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Our Mission: History inspires imagination, stimulates thought and transforms society.

The Los Altos History Museum preserves and shares our local history to enrich our community and to shape a more informed future.

Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends

valley On exhibit through April 19, 2015

Silicon Valley: The Lure and the Legends answers the question, "Why here?" What was it that led the Valley of Heart's Delight from orchards to oscillators? And who were the visionaries and risk takers who made it happen?

Tech reporter Mike Cassidy says "Identifying the heart of Silicon Valley is the subject of an old, but enduring, argument." Is it Palo Alto? Cupertino? Mountain View? Santa Clara? San Jose? How about Los Altos?"  He asks. "The town is making a strong case... exploring the reasons for Silicon Valley's rise and detailing the lives of the innovators and entrepreneurs who helped build it into the technology capital of the world."

This is the story of the "who" and "why" behind the "what." Displays highlight the ingredients in the recipe for Silicon Valley: Stanford University, the role of the military and federal government, corporate culture, climate and the venture capital community, and focuses on the local factors and folks contributing to this very special place.

The exhibit includes

And much more

Related public programs will feature Stanford University President John Hennessy, former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry; Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and academician Steve Blank; Scott Summit, founder of a company that creates individualized artificial limbs; a panel discussion of Silicon Valley luminaries, and a Family Day/Young Minds at the Museum – a day of family fun that will include 3-D printer demonstrations and The Tech Museum Social Robots.



Saturday, March 14, 2015 - noon-4pm
Family Day/Young Minds@the Museum
3-D printer demonstrations by the Los Altos Library, drones and Social Robots from the Tech Museum, and activities by RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers) -- and more!
"Advice for the Young Entrepreneur" - at 3pm, join us for a special interview with a third-generation CEO. Age 10, she already has two companies under her belt and will be interviewed by her grandmother, who is a well-known local CEO.
Los Altos History Museum.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 7pm
Film Night
Special showing of the original film, "The Lure and the Legends."
Los Altos Stage Company. Museum open 5:30-7 pm.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 7pm
"The Secret History of Silicon Valley"
Steve Blank, entrepreneur and Stanford School of Engineering consulting associate professor. View his lecture at Secret History. Says one guest, a tech worker here for 35 years: "I learned a lot from this fascinating lecture on the formerly secret military background to Silicon Valley. Highly recommended!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 7pm
"Beyond the Big Screen: 3D Technology"
Scott Summit, founder of Bespoke Innovations and senior director of design at Perceptual Device+ Design Group, 3D Systems speaks on how 3-d printing works, and its potential to change the world. Already, it's allowing amazing things to be done, from supplying space missions to printing houses to restoring the dignity and self-confidence of young girls having to wear braces for scoliosis.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 7pm
"Symbiotic Superstars: The Stanford-Silicon Valley Connection"
Stanford University President John Hennessy and Leslie Berlin, author and project historian of the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford discuss the University's role in Silicon Valley, past and present. View it here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 7pm
"Silicon Valley Stories"
Panel discussion on Silicon Valley visionaries and risk takers moderated by Mike Cassidy, BloomReach storyteller and former San Jose Mercury News business columnist. Panelists: Michael S. Malone, author, historian and TV host; Chuck Geschke, Adobe Systems co-founder and board chairman; Donna Dubinsky, Numenta CEO, co-founder of Handspring and former CEO of Palm, and Sandra Kurtzig, founder of Ask Computer Systems and Kenandy, Inc. View it here.