Gaspar de Portolá, exploring for the Spanish King, named the Santa Monica Mountains. It was his second attempt to find Monterey Bay and establish a colony. With him marched Lt. Pedro Fages, twelve Catalonian volunteers, seven leather-jacket soldiers, five Baja California Indians, two muleteers, and Father Crespi serving as the expedition’s chaplain.
Fires in 1850
A fire that started in a San Francisco saloon burned 300 buildings and caused $4,000,000 in damage. One person died in the fire and several were wounded by firearms that discharged from the heat.
Fires in 1851
Sydney Ducks, a gang of Australian ex-convicts, set fire to a store on San Francisco’s Portsmouth Square. It was the fifth fire in 18 months. Two thousand buildings burned. The loss was estimated $12,000,000. Since there was no police force, the Committee of Vigilance formed, hung some criminals and drove others from the city.
Cities in 1852
Oakland incorporated. The town was within a vast oak grove. Today Oakland is continually listed among the top U.S. cities for sustainability practices. It ranks at the top for using electricity from renewable resources.
Business in 1911
Police Chief Seymour ordered owners of brothels at 633 Jackson and 719 Commercial Street in San Francisco to charge prostitutes no more than $2 per day. They had been charging the women $5 per day.
Radio in 1922
KNX-AM in Los Angeles began transmissions. It had begun as a five-watt amateur station, 6ADZ, in 1920. Today it is an “All News, All the Time” CBS station.
Hollywood in 1927
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences incorporated in Los Angeles. Today its some 5,765 members vote for winners of Oscars.
Sports in 1928
The Trans-American footrace began at Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles. It ended at Madison Square Garden in New York City, some 3,423 miles. Fifty-five of the 199 runners completed the 84-days run. Newspapers nicknamed it the Bunion Derby. It was repeated in 1929.
Prison in 1946
U.S. Marines from Treasure Island Naval Base stopped a two-day riot at Alcatraz federal prison in which five people were killed.
Music in 1959
The first Grammy Awards for musical excellence were held in Los Angeles and New York.
Sports in 1965
Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants outfielder, hit his 512th home run, breaking Mel Ott’s 511 National League record.
Politics in 1992
Bill Clinton, Democratic presidential candidate, toured riot-torn Los Angeles streets and blamed it on what he called 12 years of Republican neglect.
Crime in 1998
A federal judge in Sacramento sentenced Theodore Kaczynski, known as the “Unabomber,” to four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepted a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty.
Babbitt in 1999
Manuel Babbitt, a 50-year-old Vietnam veteran, was executed at San Quentin Federal Prison for murdering an elderly woman in Sacramento. He refused his last meal but asked that the $50 allotted be given to homeless Vietnam veterans. Babbitt was buried with full military honors in Massachusetts.
Environment in 2009
California Water Resources Control Board released a study that said only 21 of 152 lakes studied were free of mercury and other contaminants. One hundred and thirty-one lakes showed pollutants above state health guidelines.
DeLuise in 2009
Dom DeLuise, film and television actor, died at age 75 in Santa Monica. His passion for food lead to a second career as a popular chef and cookbook author.
Hollywood in 2010
Julia Louis-Dreyfus received the 2,407th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her name was misspelled on her star before it was corrected.
Crime in 2011
Louis Lombardi, a 38-year-old San Ramon police officer, was arrested for theft of confiscated drugs. He pleaded guilty to selling drugs with his commanding officer, stealing jewelry and cash from crime scenes and possessing stolen guns.
Business in 2011
Intel, in Santa Clara, unveiled the Ivy Bridge processor made with a 3-D manufacturing technique that increased chip performance as much as 37% while using less power.
Murphy in 2011
Mary Murphy, film actress, died at age 80 in Beverly Hills. She played a wholesome small-town girl opposite Marlon Brando in “The Wild One” (1953).
Crime in 2012
Federal agents in southern California arrested Michael Franks, age 29, suspected in 10 bank robberies. He was dubbed the “Snowboarder Bandit” for wearing snowboarder clothes.
Accidents in 2013
A limousine caught fire on the San Mateo Bridge over San Francisco Bay. The driver and four women in a bridal party escaped. Five others died in the fire, including the bride.
Exploration in 1602
Sebastián Vizcaíno, explorer for the Spanish king, sailed from Acapulco to explore the California coast. He sought safe harbors for Spanish ships returning from the Philippines.
Labor in 1907
Streetcar workers in the Carmen’s Union, demanding a $3 per day for an 8-hour day, went on strike in San Francisco. Patrick Calhoun, president of the United Railroads, hired James Farley to break the union. Thirty-one people died from shootings and streetcar accidents and 1100 were injured.
Movies in 1934
Columbia Pictures, of Los Angeles, released the first Three Stooges short film, “Woman Haters.” They made some 190 shorts by 1959.
Television in 1949
KGO-TV channel 7 in San Francisco began broadcasting. It is the Bay Area’s second-oldest television station, behind KPIX channel 5.
Sports in 1956
Jim Bailey ran a mile record, 3:58.6, before a crowd of 38,500 people at the Los Angeles Coliseum. He became the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes on American soil.
Sports in 1962
Bo Belinsky, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, no-hit the Baltimore Orioles, 2-0. That made him an instant celebrity as a rookie with the original Los Angeles Angels.
Sports in 1966
Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants outfielder, hit his 512th home run.
Sports in 1969
The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 23rd NBA Championship, 4 games to 3.
Sports in 1975
The Oakland A’s released Herb Washington. The pinch runner played 104 games without batting, pitching or fielding but stole 30 bases, scoring 33 runs.
Fires in 2004
Some 3,000 firefighters battled wildfires in Southern California. Affected areas ranged from Santa Barbara to San Diego Counties. Many of the communities were still devastated from autumn fires.
Butler in 2005
June MacCloy Butler, singer and film actress, died at age 95 in Sonoma. Her last major role was in “Go West” (1940), starring the Marx Brothers.
Accidents in 2008
A spill of toluene, a toxic chemical, in Richmond killed some 200-300 fish in an irrigation canal. The spill was the result of the theft of valves on holding tanks. Damages from the theft of the brass worth $10 totalled some $250,000.
Government in 2009
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the time was right to debate legalizing marijuana for recreational use in California.
Fires in 2009
The Jesusita Fire began in the Santa Barbara hills. It destroyed 80 homes, damaged 15 more and burned 8,733 acres before being contained. Officials charged two men with misdemeanors for allegedly sparking the fire.
Music in 1965
The Grateful Dead, then known as the Warlocks, played their first show at Magoo’s Pizza in Menlo Park.
Ranchos in 1834
Rancho Milpitas was deeded. The name comes from the Nahuatl word for maize and could be translated “little cornfields.” It covered 4,458-acres in today’s Santa Clara County.
Business in 1850
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce began. Today it represents some 1,500 member business organizations and their 200,000 employees.
Clubs in 1860
The Olympic Club in San Francisco was organized as an gymnastic club by the Lafayette Hook and Ladder Company. Today it is the oldest athletic club in the U.S. and hosted U.S. Golf Opens in 1955, 1966, 1987, 1998 and 2012.
Race relations in 1882
The Chinese Exclusion Act passed. It ended all immigration of Chinese laborers. Chinese immigrants worked in the Gold Rush and built railroads but racial prejudice only grew over time. The Act was repealed in 1943.
Parks in 1907
President Theodore Roosevelt declared Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone as U.S. National Monuments. Today the area is Lassen Volcanic National Park. The peak is the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southern-most volcano in the Cascade Range.
Hollywood in 1941
Bob Hope led a group of celebrities in his first USO show at March Field, near Riverside. His shows included comedians, singers, actors and actresses who gave their time and talent to troops and families around the world.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
Fresno, Merced and Sacramento Assembly Centers opened. They were part of the forced detention of approximately 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Assembly centers were used to securely move people to the ten internment prisons.
Sports in 1974
Paul Lindblad, Oakland A’s pitcher, made a wild throw in first inning of a 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. That ended his record streak of 385 consecutive errorless games.
Ranchos in 1846
Rancho Boca de la Playa was deeded. Its name means ‘mouth of the beach.’ It covered 6,607 acres in today’s Orange County, along the coast from present day San Juan Capistrano to San Clemente. The Pablo Pryor Adobe Hide House is among the oldest standing adobe dwellings in California.
Airports in 1927
San Francisco Municipal Airport, Mills Field, was dedicated. It had a 13-by-14-foot public waiting room, a lunchroom, and sleeping quarters. To get there, cars crossed a one-lane bridge over the canal running along the unpaved Bayshore Highway.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
Pinedale and Pomona Assembly Centers opened. One was built on a former mill workers housing area. The other was on the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. Both were part of the forced detention of approximately 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Assembly centers were used to securely move people to the ten internment prisons.
Crime in 1947
Nick DeJohn, a Chicago Mafia gangster, was strangled and his body stuffed into the trunk of a car in San Francisco. He had reportedly fled Chicago after murdering several other gang members and was living in Santa Rosa under an alias.
Crime in 1954
A San Francisco jury decided that Harold Jackson and Joseph Lear should be executed for kidnapping Leonard Moskowitz. Their sentences were later changed to life in prison and both men died in San Quentin.
Shark attacks in 1959
Albert Kogler, San Francisco State College student, died following a shark attack while swimming off Baker Beach. Shirley O’Neill, also a San Francisco State College student, pulled her friend to the beach.
Sports in 1959
At “Roy Campanella Night” at the Los Angeles Coliseum, 93,103 fans watched Sandy Koufax, Dodgers’ pitcher, beat the New York Yankees, 6-2. Baseball’s biggest crowd was for an exhibition game.
Sports in 1960
Norm Sherry, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher, hit a home run to win the game against the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-2, for his brother Larry Sherry, Dodgers pitcher.
Accidents in 1964
Pacific Air Lines Flight 773 crashed near San Ramon, killing all 44 aboard. The FBI later reported that a cockpit recorder tape indicated the pilot and co-pilot were shot by a suicidal passenger.
Sports in 1982
The Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles. The team returned to Oakland in 1995.
Weather in 1987
Temperature reached 105°F in Sacramento.
Electricity in 2001
California electricity grid operators ordered statewide rolling power blackouts to ease power shortages.
Philanthropy in 2002
David Geffen, co-founder of DreamWorks, donated $200 million to the UCLA School of Medicine. This was the largest donation to a medical school in the U.S.
Sports in 2009
Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodger’s star outfielder, was suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games for using HCG, a banned drug.
Education in 2009
University of California regents voted 17-4 to raise tuition by 9.3%, the 6th increase in 7 years.
Furia in 2009
John Furia Jr., prolific screen and television writer, died at age 79 in Los Angeles. His work included popular TV series, like “The Twilight Zone” (1959-1964), “Bonanza” (1959-1973), “Hawaii Five-O” (1968-1980) and “The Waltons” (1971-1981).
Accidents in 2010
Dan Benavides, a 39-year-old CHP officer, was killed when his patrol plane went down near Highway 78 in Imperial County.
Estanislao Rebellion in 1829
Mexican soldiers battled hundreds of Cosumnes warriors who fled Bay Area missions. The Indians, lead by a man called Estasnislao in the greatest uprising of the mission period, had built a natural fortification in a bend of today’s Stanislaus River and repeatedly fought off the soldiers.
Dana in 1836
Richard Henry Dana sailed from San Diego, returning to Boston. He dropped out of Harvard University and shipped out to California to improve his health. His adventures formed the basis for Two Years Before the Mast (1840), an eyewitness account of a sailor’s life, rancho culture and the hide and tallow trade.
Transportation in 1941
The last original Market Street Railway, Cable Car #133, was scrapped because of a lack of storage space.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
Marysville Assembly Center opened, built on a former migrant worker’s camp. It was part of the forced detention of approximately 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Assembly centers were used to securely move people to the ten internment prisons.
Sports in 1968
Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Oakland A’s pitcher, threw a perfect game to beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0.
Sports in 1970
The New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA championship,113-99. It was the ninth consecutive NBA championship series with a team from California, all of which were lost.
Parks in 1976
Revolution, the first steel roller coaster with a vertical loop, opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. It appears in “Rollercoaster” (1977), “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park” (1978) and “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983).
Business in 2013
Electric car maker Coda Holdings Inc. of Los Angeles filed for bankruptcy after selling just 100 cars.
Transportation in 1882
Telegraph Hill Railroad Company was organized to carry people up Telegraph Hill to the Pioneer Park Observatory.
Race Relations in 1909
The anti-Japanese Laundry League took steps at convention in San Francisco to boycott all Japanese enterprises on the Pacific Coast.
Crime in 1926
A bomb exploded in front of the main entrance of Saints Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in San Francisco. It was targeted by anti-Catholic anarchists, who made five bomb attacks against the building in a year.
Labor in 1934
The West Coast Longshoreman’s Strike began. The longshoremen’s labor union shut down seaports in Washington, Oregon and California for three months, demanding a 6-hour workday and a hiring hall to replace the company run Blue Book Union on the waterfront. On July 5th, people watching from Rincon Hill in San Francisco saw police shoot tear gas canisters into the crowd then mounted police charged. It became known as “Bloody Thursday.”
Movies in 1958
Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” filmed in Northern California, premiered in San Francisco.
Music in 1977
Pink Floyd opened for two nights at the Oakland Coliseum, following massive sales of “Dark Side Of The Moon” (1973) and “Wish You Were Here” (1975).
Crime in 1980
Armed robbers held up a Security Pacific bank in Norco. That lead to a shoot-out and one of the largest pursuits in California history. Two gunmen and one police officer were killed and 33 police and civilian vehicles destroyed in the chase.
Fires in 1984
A 5-alarm fire engulfed Piers 30 and 32 along the San Francisco Embarcadero. Damages were estimated at $2.5 million.
Sports in 1997
San Diego Padres retired #35 worn by pitcher Randy Jones, nicknamed “Junkman.” He was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions and Breitbard Hall of Fame honoring San Diego’s finest athletes.
Environment in 1997
The California Environmental Protection Agency issued a report linking lung cancer to diesel exhaust fumes.
Crime in 2013
Pamela Marie Devitt, age 63, was fatally mauled by a pack of pit bulls while walking near her home near Palmdale. Alex Jackson, age 29, owner of the dogs, was charged with murder. The dogs guarded his pot-growing operation. Jackson was sentenced to 15 years to life.
Ranchos in 1837
Rancho Punta de la Concepción was deeded. The Mexican land grant covering 24,992 acres in today’s Santa Barbara County belonged to Mission La Purísima Concepción. The rancho stretched along the coast from Point Arguello south to Cojo Creek, east of Point Conception.
Overland Trail in 1846
The Donner and Reed wagons reached Independence, Missouri. They spent the next two days preparing for the journey. They would get trapped by snow in the Sierra Nevada and nearly half of them would die.
Transportation in 1869
The Golden Spike Ceremony completed the Transcontinental Railroad. Leland Stanford drove the spike that linked the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory. Construction began on January 8, 1863.
Modoc War in 1873
Modoc warriors attacked an Army encampment at Dry Lake. It was the first victory for the Army and began to divide the Modocs. One group surrendered to the Army and agreed to help capture their leader, Captain Jack.
Rancherias in 1909
Sherwood Valley Rancheria was established in Mendocino County. It is home to Pomo people, whose land extends approximately from Highway 101, through redwood forests to the coast. The tribe owns Sherwood Valley Rancheria Casino and Creekside Cafe, formerly called the Black Bart Casino.
Flight in 1927
Charles Lindbergh, pilot, picked up “The Spirit of St. Louis” in San Diego and flew to St. Louis, then to New York navigating with railroad maps.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
The Stockton Assembly Center opened. Built on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, it played a role in the forced detention of approximately 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Assembly centers were used to securely move people to ten internment prisons.
Sports in 1953
Betsy Rawls won the Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament in Sacramento. She won eight major championship, 55 LPGA tour events and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Television in 1956
KFSN-TV channel 30 in Fresno began broadcasting. The station is Fresno’s third-oldest TV station. Today it is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group and produces the shows “Motion” and “My Family Recipe Rocks” for the Live Well Network.
Science in 1997
U.C. Berkeley physicists first documented the sound from superfluid helium atoms oscillating between overlapping quantum states, particle waves moving like like overlapping ripples in a pool.
Stevens in 2000
Craig Stevens, star of the TV series “Peter Gunn” (1958-1961), died in Los Angeles at age 81.
Sports in 2002
The Anaheim Angels crushed the Chicago White Sox, 19-0. This put them in company with just three other teams who beat opponents by 19 or more runs.
Guest in 2006
Val Guest, British movie director, died in Palm Springs at age 94. He is best known for his horror and science fiction movies for Hammer Film Productions over 14 years.
Fires in 2007
The Island Fire broke out on Catalina Island. It burned 4,750 acres of interior chaparral then threatened Avalon, but only one residence and six commercial structures were destroyed.
Crime in 2007
A federal jury in Santa Ana convicted Chi Mak, Chinese-born engineer, of spying for the Chinese government. He was sentenced to 24 1/2 years in federal prison.
Crime in 2011
Three people were killed in a burst of gunfire at parking garage, an apparent double murder-suicide. They were the first shooting deaths in San Jose State University history.
Transportation in 2012
BART, Bay Area Rapid Transit, directors awarded an $896.3 million contract to Bombardier to build 410 rail cars.
San Francisco in 1850
Work began on the first brick building in San Francisco following the recent fire that burned much of the city built of wood. The Naglee Building stood at corner of Montgomery and Merchant streets.
Government in 1854
Amador County was established in the Sierra Nevada. It is “The Heart of the Mother Lode” in Gold Rush country. The county was split into Amador, Calaveras and El Dorado counties and part of its territory was also given to Alpine County.
Business in 1880
A U.S. Marshal and deputies faced a group of San Joaquin Valley farmers over a land dispute with the Southern Pacific Railroad. They had developed an irrigation system that turned the land into an agricultural area. The Railroad claimed the land and won a suit to that effect. Seven men were killed in what became known as the Battle of Mussel Slough.
Accidents in 1907
Thirty-two Shriners were killed when their chartered train derailed in Lompoc. They came from around the U.S. to a conference in Los Angeles and were on their way to San Francisco.
Water in 1908
The Hetch Hetchy Dam was approved. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire made it clear that the city needed a large, reliable source of water. Hetch Hetchy Valley, northwestern of Yosemite, drained by the Tuolumne River, was selected for development.
Movies in 1927
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences met for the first time. At its first banquet, 230 film industry professionals joined the Academy. Membership cost $100. They awarded an honorary membership to Thomas Edison.
Nightclubs in 1939
The Top of the Mark Nightclub opened at the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill. It’s built at the highest point of downtown San Francisco.
Rickets in 1948
Edward “Doc” Ricketts, marine biologist and friend of John Steinbeck, died in Monterey at age 51. He was struck by a train when his car stalled on railroad tracks. He is best known for Between Pacific Tides (1939), a pioneering study of intertidal ecology,
Sports in 1963
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, threw his second no-hitter to beat the San Francisco Giants, 8-0. He fanned Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda. Kaufax pitched four no-hitters in his career.
Sports in 1972
The San Francisco Giants traded Willie Mays to the New York Mets for pitcher Charlie Williams and cash.
Crime in 1996
Daniel Fraembs, Orange County sheriff’s deputy, was shot and killed on South Humane Way.
Education in 2007
California high school graduation rates fell to 67%, a 10-year low, according to a basic skills exit exam given for the first time.
Crime in 2008
Patricia Barrales’s mother found her body in a closet buried under toys in a toy chest. The 25-year-old had been stabbed 68 times. Honorio Pantaleon, age 32, was later convicted of the murder of the mother of his two children.
Business in 2010
Richmond city officials signed an agreement with Chevron Corp., which operates the Richmond refinery, to pay the city $114 million over 15 years.
Crime in 2011
Samuel Kioskli, a 64-year-old former San Francisco ATM serviceman, was arrested during a routine traffic stop in Phoenix, Arizona. He stole about 200,000 from six bank branches by replacing cash with counterfeit $20 bills.
Young in 2011
Snooky Young, legendary big band trumpeter, died in Newport Beach at age 92. He was a master of the plunger mute, with which he was able to create wide ranging sounds.
Crime in 2012
Clyde Thompson Jr., 51-year-old president of the local Black Sabbath Motorcycle chapter, was killed in a drive-by shooting in San Diego.