Sonoma Sun Event Calendar

Oakmont Sunday Symposium

Sunday April 23rd - 10:30am

The Oakmont Sunday Symposium provides a forum for speakers on diverse topics such as science, history, politics, culture and current events. Attendance is intended for Oakmont residents and their invited guests. Symposiums take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the East Recreation Center.

April 23 – “The Return of Chairman Mao to China,” Perry Ritenour

In China today, there is a growing sentiment for a return to the revolutionary ways of Chairman Mao Zedong, the communist leader from 1949-1976. Much of this traditionalist sentiment is spurred by the “have-nots” in Chinese society, who have not benefited from China’s astounding economic success. Where will this budding revolution go and how will Chinese leaders react to it? Another China revolution? What would the U.S. and Russia do in the event of a collapse of the Chinese state?

Perry Ritenour is a retired bank executive and adjunct college professor who specializes in Asian Studies.

April 30 – “Ellis Island: The Real Story of American Immigration,” George McKinney

Some 12 million immigrants came through Ellis Island, including many of our ancestors. These immigrants provided the workers for our industrial revolution and for the last of our expansion into the western U.S. How did they do it? How did a 19-year-old who had lived his or her life in Poland or Italy get to America? What happened when they got to Ellis Island? Did the immigration officers at Ellis Island really change people’s names?

This talk by George McKinney, coordinator for the Oakmont Genealogy Club, will focus on two people who immigrated from Poland/Lithuania/Russia to America in 1902. McKinney will be joined in this presentation by Elihu Smith and Marilyn Pahr, whose grandparents immigrated from Poland/Lithuania during this period.