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My current work is a multifaceted history of Pasadena.

This project started when the then head of children’s department asked me to put something together for when grade school children come to the library needing some information on the history of Pasadena.

Because I feel very strongly that history is a process to be explored, rather than facts regurtated, I conceptualized the work as a series of questions that would both teach some interesting facts about Pasadena, as well as give the students the skills to further explore topics that interest them on their own.

Since I am the local history librarian at Pasadena Public Library, I have spent the last 20 years or so researching Pasadena history, and one of the best primary resources we have at the library is a very good collection of Pasadena newspapers on microfilm. As I have researched I have found many interesting tidbits of Pasadea lore, and in my capacity as local history librarian, I have been responsible for putting those newspaper derived facts into our local history database, the Pasadena News Index, or PNI.

So it seemed to me that questions derived from the headlines of those same Pasadena newspapers would teach both the history of Pasadena, and give them experience in using primary sources to find out about the past.

Being somewhat obsessive, I rather quickly came up with 690 questions, which is way too many, to inflict upon anyone in grade school, so I decided to spin out the 690 question into a separate book.  I am also playing with the idea of turning the 690 questions into an online game or AP, which sorta combines trivia pursuit with some sim city like aspects.  The third part of the project will be the actual history of Pasadena book, entitled Pasadena: A Mystery and a History You Can Explore

The 690 pasadena trivia question book, creatively entitled Pasadena History Headline Quiz: 690 Pasadena History Trivia Questions Taken from Pasadena Newspaper Headlines is currently available at amazon.

Please feel free to email me at and if you live locally I can get you a copy to purchase (I'm thinking the cost will be about $10). I would also be delighted to put you on my mailing list.

Here is a sample couple of pages from the book.

For the answers, you can either follow the suggested search strategy provided in the PNI or you can buy the book.

The icons are visual categories for the questions

Thank you for reading this page.

Dan McLaughlin