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CREATED ON THE OCCASION of Pasadena’s centennial, this 90-minute documentary chronicles the development of Pasadena over a period of more than two centuries, from the time of Native American habitation to the late 20th century. In so doing it reveals how this unique American city rose to international prominence in the areas of science and technology, architecture and the arts, and sports and pageantry.

Highlights of Pasadena: A Heritage to Celebrate include the city’s founding by members of the California Colony of Indiana, the great resort era, the spectacular Mr. Lowe Railway, the Tournament of Roses parade and Rose Bowl classic, the Arts and Crafts movement, the Pasadena Community Playhouse, the emergence of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a world center for unmanned space exploration, and Pasadena’s post-World War II evolution into a pluralistic, multicultural community. Personal accounts of local history by 22 storytellers of diverse backgrounds are complemented by rare film footage and historical photographs, drawn from 64 sources across the United States.

Above all, Pasadena: A Heritage to Celebrate is a story of people—individuals and groups alike—and their impact on the development of the Pasadena area. People such as Walter Raymond, the enterprising hotel-owner who helped transform Pasadena from a small, citrus-growing village into a world-famous resort city; Charles and Henry Greene, the early 20th century architects who created some of the most celebrated residences in American architectural history; Dr. Edna Griffin, Pasadena’s first black woman doctor, who was one of the city’s greatest champions of equal opportunity; and George Ellery Hale, the distinguished astronomer whose vision was instrumental in establishing the Mt. Wilson Observatory, the California Institute of Technology, The Huntington Library, and Pasadena’s Civic Center complex.