New Palo Alto History Museum Announces 2017 Programs


Palo Alto, CA – The Palo Alto History Museum invites the public to three programs touching on the history of innovation in Palo Alto – in health, tech, and education. Scheduled from January through March 2017, they are free and open to the public.

“We’re taking the museum inside out,” says president Rich Green. Each program explores the innovative spirit of Palo Alto, with stories from the 1930s through the 1960s… and amazingly relevant today. Friday, January 13 is the first program, 5-7pm at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. The building PAMF started in will house the new Museum, set to open in 2018–in time for the city’s sesquicentennial.

The Historic Roth Building: From the Palo Alto Medical Clinic to the Palo Alto History Museum

Explore the history of medicine in Palo Alto as practiced at the visionary Palo Alto Medical Clinic. Drs. Tony Marzoni & Ben Maser will speak on the transformation of PAMC into today’s peninsula-wide PAMF, followed by Myron Freedman, Executive Director of the Palo Alto History Museum who will share our vision for the new Museum. With your support, the original 1932 Birge Clark-designed building will house our community’s first history museum, opening in 2018.

It was 1930. “When the Palo Alto Medical Clinic (PAMC) – the oldest of the three historic physician groups affiliated with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) – formed, the idea of doctors working together was so revolutionary that some thought it to be anticompetitive–even communist. PAMC was not only one of the first physician groups in the country, but also one of the first in the region to offer a specialist in obstetrics and surgery, and a pediatrician who also happened to be one of Palo Alto’s first female physicians.” (

“As Palo Alto and Stanford University grew, so did PAMC. The group soon developed a synergistic relationship with Stanford, helping to teach its medical students and recruiting many of its new physicians from among the Stanford -more- New Palo Alto History Museum Announces 2017 Programs Page 2 graduates. PAMC also played a key role in bringing Stanford Medical School, originally located in San Francisco, to Palo Alto in 1960.

“By the 1970s, however, factors such as the growth of managed care and the rising cost for incoming doctors to buy into the partnership were threatening PAMC’s future well-being. To solve the problem, the for-profit physician group decided to create a not-for-profit foundation that would control its operations and assets. In 1981, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation was formed and a period of dynamic change began, including the opening of a second clinic, the Fremont Center, in 1984 and the addition of an outpatient surgery center in 1986.

“In 1993, PAMF became a Sutter Health affiliate and continued to grow. Work soon began on a new medical campus, and in 1999, the 305,000-square-foot PAMF Palo Alto Center opened to patients. On the eve of the physician group merger, PAMC had grown to include more than 380 doctors caring for patients at 15 locations…” including Castro Valley, Dublin, Fremont, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos and Sunnyvale.

Refreshments will be served. Space is limited. This free educational program is presented by the Palo Alto History Museum in conjunction with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.


Date and Location TBD

The Garage: From Humble Beginnings to Global Impact

The humble one-car garage at 367 Addison Avenue known world-wide as the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley” belongs to the 1905 home of Palo Alto’s first mayor, Dr. John Spencer, and his family. After his death, it was divided into two separate apartments with Mrs. Spencer living in the second floor apartment. In 1938, newly married Dave and Lucile Packard moved into the first floor, three-room apartment, with Dave’s bachelor business partner Bill Hewlett sleeping in the shed.

Encouraged by Stanford engineering professor, Frederick Terman, Hewlett and Packard formed their partnership with $538 in capital. A coin toss determined the company name. Their first product, built in the garage, was the HP200A. Early customer Walt Disney Studios purchased eight of the audio oscillators to test and certify the sound systems in theaters that were going to run the first major film released in stereophonic sound, Fantasia. The rest, as they say, is history. The HP Garage is now a private museum noted as the place where Hewlett-Packard (HP) was founded.


Date and Location TBD

“Lesson Plan: the Story of the Third Wave – a Daring Social Experiment in Palo Alto”

Fascism in Palo Alto? It happened here, 50 years ago this April. Join the filmmakers, one of whom was a student in the class as they discuss this film, in its first screening in Palo Alto.

Cubberley High School, 1967. Seeking a meaningful way to teach his history students how the German people could accept the actions of the Nazi regime during WWII, teacher Ron Jones created “The Third Wave.” It was an experimental social movement created to demonstrate the appeal of fascism, and aimed at eliminating democracy, with its emphasis on individuality. This was emphasized in the fake movement’s motto: “Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride.” New Palo Alto History Museum Announces 2017 Programs Page 3 Over the course of five days, Jones conducted a series of exercises in his classroom emphasizing discipline and community, intended to model certain characteristics of the Nazi movement. Going viral, the movement quickly grew outside his classroom.

Seeing that it had spiraled out of control, Jones convinced the students to attend a rally where he claimed the announcement of a Third Wave presidential candidate would be televised. Upon their arrival, the students were presented with a blank channel. Jones told his students that the true nature of the movement was an experiment in fascism, and presented them with a short film discussing the actions of Nazi Germany.

A conversation following the showing will explore these themes, then and now.

Innovation has been Palo Alto’s mantra from its very start. Join us for these unique programs that explore and celebrate our cutting-edge history and its continuing impact today, from health to tech to education. Each is free and open to the public. For details, sign up for email notices at

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