Don Jose Antonio Estudillo (1805-1852) was one of the most important representatives of the Mexican period in San Diego's history, that relatively short period of time between the Mexican Revolution of 1821, when Mexico declared its independence from Spain, and the American conquest of 1846, when California (and other areas in the southwest) became part of the United States. Estudillo served as alcalde (mayor), judge, and treasurer in Mexican San Diego, and then held office as county assessor after California became part of the United States, in the 1850s. Producer Peter Hamlin and historian Clare Crane discuss with their guests the contrast between the romance and the reality of life in Mexican-era San Diego, from the Mexican revolution of independence in 1821 to the American conquest of California in 1846, including such topics as the development of the ranchos and the cattle-hide trade; the effects of secularization of the Missions and the Indians; the Mexican War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; and the continuing significance of San Diego's Mexican heritage, illustrated in Old Town State Park and its Living History program, and the activities of the "Fronteras" organization. Troy Jordan discusses the career of Jose Antonio Estudillo, the importance of the Casa de Estudillo in Old Town, and the Living History program carried out at the Machado-Stewart House. Roberto Estudillo shares memories of his family and of the colorful fiestas in Mexican-era San Diego. Charles Hughes discusses his research on the hardships and primitive conditions of life in San Diego and on the Ranchos. Iris Engstrand describes the movement of Americans into California and the background of the Mexican War; and later, discusses the plans for continuing restoration in Old Town. Richard Griswold del Castillo discusses the Mexican War and the importance of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Lucy Killea comments on the significance of the boundary line separating Alta California from Baja California, and the activities of the "Fronteras" organization in developing programs for bicultural exchange and understanding. Roy Cook discusses the effect of American occupation on the Indians, the Garra Revolt of 1851, and the development of Indian reservations. Victor Magee describes population growth in San Diego as a result of the Gold Rush to California in 1849, and the effects of this growth. Names mentioned during the program include: José María de Echeandía, Juan Bandini, Richard Henry Dana, Archibald H. Gillespie, Stephen Watts Kearny, Hamilton Marston, Antonio Garra, Joshua Bean, José María Estudillo, Miguel de Pedrorena, and William Heath Davis, Jr.