Branciforte changed its name to Santa Cruz. It was one of three pueblos established in Spanish California.
Closeup of the City of Santa Cruz Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Business in 1859
Hibernia Savings & Loan Society of San Francisco incorporated. It grew into a major San Francisco bank and became the largest bank in California by 1900.
Inventions in 1870
Annie J. Hall, of San Francisco, patented an improved pencil holder. “This invention consists of a rigid tube provided with fingers of peculiar construction, in combination with an elastic tube, as will be fully described.”
Libraries in 1880
Stockton authorized a tax to establish a public library. It opened in two upstairs rooms at the corner of Main and San Joaquin in 1881. In 1906 2,362 people had library cards and that May they borrowed 4969 items, including 847 children’s books.
Peck in 1916
Gregory Peck, film actor, was born in La Jolla. One of Hollywood’s great leading men, he won an Academy Award for “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1960).
Transportation in 1941
Horse-drawn streetcars on Castro and Fillmore Streets in San Francisco were replaced by buses.
Newspapers in 1951
The first full separate food section in a U.S. newspaper debuted in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Television in 1954
KQED in San Francisco debuted on the air. It was the sixth public television station in the U.S..
Crime in 1970
A shootout in Newhall between criminals and California Highway Patrol officers left four CHP officers dead in less than 5 minutes. At the time, it was the deadliest day in the history of California law enforcement.
Crime in 1984
Tina Faelz, age 14, was killed while walking home from school in Pleasanton. Fellow students discovered her body shortly afterward. Steven Carlson, a former classmate, was convicted of her murder in 2012.
Tchelistcheff in 1994
Andre Tchelistcheff, pioneer winemaker, died in Napa at age 92. Beside managing Beaulieu Vineyards for 35 years, he ran a private wine laboratory and assembled a fabled wine library.
Technology in 2006
San Francisco selected Google and EarthLink to bring free Internet access to the city.
Kaprow in 2006
Allan Kaprow, pioneer performance artist artist who coined the term “happenings” in the late 1950s, died in Encinitas at age 78.
Crime in 2007
Dr. William Ayres, San Mateo child psychologist, was arrested on 14 counts of child molestation since 1969.
Heston in 2008
Charlton Heston, film star and political activist, died in Beverley Hills at age 84. He appeared in 100 films and is best remembered for “The Ten Commandments” (1956) and “Ben-Hur” (1959), for which he won an Academy Award.
Ranchos in 1837
Ojai Rancho was deeded. The 17,717-acre Mexican land grant in present day Ventura County included what became Ojai in 1917.
Communication in 1861
The Butterfield Company ran the first stage coach over the new road through the Santa Susana Pass in the Simi Hills to deliver mail from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Newspapers in 1872
The Tuolumne Independent began publishing in Sonora and continued until May 25, 1945.
Crime in 1911
The San Francisco Police Board examined nine Mission saloon keepers who were cited for selling liquor to women decoys.
Sports in 1931
Seals Stadium opened in San Francisco. It was home to the San Francisco Giants for their first two seasons in the city.
Hoaxes in 1937
A legendary piece of brass left by Sir Francis Drake was found near San Francisco Bay. In 1579 Drake explored the California coast, landed, claimed it for England, named it New Albion and supposedly left an inscribed plate of brass as proof. What was found was a fake.
Haggard in 1937
Merle Haggard, country music star, was born in a converted boxcar in Bakersfield. His band, The Strangers, helped create the Bakersfield sound.
Sports in 1958
Los Angeles Dodgers built a 42-foot high screen in left field at the Coliseum to cut down on home runs, since it is only 250 feet down the line.
Radio in 1967
Tom Donahue, Marin County DJ at KMPX-FM, launched a new radio format that became known as freeform progressive rock with “no jingles, no talkovers, no time and temp, no pop singles.” He played albums by Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix “and The Beatles uninterrupted in their entirety.
Sports in 1969
Bill Singer, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, was credited with the first official save in a game against the Cincinnati Red Sox.
Music in 1974
250,000 people attended California Jam at the Ontario Motor Speedway. Featuring Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, it set records for loudest amplification and the highest paid attendance and was the last of the original era of rock festivals.
Race relations in 1987
Al Campanis, Los Angeles Dodgers executive, said on television that blacks “may not have some of the necessities” to hold managerial jobs in major-league baseball. He was fired.
Sports in 1996
Kelly Robbins won the Sacramento 12 Bridges Ladies Professional Golf Association Golf Classic.
Business in 2001
PG&E filed for bankruptcy with $9 billion in debt due to the California energy crisis. Just before filing, PG&E awarded bonuses and raises to 6,000 senior managers and other employees.
Olatunji in 2003
Babatunde Olatunji, Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist and recording artist, died in Salinas at age 75.
Accidents in 2006
Three ski patrollers were killed at Mammoth Lakes when snow collapsed around a volcanic gas vent.
Kinkade in 2012
Thomas Kinkade, artist, died in Monte Sereno at age 54. His paintings of peaceful landscapes, cottages and churches were big sellers for dealers across the country.
Newspapers in 1855
The Fireman’s Journal and Military Gazette debuted in San Francisco. It was published through 1859, “Devoted to the interests of the various fire departments and the military organizations throughout the state.”
Accidents in 1926
Fire tornadoes developed after lightning struck an oil storage facility near San Luis Obispo. Nine hundred acres burned and two people died. Thousands of whirlwinds were produced by the four-day-long firestorm. Debris was carried miles away.
Brown in 1938
Jerry Brown Jr., politician, was born in San Francisco. He became Oakland mayor, California Attorney General and California governor, twice.
Accidents in 1982
An AC Transit bus clipped a stalled car then struck a double-tanker truck. It jack-knifed and exploded in the Berkeley Hills Caldecott Tunnel, killing seven people.
Newspapers in 1992
The Sacramento Bee won two Pulitzer prizes. It was recognized for stories on environmental threats and damage to the Sierra Nevada mountain range and examining the moral and ethical issues involved in primate research.
Straight in 2001
Beatrice Straight, theater, film and television actress, died in Los Angeles at age 86. She won an Academy Award for film acting and a Tony Award for her work on stage.
Agar in 2002
John Agar, actor, died in Burbank at age 81. He was best known for starring with John Wayne in “Fort Apache,” (1948) and “Sands of Iwo Jima” (1949).
Crime in 2003
Thieves stole 1,300 pieces of jewelry valued at $4.5 million from a San Francisco store. Troy and Dino Smith and George Turner were caught and convicted of the crime.
Newspapers in 2003
The San Francisco Chronicle ran a full-page ad calling for the impeachment of President George Bush.
Crime in 2005
Prosecutors charged Julie Lee, age 62, with grand theft and other felonies. Charges related to a $500,000 grant for a San Francisco community center that was never built.
Crime in 2009
A gunman in Temecula opened fire at a Korean Christian retreat center, killing one woman and injuring four.
Crime in 2010
DEA agents raided an Emeryville drug analysis laboratory as part of an investigation called “Operation Lude Behavior.” Three men at the lab were among 22 charged in a nationwide Quaalude trafficking ring.
Environment in 2011
An Asian citrus psyllid, which carries a disease killing trees, was discovered in Ventura County. The county was put under quarantine for the tiny aphid-like pest.
Government in 2013
California officials announced that federal authorities broke the law when they leased land to oil drillers without studying the possible risks of hydraulic fracturing.
Russians in 1806
Nokolai Rezanof anchored in San Francisco Bay. He sought supplies for the Russian-American outpost at Sitka, Alaska and hoped to discuss trade with the Spanish. During his visit to Yerba Buena, he fell in love with the teenage daughter of the commandant of the presidio, which began a tragic love story.
Indians in 1864
Round Valley Indian Rancheria was formed in Mendocino County by forcing people from different tribes from their homelands to live together. Through years of intermarriage, a common lifestyle and a shared land base, a unified community has emerged.
Newspapers in 1867
The Weekly Sutter Banner began publishing in Yuba City and continued through March 28, 1879.
Doerr in 1910
Harriet Huntington Doerr, granddaughter of railroad tycoon Henry Edwards Huntington, was born in Pasadena. She won the American Book Award for Stones for Ibarra (1984), about a couple that leaves a house and job in San Francisco to travel to the Mexican village of Ibarra to reopen a copper mine.
Sports in 1910
Auto racing began at the wooden track Los Angeles Motordrome in Playa del Rey, the first auto speedway in the U.S..
Sports in 1916
Bob Burman, race car driver, crashed in Corona. He killed himself and three others, injuring five spectators when he rolled his open-cockpit car. His death prompted a new race car designed with a roll cage that completely enclosed the driver.
Government in 1953
A Federal Grand Jury in San Francisco indicted Hugh Bryson, president of the National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards, on charges with lying about not being a communist.
Carmel in 1986
Clint Eastwood, film star and director, was elected mayor of Carmel. He campaigned to overturn the “ice cream cone law,” restricting the sale of fast-food including ice cream cones, in the coastal tourist town.
Crime in 1989
Charles Hughes, age 18, and Roshawn Johnson, age 20, innocent bystanders, were killed in a gang gun battle in Hunters Point.
Trevor in 2000
Claire Trevor, Hollywood actress, died in Newport Beach at age 90. She starred in over 60 films, including “Key Largo” (1948) and “The High and the Mighty” (1954). Trevor was called the “Queen of Film Noir” because of her appearance in many “bad girl” roles.
Business in 2008
Intel of Santa Clara completed its first round of investment in China and planed to invest $500 million more in the next several years.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent a notice of violation to Chemical Waste Management involving federal laws on the disposal of PCBs. Neighbors blamed the landfill near Kettleman City for at least 11 birth defects since 2007.
Architecture in 2011
The Naval Hospital, formerly called Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland collapsed after some 800 pounds of dynamite blasted the 11-story building into a pile of rubble.
Crime in 2011
Jesus Campos, owner of the popular Otaez Mexicatessen restaurant in Oakland was shot and killed as he arrived to work.
Public health in 1991
Oakland A’s stadium became first outdoor stadium in the U.S. to ban smoking.
Santa Barbara in 1850
Santa Barbara incorporated five months before California became a U.S. state in September of 1850.
Post offices in 1850
U.S. Post offices opened in Los Angeles and Mission San Jose.
Government in 1856
Fresno, San Francisco, San Mateo and Tehema counties were established.
Religion in 1906
The Azusa Street Revival meeting began in Los Angeles. Led by William Seymour, an African American preacher, it began the Pentecostal movement.
Kelvinators in 1927
The new Princess Apartments in San Francisco offered a Kelvinator electric refrigerator in every apartment. They were run from a central unit in the basement.
Transportation in 1961
The Pacific Electric Railway in Los Angeles, known as the Red Car system, ended operations. It was the largest electric railway in the world in the 1920s. Started in 1887, it connected cities in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
Sports in 1966
The California Angels Anaheim Stadium opened. Unofficially nicknamed the Big A, it is the fourth-oldest stadium in the major leagues.
Sports in 1974
Ray Kroc, San Diego Padres owner, addressed fans; “Ladies & gentlemen, I suffer with you. I’ve never seen such stupid baseball playing in my life.”
Sports in 1981
Fernando Valenzuela, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, shut out the Houston Astros 2-0 on opening day in his rookie year. His pitching was so celebrated it became known as “Fernandomania.”
Sports in 1982
Los Angeles Lakers set a NBA regulation game record by blocking 21 of the Denver Nuggets’ shots.
Sports in 2001
Michelle Kwan, figure skater born in Torrance, won the Sullivan Award as the top U.S. amateur athlete.
Crime in 2003
James Smith, a senior FBI counterintelligence agent, age 59, was arrested in Los Angeles along with Katrina Leung, venture capitalist, age 49, for theft and transfer of a classified defense document to the Chinese government.
Government in 2008
The California Supreme Court rejected San Francisco’s appeal of a lower court ruling, limiting the city’s ability regulate handguns as approved by voters in 2005.
Sports in 2008
San Francisco officials changed the course of the Beijing Olympic torch at the last minute to avoid most protestors and spectators.
Crime in 2009
Vandals in the San Jose and San Carlos cut fiber optic cables, disrupting service for hundreds of thousands of people in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.
Accidents in 2009
Nick Adenhart, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, was killed along with two others in a car accident with a suspected drunk driver in Fullerton.
Parks in 1871
William Hammond Hall’s maps and surveys of Golden Gate Park were accepted.
Transportation in 1878
The California Street Cable Railroad Company started service. On opening day, 11,000 people rode the 1.7 mile line to the top of Nob Hill where the Bonanza Kings were building palatial homes.
Festivals in 1894
La Fiesta de Los Angeles began. It was the idea of business leader Max Meyberg to promote Los Angeles.
Movies in 1953
Warner Brothers premiered the first 3-D film from a major U.S. studio. “House of Wax,” a horror film, starred Vincent Price.
Sports in 1962
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the first game at Dodger Stadium, 6-3. The stadium is the third oldest continually used park in Major League Baseball.
Sports in 1982
The Los Angeles Kings completed the largest comeback in NHL playoff history. They went from down 5-0 to win the game 6-5 in overtime. It was called the “Miracle on Manchester.”
Crime in 1984
Mei “Linda” Leung, age 9, was murdered in San Francisco by Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known as the “Night Stalker.”
Business in 1989
Intel Corp of Santa Clara released the 80-486 chip. It was the first x86 chip to use more than a million transistors, due to a large on-chip cache and an integrated floating-point unit.
Sports in 1991
Wayne Gretzky, of the Los Angeles Kings, scored a National Hockey League record 93rd playoff goal.
Accidents in 1992
Sam Kinison, 38-year-old comedian, was killed in a car crash outside Needles. He was known for intense, harsh and politically incorrect humor.
Science in 2001
Doctors in San Diego implanted genetically modified cells in the brain of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease to slow her mental decline.
Protests in 2004
Several thousand protesters gathered in San Francisco to call for ending U.S. military presence in Iraq.
Crime in 2004
Isaac Espinoza, San Francisco Police officer age 29, was shot dead and his partner wounded in the Bayview neighborhood. David Hill, arrested the next day, who used an AK-47 against the officers, was found guilty of murder.
Cross-country walking 2005
Steve Vaught, age 39, left San Diego to walk to New York to lose some of his 400 pounds. He completed his walk in May, 2006 after losing around 100 pounds.
Business in 2013
Governor Jerry Brown, on a trade mission to Beijing, announced that a Chinese investor would help pay for a $1.5 billion development deal in Oakland to transform 65 acres of industrial waterfront.
Business in 2012
Apple Inc. of Cupertino claimed a value of $600 billion, a milestone only one other company ever achieved. That made it the largest company by market capitalization in the world.
Exploration in 1769
The San Antonio, Gaspar de Portola’s expedition ship anchored in San Diego Bay after 54 days at sea from Mexico. The San Carlos, her sister ship, encountered severe storms and not reach San Diego for 110 days. Both landed near present day Los Angeles before finding their way south because of an error on Vizcaino’s map from 1602.
War in 1873
U.S. Army General Edward Canby and others met with Captain Jack and other Modocs to discuss ending the war. But Canby told Captain Jack the U.S. commission could not meet his terms until orders came from Washington.
Electricity in 1895
Anaheim completed its electric light system. It lit 145 incandescent bulbs and 22 arc lamps. Consumers paid 30 cents per kilowatt hour then — about 10 cents per kilowatt hour today.
Burbank in 1926
Luther Burbank, botanist and agricultural scientist, died at his home in Santa Rosa. He developed hundreds of varieties fruits, flowers, grains, grasses, and vegetables at his Gold Ridge Farm in Sonoma County.
Japanese American internment in 1943
James Hatsuki Wakasa, 63-year-old chef, was shot and killed by a sentry at Topaz Concentration Camp. He was accused of trying to escape through a fence. It was determined he was inside the fence, facing the sentry when shot. The sentry was tried before a general court martial but found not guilty.
Sports in 1959
Don Drysdale, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, hit a home run on opening day. He was the only pitcher to hit more than one career homer in an opening day game. The Dodgers lost to the Chicago Cubs 6–1.
Sports in 1970
When the San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1, that was the only day the Reds were not in first place that year.
Computers in 1976
The original Apple Computer, later known as the Apple I, was released. Designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, it was demonstrated in July at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto.
Crime in 1982
Ronald Allen, a 32-year-old member of Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, was found murdered on Easter morning.
Sports in 1990
Mark Langston and Mike Witt, California Angels pitchers, threw a no-hit against Seattle, winning 1-0.
Protests in 1997
Some 25,000 people marched in Watsonville to support the United Farm Workers drive to organize field laborers. Their focus began with California’s $576 million strawberry industry.
Sports in 2000
AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, opened.
Computers in 2005
Officials said U.C. Berkeley would lead a 5-year, $19 million project, funded by the National Science Foundation, to prevent hackers from penetrating U.S. computer networks.
Pointer in 2006
June Pointer, the youngest of the Pointer Sisters, died in Los Angeles at age 52. The sisters were famous for hits such as “Yes We Can Can” (1973) and “Wang Dang Doodle” (1974).
Browne in 2007
Roscoe Lee Browne, stage, film and television actor, died in Los Angeles at age 81. Known for a rich voice and dignified bearing, he appeared on “Mannix,” “All in the Family,” “Good Times,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Cosby Show,” “A Different World” and dozens of other shows.
San Francisco in 2008
Haight Ashbury Food Program in San Francisco closed their soup kitchen due to reduced grants and donations. It served as many as 450 people a day for some 25 years.
Environment in 2011
In San Francisco, the Goldman Environmental prize was awarded to six people from around the world. They worked to cut pollution, resist mining, reduce reliance on nuclear power, protect a river and an island and defend wildlife.
Government in 2013
California restricted use of the chemical known as Bisphenol-A (BPA), declaring it a reproductive toxicant.
Accidents in 2013
A 40-foot section of the Skunk Train Tunnel No. 1 collapsed near Fort Bragg, blocking access to 36 miles of track to Willits.
Winters in 2013
Jonathan Winters, comedian, died in Montecito at age 87. He recorded comedy albums for over 50 years, receiving 11 Grammy Award nominations, winning for Best Album for Children (1975) and for Best Spoken Comedy Album for “Crank(y) Calls” (1996).
Crime in 1883
Charles Earl Bowles, English born gentleman bandit known as Black Bart, left poems at the scene of his crimes. He robbed Wells Fargo Stagecoaches 28 times. The 26th time was in Sonoma County, five miles from Cloverdale.
Military posts in 1898
The U.S. Army transferred a military post on Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay to the U.S. Navy. Today the post is a U.S. Coast Guard facility.
Military posts in 1933
The U.S. Navy commissioned Moffatt Federal Airfield near Sunnyvale. Hangar One, covering eight acres. became one of the world’s largest freestanding structures. NASA’s Ames Research Center was a next door. Today the airfield is leased to Google.
Sports in 1960
The San Francisco Giants first took the field at Candlestick Park. Vice President Richard Nixon threw out the opening day ball. Candlestick was rocked on October 17, 1989, when the Loma Prieta Earthquake struck, minutes before Game 3 of the World Series was to begin.
Transportation in 1962
San Mateo County withdrew from the San Francisco Bay Area BART district. Supervisors said their voters would be paying taxes to carry mainly Santa Clara County residents.
Music in 1965
The Byrds, a Los Angeles band, released Bob Dylan’s song “Mr. Tambourine Man” as a single. It became the first folk rock smash hit.
Berry in 1966
Jan Berry of Jan and Dean was in a car crash that left him in a month-long coma. Their hit songs included “Surf City” (1963) and “Little Old lady from Pasadena” (1964).
Robinson in 1989
Sugar Ray Robinson, middleweight boxing champion, died in Culver City at age 67. Some say he was the greatest boxer of all time.
Sports in 2004
Barry Bonds hit his 660th home run to tie Willie Mays for third on baseball’s career list. That sent the San Francisco Giants to a 7-5 win over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.
Business in 2006
Eric Schmid, CEO of Google Inc. in Mountain View, defended their cooperation with Chinese censorship as he announced creation of a Beijing research center and unveiled a Chinese-language brand name.
Chambers in 2009
Marilyn Chambers, pioneer adult film actress, died in Los Angeles at age 56. She modeled for Ivory Snow detergent as a baby. But her role in “Behind the Green Door” (1972), made her famous.
Government in 2011
Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation requiring the state’s utilities to get 33% of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2020.
Weather in 2012
Thunder storms dropped a record 1.24 inches of rain in San Francisco. The previous record was .92 inches on April 12, 2003.