Overland Journeys in 1846
The Donner Party reached the Hastings Cutoff. James Reed wrote, “Hastings Cutoff is said to be a saving of 350 or 400 miles and a better route. The rest of the Californians went the long route, feeling afraid of Hastings’s cutoff. But Mr. Bridger informs me that it is a fine, level road with plenty of water and grass. It is estimated that 700 miles will take us to Captain Sutter’s fort, which we hope to make in seven weeks from this day.” Tragically, he was wrong.
Transportation in 1846
The sailing ship Brooklyn reached San Francisco from New York with 230 Mormons under the leadership of 26-year-old Samuel Brannan. They were to meet other Latter Day Saints crossing from Illinois.
Crime in 1969
The Zodiac killer sent a poorly-spelled letter with a portion of a cipher to the San Francisco Chronicle, Examiner and Vallejo Times-Herald, claiming responsibility for the July 5 shootings.
Labor in 1979
Cesar Chavez began a 12-day march from San Francisco to Salinas to draw attention to the 6-month strike of the United Farm Workers.
Sports in 1984
U.S. men gymnasts won team gold medal at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. U.S. athletes won 174 gold medals. Synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics and wind surfing debuted as Olympic events.
Sports in 1993
Oakland Athletics traded Rickey Henderson to the Toronto Blue Jays. He played for nine teams, 1979 to 2003, including four times with the A’s. He ranked among the sport’s top 100 all-time home run hitters and was its all-time leader in base on balls.
Business in 1995
Walt Disney Company, in Burbank, purchased Capital Cities-ABC Inc. for $19 billion. The deal included the ESPN sports cable network and made Disney the world’s largest media company
Sports in 1997
Oakland A’s traded Mark McGwire to the St. Louis Cardinals. That year he hit a record-breaking 62 home runs. McGwire averaged a homer once every 10.61 at bats, the best ratio in baseball history. He later confessed to taking steroids, although they were not banned at that time.
Grey in 2004
Virginia Grey, film and television actress, died in Los Angeles at age 87. She appeared in over 100 films and 40 television shows.
Environment in 2006
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair committed to fight global warming, including market-based ways to stem emissions of the gases causing global warming.
Crime in 2006
Olga Rutterschmidt, age 73, and Helen Golay, age 75, were charged with killing Los Angeles homeless men in hit-and-run car crashes to collect over $2 million in life insurance. Both were convicted of murder and sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Business in 2006
SanDisk Corp., in Milpitas, agreed to buy M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. of Israel for $1.56 billion.
Crime in 2007
Michael Schneider, a 44-year-old real estate broker, pleaded no contest in Santa Clara County to 173 felony counts related to bilking investors out of more than $43 million. He faced as much as 169 years in prison.
Education in 2007
Oakland’s University Preparatory Charter Academy closed, leaving over 400 students in the lurch. UPREP students went to top colleges and universities across the U.S. including University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.
Government in 2008
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered thousands of state workers laid off and pay cuts for most other state employees to ease the state’s budget gap of $17.2 billion.
Crime in 2008
Ivan Miranda, age 14, was killed in the San Francisco Excelsior district in a gang motivated attack. Walter Chinchilla-Linar, age 23, and Cesar Alvarado, age 19, alleged members of MS-13, were charged with the murder.
Environment in 2009
California authorities said white striped fruit flies were found in Southern California. That was the first time the Southeast Asian pest was found in the Western Hemisphere. Several thousand traps placed in eastern Los Angeles County found seven flies.
Vidal in 2012
Gore Vidal, author, writer of novels, essays, screen and stage plays and a public intellectual, died in Hollywood Hills at age 86. He was known for his wit, knowledge and willingness to antagonize what he considered false concepts.
Government in 2013
A U.S. federal court ruled that football players could sue Electronic Arts, based in Redwood City, over use of their images in video games.
Government in 2013
Oakland City Council ruled that clubs, spray-paint cans, hammers, sling-shots, fire accelerant and wrenches can no longer be carried during local demonstrations.
Religion in 1852
The First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was established in San Francisco. Reverend John Jamison Moore, its first pastor, also served as principal and teacher at the San Francisco Colored School. Today the church remains actively involved in the community and delivers a message of “wholeness of self.”
Immigration in 1881
A U.S. Quarantine Station was authorized for Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. Beginning in 1891, ships from foreign ports were fumigated and immigrants suspected of carrying diseases were kept in isolation. Some one million people were held, inspected and examined at the Angel Island Immigration Station. Today Angel Island is a California Sate Park.
San Francisco in 1901
San Francisco ended burials within city limits. Due to limited land, today most burials are at cemeteries in Colma, known as the “city of souls,” where around 1,400 people live and more than a million are buried.
Garcia in 1942
Jerome John “Jerry” Garcia, lead guitarist and spiritual head of the Grateful Dead for 39 years, was born in San Francisco. He was a great improvisational player who never performed the same song the same way twice. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine, ranked him 13th in their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Television in 1956
KRCR-TV channel 7 in Redding-Chico began broadcasting. Originally a NBC affiliate, the station now known as NewsChannel 7 became an ABC affiliate in 1978.
Sports in 1977
Willie McCovey, San Francisco Giants, hit a National League record 18th grand slam home run. Earlier in the season he became the first player to hit two home runs in one inning for the second time.
Music in 1986
Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia was released from the hospital after 3 weeks in a diabetic coma. Afterwards he had to relearn how to play the guitar, as well as other, more basic skills.
Bear Flag Revolt in 1846
General Mariano Vallejo was released from captivity at from Sutter’s Fort. American rebels arrested him at his Sonoma home at the start of the California Republic, known as the Bear Flag Revolt, because he headed the local Mexican militia.
Transportation in 1847
William Leidesdorff launched the first steamboat in San Francisco Bay. He was one of the first mixed-race U.S. citizens in California, school board president and city treasurer. His estate in 1856 was worth some $1,445,000, not including gold mined upon his land.
Duels in 1852
Senator James Denver challenged Edward Gilbert, Alta California newspaper editor, to a duel due to an inflammatory editorial. They met near Sacramento. First shots missed. Gilbert killed Denver in the second round.
Transportation in 1873
Andrew Hallidie tested a cable car near the top of San Francisco’s Nob Hill.
Harding in 1923
Warren Harding, 29th president of the United States, died in San Francisco at age 57 from a “stroke of apoplexy.”
Lang in 1976
Fritz Lang, legendary filmmaker, died in Beverly Hills at age 85. His most famous films, made in Germany, include “Metropolis,” (1927), the most expensive film at the time, and “M” (1931), the first film noir.
Sports in 1982
Rickey Henderson, Oakland Athletics, stole his 100th base of the season. That year he stole 130 bases, setting the single-season record and is the only player in the American League who stole 100 bases in a season three times.
Carcione in 1988
Joe Carcione, fresh foods consumer advocate known as the Green Grocer on radio, television and newspapers, died in Burlingame at age 74.
Crime in 1991
Hedy Lamaar, legendary film actress and inventor, was arrested for shoplifting in Los Angeles. She co-invented a device essential to Bluetooth and other wireless communication and was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame (2014).
Fire in 1997
Fire in San Diego destroyed 11 homes, 30 cars, 15 other structures and caused the crash of an air tanker fighting the flames.
Lewis in 1998
Shari Lewis, ventriloquist, puppeteer, and children’s entertainer, died in Los Angeles at age 65.
Race relations in 2000
A San Francisco jury awarded 17 bakery workers at Interstate Brands Corp. $120 million for racial discrimination.
Crime in 2006
Mel Gibson, actor-director, was charged with misdemeanor drunk driving five days after being pulled over by Los Angeles police.
Crime in 2007
Chauncey Bailey, 57-year-old editor of the Oakland Post, was shot and killed on his way to work by a masked gunman. In 2009 Yusuf Bey IV, 23-year-old leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, was accused of murder for telling two of his followers to kill Bailey.
Crime in 2008
Firebombs exploded outside the homes of two U.C. Santa Cruz biologists. They were similar to some used by animal rights activists.
Crime in 2010
U.S. House ethics committee said Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat from Los Angeles, would be tried for her 2009 role in steering federal funds to a bank she was personally connected with. It ended after two years of mistakes, squabbles, racial attacks, personal rivalries and failures to end the investigation.
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.
Los Angeles 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 Journeys 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.