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.
Modoc 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 1906
Luther Burbank, botanist and agricultural scientist, died at his Gold Ridge Farm in Sonoma County. He developed hundreds of varieties fruits, flowers, grains, grasses, and vegetables.
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.
Stadiums 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.
Pony Express in 1860
The first Pony Express rider from St Joseph, Missouri reached Sacramento.
Post offices in 1870
A U.S. post office opened in Nicasio near Tomales Bay in Marin County.
Crime in 1895
Minnie Williams, age 21, was found raped and killed at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Francisco. She was last seen with Theodore Durrant, a medical student. Police then found Blanche Dumont dead in the church belfry. Durrant hanged for their murders at San Quentin in 1898.
Movies in 1964
Sidney Poitier became the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles. He won for “Lilies of the Field” (1963).
Sports in 1970
The Oakland A’s uses gold-colored bases during the club’s home opener. Rules Committee later banned them.
Nyiregyhazi in 1987
Ervin Nyiregyhazi, Hungarian-born pianist, died in Los Angeles at age 84. He was a child prodigy when he arrived in the U.S. in 1920. He married 10 times and left behind over a 1000 largely unknown works.
Business in 1998
Bank of America, in San Francisco, announced a $62.5 billion merger with NationsBank Corp. of Charlotte, North Carolina. The country’s first coast-to-coast bank would be called BankAmerica Corp. with headquarters in Charlotte.
Music in 1999
“Monsters of Grace,” a digital 3-D opera composed by Philip Glass and directed by Robert Wilson, was scheduled to premier at U.C. Berkeley. Music set to love poems by the Sufi poet Rumi.
Business in 2000
Metallica, the heavy metal rock group from Los Angeles, filed suit against Napster, headquartered in Los Angeles, for copyright infringement and racketeering.
Sports in 2004
Barry Bonds hit his 661st homer, passing Willie Mays to take possession of third place on baseball’s career list.
Education in 2006
A 29-page report faulted U.C. executives and the Board of Regents for lack of oversight in pay practices and the use of public funds.
Business in 2007
Google, Inc of Mountain View announced purchase of DoubleClick, an Internet services company, for $3.1 billion.
Parks in 2007
Gavin Newsom, San Francisco mayor, signed an agreement to ban cars from Golden Gate Park’s main road for six months and ban them permanently on Sundays from a smaller area .
Sports in 2011
A San Francisco jury convicted Barry Bonds, baseball star, of obstructing justice regarding his use of performance-enhancing drugs. A federal appeals court upheld the felony conviction in 2013.
Business in 2011
Dorothy Duggar, BART General Manager, resigned after accepting a severance deal worth nearly $1 million.
Crime in 2011
California state’s insurance commissioner accused Sutter Health of fraud. It was accused of billing hundreds of millions over a decade for medical services that, sometimes, were not even provided.
Exploration in 1543
The first Spanish ships to explore the California coast returned to Navidad, Mexico after nearly a year’s journey. Juan Cabrillo, the explorer, died during the voyage but his second-in-command brought the three ships back to port.
Overland trail in 1846
The wagon train that became known as the Donner Party began their westward journey from Springfield, Missouri. The original group was three families headed by brothers, George and Jacob Donner and James Reed. Each family has three covered wagons and teamsters to drive the oxen that pulled them. The Reeds also has two servants. Other families joined along the trail. Half of them would not survive.
Pony Express in 1860
The first Pony Express reached San Francisco. It was a ten-day horseback ride from St. Joseph, Missouri.
Business in 1872
A Bar Association organized in San Francisco. The private legal organization supports San Francisco legal professionals.
Literature in 1939
John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was published by the Viking Press in New York. The Salinas-born author told the story of the Joad family’s journey to California through the Dust Bowl and Great Depression.
Sports in 1964
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles A’s pitcher, threw his ninth complete game without allowing a walk.
Protests in 1967
Thousands of people in San Francisco marched against the Vietnam war. They ended at Kezar Stadium, where 40,000 people filled the stadium.
Television in 1969
KEET TV channel 13 began broadcasting in Eureka. It originally operated in a garage.
Computers in 1977
The first West Coast Computer Faire opened at San Francisco’s Civic Auditorium. At the time it was the biggest computer show in the world.
Flight in 1981
Columbia 1, America’s first operational space shuttle, tested successfully by landing at Edwards Air Force Base.
Crime in 1989
Ramon Salcido, winery worker, killed six relatives, including his wife and daughters and a coworker in Sonoma County.
Sports in 2006
Kobe Bryant broke the Los Angeles Lakers’ single-season scoring record. He hit 50 points in a victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, 110-99. That put him past Elgin Baylor’s long-standing total of 2,719 points.
Government in 2009
Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco Supervisor, proposed the city sell and distribute medical marijuana.
Crime in 2010
Federal agents in northern California charged 18 people with defrauding banks and lenders with false mortgage loan applications. Losses totaled at least $10 million from 2005 to 2009.
Crime in 2010
Daniel Healy, a 45-year-old of Los Angeles physician, was sentenced to four years in federal prison for dispensing over a million hydrocodone tablets for cash. He made nearly $700,000 in 2008 by selling the powerful painkiller.
Government in 2011
San Francisco supervisors learned the city’s overtime bill for the fiscal year was some $40 million; $12 million above the previous year.
Accidents in 2012
Five sailors were lost In the Full Crew Farallones Race outside San Francisco. A towering wave washed them overboard as their boat rounded the Farallon Islands. Three sailors survived.