Street in 1853
Street signs were authorized at San Francisco intersections.
Transportation in 1889
The Union Pacific Railroad Co. began direct, daily railroad service between Chicago and San Francisco.
Sterling in 1926
George Sterling, poet and critic, poisoned himself at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. His wife committed suicide by poison in 1918.
Politics in 1947
Members of the Screen Actors Guild had to swear they were not Communists if they wanted work in the film industry.
Sports in 1959
Willie McCovey, San Francisco Giants, won the National League Rookie of Year Award.
Jails in 1980
Contra Costa County opened a new $24.5 million jail in Martinez with single cells for 382 inmates.
Rolle in 1998
Esther Rolle, actress, died in Culver City at age 78. She won an Emmy award for her role in “Good Times” (1974-1979).
Business in 2008
Jerry Yang, co-founder and CEO of Yahoo in Sunnyvale, resigned as CEO but continued as “Chief Yahoo” and remained on the company’s board.
Protests in 2010
Some 300 students and employees at U.C. San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus protested a sixth tuition increase in four years. Tuition went up 8% the next day.
Protests in 2011
Police cleared the Occupy California camp in U.C. Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza. They arrested two protesters and removed about 20 tents.
Ranchos in 1840
Rancho Pismo was deeded. The 8,839-acre Mexican land grant encompassed modern Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Shell Beach and parts of Arroyo Grande.
Education in 1849
John and Amanda Pelton opened the first free public school in San Francisco.
Literature in 1865
Mark Twain’s short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was published in the New York Saturday Press.
Flight in 1913
Lincoln Beachey, flying over San Diego, performed the first airplane loop-the-loop.
Crime in 1921
The trial of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, actor, began. He was accused of accidentally killing Virginia Rappe at a party at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
Movies in 1928
Mickey Mouse premiered in “Steamboat Willie,” the first animated film with synchronized music and sound effects.
Transportation in 1936
Two sections of the main span of the Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco to Marin County, were joined.
Sports in 1966
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers award-winning pitcher, announced his retirement from baseball due to an arthritic left elbow.
Crime in 1978
California Congressman Leo Ryan and members of a delegation investigating Jim Jones Peoples Temple in Guyana were murdered. That was followed by murder and suicide at the temple compound in which 918 people died including 260 children.
Rizzoli in 1981
Achilles Rizzoli, artist born in Marin, died in San Francisco at age 85. His architectural drawings, many of imaginary worlds, were found after his death.
Sports in 2003
Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants, won a record sixth National League Most Valuable Player award.
Business in 2004
Genentech, in South San Francisco, announced Food and Drug Administration approval of Tarceva, an experimental lung cancer drug.
Government in 2009
California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office reported that the state would have a $20.7 billion deficit next year.
Crime in 2010
Police arrested George Djura Jakubec, from Serbia when they found explosives at his home in Escondido.
Churches in 2011
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County bought the bankrupt Protestant Crystal Cathedral megachurch for $57.5 million and renamed it Christ Cathedral.
Protests in 2011
U.C. Davis officers pepper-sprayed protesters as onlookers shrieked and screamed for them to stop.
Inventions in 1895
Jenny LaPlace of San Francisco patented a milk can cover. “My invention relates to improvements made in milk-cans used for the transportation of milk; and it has for its object, mainly, to provide perfect ventilation of the can, to exclude dust, flies, and insects, and at the same time prevent the contents from being thrown out.”
Baseball in 2001
Barry Bonds became the first baseball player to win four Most Valuable Player Awards.
Business in 2004
Intel Corporation, in Santa Clara, the world’s largest computer chip maker, announced it would spend $40 million to expand in the southern Indian city of Bangalore over the next two years.
Politics in 2007
Debra Bowen, California Secretary of State, sued Election Systems and Software for allegedly selling nearly 1,000 un-certified machines to San Francisco and other counties. Bowen sought reimbursements of nearly $15 million.
Crime in 2008
State and federal officials seized 5.2 million marijuana plants from public and private land during this year’s growing season. Half was grown in California.
Education in 2009
University of California tuition increased by 32% despite students protests.
Crime in 2009
Charles McCall, former McKesson Corporation Chairman, was convicted by a federal jury in San Francisco of inflating the revenues of HBO & Co., a medical software company, before McKesson bought it for $13.9 billion (1999).
Awards in 2009
Tech Awards, a Silicon Valley humanitarian program recognizing technological solutions aimed at worldwide challenges, honored five winners for their work in the environment, economic development, education, equality and health.
Business in 2009
Google unveiled its Chrome operating system.
Baseball in 2009
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants, won the Cy Young Award for a second consecutive season.
Environment in 2010
PG&E announced plans to buy homes and farms in Hinkley, a Mohave Desert town, endangered by chromium 6, a cancer-causing chemical in the groundwater. The legal case was dramatized in the film “Erin Brockovich” (2000).
Business in 2010
The Los Angeles Auto Show opened. Fiat, now associated with Chrysler, introduced the Fiat 500, with U.S. sales beginning in January.
Ranchos in 1784
Rancho Dominguez was deeded. The Spanish land grant covered 75,000 acres, including today’s entire Los Angeles harbor. This became the site of the first U.S. national aviation meet and later home to California State University Dominguez Hills.
Ranchos in 1784
Rancho de los Nietos was deeded. The Spanish land grant covered 300,000 acres, including today’s Anaheim, Long Beach, Fullerton, Norwalk, Seal Beach and Whittier.
Pirates in 1818
Hippolyte de Bouchard, the French-Argentine privateer, and his 200 men prepared to attack Monterey. He attacked Spain’s colonial capital of Alta California as part of the Argentine revolt against Spanish rule.
Overland trail in 1846
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, began keeping a diary: “Came to this place on the 31st of last month that it snowed. We went on to the pass, the snow so deep we were unable to find the road, when within 3 miles (4.8 km) of the summit, then turned back to this shanty on the Lake… We now have killed most part of our cattle, having to stay here until next spring & live on poor beef without bread or salt. It snowed during the space of eight days with little intermission, after our arrival here.”
Crime in 1880
Charles Bowles, English born gentleman bandit known as Black Bart, left poems at the scene of his crimes. He held up Wells Fargo stage coaches 28 times. The 15th was in Siskiyou County, a mile from the Oregon border.
Protests in 1969
Native Americans and their supporters seized Alcatraz Island in the name of “Indians of All Tribes.” They offered to buy the island for $24 in beads and cloth, demanded an American Indian University, museum and cultural center. The occupation lasted 19 months.
Sports in 1969
Willie McCovey, San Francisco Giants first baseman, won the National League Most Valuable Player award.
Sports in 1990
Rickey Henderson, Oakland A’s outfielder, won the American League Most Valuable Player award.
Sports in 1990
The Sacramento Kings won their last game on the road for over a year.
Environment in 1996
San Francisco posted signs along the waterfront warning fisherman of health hazards from fish caught in the Bay.
Crime in 2003
Phil Spector, record producer, was charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson at his home in Alhambra.
San Francisco in 2007
Large grocery stores in San Francisco stopped using plastic bags when a new city ordnance banning plastic bags took effect.
San Francisco in 2012
San Francisco Board of Supervisors let people build hundreds of 220-square-foot residential units. Up to 2 people could live in the tiny apartments.
Exploration in 1701
Father Eusebio Kino, map maker and first European to travel overland to California, reached the Colorado River. He proved California was not an island.
Overland Trail in 1846
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary that a group of men, “Stanton & his Indians” set out to cross the mountains and return with a rescue party.
Post offices in 1849
A U.S. post office opened in Monterey.
Communication in 1861
The last Pony Express rider reached San Francisco. The Pony Express ended soon after the Transcontinental Telegraph was completed.
Flight in 1921
The first mid-air refueling took place over Long Beach. Wesley May stepped from the wing of his Lincoln Standard biplane to the wing of a Curtiss JN-4 with a 5-gallon can of gasoline strapped to his back.
Parks in 1925
Lava Beds National Monument opened. The 46,000 acres in Siskiyou and Modoc Counties are known for lava fields, petroglyphs and as the site of the Modoc War (1872-1873).
Japanese American Internment in 1945
Manzanar Detention Camp closed. This detention camp in the Owen’s Valley was part of the mass imprisonment of some 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
Communication in 1969
The first permanent ARPANET link, which grew into the Internet, was made between UCLA and Stanford Research Institute.
Sports in 2001
A series of 100 foot waves rolled in at the Mavericks Invitational surfing competition. The yearly event is near Pillar Point Harbor, south of San Francisco.
Business in 2005
Intel Corp., in Santa Clara, and Micron Tech. announced plans to form a joint venture to make flash memory for removable storage and handheld devices.
Gold in 1842
Francisco Lopez found 20 ounces of gold while herding cattle on his niece’s ranch in Placerita Canyon, 35 miles north of the Pueblo de Los Angeles.
Overland trail in 1846
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary that it froze hard the previous night and there was “No account from those on the mountains.”
London in 1916
Jack London, one of America’s first literary superstars, died in Glen Ellen at the age of 40. He wrote some 20 novels, 200 short stories and 400 nonfiction articles but is best known for Call of the Wild (1903).
Flight in 1935
The China Clipper took off from Alameda bound for Manila, carrying 111,000 letters. It was the first trans-Pacific airmail service. Delivery took a week. The 25-ton plane with a 130 foot wingspan was the largest aircraft in the world.
King in 1943
Billie Jean King, legendary tennis player in the 1960’s and 70’s was born in Long Beach. She was an early advocate for gender equality in sports.
Howard in 1955
Shemp Howard, one of The Three Stooges, died in Hollywood at age 60. Howard also had a successful career as a solo comedian.
West in 1980
Mae West, actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol, died in Los Angeles at age 87. Her career spanned seven decades but she is best known for “She Done Him Wrong” (1933).
Sports in 1981
Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers quarterback, passed for 6 touchdowns vs Oakland, 55-21.
Flight in 1988
The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber prototype was revealed In Palmdale.
Film in 1995
Pixar, then headquartered in Point Richmond, released “Toy Story”, the first feature-length film created completely with computer-generated imagery.
Science in 2001
Stanford and U.C. San Francisco researchers reported a list of genes responsible for multiple schlerosis (MS).
Art in 2002
Cupid’s Span, by Claes Oldenburg and his wife Coosje van Bruggen, was set on the Embarcadero at the foot of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.
Exploration in 1542
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, returning to Mexico after exploring the coast, anchored at San Miguel La Posesion (called Catalina Island today). He planned to stay for the winter and repair his ships. But Tongva warriors attacked and while trying to rescue some of his men, Cabrillo stumbled and splintered his shin. The injury became infected. He developed gangrene and died on January 3, 1543.
Exploration in 1602
Sebastián Vizcaíno, explorer of New Spain, the Philippines, the California coast and Japan, changed Cabrillo’s name of the island, Victoria, to Santa Catalina in honor of one of his ships.
Exploration in 1819
Padre Joaquin Pasqual Nuez, who was traveling with Gabriel Moraga’s expedition to punish Amajabas Indians for killing Christian natives, named the mountain Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Cucamonga.
Overland trail in 1846
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “Same weather; wind W. The expedition across the mountains returned after an unsuccessful attempt.”
Crime in 1882
Charles Bowles, English born gentleman bandit known as Black Bart, left poems at the scene of his crimes. He held up Wells Fargo stage coaches 28 times. His 25th was five miles from Cloverdale in Sonoma County.
Inventions in 1889
The first jukebox began playing at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. Built by the Pacific Phonograph Company, it had tubes attached to an Edison phonograph inside an oak cabinet. Four coin-activated tubes operated individually, so four people could listen to the same song at the same time.
Flight in 1929
Universal Aviation Corporation began transcontinental service from New York to Los Angeles with an overnight stop in Kansas City. There passengers transferred to a Western Air Express flight the next day for the rest of the journey. The trip cost nearly $300 and took approximately 36 hours, including the Kansas City stop, to complete.
Sports in 1960
Frank Howard, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, was voted National League Rookie of Year.
Sports in 1962
Maury Wills, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop, was named National League Most Valuable Player.
Sports in 1991
The Sacramento Kings ended the NBA’s longest losing streak of 43 games on the road.
Sports in 2005
The 2nd Annual Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, with some 15,000 runners, raised $14 million to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Today it is the largest women’s marathon in the world.
Art in 2008
Brian Goggin unveiled his art installation, “Language of the Birds,” in San Francisco’s North Beach. The $120,000 effort involved hundreds of people.
Business in 2010
A U.S. federal jury in Oakland said SAP AG to pay Oracle Corp, in Redwood City,. $1.3 billion for copyright infringement. In 2011 A U.S. District Judge called the award excessive and reduced it to $272 million.
Serra in 1713
Junipero Serra, Spanish Roman Catholic missionary, was born on the island Palma de Mallorca.
Overland journey 1846
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “Fine in the morning. Towards evening, Cloudy & windy. Wind W. Looks like snow. Freezing hard.”
Post offices in 1908
A U.S. post office opened in Las Plumas. It’s in the Sierra foothills gold country, near the Feather River, close to where Dame Shirley wrote The Shirley Letters (1851-52). Las Plumas flooded when Lake Oroville, a reservoir, was created in 1967.
Prisons in 1927
National Guard troops battled 1,200 prisoners at Folsom State Prison following a Thanksgiving Day break out. Ten convicts and two guards died.
Flight in 1930
Ruth Rowland Nichols set a women’s transcontinental speed record flying from New York to California in a Lockheed-Vega. She beat Charles Lindbergh’s time. A friend of Amelia Earhart, Nichols held world records for speed, altitude and distance for a female pilot.
Literature in 1947
John Steinbeck’s novel, The Pearl, was published. Born in Salinas, Steinbeck wrote twenty-seven books, several of which take place in California.
Government in 1947
The Un-American Activities Committee found 10 California actors and directors in contempt because they refused to reveal whether they were Communists. They became known as the “Hollywood Ten.”
Business in 1949
Alexander and Justine Cushing opened the Squaw Valley Development Company. Their Lake Tahoe area ski resort began with a double chairlift and two rope tows.
Protests in 1964
The U.C. Berkeley Academic Senate defeated a motion supporting the Free Speech Movement on campus. Students insisted the administration lift the ban on political activities on campus and recognize their right to free speech and academic freedom.
Fires in 2007
A fast-moving wildfire destroyed 53 homes and spread through seven square miles in the hills above Malibu. Five men were charged with starting the fire which caused over $100 million in losses.
Government in 2010
Kamala Harris became the first woman, first African American and first Indian American in California to be elected as the state attorney general.