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Monday, Nov 11 2013 10:10 AM

'First Look': Historian recalls Veterans Day through the years

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    Bakersfield High School teacher Ken Hooper, left, talks with Californian Editorial Page Editor Robert Price about Veterans Day observances through the years on "First Look with Scott Cox."

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Armed with posters created by his Bakersfield High School students, historian Ken Hooper on Monday shared how Veterans Day has been marked through the years in Kern County.

It started with the end of World War I, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Hooper said. The Bakersfield Californian in 1918 described an instant parade in the city. About 5,000 people showed up for it -- at a time about 10,000 people lived in Bakersfield.

Hooper, who is also the historian for the Kern Veterans Memorial Foundation, shared newspaper pages through the century on "First Look with Scott Cox."

Those pages from the past 100 years will be on display at 7 p.m. Monday at the Cal State Bakersfield basketball game against UC Merced. The game will include a tribute to veterans, Hooper said.

Hooper teaches an archiving class at BHS, and his students learn a lot about veterans.

"You are an amazing guy," Californian Editorial Page Editor Robert Price said of Hooper for the research he has contributed on veterans.

Hooper said his students "pick up more history than they expect." They conduct research on veterans, and also meet and interview many in person through a local oral history project. Some of his past students now serve in the military and have come by to talk with his current students.

Veterans in Kern County have done amazing things, Hooper said, and "they were everywhere."


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