Haggin-owned paintings are part of 90’s pop culture.
The Haggin Museum’s Looking Up The Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt has made numerous cameos in movies and television. It could once be seen behind Matthew Perry’s character, Chandler Bing, in the popular American sitcom Friends, a show that aired on the NBC network from 1994 to 2004. The painting was also part of the set for the 1993 political comedy film Dave, starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, and Frank Langella. One reason this painting has been featured in several motion picture sets is because the Haggin Museum loaned it to the White House, per their request, during President Ronald Reagan’s first term in office. While there, it hung in the Roosevelt Room leading to several television shows and motions pictures using it to recreate sets that included the White House.
Quick Fact: See if you can spot the William-Adolphe Bourguereau painting, Nymphaeum, in the 1999 American steampunk western action comedy Wild Wild West, starring Will Smith, Kevin Kline and Salma Hayek.
Stockton High School students donated nearly 300 Jeeps to the troops in WWII.
One of the most inspiring stories from Stockton’s history is that of Willy the Jeep. The students of Stockton High School purchased 275 Jeeps, at $900 each, during World War II in support of the war effort. This amounted to nearly $250,000 in the 1940’s and would equate to nearly $3 million in today’s economy. Each Jeep was fitted with a special plaque, stating the Jeep’s origin and that it was donated by students of Stockton High School. Decades later, one of these special Jeeps – Willy - found its way back to Stockton and is now on display in the Haggin’s history galleries. Willy the Jeep was made an honorary member of the American Legion and awarded an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, the first such distinction for an inanimate object.
Quick Fact: Willy also had a role in an historical dramatic short film titled Day of Independence. The film is set in a Japanese American internment camp during the World War II and it explores one family’s experience. Watch the film and let us know if you can see the Haggin Museum’s past CEO, Tod Ruhstaller as an extra driving Willy the Jeep!