Monthly Archives: March 2019

California History Timeline, February 29 to March 8

February 29

Ruef in 1936        
Abe Ruef, San Francisco political boss, born in the city at the turn of the century, died in San Francisco at age 71. He served time at San Quentin Prison for graft and corruption. 

Movies in 1940 
“Gone with the Wind” won eight Oscars, including Hattie McDaniel’s win for Best Support Actress. She was the first African American actor to win an Oscar.

Science in 1940 
Ernest Lawrence, U.C. Berkeley physicist, won the Nobel Prize “for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it, especially with regard to artificial radioactive elements.” (1939).

From Ernest Lawrence's 1934 patent on the cyclotron.

Doris Haddock, known as Granny D.

Doris Haddock, known as Granny D.

Protests in 2000        
Doris Haddock, the 90-year-old known as Granny D, finished a 3,200 mile trek from California to Washington D.C to urge Congress to enact campaign finance reform.

March 1

Overland Journeys in 1847        
James Reed reached Donner Lake and found two of his children alive among 15 other survivors.

John Charles Frémont

John Charles Frémont

Government in 1847
Stephen Kearny, U.S. Army Brigadier General, ordered John Frémont to resign as military governor so he could assume that office. They were rivals in the conquest of California during the Mexican American War. 

Inventions in 1870
Catherine Howard, of San Gabriel, patented artificial flowers. “This invention consists in the formation of artificial flowers out of the cocoon of the silk-worm.”

Labor in 1936 
A 3-day strike aboard the ocean liner SS California, docked in San Pedro, led to the defeat of the International Seamen’s Union and rise of the National Maritime Union. 

San Francisco Municipal Railway logo.

San Francisco Municipal Railway logo.

Labor in 1952        
San Francisco Municipal Railway workers received a wage increase of 9.4 cents, raising their hourly rate to $1.73.

Education in 1955        
A University of California survey reported that Americans spent more money on comic books that all U.S. elementary and high schools spent on textbooks.

Labor in 1964        
Protests began at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco over racial hiring practices.

BankAmericacard sign.

BankAmericacard sign.

Business in 1977 
Bank of America, headquartered in San Francisco, adopted the name VISA for their credit cards.

Environment in 1983 
A tornado tore through Los Angeles, killing two and injuring 33 people.

Los Angeles tornado (1984).

Los Angeles tornado (1984).

Coogan in 1984        
Jackie Coogan, film and television actor, died in Santa Monica at age 69. He began acting in silent films as a child but is best known as Uncle Fester in “The Addams Family.”

Business in 1995 
Yahoo! incorporated in Santa Clara. Today some 700 million people visit Yahoo websites monthly.

Yahoo!

Yahoo!

Great Seal of California.

Great Seal of California.

Government in 2004        
California Supreme Court ruled a Roman Catholic charity must offer birth-control coverage to its employees, in spite of religious beliefs.

Breitbart in 2012        
Andrew Breitbart, politically conservative writer, activist and website operator, died in Los Angeles at age 43. He was a popular speaker at Tea Party events across the U.S. 

Andrew Breitbart.

Andrew Breitbart.

George Shirakawa Jr..

George Shirakawa Jr..

Crime in 2013
George Shirakawa Jr., age 51, Santa Clara County supervisor, resigned after prosecutors filed felony charges alleging he stole public money and nearly $100,000 in campaign contributions to finance a gambling habit.

March 2

Government in 1857
Del Norte County was established at the far northwest corner of California. It still is home to Yurok  and Tolowa people.

Del Norte County

Del Norte County

Post Offices in 1857
A U.S. post office opened in Lafayette’s Old Pioneer grocery store. The first postmaster served for 30 years, followed by his son. The store also served as a Pony Express stop in 1861-1862.

Old Pioneer Grocery Store around 1910

Old Pioneer Grocery Store around 1910

Hubert Bancroft by Craig Welch.

Hubert Bancroft by Craig Welch.

Bancroft in 1918        
Hubert Bancroft, bookman, businessman and historian, died in San Francisco at age 86. 

Bridges in 1929        
The San Mateo-Hayward Bridge opened. It was first known as the San Francisco Bay Toll-Bridge. The 7.1-mile span was the longest in the world at the time. The toll for cars was $0.45 cents plus $0.05 per passenger. 

Government in 1930        
San Francisco took possession of the Spring Valley Water Co., which controlled the city’s water supply. 

Spring Valley Water Co. (1922).

Spring Valley Water Co. (1922).

Environment in 1938
Flooding and landslides in Los Angeles County caused over 200 deaths. Two cyclones struck the region between February 27th and March 3rd.

Oscars.

Oscars.

Movies in 1944        
The 16th Academy Awards ceremony moved to Graumann’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

Movies in 1953 
The 25th Academy Awards were first broadcast on television.

Sports in 1976 
Bob Lurie and Bud Herseth bought the San Francisco Giants for $8 million, saving it from being moved to Toronto.

Literature in 1985        
Gordo, one of the first U.S. cartoon strips to celebrate Mexican culture, ended. Gus Arriola begun it in 1941.

Gordo (August 19, 1956).

Gordo (August 19, 1956).

Santa Anita Track.

Santa Anita Track.

Sports in 1986 
The first million-dollar purse for a thoroughbred handicap race was won at Santa Anita Track. 

 

Computers in 1987        
The Macintosh II computer was introduced. The first color Mac had a CPU speed of 16 MHz and sold for $3,898.

California state flag

California state flag

Business in 2004        
California voters approved Proposition 57, a $15 billion bond measure, to be repaid over the next 9 to 14 years. They also passed Proposition 58, prohibiting future deficit financing.

McCambridge in 2004        
Mercedes McCambridge, actress of radio, stage, film, and television, died in San Diego at age 85. Orson Welles called her “the world’s greatest living radio actress.”

Crime in 2006        
Los Angeles prosecutors charged 19 people, including former police officers, with staging home robberies in Southern California to steal drugs, money, and weapons.

Scott in 2006        
Garrett Scott, documentary filmmaker, died in Coronado at age 37. His “Occupation: Dreamland” (2005) was based on footage shot while embedded with the 82nd Airborne in Fallujah, Iraq.

Government in 2010        
Jerry Brown, former two-term governor, announced he would run for a third term as governor.

Jerry Brown, photograph by Will Davison.

Jerry Brown, photograph by Will Davison.

Crime in 2012        
Police and federal agents seized 750 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value around $34 million from a San Jose apartment. 

March 3

Government in 1849
San Francisco began to collect taxes to generate municipal funds.

San Francisco in 1849

San Francisco in 1849

Newspapers in 1851
Daily True Standard in San Francisco published for at least two months before it closed.

Government in 1853
Congress appropriated $150,000 and authorized engineers “to Ascertain the Most Practical and Economical Route for a Railroad From the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.” The Transcontinental Railroad was completed on May 10, 1869.

Golden Spike ceremony completing the Transcontinental Railroad.

Golden Spike ceremony completing the Transcontinental Railroad.

The only known photograph of an Army camel. Government Depot near Banning's Wharf.

The only known photograph of an Army camel. Government Depot near Banning’s Wharf.

Government in 1855
The U.S. Congress appropriated $30,000 for an experiment using camels as pack animals to cross the desert to California. The experiment ended but the camel barns are still standing in Benicia, in Solano County. 

Government in 1885 
California established the first permanent forest commission in the U.S.

California forests.

California forests.

Radio in 1925
KFWB, known as News Talk 980, started broadcasting. It was the third radio station in Los Angeles.

KFWB logo.

Ambergris.

Ambergris.

Ambergris in 1934        
Alf Haraldsen reportedly found some 150 pounds of ambergris near Bolinas. The rare material is formed in the intestines of whales and used to make perfume. His find, valued around at $75,000 then, would be worth more than $1,000,000 today. 

Business in 1936        
Standard Oil of California struck oil at Damman No 7, the first commercial oil well in Saudi Arabia. 

Candlestick+Park+PostcardSports in 1959 
The San Francisco Giants stadium was named Candlestick Park.

Earthquakes in 1959        
An earthquake measured 5.5 on the Richter scale shook the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Labor in 1964        
Terence Hallinan, student activist, was arrested in a protest against racial discrimination in hiring at the Sheraton Palace Hotel. Protests then focused on hiring practices of the Cadillac salesroom on Van Ness. 

Music in 1966 
Buffalo Springfield formed in San Francisco, with Stephen Stills and Neil Young. It lasted only two years but was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1997).

Ships in 1980        
The submarine Nautilus, the first atomic ship, was decommissioned at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo. She put to sea in January 1955, set many records and traveled places beyond the limits of previous submarines.

Crime in 1981        
Tookie Williams, leader of the Crips, was convicted of killing four people in Los Angeles (1979) and sentenced to death. 

Crime in 1983        
Peter Ivers, a 37-year-old musician, was murdered in his Los Angeles apartment. He was best known as host of New Wave Theatre, a locally broadcast television show.  

Kaye in 1987        
Danny Kaye, actor, singer, dancer, comedian, broadcaster and legendary showman, died in Los Angeles at age 78. He starred in 17 movies, was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF and received the French Legion of Honor.

Crime in 1991 
Amateur video captured Los Angeles police officers beating of Rodney King. When King resisted arrest, the police forcefully subdued him. iots broke out in April when  a jury found the officers innocent. Fifty-three people died, including 10 killed by police and military forces.

Japanese American Internment in 1992
Manzanar War Relocation Center was dedicated as a National Historic Site. It was the most famous of 10 camps where some 110,000 Japanese Americans were held during World War II.

Indians in 2006        
Archaeologists excavating a housing development site near the Angeles National Forest found a prehistoric milling area estimated at 8,000 years old. Workers removed and cataloged about 100 tools and implements used by the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe. 

Tongva villages.

Tongva villages.

Orange County.

Orange County.

Crime in 2012        
Five Orange County men were charged with mortgage fraud. Their businesses promised homeowners secure loan modifications for an up-front fee then kept the fees with no loan modifications.

McQuarrie in 2012        
Ralph McQuarrie, movie conceptual artist, died in Berkeley at age 82. He was best known for work on the original “Star Wars” trilogy (1977-1983), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “Cocoon” (1985), for which he won an Academy Award and “Battlestar Galactica” television series (2004-2009).

March 4

Exploration in 1776
Father Pedro Font wrote in his diary about salmon in the Salinas River. He was traveling with De Anza and the first colonists from Mexico to Alta California.

Government in 1804
The Spanish king divided Alta California and Baja California, separating Franciscan missions in the north from Dominican missions in the south.

California map published in 1845.

California map published in 1845.

Thomas Starr King.

Thomas Starr King.

King in 1864
Reverend Thomas Starr King died in San Francisco at age 39. He spoke passionately to keep California in the Union during the Civil War.

Government in 1881
California passed the first plant quarantine legislation in the U.S. It was to protect local crops from invasive plants and insects.

Sports in 1928 
The Trans-America Footrace, nicknamed the Bunion Run, started at Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles. Runners raced 3,423.5 miles to Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Trans-American foot race (1928).

Trans-American foot race (1928).

Whaleback in southern Kings Canyon National Park.

Whaleback in southern Kings Canyon National Park.

Parks in 1940
Kings Canyon National Park, called General Grant National Park when it opened on October 1, 1890, had It’s name changed when it grew to 461,901 acres and included the protection of giant sequoias.

March 5

Parks in 1980
Channel Islands National Park opened. It includes five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast from San Pedro to Santa Barbara. It covers 249,354 acres, half of which are under the ocean. 

Computers in 1975 
Homebrew Computer Club met for the first time at a garage in Menlo Park. Several important computer entrepreneurs and hackers met there, including the founders of Apple Inc. They imagined the personal computer revolution.

Science in 1978 
The Landsat 3 launched from Vandenberg AFB. It continued the longest running project to collect satellite images of Earth.

March 6

Inventions in 1877
Susannah Burton, of San Francisco, patented bird cage awnings. “My invention relates to certain improvements in awnings or shelters, such as are employed to protect birds in cages from wind, rain, and particularly from the sun.”

Susannah Burton of San Francisco patented bird cage awnings

Dance marathon contestants.

Dance marathon contestants.

Dance in 1910  
A dance marathon at Puckett’s Cotillion Hall in San Francisco ended after six couples broke the world record by dancing for 14 hours and 41 minutes. 

Movies in 1921 
The National Association of Moving Picture Industry announced they would censor U.S. movies.

Accidents in 1937 
The tanker ship Frank H. Buck, loaded with oil, sank off the coast of San Francisco. It was visible during low tide from between Point Vista and the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

Protests in 1968 
Moctesuma Esparza, Chicano student organizer and later a film producer, lead the first East Los Angeles high school walkout protesting unequal conditions in Los Angeles high schools.

East Los Angeles high school walkouts in 1968.

East Los Angeles high school walkouts in 1968.

Flight in 1990
Ed Yielding and Joseph Vida set a transcontinental speed record, flying a SR-71 Blackbird from California to Virginia in 64 minutes, averaging 2,124 mph.

Webby awards.

Webby awards.

Awards in 1997 
The first Webby Awards ceremony was held in San Francisco. It continues to honor excellence on the Internet across Websites, Mobile, Social, Interactive Advertising and Online Film and Video.

Business in 2000 
Gasoline prices in California reached an average $1.63 per gallon.

Hewlett-Packard.

Hewlett-Packard.

Business in 2002 
Federal regulators approved the proposed $22 billion merger of Hewlett-Packard Co., headquartered in Palo Alto, and Compaq Computer Corp.

Government in 2006 
A San Francisco judge ordered University of California to pay over $33.8 million to some 40,000 students, who claimed their fees had been improperly raised.

Annette Yeomans.

Annette Yeomans.

Crime in 2009 
Annette Yeomans, age 51, was booked at the Vista jail and charged with grand theft and embezzlement. The former bookkeeper for Quality Woodworks, Inc. in San Marcos reportedly embezzled $9.9 million, forcing layoffs. Yeomans bought 400 pairs of shoes that she kept in a closet decorated with a crystal chandelier and a plasma television. 

Accidents in 2013
A lion attacked and killed Dianna Hanson, age 24, a sanctuary worker at Project Survival’s Cat Haven in Dunlap.

Dianna Hanson at Cat Haven.

Dianna Hanson at Cat Haven.

March 7

Exploration in 1844
John Frémont, explorer, reached Sutter’s Fort at the end of his second overland expedition. Two years later, he was involved with the Bear Flag Revolt to free California from Mexico (1846). 

Overland Journeys in 1847
A blizzard struck the Sierra for three days, trapping the rescuers and Donner Party survivors. They huddled around a fire and struggled to keep it burning for two days. After the storm, most of the survivors were too weak to move. James Reed and his companions took three children and left what became called “Starved Camp,” where three other people died and were cannibalized.

Donner Party.

Donner Party.

Newspapers in 1864
Le National, the first French newspaper in California, debuted and continued until 1870.

Alameda in 1872
Alameda incorporated on a 2,200 acre peninsula adjacent to Oakland. 

Alameda postcard.

Alameda postcard.

Prisons in 1938 
San Quentin prison received a gas chamber to replace its gallows for executions.

Music in 1967 
The Doors, from Los Angeles, made their second trip to San Francisco. They played at the Matrix and Avalon clubs. 

Crime in 1981 
An 18-year-old was stabbed to death at Disneyland, the first homicide at the park.

Prisons in 1994 
Timothy Scot, a San Quentin prison officer, shot and killed Mark Adams, an inmate. A federal jury awarded the Adams family $2.3 million based on wrongful death (1998).

San Quentin State Prison.

San Quentin State Prison.

Winfield in 2004 
Paul Winfield, actor known for versatility in stage, film and television roles, died in Los Angeles at age 62. He was best known for playing a Louisiana sharecropper during the Great Depression in “Sounder” (1972).

David Gale.

David Gale.

Gale in 2008 
David Gale, mathematician, died in Berkeley at age 87. He was affiliated with the mathematics, economics, and industrial engineering and operations research departments at U.C. Berkeley.

Crime in 2009 
San Francisco Bay Area police completed a two-day sweep, arresting at least 42 people, all alleged member of the so-called “Taliban” gang.

Business in 2012 
Apple, Inc., headquartered in Cupertino, unveiled a third-generation iPad. The most basic model, with wireless connectivity only, went on sale in the U.S. at $499, the same price as the previous models.

March 8

Inventions in 1870
Elizabeth A. Burns, of Meadow Lake, patented an Improvement to roasting ores.

Elizabeth A. Burns patent for roasting ores (1870).

Sports in 1935        
A boxing match between Joe Lewis and Red Barry ended when Barry fell to the mat at San Francisco’s Dreamland before some 8,000 fans. Lewis won around $3,650 – Barry got about $1,200.

Space shuttle in 1979 
Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) was transported 38 miles overland from Palmdale to Dryden Flight Research Facility at Edwards Air Force Base.

Labor in 1979        
Cesar Chavez led some 5,000 striking farm workers on a march through the streets of Salinas. 

Crime in 1987 
FBI agents captured Claude Dallas, Jr. The self-styled mountain man killed two game wardens in Idaho. He escaped from prison and eluded capture for nearly a year before being caught in southern California.

Loomis Armored Inc. truck money spilled in San Francisco (1988).

Loomis Armored Inc. truck money spilled in San Francisco (1988).

Accidents in 1988        
At least three people made off with more than $500,000 after money spilled from a Loomis Armored truck in San Francisco. Louis Lopez of Daly City picked up two bundles containing $40,100 and returned them to the Loomis offices.

Business in 1999        
Intel, in Santa Clara, settled an antitrust suit charge of abusing monopoly power in the computer chip industry.

Crime in 2000        
Fifty-five Oscar statues were stolen from a loading dock in Los Angeles. They were found in a dumpster. Police arrested two men who worked for the trucking company.

Oscars.

Oscars.

Pastorelli  in 2004 
Robert Pastorelli, actor, died in Hollywood Hills at age 49. His last role was with John Travolta in “Be Cool,” released in 2005. 

Jerry Flamm (1952).

Jerry Flamm (1952).

Flamm in 2010 
Jerry Flamm, newspaper reporter, died at Stanford at age 93. His books included Good Life in Hard Times (1977), a look at the Bay Area during the Great Depression, and Hometown San Francisco (1994).

Environment in 2011 
Millions of sardines floated dead in the King Harbor area of Redondo Beach. Experts said a storm chased them toward shore where they died due to a lack of oxygen. They also tested positive for domoic acid, a neurotoxin found in the stomach of fish that fed on plankton during toxic algae blooms.

Donald Atkinson.

Donald Atkinson.

Crime in 2012 
Donald Atkinson, a retired El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy, was arrested for embezzling over $300,000 from his union (2005-2011). He had been president of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Association. Atkinson was sentenced to 5 years in prison.