorbing episodes in this
biography of one of the most talented character
actors of his time."
Historian and author, Barry Moreno is with the Bob
Hope Memorial Library at Ellis Island, Statue of
Liberty National Monument
2019. "The Custer County Chronicle,"
Custer, South Dakota. Reporter Joshua
Najacht wrote a review of his reactions to
reading "The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty."
September 4, 2019. KRON
TV posts "Map: Here are the Bay Area's
most dangerous faults" online.
Phillippe Djegal interviews historian
Richard Schwartz in the Berkeley Hills about
the Hayward and Rogers Creek faults.
September 9, 2019. "Mathews
and Friends" Radio Show. ImpactRadio.com. Long time radio reporter, anchor,
editor, producer, director and host, Larry Mathews, hosts
his show, "Mathews and Friends"seven days a week on Impact
Radio USA at 8:00 am EST each morning, with new segments
debuting on each Monday. Larry will interview Richard
about the life and times of M. B. Curtis. Fast foward
to 22:18 on the minute counter.
September 9, 2019.
Monday. KRON, San Francisco Bay Area TV
Channel 4 .
Earthquake Special. KRON reporter Philippe
Djegal will be airing a special on local
earthquakes faults and interviewed Richard to
speak about faults, hazards and history
regarding this local topic. Airs 6am, 9am, 6pm
14, 2019. Saturday. KRON, San Francisco Bay Area TV Channel
4 . Local Earthquake Faults One-Hour Special. KRON
reporter Philippe Djegal will be airing a special on
local earthquakes and interviewed Richard to speak
about faults, hazards and history regarding this local
September 20, 2019 In
the December 2019 Edition of American
History Magazine writer Sarah Richardson
presented a piece on the new Statue of Liberty
Museum and highlighted "The Man Who Lit Lady
Liberty" for, as Sarah said, "describing
Curtis's role in the illumination, which adds a
nice twist to the story."