Monthly Archives: December 2017

California History Timeline, December 29 to January 5

December 29

Stanislaus River.

Stanislaus River.

Ranchos in 1843
Rancheria del Rio Estanislao, a Mexican land grant, was deeded. The approximately 11 square mile ranch in Stanislaus County is near the site of the fortress Estanislao built during revolt of 1829.

Environment in 1856
Snow fell in San Francisco and accumulated to 2-3 inches.

Snow in San Francisco

Snow in San Francisco (1886)

San Francisco Symphony

San Francisco Symphony

Music in 1911 
San Francisco Symphony debuted, celebrating the city’s return to cultural life after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Today it is known for winning many awards and educational and community programs.

 

 

Flight in 1937 
Pan American Airways began flying from San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand.

Pan American's Sikorsky S-42B (1937).

Pan American’s Sikorsky S-42B (1937).

Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer

Pelzer in 1960
Dave Pelzer, author of A Child Called It (1995), was born in San Francisco.

 

 

 

Hubbard in 2008 
Freddie Hubbard, Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter, died in Los Angeles at age 70. He was known for playing bebop, hard bop and post-bop styles starting in the early 1960s. National Endowment for the Arts recognized him with a Jazz Masters Award.

December 30

Transportation in 1940
A section of Arroyo Seco Parkway, California’s first freeway, opened in Los Angeles in time for the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl. It ran from Avenue 40 to the Figueroa Street Viaduct at Avenue 22. 

Arenas in 1967
Great Western Forum, also known as the Fabulous Forum, opened in Inglewood. It was home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Kings and Sparks until all three teams moved to the Staples Center.

The Fabulous Forum.

The Fabulous Forum.

Swifty Lazar.

Swifty Lazar.

Lazar in 1993
Swifty Lazar, legendary Hollywood agent and dealmaker for movie stars and authors, died in Beverly Hills at age 86.

 

 

 

 

 

Epstein in 2000
Julius Epstein, Hollywood screenwriter, died in Los Angeles at age 91. He was best known for his work on the film “Casablanca” (1942), for which the writers won an Academy Award.

Barty in 2000 
Billy Barty, film and television actor, died in Glendale at age 76. He stood three feet, nine inches tall. His career spanned 50 years.

December 31

Margaret and Patrick Breen

Margaret and Patrick Breen

Overland trail in 1846
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “Last of the year. May we, with God’s help, spend the coming year better than the past, which we purpose to do if Almighty God will deliver us from our present dreadful situation, which is our prayer if the will of God sees it fitting for us. Amen.”

 

 

 

 

San Francisco in 1849
Some 80,000 people lived in San Francisco. Roughly 42,000 arrived overland, 35,000 came by sea and another 3,000 were sailors who abandoned their ships.

Abandoned ships in San Francisco (1849)

Abandoned ships in San Francisco (1849)

Gold Rush Kids This Week in Califonria HistoryGold Rush in 1852
The richest year of the Gold Rush ended, yielding some $81.3 million in gold.

 

 

Power in 1892
Electric power first lit Pomona and San Bernardino. Power from the hydroelectric plant in San Antonio Canyon traveled over 14 miles to Pomona and 29 miles to San Bernardino.

High-voltage transformers by George Westinghouse transmitted 10,000 volts from the plant to Pomona.

High-voltage transformers by George Westinghouse transmitted 10,000 volts from the plant to Pomona.

San Francisco fire horses.

San Francisco fire horses.

San Francisco in 1921
The last San Francisco fire horses were retired.

Prisons in 1934
Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, became a U.S. federal penitentiary.

"Frowning Alcatraz, Key of San Francisco" (1866)

“Frowning Alcatraz, Key of San Francisco” (1866)

Music in 1961 
Brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, cousin Mike Love and their friend Al Jardine performed for the first time as The Beach Boys. Their hit “Surfin” came out the same year.

Music in 1963 
Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir played music together for the first time. They later formed the nucleus of The Grateful Dead.

Great Seal of California.

Great Seal of California.

Population in 1965
California became the most populous state in the U.S.

Sports in 1967 
In the first NBA game at the Great Western Forum, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets, 147-118.

Sports in 1967 
The Oakland Raiders beat the Houston Oilers in the AFL championship game, 40-7.

Government in 1978
John McFall, 11-term California Democrat, resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives. He and two colleagues were reprimanded for questionable handling of money donated by South Korean businessman Tongsun Park.

Genentech.

Genentech.

Business in 1978
Peter Seeburg, UC San Francisco scientist who identified the DNA for human growth hormone, removed genetic material from the university. He had left UCSF to join Genentech and gave up rights to his materials, which UCSF patented. UCSF sued Genentech to protect their patent.

Blue and Gold Fleet ferry.

Blue and Gold Fleet ferry.

Ferries in 1981
The Blue and Gold Fleet ended ferry service between Berkeley and San Francisco due to low usage. Over five months, it averaged 169 passengers a day.

Steward in 1993
Samuel Steward, professor, novelist, sex historian and tattoo artist, died in Berkeley at age 83. He became the official tattoo artist of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.

this week in California history

this week in California history

Environment in 1996
The Merced River overflowed in a series of storms from December 31,1996 to January 5, 1997 that flooded Yosemite National Park. The weather pattern was called a Pineapple Express.

Yosemite Valley flooded in 1997

Intel logo (1968-2005).

Intel logo (1968-2005).

Business in 1997
Intel, in Santa Clara, reduced the price of a Pentium II-233 MHz chip from $401 to $268.

Environment in 2005
A powerful storm in Northern California caused mudslides and widespread flooding, snarling holiday traffic from Sonoma to Monterey.

Napa (2005).

Napa (2005).

Baker’s Dozen, an all-male choral group from Yale, assaulted in San Francisco (2006).

Baker’s Dozen, an all-male choral group from Yale, assaulted in San Francisco (2006).

Crime in 2006
Members of the Baker’s Dozen, an all-male choral group from Yale, were assaulted in San Francisco. Police were criticized for making no arrests.

Crime in 2007
Albert Collins died shielding his young daughter from gunfire in the San Francisco Sunnydale public housing project. He was the city’s 98th homicide victim that year.

Crime in 2007
Oakland police officers shot and killed Andrew Moppin-Buckskin after he ran from his car following a traffic stop. A federal judge tossed out a lawsuit filed by his family.

Crime in 2007
Murders in the Los Angeles Florence-Firestone neighborhood remained at 19, the same as in 2006 but down from 43 in 2005.

Los Angeles Florence-Firestone neighborhood.

Los Angeles Florence-Firestone neighborhood.

Crime in 2008
San Francisco ended the year with 98 homicides. There were 376 murders in Los Angeles in 2008, down from 400 in 2007.

Sports in 2010
San Francisco was chosen to host the next America’s Cup in 2013.

America's Cup (2013).

America’s Cup (2013).

January 1

Margaret and Patrick Breen

Margaret and Patrick Breen

Overland trail in 1846
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “We pray the God of mercy to deliver us from our present Calamity if it be his Holy will. Amen. Commenced snowing last night. Does not snow fast. Wind S.E. Sun peeps out at times. Provisions getting scant. Dug up a hide from under the snow yesterday for Milt. Did not take it yet.”

 

 

 

 

Stage coaches in 1854
James Birch began the California Stage Company. He started hauling with a ranch wagon around Sacramento in 1849. He dominated the stage coach business in California with routes across the Sierras and  a southern route from San Antonio, Texas to San Diego.

California Stage Company (1854).

California Stage Company (1854).

Railroads in 1857
Theodore  Judah published A Practical Plan for Building the Pacific Railroad, his guide to building the Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed in 1869.

Alfred A. Hart photograph of Chinese Central Pacific construction crews along the Humboldt Plains in Nevada.

Alfred A. Hart photograph of Chinese Central Pacific construction crews along the Humboldt Plains in Nevada.

Chinese laborers work on the Central Pacific Railroad around 1867. Photo: Underwood Archives, Getty Images

Chinese laborers work on the Central Pacific Railroad around 1867. Photo: Underwood Archives, Getty Images

Newspapers in 1867
California China Mail and Flying Dragon, printed in San Francisco in Chinese and English, advertised for Chinese emigrants to build the Western railroad. It also proposed an air transport system from New York to California. Frederick Marriott, the publisher, formed the Aerial Steam Navigation Company in 1866 and invented the term “aeroplane.”

Newspapers in 1867
There have been several newspapers called The Los Angeles Daily News, including one that debuted on New Year’s Day, 1867.

Los Angeles Daily News.

Los Angeles Daily News.

Parades in 1886
The first Tournament of Roses parade was a promotional event for the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena. Today millions of viewers around the world enjoy the Rose Parade on New Year’s morning.

Great California Cycleway in 1900. Courtesy Pasadena Museum of History.

Great California Cycleway in 1900. Courtesy Pasadena Museum of History.

Cycling in 1900
The California Cycleway opened. The elevated wooden bicycle tollway from Pasadena to Los Angeles ran through the Arroyo Seco. It was lit at night with electric lights.

Sports in 1902
The Tournament of Roses, which once advertised a race between a camel and an elephant, became the first “bowl” game. Today it is known as the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.

Tournament of Roses 1902

Tournament of Roses 1902

Lakeview #1 Gusher.

Lakeview #1 Gusher.

Accidents in 1909
Drilling began on Lakeview No. 1 oil well in Kern County. It struck oil on March 15, 1910 but the pressure in the oil pocket shot oil over a hundred feet into the air in an out-of-control gusher. It flowed for 18 months, peaking at 90,000 barrels a day.

Races in 1912
The first Bay to Breakers race was held in San Francisco. It began as a way to lift the city’s spirits after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. It has become a legendary moving party. 

Bay to Breakers.

Bay to Breakers.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

Environment in 1914
A Pacific coast storm swept away the entire Ocean Beach of San Francisco from the Cliff House to the life saving station.

 

 

Religion in 1923
Aimee Semple McPherson, evangelical founder of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, dedicated the Angelus Temple, a spiritual palace in Los Angeles.

Roy Riegels.

Roy Riegels.

Sports in 1929
Roy Riegels, playing for University of California, Berkeley, ran 60 yards toward the wrong end zone after recovering a fumble in the Rose Bowl.

Newsreels in 1948
The first color newsreel was filmed at the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena. 

Television in 1949 
KTTV-TV channel 11 in Los Angeles began broadcasting. The station’s first telecast was the Tournament of Roses Parade, which it aired every New Year’s Day until 1995.

Sports in 1961
The Houston Oilers beat the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFL championship game, 24-16.

Sports in 1969
Jack Kent Cooke, owner of the Los Angeeles Kings, fined players $100 for “NOT” arguing with the referee.

Eric Zelms.

Eric Zelms.

Crime in 1970
Eric Zelms, San Francisco police officer, was fatally shot when burglars surprised him and took control of his gun.

 

Romero in 1994
Cesar Romero, actor, singer, dancer, voice artist, and comedian who was active in film, radio and television for almost 60 years, died in Santa Monica at age 86. He played the Joker in the “Batman” television series. 

Government in 1998
A law went into effect banning smoking from all California bars, clubs and card rooms.

Walston in 2001 
Ray Walston, film and television actor died in Beverly Hills at age 86. He was best known in the television show “My Favorite Martian”.

Sports in 2004 
The University of Southern California defeated the University of Michigan in the Rose Bowl, 28-14.

Environment in 2004
A California ban on the gasoline additive MTBE went into effect. Ethanol became the new additive of choice, even though it could increase air pollution.

LGBT in 2005 
A law took effect giving gay couples who register as domestic partners in California nearly the same responsibilities and benefits as married spouses.

Robert Matsui.

Robert Matsui.

Matsui in 2005
Robert Matsui, 13-term California Democratic congressman, died at age 63. He and his family were taken from Sacramento and interned by the U.S. government at Tule Lake War Relocation Center. The Sacramento federal courthouse is named in his honor.

San Francisco Police Department.

San Francisco Police Department.

Crime in 2006
San Francisco police reported a decline in homicides to 85, down from 96 in 2005.

Business in 2007 
Minimum wage in San Francisco rose 3.6% to $9.14/hour following a 2003 requirement for annual cost of living adjustments.

Olsen in 2007
Tillie Olsen, San Francisco labor activist, writer and pioneer feminist, died at age 94. She won the O. Henry Award for best short story for “Tell me a Riddle” (1961).

Business in 2008 
Minimum wage in California rose .50 to $8.00/hour. 

Crime in 2009
A BART police officer shot and killed Oscar Grant during a brawl between young men at a BART Station. Witnesses said Grant was lying face down with his hands behind him when Officer Johannes Mehserle fired.

Oscar Grant, Jr.

Oscar Grant, Jr.

Business in 2012
The minimum wage in San Francisco rose 32 cents to $10.24 an hour.

Environment in 2013       
California began a cap-and-trade program for companies that emit greenhouse gases. It was the result of laws reducing greenhouse-gas pollution to 1990 levels by 2020.

Greenhouse Gas by Sector.

Greenhouse Gas by Sector.

Amazon Kindle.

Amazon Kindle.

Cronan in 2013  
Michael Cronan, graphic designer, died in Berkeley at age 62. He was best know for work on TiVo, the digital TV recorder, and Kindle, Amazon’s portable reading device.

 

 

 

 

 

Page in 2013  
Patti Page, a top singer of the 1950s, died in Encinitas at age 85. Her hits included “Tennessee Waltz” (1950) and “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window” (1953).

Accidents in 2007 
A Siberian tiger escaped its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo, killed Carlos Sousa and mauled two others. One victim was drunk and admitted to yelling and waving at the tiger while standing on the railing of the big cat enclosure.

Siberian tiger.

Siberian tiger.

January 2

Mustard field

Mustard field

Mexican American War in 1847
The Battle of Santa Clara, called the “Battle of the Mustard Stalks,” was fought near Mission Santa Clara de Asís. People stood on their housetops to watch the fighting. Four Mexicans and two Americans were injured and four Mexicans killed in two hours of fighting. Then a ceasefire was called.

Temperance in 1859
The Dashaway Association formed in San Francisco. The members who were sober volunteer San Francisco firemen encouraged others to “dash away from the intoxicating bowl.”

Accidents in 1863
The clipper ship “Noonday” struck a reef beyond the Farallone Islands and sank. The spot was later named Noonday Rock.

Noonday's recovered bell

Noonday’s recovered bell

Museums in 1921 
The De Young Museum opened. It is part of a complex of cultural institutions in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, including the Academy of Sciences and Japanese Tea Garden.

De Young Museum new building (2005).

De Young Museum new building (2005).

Sports in 1961
The Houston Oilers beat the Los Angeles Chargers in the first AFL championship game, 24 – 16.

Gas explosion in Bernal Heights (1963).

Gas explosion in Bernal Heights (1963).

Accidents in 1963        
A gas pipeline leak in Bernal Heights in San Francisco caused a blast that injured nine firefighters and led to the heart attack death of Battalion Chief Frank Lamey.

 

 

 

Powell in 1963       
Dick Powell, singer, actor, film producer, director and studio head, died in Brentwood at age 59.  Powell is best remembered as private detective Philip Marlowe in a series of films.

KBHK-TV.

KBHK-TV.

Television in 1968 
KBHK-TV channel 44 in San Francisco began broadcasting.

Sports in 1972 
The Dallas Cowboys beat the San Francisco ’49ers for the NFC championship, 14-3.

Music in 1978 
Rhino Records, of Los Angeles, released their first album “Wildmania.” It was produced for $500 and recorded partially at Dodger Stadium. 

Sports in 1982 
The San Diego Chargers beat the Miami Dolphins, 41-38 in 13:52 of overtime.

Omarr in 2003 
Sydney Omarr, astrologer to the stars, whose horoscopes appeared in more than 200 newspapers, died in Santa Monica at age 76. His “Sun Sign Horoscope” daily column appeared in some 200 newspapers. His annual forecast books for each sign of the zodiac sold over 50 million copies.

Sydney Omarr, natal chart.

Sydney Omarr, natal chart.

Great Seal of California.

Great Seal of California.

Environment in 2008     
California joined environmental groups and other states to legally challenge the Bush administration refusal to let states limit vehicle emissions of gases that contribute to global warming.

Newspapers in 2009   
AsianWeek, the San Francisco newspaper founded in 1979, published its final print edition. It planned to continue a digital presence at www.asianweek.com.

 

 

Francis in 2011   
Anne Francis, film and television star, died in Santa Barbara at age 80. She was best known for her role in “Forbidden Planet” (1956), a science fiction classic.

Fromer in 2013       
Jon Fromer, musician, activist and television producer, died in Mill Valley at age 67. He founded  Freedom Song Network, a coalition of musicians dedicated to promoting human rights.

Jon Fromer in concert.

Jon Fromer in concert.

January 3

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo

Cabrillo  in 1543
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, Portuguese explorer for Spain, died on San Miguel Island from complications of breaking a leg during a skirmish with Indians. He was the first European to navigate the California coast. He might have been searching for a trade route to China, the mythical Strait of Anián or Northwest Passage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploration in 1603
Sebastian Vizcaino named Ano Nuevo. The conquistador was searching for safe ports for Spanish galleons returning from the Philippines. He had explored New Spain, the Philippines, Baja and Alta California and Japan.

Elephant seal bulls at Año Nuevo State Park

Elephant seal bulls at Año Nuevo State Park

Overland trail in 1847
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “Mrs. Reid talks of crossing the mountains with her children. Provisions scarce.”

Essie Parrish holding sacred staffs with pendants.. She was the Yomta ("Song," a medicine woman's title) of the Kashaya Pomo. Her ceremonial dress is adorned with abalone pendants.


Essie Parrish holding sacred staffs with pendants.. She was the Yomta (“Song,” a medicine woman’s title) of the Kashaya Pomo. Her ceremonial dress is adorned with abalone pendants.

Rancherias in 1916
Stewarts Point Indian Rancheria was established. It is home to the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, near Fort Ross on the Sonoma coast.

Sports in 1971 
The Baltimore Colts beat the Oakland Raiders in the AFC championship game, 27-17.

Business in 1977
Apple Computer, Inc. incorporated. It became the first U.S. company to be valued at over $700 billion.

Apple Corp.

Apple Corp.

Environment in 1982
Heavy rainfall from January 3 to January 5, produced storm-related losses around $280 million.

Donnie Priest (1982).

Donnie Priest (1982).

Accidents in 1982  
A small plane crashed into White Mountain. Donnie Priest, age 10, the only survivor, was rescued 5 days later but lost both legs due to frostbite. His parents died in the crash.

 

 

 

 

Sports in 1991 
Wayne Gretzky, of the Los Angeles Kings and arguably the greatest hockey player, scored his 700th goal against the New York Islanders.

Literature in 2000   
The last new Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz ran in 26,000 newspapers.

Peanuts

Peanuts

January 4

Juan Bautista de Anza

Juan Bautista de Anza

Exploration in 1776
Juan Bautista de Anza, leading the first colonists to Alta California, reached Mission San Gabriel. They began in Mexico on October 1775. Spain’s goal was to block Russian territorial expansion from the north.  

Newspapers in 1849
The first newspaper in Yerba Buena, The California Star, became The Alta California. It started publishing weekly and became the first daily newspaper in California. Mark Twain wrote for it. The paper folded on June 2, 1891.

Alta California masthead

Restaurants in 1850
Jon-Ling reportedly opened a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. 

Flight in 1914
Lincoln Beachey, early aviation superstar, flew a record seven loop-the-loops in his biplane at an aerial show before a crowd of some 25,000 people in San Francisco. The event was filmed from a tethered balloon.

Crime in 1998 
Four residents of Vallejo were injured by a bomb disguised as a batch of holiday packages left on a front porch.

Business in 2001 
California state regulators approved raising electricity rates by an average 10% as state utilities stood near bankruptcy.

Business in 2006 
Intel, headquartered in Santa Clara, asked the Vietnamese government permission to build a chip plant worth $605 million in southern Ho Chi Minh City. Regulators approved the plans in February.

Garson in 2008 
Mort Garson, composer, arranger and electronic music pioneer, died in San Francisco at age 84. According to Allmusic, “Mort Garson boasts one of the most unique and outright bizarre resumés in popular music, spanning from easy listening to occult-influenced space-age electronic pop.” 

Benjamín Arellano Félix.

Benjamín Arellano Félix.

Crime in 2012 
Benjamín Arellano Félix, Mexican drug kingpin, pleaded guilty in San Diego to racketeering and conspiracy to launder money in exchange for a sentence of no more than 25 years. 

January 5

California Gold Rush.

California Gold Rush.

Gold Rush in 1848
U.S. President James Polk, in a message to Congress, confirmed that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.

Business in 1850
The California Exchange opened. It served a marketplace where raw gold and coins from around the world were in use.  

Bridges in 1933
San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge construction began from the Marin shore. The bridge cost $1.3 million less than the $35 million budgeted and completed ahead of schedule in April 1937.

Golden Gate Bridge construction

Government in 1933
Federal judge Harold Lauderback ordered the auction in San Francisco of 2,245 gallons of moonshine that had been seized in raids.

Scott in 1954
Walter Scott, Death Valley prospector, showman and con artist, died at age 82. Also known as Death Valley Scotty, he was made famous by scams involving gold mining and his Death Valley mansion, known as Scotty’s Castle. 

William Bonin.

William Bonin.

Crime in 1982 
William Bonin, truck driver, was convicted in Los Angeles of being the “freeway killer” who murdered 14 young men and boys.