History society presents ‘The Great Debate’
The City of Banning pays tribute to its namesake every year with a festival in December, when they honor Gen. Phineas Banning, the man for whom the city was so named, at the annual Phineas Festival downtown. A century after its incorporation, the San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society will host what it is billing as, “The Great Debate: Should the City of Banning been named Banning?” “The Great Debate” will be held Saturday, Feb. 22, starting at 11 a.m. at the Banning campus of Mt. San Jacinto College.
Defending Banning’s affiliation to the city’s heritage will be local historians Mike Rose, who is a counselor at the college, and history writer and Banning Public Library archivist Bill Bell, who believe that the city was aptly named in honor of its hero. Their opponents will be San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society president David Heiss, who is a Record Gazette reporter; and Michael Sanborn, director of the Banning Museum — Banning’s former estate — in Wilmington, closer to the Wilmington and San Pedro areas that Phineas Banning was instrumental in developing as cities. The event is free.
The event is free. The San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society strives to encourage interest in local history, and meets the second Thursday evening of each month at 7 p.m. at the Beaumont Woman’s Club, where it maintains a local history museum. For more information, contact David Heiss at (951) 849-4586, x26.