Crime in 1877
Charles Bowles, English born gentleman bandit known as Black Bart, left poems at the scene of his crimes. He held up Wells Fargo stagecoaches 28 times. His fifth was in Sonoma County, four miles from Fort Ross. He left his first poem here.
Allensworth in 1908
Colonel Allan Allensworth filed the site plan for Allensworth in Tulare County. It was the only town in California founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Today it is a State Historic Park.
Labor in 1913
Four people died and many injured in the Wheatland Hop Riot. Authorities blamed it on the Industrial Workers of the World union, but that was never proved. The riot became one of the first 20th century showdowns between California land owners and farm labor.
North in 1952
Jay North, film and television actor, was born in North Hollywood. At 6 years old, he began playing Dennis on the “Dennis the Menace” (1959-1963).
Bruce in 1966
Lenny Bruce, legendary stand-up comic, social critic and screenwriter, died in Hollywood at age 40. He invented the open, free-style comedy form including satire, politics, religion, sex and vulgarity, which got him into trouble with the law.
Music in 1968
Newport Pop Festival in Costa Mesa was the first concert to sell more than 100,000 tickets. Headliners included Jefferson Airplane, Tiny Tim, Grateful Dead, Chambers Brothers and Canned Heat. Jimi Hendrix played the next year.
LGBT in 1979
Immigration inspectors at the San Francisco Airport stopped two Mexican men from entering the U.S. because their bags contained cosmetics. Immigration and Naturalization Service soon ordered agents to stop refusing entry to foreigners suspected of being gay.
Jones in 1983
Carolyn Jones, film and television actress, died in West Hollywood at age 63. She is best known for playing Morticia Addams in “The Addams Family” (1964-1966).
Crime in 2007
Ving Rhames’ dogs mauled Jacob Adams, caretaker for the actor’s dogs. Adams died at the star’s Brentwood home.
Crime in 2010
Federal authorities in San Francisco seized over 200,000 counterfeit items at Fisherman’s Wharf valued at $100 million. The network imported goods from China that copied 70 brands.
Science in 2011
Stanford University scientists in Palo Alto reported finding a way to kill cancer cells by turning off their ability to absorb glucose, often the primary source of energy in rapidly growing tumors.
War in 1846
The U.S. flag was raised over Santa Barbara. That already had happened in Yerba Buena, Sonoma, Sutter’s Fort, San Jose, Santa Cruz and San Diego.
Sports in 1969
Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh Pirate, hit the first home run out of Dodger Stadium, the longest homer at the park. He hit a second out of the park homer in 1973. Only two other home runs have been hit out of Dodger Stadium.
Sports in 1971
Jeff Gordon, legendary race car driver, was born in Vallejo. His 89 wins is the most NASCAR wins since 1972.
San Francisco in 1977
San Francisco police evicted some 50 elderly tenants of the International Hotel in Chinatown as thousands of protestors filled the streets. The structure was demolished in 1979 and a hole occupied the site until 2004 when construction began on International Hotel Senior Residences.
Sports in 1984
Carl Lewis won his first of four gold medals at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. The track and field star won 10 Olympic medals.
Crime in 1996
California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement raided the Cannabis Buyer’s Club in San Francisco, the first public medical cannabis dispensary in the U.S..
Government in 2003
Governor Gray Davis asked the state Supreme Court to delay his October recall election until the following March. The recall went ahead as originally scheduled.
Business in 2004
LeapFrog Enterprises, in Emeryville, donated 20,000 interactive women’s health books to Afghan women under a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Government in 2005
Mayor Gavin Newsom signed a $5.3 billion San Francisco city budget.
Sports in 2007
Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants, tied Hank Aaron’s 755 career home in a loss to the San Diego Padres, 3-2.
Exploration in 1775
The first European ship entered San Francisco Bay. The San Carlos, a Spanish ship, anchored near Angel Island. While the wounded captain Juan de Ayala stayed aboard, his pilots spent the next 45 days charting the bay.
San Francisco in 1924
A San Francisco Bay Area town, was incorporated as Lawndale. The name was changed to Colma in 1941 because there was another Lawndale in California.
Crime in 1952
Fourteen members of the Communist Party of the United States were convicted in Los Angeles of conspiring to violently overthrow the U.S. government.
Race relations in 1955
Oakland fire department ended segregation between black and white fire fighters.
Miranda in 1955
Carmen Miranda, singer and film actress, died in Beverly Hills at age 46. She was known for her exotic clothing and Latin accent. She popularized Brazilian music and increased awareness of Latin culture.
Monroe in 1962
Marilyn Monroe, legendary film actress, model and singer, died in the Brentwood at age 36. She was best known for roles in some of the most famous films of the 1950’s.
Sports in 1973
Phil Niekro, Atlanta Braves pitcher, no-hit the San Diego Padres, 9-0. The win by “Knucksie,” Niekro’s nickname because of his skill pitching knuckleballs, was the first for the Braves after moving to Atlanta.
Race relations in 1992
Riots started in Los Angeles in late April after the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers on nearly all charges in the beating of Rodney King. They were the worst riots in the U.S. since the 1960’s and the deadliest since the Civil War Draft Riots (1863).
Handelman in 2007
Stanley Handelman, stand-up comedian, died in Panorama City at age 77. He was best known as a regular guest on television variety shows between 1965 and 1975.
Accidents in 2008
Nine firefighters were killed and four injured when their helicopter crashed after battling a blaze in Trinity County.
Asawa in 2013
Ruth Asawa, sculptor and educator, died in San Francisco at age 87. She was known for crocheted wire abstract sculptures resembling three-dimensional drawings. Asawa was a driving force behind the creation of the San Francisco School of the Arts.
Overland trail in 1846
The Donner Party stopped at the mouth of Weber Canyon. Hastings left a note warning the road ahead was impassable, telling them to send someone ahead for instructions. James Reed and two others set out to follow his wagon tracks.
Newspapers in 1850
The Marysville Herald debuted and ran until January 1858. Gold Rush Marysville had mills, iron works, factories, machine shops, schools, churches, two daily newspapers and nearly 10,000 people. By 1857, it was among the largest cities in California.
Inventions in 1912
Willis Farnsworth, of Petaluma, patented a coin-operated locker.
Government in 2003
Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy to replace Gray Davis as governor of California on “The Tonight Show.” Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, hours later, said he was entering the recall race as well.
James in 2004
Rick James, funk musician and composer, died in Los Angeles at age 56. He was best known for the hit “Super Freak” (1981).
Environment in 2007
The U.S. Navy was barred from using underwater sonar blasts for anti-submarine tests off California’s Channel Islands because of possible harm to marine mammals, including endangered whales.
Business in 2010
Mark Hurd, CEO of Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto, resigned due to allegations of sexual harassment and faulty expense reports. He expected a $12.2 million severance payment and some $350,000 shares of HP stock.
Accidents in 2012
Explosions and fire tore through Chevron’s Richmond refinery. A shelter-in-place warning was issued for Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo.
Theater in 1910
Sophie Tucker performed “The Dance of the Grizzly Bear” at Chutes vaudeville theater in San Francisco. She was known as “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas.”
Freberg in 1926
Stan Freberg, author, recording artist, voice actor, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer and advertising creative director, was born in Los Angeles. His 70-year career included classic television commercials.
Phelan in 1930
James Phelan, politician, civic leader and banker, died in Saratoga at age 69. Governor of San Francisco and California Senator, he was a leader in the anti-Japanese movement to “Keep California White.”
Hardy in 1957
Oliver Hardy, half of the Laurel and Hardy comedy team, died in North Hollywood at age 65. His career began in the silent film era.
Crime in 1970
Four men were killed and two wounded in a shootout at Marin County courthouse. Jonathan Jackson planned to free Black Panther inmates from Soledad Prison by smuggling guns into the courtroom, kidnapping and ransoming Superior Court Judge Harold Haley for the inmates’ freedom. Jackson, Haley and two others died in the gunfight.
Science in 1976
NASA scientists at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena announced indications of life on Mars.
Crime in 1983
Cynthia Munoz, age 17, of Campbell was found raped and murdered. In 2007 prosecutors with DNA evidence arrested Christopher Melvin Holland for the crime.
Fire in 1998
A grass fire ignited some 7,000,000 tires at Royster Tire Disposal Facility in Tracy. It burned for more than two years.
Crime in 2006
Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies seized over 20,000 marijuana plants on Mount Hamilton. The crop’s street value was some $80 million.
Sports in 2007
Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants, hit his 756th home run, breaking the record set by baseball great Hank Aaron.
Environment in 2008
Muir Heritage Land Trust said it would pay $1.8 million for 423 acres in Franklin Canyon in Los Angeles, ending a long-standing land fight.
Business in 2008
Al Yousuf Group, in Dubai, invested $10 million in Zap, an electric vehicle company in Santa Rosa.
Transportation in 2010
The last bus left the San Francisco Transbay Terminal and demolition soon begin of the 71-year-old terminal.
Crime in 2011
Jeremy Henwood, 36-year-old San Diego police officer, died after being shot while sitting in his patrol car.
Business in 2012
DreamWorks Animation, in Glendale, announced plans to build a $3.2 billion “entertainment zone” in Shanghai.
Sutro in 1898
Adolph Sutro, 24th mayor of San Francisco, died at age 68. He collected a 100,000 volume library, most of which was lost in the 1906 earthquake. Today he is best remembered for San Francisco lands and landmarks that still bear his name.
Music in 1958
Kingston Trio, a San Francisco Bay Area folk/pop music group reached #1 on the Billboard chart with the song “Tom Dooley”. It sold a million copies by Christmas.
Protests in 1959
Beatniks hung an effigy of police officer William Bigarani from a telephone pole outside the Co-Existence Bagel Shop in San Francisco’s North Beach. He and officer John Cuneo intimidated local beats for months and crushed a toe of poet Bob Kaufman.
Crime in 1991
Carlos Santana, musician, pleaded no contest to a marijuana possession charge. He was arrested at the Houston Airport for transporting 5 grams of marijuana from Mexico.
Prisons in 2005
The largest riot at San Quentin State Prison in 23 years broke out between white and Hispanic prisoners, injuring 42 people.
Shavelson in 2007
Melville Shavelson, film director, producer, screenwriter and author, died in Studio City at age 90. He was one of the most successful writers in Hollywood.
Prisons in 2009
A 2-day riot broke out among Hispanic and Black inmates at California Institute for Men at Chino, injuring over 250 prisoners. The riot’s cause was never identified but over-crowding was an issue.
Environment in 2013
Central Valley farmers sued the federal government to stop release of Trinity River water into the Klamath River to protect spawning salmon.
Public safety in 2013
A gun buyback by Gunbygun.org collected 157 firearms in exchange for $15,500 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Fire in 2013
The Silver Fire, a wildfire in Riverside County, estimated at 15.5 square miles, damaged buildings, threatened about 600 homes and forced some 1,500 people to flee.
Crime in 2013
Judith Oakes, Rialto Unified school district accountant, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, embezzlement and burglary. Video surveillance showed her stuffing cash from student lunch money into her bra.
Earthquakes in 1869
The Archbishop of San Francisco petitioned the pope for a Feast Day of St. Emidius. A violent earthquake shook Italy in 1703 but spared the city where Emidius lived. Since then people have prayed to him for protection against earthquakes.
Protests in 1944
Two hundred and fifty-eight Black sailors at Port Chicago, refused to load a munitions ship following the July 17th explosion of another ship that killed 320 men, two-thirds of them Black. The sailors were courts-martialed, fined and imprisoned for their refusal.
Crime in 1969
Charles Manson and members of his cult killed the pregnant actress Sharon Tate and three others at a home north of the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Prisons in 1979
Forrest Tucker, William McGirk and John Waller escaped from San Quentin prison in a hand made kayak named Rub-a-Dub-Dub.
Sports in 1988
Wayne Gretzky, owner of four Stanley Cup rings, was traded by the Edmonton Oilers traded to the Los Angeles Kings. In one of the biggest trades in hockey history, Gretzky got 10% ownership of the Kings.
Crime in 1993
Heidi Fleiss, known as the Hollywood Madam, pleaded innocent in Los Angeles to five counts of pandering and one count of selling cocaine.
Business in 1995
Netscape Communications, in Mountain View, went public and was valued at $2.2 billion.
Garcia in 1995
Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead guitarist, died in a drug rehabilitation center in Forest Knolls. He was central to his band and a counterculture movement. His and the band’s fame partly rested on never playing a song the same way twice.
Crime in 2000
Nicholas Markowitz, age 15, was kidnapped in Los Angeles then murdered near Santa Barbara over a drug money feud involving his older half-brother. The murder inspired the film “Alpha Dog” (2006).
Crime in 2002
U.S. officials broke up an international child pornography ring headquartered in Clovis. Ten Americans were arrested in Operation Hamlet, including Lloyd Alan Emmerson, a local chiropractor.
Hines in 2003
Gregory Hines, actor, singer, dancer and choreographer, died in Los Angeles at age 57. He was one of the greatest tap dancers of his generation.
Government in 2005
San Jose opened an 18-story City Hall designed by Richard Meier. The original budget was $214 million but it cost $390 million.
McGrory in 2005
Matthew McGrory, 7’6″ tall actor, died in Los Angeles at age 32. He was known for appearances on Howard Stern’s radio show to a high-profile role as a gentle giant in “Big Fish” (2003).
Crime in 2010
A federal grand jury charged Samuel “Mouli” Cohen of Belvedere with 32 counts of wire fraud and money laundering, defrauding over 55 victims of some $30 million. He was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Business in 2012
Google, in Mountain View, agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle allegations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it breached Apple’s Safari Internet browser, allowing it to secretly track Web surfers using Safari.
Earthquakes in 1859
An earthquake was felt throughout the San Francisco Bay area from San Francisco east to Oakland and San Jose north to Benicia.
Fender in 1909
Leo Fender, father of the electric guitar, was born in Anaheim. His Telecaster (1950), Precision Bass (1951) and Stratocaster (1954) revolutionized the sound of rock and roll. He never learned to play guitar but was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1992).
Rin Tin Tin in 1932
Rin Tin Tin, Hollywood dog, died. He appeared in 27 films and received over 10,000 fan letters per week. Rin Tin Tin may have received the most votes for the first Academy Award for Best Actor (1929), but the Academy decided a human should win.
Monuments in 1933
The place where the first European stepped ashore in California was dedicated as Cabrillo National Monument. It’s at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego and commemorates Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s landing on September 28, 1542.
Monuments in 1936
Joshua Tree, in the Mojave and the Sonora Deserts, was dedicated as a National Monument. In 1994 the Desert Protection Act added 234,000 acres and it became a National Park.
Crime in 1969
Members of Charles Manson’s cult murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Angeles home one day after murdering actress Sharon Tate and four other people.
Transportation in 1973
The first BART train traveled under San Francisco Bay to the Montgomery Street Station. It was a test. BART opened the Transbay Tube on September 16, 1974.
Japanese American Internment in 1988
President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, providing $20,000 payments to Japanese-Americans interned by the U.S. government during World War II.
Torrence in 2008
Dean Torrence, of Jan and Dean, died in Los Angeles at age 68. He and William Jan Berry, friends since junior high school, pioneered the surf music sound popularized by their friends, The Beach Boys. Jan and Dean was best known for “Surf City” (1963), “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena” (1964) and “Dead Man’s Curve” (1964).
Crime in 2012
A federal jury in San Diego found two former Border Patrol agents guilty of accepting payment to smuggle hundreds of people into the U.S.
Crime in 1856
White settlers in California killed four Yokut Indians because they heard untrue rumors of Yokut atrocities.
Theater in 1888
The California Theatre, which opened on January 18, 1869, closed. It had murals of San Francisco and a panoramic view of the Bay painted on the curtain. It claimed to be the first West Coast theater with calcium light (limelight) and parabolic reflectors to light the stage.
Prisons in 1934
The first civilian prisoners, 137 men, arrived at the Federal prison on Alcatraz Island. They had caused trouble at other federal prisons and arrived guarded by FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and railway security.
Science in 1942
Hedy Lamarr, actress and inventor, and composer George Antheil received a patent for a frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later lead to technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Sailing in 1937
Kenichie Horie, age 23, sailed into San Francisco Bay aboard The Mermaid, his 19-foot sloop. That made him the first person to sail solo across the Pacific Ocean.
Riots in 1965
Riots begin in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles and raged until August 17. Thirty-four people died, 1,032 were injured and 3,438 arrested. Property damaged exceeded $40 million. The Watts Riots became a turning point in the American Civil Rights Movement.
Business in 1966
Wilkes Bashford, men’s clothing retailer, opened an exclusive men’s clothing shop in San Francisco. It catered to wealthy clientele and introduced now-famous high-end European designers.
Crime in 1977
California legislature restored the death penalty. The California Supreme Court declared it cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the state constitution in 1972.
Sports in 1984
Carl Lewis duplicated Jesse Owens’ 1936 feat by winning four Olympic track gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Crime in 1999
Buford Furrow Jr., a white supremacist, surrendered to the FBI in Las Vegas. He confessed to firing 70 rounds, wounding five people at a Los Angeles Jewish Community Center then killing mail carrier Joseph Ileto.
Business in 2005
An unnamed donor gave $25 million to UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business to construct a new building for its executive education program.
Business in 2005
Qualcomm, in San Diego, bought Flareon for some $600 million for access to post-3G network technology.
Business in 2005
Yahoo, in Sunnyvale, paid $1 billion in cash and turn over its Chinese operations to Alibaba for 40% ownership of the Chinese company.
Government in 2006
Ed Jew, operator of a Chinatown flower shop, filed to run for San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He won. In 2007 federal prosecutors charged him with bribery, fraud and extortion, accusing him of running a scheme to shake down Sunset District businesses for $84,000 in bribes.
Government in 2008
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sued state Controller John Chiang for not following orders to slash pay for thousands of state workers during the budget impasse.
Government in 2013
A San Francisco Superior Court judge, at Governor Jerry Brown’s request, ordered a 60-day cooling-off period to avert a BART strike.
Ricci in 1912
Ruggiero Ricci, San Francisco-born violin virtuoso, died at his home in Palm Springs at age 94. He performed over 6,000 concerts in 65 countries during his 70-year solo career and made over 500 recordings on every major label.
Government in 2013
Governor Jerry Brown signed AB1266, allowing transgender youth to sue school facilities and join groups with their gender identity.
Transportation in 2013
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, proposed to revive the vactrain concept to carry passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles at over 1,200kph.