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History Lessons Los Angeles

Explore the fascinating world of history with a wide range of classes available in Los Angeles. From ancient civilizations to modern events, learners can dive into various topics, expand their knowledge, and gain a deeper understanding of the past.

2 classes in-person in Los Angeles have spots left, and 5 classes live online are available.


El Camino College @ 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. And here’s why: The rules are simple. And while it’s easy for beginners to learn, it can quickly develop into a fast-paced, competitive game as players become more skilled.  Combining elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, pickleball is played with paddles and a plastic ball on a tennis court with a slightly modified net.  Once you play a game or two, you’ll...

Monday Mar 25th, 6–8pm Pacific Time

 (8 sessions)


8 sessions

Reiki Level 1 Training & Certification

Liberate Hollywood @ 13323 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA

Reiki first degree is focused on teaching a student everything they have to know about the art of Reiki. Here, you will be taught what Reiki really means and what it can do for you. It is the time where masters will give you an in-depth description about Reiki. This includes where it came from, how to give it, and the proper way of using it. After all the concepts are taught and your mental, emotional, and physical nature is thoroughly prepared,...

Saturday Jan 13th, 10am–6pm Pacific Time

 (2 sessions)


2 sessions

Reading the Iliad

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

The Iliad stands at the start of most histories of western literature, even as it remains enduringly strange—often, it seems, at odds with the very tradition it has been taken to inaugurate.  In our course, we will attempt to recapture some of the strangeness and some of the continuing relevance of the Iliad. We will closely read and discuss the entirety of the poem, with especial attention to the following themes: the...

Wednesday Jan 31st, 6:30–9:30pm Eastern Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

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Make Money Pet Sitting

Mt. San Antonio College

Discover how to turn your love for animals, especially dogs, into a profitable side gig. This course teaches you the ins and outs of pet sitting, from caring for animals to offering additional services like dog walking and grooming. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from a seasoned professional pet sitter and entrepreneur.

Friday Mar 1st, 4–6pm Pacific Time

Memoir 1: Memorable Memoir Workshop

Writing Pad

Turn your life's trials and tribulations into a captivating memoir with the guidance of Erika Schickel, LA Times bestselling author. Discover the secrets to infusing your memories with authenticity and creating a compelling emotional journey for your main character in this five-week online workshop. Unleash your writing potential and bring your story to life in this transformative course.

Saturday Jan 20th, 10am–1pm Pacific Time

 (5 sessions)


5 sessions

Samir Amin: Dependency, Development, and the Making of the Global South

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Uncover the roots of global inequality and the mechanisms that perpetuate it in this thought-provoking course, exploring the groundbreaking theories of Marxist economist Samir Amin. Gain insight into the formation of dependency, underdevelopment, and super-exploitation, as well as the contemporary social systems that shape our world today. Join us as we delve into the complex dynamics of wealth and power in a post-colonial era.

Sunday Feb 11th, 2–5pm Eastern Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing: An Introduction to Marx

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

In the mid-nineteenth century, a young Karl Marx wrote, in the form of a published open letter to Arnold Ruge: “But if the designing of the future and the proclamation of ready-made solutions for all time is not our affair, then we realize all the more clearly what we have to accomplish in the present—I am speaking of a ruthless criticism of everything existing, ruthless in two senses: The criticism must not be afraid of its own conclusions,...

Thursday Feb 1st, 6:30–9:30pm Eastern Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

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The Dark History of Los Angeles

Urban Elective @ 700 Jackson St, Los Angeles, CA

The Dark History of Los Angeles is a course consisting of murder and mayhem in Los Angeles from the 1850s to present day. You will learn about the city by bearing witness to its iconic, and lesser known, crimes. You will become acquainted with the devils and the angels who once called Los Angeles home. There are no prerequisites for the course—all you need to bring is your curiosity! Materials Fee n/a

No upcoming schedules

6 sessions

History of Hotels in America

Santa Monica College @ 1900 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA

NEW! The hotel industry in America began with simple New England country inns and taverns, progressed to grand hotels with the growth of major American cities, and culminated in the sophisticated boutique hotels of today.  As America grew, the need for accommodations for travelers spurred the development of the hospitality industry while advancing the popular architectural styles of the time.  Through lecture and slide illustration, explore...

No upcoming schedules

The Real History Of Hemp

Liberate Hollywood @ 6365 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Why did cannabis become illegal? What is nano-enhanced hemp oil and why is it legal in all 50 states?  Join Hemp Expert Veronica Kelly to find out about the hemp revolution! Hemp oil is changing the norm for health and wellness.

No upcoming schedules

From Sondheim to Hamilton: The History of Musicals

Urban Elective @ 13730 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA

History of Musicals is a class for anyone, from the Hamilfans to the rock dwellers who don’t even know their Do-Re-Mi’s. We will cover everything from operetta and vaudeville to the Disney Renaissance and what La La Land got wrong. There will be some lecture, but students should mostly expect an interactive environment with discussion, videos, instruments, and performances. “Now is the time to seize the day.” Materials Fee: N/A

No upcoming schedules

6 sessions

Reading The Runes

Liberate Hollywood @ 6365 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Runes are a divination tool dating back to the third to thirteenth century from the ancient Germanic peoples. They are an alphabet known as the Elder Futhark that are marked on rocks or wood, and are used to place in a spread or toss in a cast to read. This introduction class is a comprehensive overview of the history, mythology, and methods of reading runes. Handouts will be provided and a set of runes used as an example during the class. Feel...

No upcoming schedules

4 sessions

Pentagon Papers Reconnaissance

El Camino College @ 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA

The Pentagon Papers is one of the greatest works in the American language. In this "reconnaissance" of the work, concise and comprehensive, you will discover the so-called "secret history" of the Vietnam War. You will also learn "inside information" about how it was leaked to the nation and led to the downfall of the Nixon Administration. Please note: This class has a materials fee of $10 to be paid directly to the instructor at the time of the...

No upcoming schedules

Pearl Harbor Reconsidered

El Camino College @ 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA

Pearl Harbor provokes specific images and emotions in most Americans. Through recently declassified information, you can explore what was happening in Washington, Tokyo, and Oahu in the years, months, weeks, days, and minutes before the attack. What you discover in this course will surprise you and change your view of history. Optional $15 materials fee covers the cost of 100-page wire-bound text.

No upcoming schedules

5 sessions

The Age of Dinosaurs

Urban Elective @ 10543 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

The Mesozoic, or “Age of Dinosaurs”, was a fascinating span of 184 million years that was critical in determining how our present world came to be. This course will explore fundamental biological principles through the context of life in the Mesozoic, focused on the lives, evolution, and ecology of dinosaurs. We will also discuss some of the greatest revolutions in Earth’s history: the origins of mammals, the origins of flowering plants, and...

No upcoming schedules

6 sessions

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Discover the Best History Classes in Los Angeles

Where can the history buffs in Los Angeles go to learn more about their topic of choice? Almost anywhere. The City of Angeles is bursting with opportunities for its residents to learn more about the city and the vast swath of human history. It doesn’t matter whether the interested parties already know a fair bit about their topic of choice or are coming to the study of history as beginners. Historical experts throughout Los Angeles can connect with students in-person and online to teach them more about the topics that interest them the most.

Which of these Los Angeles history classes stand out from the rest? Take a gander at the list of some of the best-liked history courses in the area to learn more.

Why You Should Learn History in Los Angeles

Choosing to learn more about history in Los Angeles has a number of benefits. For starters, learning about history in-person or online allows Los Angeles residents to get to know one another. Los Angeles is a thriving city playing host to millions of people, not counting the travelers who come in and out of the area. History course participants can forge connections based on mutual interests that, in turn, can see relationships bloom and carry on outside of the classroom.

Moreover, learning about history can prove relaxing for interested parties. Anyone who gets to deep-dive into their personal interests can readily shed the stress of a busy day in favor of lessons on Alexander the Great or the Indus River Valley civilization. Even Los Angeles-oriented courses can leave students more appreciative of the city they live in.

Last but not least, learning about history can have professional benefits. Professionals who work in liberal arts-related fields can use the lessons they learn about different cultures and historical events as inspiration for future projects. Even professionals in more structured environments like accounting or business can use the lessons taught by history to avoid mistakes that might prove detrimental to their careers.

The study of history, in other words, has a myriad of benefits in today’s constantly-evolving environment. Students in Los Angeles who want to make the most of those benefits just need to find the right history course for them.

In-Person History Classes in Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ in-person history courses are hubs for history buffs looking for like-minded friends. Some of the best in-person history classes available in the City of Angels include the following:

From Sondheim to Hamilton: The History of Musicals, Urban Elective

Los Angeles is a Mecca for theater kids. Residents don’t have to have a pre-existing knowledge of theater, though, if they want to participate in courses like Urban Elective’s “From Sondheim to Hamilton: The History of Musicals.” While the title of the course speaks to fans of the latest Broadway hit, “Hamilton,” instructor Katie Hemming runs the gamut from operettas, including those she’s performed in, to Disney musicals. 

Hemmings runs her course out of the Bluebird Brasserie. Students participate in six weeks of classes, visiting the Bluebird Brasserie once a week for two hours. Those six weeks' classes cost $129. 

The Dark History of Los Angeles, Urban Elective

Urban Elective’s “The Dark History of Los Angeles” introduces students to the City of Angel’s less-savory history as it took place from the 1850s to today. Students do not have to have any pre-existing knowledge of the city’s dark history to participate in and enjoy this program. Likewise, the course does not require students to purchase any additional materials or even engage in any extracurricular work.

The course tends to run for six weeks at a time and most often takes place on Monday evenings. Students do have to pay a registration fee of $129 before they can participate in the program. Students who register for the program get to learn directly from instructor Joan Renner, author of the blog “Deranged L.A. Crimes,” and practiced historian. 

Urban Elective’s “The Dark History of Los Angeles” course takes place in person at Boomtown Brewery in Los Angeles. Interested parties can contact Urban Elective at [email protected] with any questions they may have about the course’s upcoming session.

Getty Center: Architecture Tour, Museum Hack

Not every in-person history course in Los Angeles needs to take place in a classroom. Several take place in the city itself, including within its museums. The Getty Center, for example, offers a range of historically-oriented art tours to curious-minded visitors. These tours include its Architecture Tour.

The Architecture Tour at the Getty Center comes free of charge to visitors. The tour runs every day once an hour, making it accessible to all parties curious about the building’s design. Parties interested in participating in the tour should arrive at the Information Desk 15 minutes prior to the start of the tour they want to join. 

These tours run for 45 minutes and are first come, first serve. Fortunately, the number of tours operating every day makes it easy for visitors to learn more about the Getty Center’s architecture, no matter when they arrive.

Virtual History Classes 

History buffs who can’t attend in-person lectures but do have access to a strong Internet connection can forgo in-person history courses in favor of virtual alternatives. Some of Los Angeles’ best history classes include the following:

Introduction to Trauma, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research’s “Introduction to Trauma” sounds like a psychological course. Instead, the course highlights how the interdisciplinary study of trauma has advanced over the past two decades. Instructor Loren Dent focuses on the cultural, political, and clinical interpretations of trauma and how those interpretations have impacted parties suffering from an altered mental condition.

Instructor Dent notes in the course syllabus that while students do not have to have a pre-existing understanding of trauma or even mental health history, students should be prepared to commit to an intense reading schedule. The authors students will touch on throughout this course include:

  • Jean Laplanche
  • Philip Bromberg
  • Ricardo Ainslie
  • Bessel Van Der Kolk
  • Ruth Leys

Participants must pay a course fee of $335 to participate in this four-week program. The course runs on Sundays from 2 PM EST to 5 PM EST. That said, students can participate in this program from anywhere in the world, including Los Angeles. The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research recommends that participants verify their Internet speed and Zoom accounts before registering for this program.

Los Angeles Uprisings, Crash Course Black American History

When in doubt, history buffs in Los Angeles and beyond can turn to CrashCourse for - what else? - a crash course on their chosen historical topic. CrashCourse offers a generalized history course free of charge on YouTube, but it also offers more specialized programs for curious minds.

Crash Course Black American History specifically offers Los Angeles-specific programs, including its Los Angeles Uprisings class. This class runs for less than 15 minutes and, unfortunately, does not allow students to interact with Clint Smith, the course’s instructor, directly. That said, students can dive into the video’s comments to exchange information about the course’s materials with their fellow viewers.

As mentioned, students do not have to pay a dime to access the Los Angeles Uprisings program or any other Crash Course history virtual lessons. Students can, however, visit the platform’s Patreon to access behind-the-scenes materials and additional history lessons.

Private Group History Classes in Los Angeles

Los Angeles also hosts a number of private group history classes, including the following:

Virtual Trivia: Name the Year

Los Angeles doesn’t offer so many private group history courses as it does offer opportunities for history-minded people to come together in small groups and quiz one another on specific areas of study. Los Angeles’ virtual trivia, including its Virtual Trivia: Name That Year, serves as an ideal conference in which the area’s history buffs can come together and compete for prizes based on their knowledge of each decade’s most notable historical events.

A Virtual Trivia: Name the Year session costs $360 for 15 participants. That said, the game’s host can entertain up to 200 participants for a cost of $10 for each participant over the initial 15. These sessions are available any day of the week, and hosts do not charge booking fees. That said, parties must cancel their event at least 30 days before their trivia night if they want a full refund. Cancellations after that 30-day period see the primary host charged 15 percent of the game night’s total cost.

Participants should come to their sessions with a Zoom account, a strong Internet connection, and a computer that can handle real-time audio and video. Interested parties can work with the game’s host to create specialized trivia categories that cater to a group’s specific interests. Customization costs an additional $150.

Virtual Trivia: 90s Cartoons

Virtual Trivia: 90s Cartoons operates similarly to Virtual Trivia: Name the Year. These history and pop culture-related sessions are ideal for students of history who appreciate the finer points of animation, not to mention pop culture trends and developments in the world of large corporations like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. 

These sessions cost $360 for 15 participants, though hosts can entertain up to 200 history buffs. Each invitee to take the total participant count above that original 15 will cost $10 to register. Private session hosts offer these trivia games any day of the week and in most environments, from office get-togethers to at-home game nights.

Virtual Dumpling Making

Food and history are intimately tied together. Anyone who wants to learn more about the history of certain food groups or even, in some cases, their own cultural history can participate in a range of private virtual food-making workshops. One such workshop offered through CourseHorse Experiences includes its Virtual Dumpling Making session. This session allows up to 500 people to learn about the vast cultural history of dumplings and how to make their favorites in their own homes.

There’s no one place where the dumpling came from, after all. Course participants can learn the difference between Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean dumplings, along with dumplings from other Asian countries. Registrants can request that CourseHorse’s hosts schedule their program for any day of the week.

CourseHorse recommends that students come prepared to physically create dumplings alongside the course’s instructors. The course specifically focuses on two kinds of dumplings: pork & celery and mushroom veggie. The ingredients participants need to purchase in advance include:

  • Flour
  • Oil
  • Black vinegar
  • Ground pork or ground beef
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Scallions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice wine
  • Honey
  • Sesame oil

The Virtual Dumpling Making workshop costs $395 for the first 10 participants, not including each participant’s individual ingredient cost. After that, incoming registrants may pay $20 to participate in the course.

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