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).
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.
Overland Journeys in 1847
James Reed reached Donner Lake and found two of his children alive among 15 other survivors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Government in 1857
Del Norte County was established at the far northwest corner of California. It still is home to Yurok and Tolowa people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crime in 2012
Police and federal agents seized 750 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value around $34 million from a San Jose apartment.
Government in 1849
San Francisco began to collect taxes to generate municipal funds.
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.
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.
Radio in 1925
KFWB, known as News Talk 980, started broadcasting. It was the third radio station in Los Angeles.
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.
Sports 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
Inventions in 1870
Elizabeth A. Burns, of Meadow Lake, patented an Improvement to roasting ores.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.