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 Monume nt. 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.
Sutter’s Fort in 1839
John Sutter arrived at his land grant on the American River to establish the colony he named New Helvetia, later known as Sutter’s Fort.
Jackson in 1885
Helen Maria Hunt Jackson, author and activist, died in San Francisco at age 54. A Century of Dishonor (1881) and Ramona (1884) were among the first books to criticize the government for its treatment of Southern California Native Americans.
Flight in 1960
Air Force Major Robert White flew the X-15 rocket powered aircraft based at Edwards AFB to a 25.8 mile altitude. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the 1960s, reached the edge of outer space and produced information used in spacecraft design. It reached a record speed of 4,520 miles per hour.
Flight in 1977
Space Shuttle Enterprise passed its first solo flight test, taking off from on top of a Boeing 747 then landing at Edwards Air Force Base.
Young in 2000
Loretta Young, film and television actress, died in Santa Monica at age 87. She made nearly 100 movies in over 70 years.
Government in 2004
California Supreme Court struck down San Francisco’s attempt to legalize same-sex marriages, saying Mayor Newsome had illegally defied state law.
Bracewell in 2007
Ronald Bracewell, Stanford professor, died in Palo Alto at age 86. He co-wrote the first text on radio astronomy and helped develop MRI, magnetic resonance imaging technology.
Griffin in 2007
Merv Griffin, television talk show host and entrepreneur, died in Los Angeles at age 82. He created the television game show “Jeopardy” in 1964 and sold the rights for the show to Coca-Cola for $250 million in 1986.
Environment in 2008
The US Army transferred a final 3,300 acres to the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, for redevelopment of the 28,000-acre former military base on Monterey Bay.
Fire in 2009
The Lockheed Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains began. By August 23, it burned 7,817 acres and 13 structures, costing roughly $26 million to extinguish.
Music in 2011
The 4th annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival opened for a 3-day run in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Ricci in 2012
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.
Railroads 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.
War in 1846
The American flag was raised for the first time over Pueblo de Los Angeles. Harsh martial law ignited a popular uprising, the Siege of Los Angeles, among Californios and Mexicans beginning on September 22, 1846. They succeeded in temporarily driving U.S. forces from the town.
Emperor Norton in 1869
Norton I, self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States, ordered city engineers to fill part of San Francisco Bay and build wharves for ocean steamers. He warned; “fall not under our royal displeasure.”
Labor in 1911
Ten members of the Industrial Workers of the World were arrested during a riot in San Francisco’s North Beach. Speakers denounced all forms of government and railed against the pope.
Flight in 1930
Captain Frank Hawks, superintendent of the Aviation Division of Texaco, flew a red-and-white Travel Air monoplane from Los Angeles to New York in 12 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds. Hawks made three refueling stops during the 2,510-mile journey, battled a rainstorm, crosswinds, hunger and a thick haze that made “the ground barely visible at 8,000 feet,” but reached New York City in time for dinner.
Movies in 1942
Bambi, Walt Disney’s fifth full-length animated film, was released to theaters. It lost money at first; costing $1.7 to make but earning just $1.64 million at box offices. Today Bambi is a classic.
Music in 1965
Jefferson Airplane first appeared at the opening night of The Matrix, a San Francisco nightclub. Their album Surrealistic Pillow (1967) became a touchstone of the Summer of Love.
Radio in 1986
KRE-AM in Berkeley changed its call letters to KBLX. For many years, KBLX and its AM sister station, KRE (now KVTO), were the Bay Area’s only African-American-owned and operated commercial radio stations.
Ryan in 1991
Jack Ryan, designer and inventor, died in Los Angeles at age 74. He co-created the Barbie doll, Hot Wheels, Chatty Cathy, was Zsa Zsa Gabor’s sixth husband and held some 1,000 patents.
Government in 1998
Oakland declared a medical marijuana club was a city agency in an effort to protect it from federal law.
Crime in 1998
U.S. border agents found seven people dead in the Anza-Borrego Desert. They were illegal immigrants abandoned by their smuggler.
Crime in 1998
Jack Jessee, of Santa Ana, was stabbed to death by Thomas Garrick. Jesse’s wife hired the hit man to avoid paying for her husband’s cancer treatment and to collect insurance money.
Child in 2004
Julia Child, legendary cookbook author and pioneer of television cooking shows, died in Santa Barbara at age 91. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961).
Government in 2008
Clark Kelso, California prison receiver, asked a federal judge to seize $8 billion from the state’s treasury over the next 5 years to build 7 medical facilities for inmates throughout the state.
Business in 2012
Google, in Mountain View, cut some 4,00 jobs at its Motorola Mobility Holdings unit, which it bought months previously for some $12.5 billion.
Riots in 1850
Squatters rioted in the new town, Sacramento City. Violence erupted between newcomers and men who owned the land along the river. Government was not well established and Mexican land grants, like Sutter’s, were disputed by 49ers.
Crime in 1889
David Terry, California Supreme Court Chief Justice (1857-1859), was shot by a bodyguard of Stephen Field, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, after Terry slapped Field in the face at a railroad restaurant in Lathrop.
Water in 1925
Hetch Hetchy Moccasin Powerhouse was completed and began pumping water from the Sierra Nevada valley near Yosemite to San Francisco, 167 miles away.
Hearst in 1951
William Randolph Hearst, the first modern media titan, died in Beverly Hills at age 88. He built the world’s largest newspaper and magazine business, specializing in sensationalized news called “yellow journalism”.
Movies in 1975
“Rocky Horror Picture Show” opened at the USA Theatre in Westwood. Over time the film has grown a global cult following and is one of the most famous, financially successful midnight movies of all time.
Sports in 1987
Mark McGwire, Oakland Athletics, set a rookie home run record at 39. Over his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the best ratio in baseball history.
Business in 2007
Mattel Inc., in El Segundo, recalled some 18 million Chinese-made toys that contained magnets which children could swallow. It also recalled 436,000 toy cars with lead-based paint.
Fire in 2009
The Lockheed Fire in Santa Cruz County, which began on August 12, covered over 5,00 acres and was only 15% contained. Nine wildfires across the state covered over 100,000 acres.
Accidents in 2010
A truck plowed into a crowd when it sailed off a jump at the California 200 race in the Mohave Desert. Eight people died and 12 injured.
Crime in 2011
Anonymous, the hacker group, struck a Bay Area Rapid Transit website and released customer information in retaliation for BART cutting cell phone service to prevent a protest in San Francisco. Hackers carried out a 2nd attack on August 17, breaching the website of the agency’s rank-and-file police.
Charlip in 2012
Remy Charlip, choreographer, theater director, designer, teacher and author-illustrator, died in San Francisco at age 83. He wrote or illustrated 29 children’s books.