An exhibition this fall at Fresno State’s Henry Madden Library will highlight more than 100 San Joaquin Valley “firsts” that illustrate the region’s pivotal role as a source of new ideas — many of which had a global impact. The ValleyFirsts! exhibition opens Sept. 14 through Dec. 15 in the Leon S. Peters Ellipse Gallery on the second floor of the Madden Library (north wing).

Did you know?

  • The first human-powered flight in world history took place over the Valley
  • The first modern credit card owes its existence to the Valley
  • America’s first Nobel laureate in science grew up in the Valley
  • Two Valley natives earned five Olympic gold medals each

These achievements and many others featuring discovery, innovation and exploration in technology, agriculture, energy, industry, aviation, sports and the arts will be featured in this celebration of Valley history. Historic artifacts, documents, films and photographs will be on display for the first time ever to illustrate the Valley’s influence on California, the United States and the world.

The ValleyFirsts! exhibition is free to attend and will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 2 to 10 p.m. Sundays. The library is closed Nov. 11 (Veterans Day) and Nov. 28-30 (Thanksgiving). Parking is free on weekends. For information on weekday parking regulations, visit Daily Permits.

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions may call 559.278.5790 in advance of this event. For more information, call or email Sharon Ramirez at

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