It Happened Here – Local History iPhone App

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I did not know that the Greatful Dead first performed as the “Grateful Dead” at the San Jose Civic Auditorium not far from my house. I learned that little tidbit of information from a new app called It Happened Here (IHH). The crew at IHH offered me a free look at the app and this seemed like just the app for a history buff like me. They currently have content for 6 areas: Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.

The basic idea is that as you walk around a city on vacation or even in your home town you can learn the historical significance of spots that you might normally walk right past.

Not All Good News

I don’t know why but the very first time I zoomed in on the map I happened to center on an area where various serial killers made history. If you want to see fewer stories from a particular area such as crime you can set filters so that only the most famous, or in this case, notorious events are shown. The app categorizes events as Historical, Crime and Scandal, TV & Movies, Politics, Sports, Celebs, Music and Misc.

Some Data Issues

The data in the app appears to be mostly accurate but I have seen some issues. The app says that Clint Eastwood became Mayor within a few miles of me but he actually was mayor of Carmel which is an hour and half further south from San Jose.

The app costs $2.99 an is available for both iPhone and Android. I like the app. I can see that I will enjoy it next time I am walking around San Francisco. Walking Tour anyone?

Originally posted at Best Apps 4 Us – It Happened Here – Local History App

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “It Happened Here – Local History iPhone App”

Ken Dodelin


Thanks for the review, Chris, and glad you liked the app. We have corrected the GPS coordinates for the Hog’s Breath Inn — former headquarters of the Eastwood campaign. Thanks for pointing it out. We’re constantly adding and editing events and welcome any other suggestions you or your readers may have! – Ken

Casey Camilleri


I would love a free version that shows a few main hot spots in those cities so I got the feel of the app before I purchased. I love the idea!

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