Government in 1846
José Castro, Governor of Alta California, declared John Frémont and his party a band of highwaymen and told him to leave. Castro believed Frémont was encouraging independence from Mexico among American settlers.
Inventions in 1883
Anna Sherman, of Alameda, patented a steam cooker.
Post offices in 1888
A U.S. post office opened in Orinda Park. The name changed to Orinda post office in 1895. Forbes ranked this Contra Costa County town as the second most friendly in America.
Education in 1897
San Diego State University began as the San Diego Normal School for training elementary school teachers. It had seven faculty and 91 students. Enrollment today is more than 35,000 students.
Accidents in 1928
The St. Francis Dam collapsed, the second-greatest disaster in California history. A 100-foot high wall of water swept 54 miles west to the ocean in 5 1/2 hours. It demolished 1,200 houses, washed out 10 bridges and knocked out power lines. Between 400 and 600 people died, their bodies washed ashore as far south as San Diego.
Coulter in 1936
William Alexander Coulter, maritime artist, died in Sausalito at age 87.
Labor in 1970
San Francisco Public Library librarians joined a four-day city employees’ strike that ended when Mayor Alioto granted a cost of living increase and agreed to establish a salary-increment plan and recognize collective bargaining rights.
Sports in 1983
The Birmingham Stallions beat the Oakland Invaders, 20-14, in the first US Football League overtime game.
Crime in 1986
Ed Balatti, a San Francisco used car dealer, was arrested and charged with fencing everything from TVs to vintage wines. This climaxed an 11-month undercover investigation. Balatti had played on the original San Francisco 49ers football team in 1946-48.
Crime in 1997
Eddie DeBartolo, owner of the San Francisco 49ers, was awarded a Louisiana casino license one day after paying former Governor Edwin Edwards $400,000 in cash. DeBartolo never received the license, was fined by the NFL, and barred from active control of the 49ers for one year. Governor Edwards went to prison.
Business in 2000
The Tribune Co., headquartered in Chicago, bought The Los Angeles Times in a $6.5 billion merger with the Times Mirror Co. This ended 119 years of ownership of The Los Angeles Times by the Otis and Chandler families.
Sports in 2004
Robotic vehicles began a 200-mile road race in the first DARPA Grand Challenge near Barstow. The Pentagon sponsored race ended without a winner, as none of the vehicles traveled farther than 7 miles from the starting line.
Business in 2006
The McClatchy Co., headquartered in Sacramento, announced a deal to buy Knight Ridder Inc., the second-largest U.S. newspaper publisher, for about $4.5 billion in cash and stock.
Government in 2009
The state of California announced a new $8 billion shortfall by July 2010 due to declining tax revenues.
Livingston in 2009
Alan Livingston, the music executive who created Bozo the Clown and signed the Beatles, died in Beverly Hills at age 91. He came up with the Bozo the Clown character for the 1946 album “Bozo at the Circus,” which became a hit and spawned a merchandise industry and the television show featuring the wing-haired clown.
Environment in 2012
Vance Vredenburg, San Francisco State University biologist, reported the chytrid fungus had spread to nearly 600 frog species and driven some 200 species to extinction. He called it the “worst population crash of animals in history.”
Government in 2013
Ken Salazar, U.S. Interior Secretary, announced plans for two large federal solar projects in the California desert.
Business in 2013
Silver Spring Networks, headquartered in Redwood City, launched an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. The value of Its stock increased from $17 to $22, raising some $4.75 million for the maker of smart meter technology.
Exploration in 1828
Jedediah Smith named the Yuba River. The trapper and mountain man was the first American to follow an overland route into California.
Parks in 1870
California legislators set aside 1,017 acres in an area called the Outside Lands to establish Golden Gate Park.
Mines in 1878
The Tioga Consolidated Mine at Bodie was registered. Some $39 million in gold was dug from mines in this Mono County Town. Today Bodie State Historic Park is a ghost town.
Recreation in 1896
Sutro Baths, the world’s largest indoor swimming pool, opened in San Francisco. It had seven pools, one fresh water and six salt water baths.
Recreation in 1915
Carl Laemmle opened Universal City. He invited the public to see all the action for $0.05, which included a chicken box lunch.
Transportation in 1935
The 36 Folsom, in San Francisco, became first line to use 1-man streetcars.
Sports in 1963
Guy Rogers, San Francisco Warriors point guard, tied the NBA record with 28 assists in a single game. The record stood for nearly 15 years.
Labor in 1964
Some 200 demonstrators protested at a Cadillac agency in San Francisco over alleged discriminatory hiring practices. Police arrested 166 people.
Government in 1972
Governor Ronald Reagan granted Merle Haggard, singer, a full pardon for past crimes shortly after his song, “Carolyn,” became a #1 country hit.
Government in 2005
Richard Kramer, San Francisco Superior Court Judge, declared California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
Crime in 2006
FBI agents and local police raided 14 homes and arrested nine members of Project Trojans, a drug trafficking gang in Contra Costa County.
Education in 2007
University of California regents voted to raise student fees by 7% and professional school fees by 12%. California State University trustees voted a 10% increase. This marked the 5th tuition hike in six years.
Education in 2007
A $3 million evaluation of education in California public schools indicated deep flaws in the system.
Business in 2012
Owners of The Fairmont in San Francisco agreed to sell the Nob Hill hotel to Woodridge Capital Partners of Los Angeles, for some $200 million.
Gold Rush in 1848
The Californian broke the news of gold discovery. “Gold Mine Found. In the newly made raceway of the Saw Mill recently erected by Captain Sutter, on the American Fork, gold has been found in considerable quantities. One person brought thirty dollars worth to New Helvetia, gathered there in a short time. California, no doubt, is rich in mineral wealth; great chance here for scientific capitalists. Gold has been found in almost every part of the country.”
Accidents in 1910
When Union Oil Company’s Lakeview #1 in Kern County erupted, the gusher became the largest oil spill in history. It lasted eighteen months and spilled some 9,000,000 barrels of crude oil. Half was saved and sold.
Riots in 1966
Riots erupted again in the Watts neighborhood where people rioted for 6 days in August 1965, damaging hundreds of buildings. Thirty-four people died.
Protests in 2003
Many thousands of anti-war demonstrators against plans for a war with Iraq marched in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and around the world.
Fires in 2007
Fire burned a railroad trestle at the American River causing part of the bridge to collapse. This halted Amtrak and the Union Pacific trains on the main east-west route in Northern California.
Rosenberg in 2007
Stuart Rosenberg, television and film director, died in Beverly Hills at age 79. He worked with Paul Newman on “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) and other movies.
Museums in 2009
The History Guild of Daly City dedicated a museum at the former John Daly Library on Mission Street.
Science in 2011
Evan O’Dorney, age 17, of Danville, won the Intel Science Talent Search. His entry was “Continued Fraction Convergents and Linear fractional transformations.”
Ranchos in 1844
Cañada de los Pinos rancho was deeded to the Seminary of Santa Inez. It covered 35,499 acres in present day Santa Barbara County near Santa Ynez and along the Santa Ynez River.
Government in 1864
Alpine County was established in the Sierra Nevada between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. It is the least populated county in the state.
Crime in 1912
The Chinese tong war continued in San Francisco when four Ho Sing gunmen opened fire at the liquor store of Cham Kok, president of the Suey Sing tong.
Post Offices in 1949
A U.S. post office opened in Apple Valley. This San Bernardino County town was home to Western TV stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and the first intercollegiate rodeo in the U.S.
Radio in 1964
KCOY-TV began broadcasting in Santa Maria.
Accidents in 1991
A plane crashed near San Diego, killing 10 people including members of Reba McIntire’s band.
Crime in 2007
Ruby Ordenana, age 27, a transgender woman, was brutally killed in San Francisco. DNA evidence lead to Donzell Francis. Prosecutors charged him with murder in 2010 but he was already in prison.
Accidents in 2011
A 40-foot section of Highway 1 crumbled along the coast south of Carmel following several days of rain. The southbound lane was gone and soil under the northbound lane was giving way.
Crime in 2012
Balvinder Chadha, age 45, former manager of postal vehicle service operations in Oakland, was charged with illegally billing over $4 million for steering contracts to a truck-leasing company he ran with his wife. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
Accidents in 2013
A boy, age 14, and a man, age 68, were killed in Marysville when a sprint car ran off a track and into the pit during warm-up laps on opening day of the California Sprint Car Civil War Series.
Business in 1803
The Lelia Byrd, one of the first U.S. ships to reach San Diego, anchored in the bay. Her captain told Spanish authorities they needed water and supplies, that they were not there to trade for furs, which was against the law. Spanish guards watched the ship to prevent the trade. In the morning, the crew overpowered their guards, brought aboard 1,000 otter skins and exchanged cannon fire with the fort. Out of range, they put their Spanish guards into a row boat then sailed away.
Government in 1860
Japanese diplomats arrived in San Francisco to ratify the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation. This was Japan’s first diplomatic mission to the U.S.
Government in 1914
The town of Myford changed its name to Irvine when another town named Irvine became Carson Hill.
Crime in 1985
Richard Ramirez, the serial killer called the “Night Stalker,” committed the first two murders in his Los Angeles murder spree. He died in prison at age 53.
Business in 1988
Apple, in Cupertino, sued Microsoft, claiming copyright infringement in the Windows GUI.
Lantz in 1992
Grace Stafford Lantz, known by her stage name Grace Stafford, the voice of Woody Woodpecker, died in Burbank at age 88.
Museums in 1996
The $16 million Museum of Television and Radio opened in Beverly Hills.
Government in 1997
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear San Francisco’s argument that the cross on Mount Davidson was a cultural landmark. That meant the cross would now have to be torn down or sold to a private owner.
Rice in 2001
Ray Rice, one of the founders of the Art and Architecture movement, died in Mendocino at age 85. His work included 40 short films.
Jackson in 2004
J.J. Jackson, musician and MTV personality, died in Los Angeles at age 62.
Pham in 2011
Huy Pham, age 29, jumped off the Costa Mesa City Hall roof and died after getting his layoff notice. More than 200 people, nearly half of the city’s workforce, were targeted for layoffs in a move to plug a $15 million budget gap.
Sanchez de Bernal in 1858
Dona Josefa Sanchez de Bernal died at San Jose at the age of 97. She was among the first Spanish settlers in that region of California, where she married and raised a large family.
San Francisco in 1848
The California Star reported that the population of San Francisco was 575 males, 177 females and 60 children, not including Indians and Mexicans.
Museums in 1860
William Heath Davis bought 160 acres in New Town, now downtown San Diego. Today his home, now a museum, is the oldest structure in New Town. It was built on the East Coast then shipped around Cape Horn.
Wells Fargo in 1852
Wells Fargo & Co., incorporated in New York, opened offices in San Francisco and Sacramento. Today it is a multinational bank and financial services company headquartered in San Francisco.
Government in 1854
Plumas County, in the Sierra Nevada, was created from Butte County. Part of Plumas County was taken to create Lassen County in 1864. Then Plumas County annexed part of Sierra County, including the town of La Porte.
Environment in 1870
Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge became the first official wildlife refuge in the U.S..
Daly City in 1911
Daly City was voted into existence. The vote was 132 for – 130 against. The name, Daly City, honoring John Daly, passed the vote.
Levine in 1979
Adam Levine was born in Los Angeles. He is a singer-songwriter, musician, entrepreneur, actor and star on “The Voice”.
Parks in 1989
The California Quake opened at Universal Studios.
Transportation in 2000
The Newhall Metrolink rail station in Santa Clarita was built as an infill station on the busy Antelope Valley Line.
Accidents in 2001
An Amtrak train bound for the Bay Area derailed in Iowa. One person was killed and 96 injured.
Protests in 2007
Some 3,000 protesters marched in San Francisco to mark the 4th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, demanding an end to the war.
Parker in 2010
Fess Parker, film and television star, died in Santa Ynez at age 85. He played Daniel Boone in the television series “Daniel Boone” (1964-1970).
San Diego in 1770
The ship San Antonio brought much-needed food and supplies to San Diego and took some people back to Mexico.
Newspapers in 1854
The Wide West debuted in San Francisco and ran until 1857. It was published every other week to promote California to people back East.
Crime in 1875
Tiburcio Vasquez, legendary bandit, was hanged in San Jose. He rustled cattle, robbed and killed from Sonoma to Los Angeles and escaped from San Quentin prison four times. Vasquez claimed he defended Mexican-American rights. He was literate, charming, played guitar and danced skillfully.
Electricity in 1887
Santa Barbara Electric Company lit State Street with arc lamps. Because they were too bright, the masts were raised to 125 feet. But carbon rods exposed to moist night air made small explosions that kept everyone awake.
Warren in 1891
Earl Warren was born in Los Angeles. He became governor of California and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, His decisions ended school segregation, strengthened the rights of the accused and ended prayers in public schools.
Transportation in 1895
The Los Angeles Railway was established. Yellow Cars ran down the middle of city streets, connecting neighborhoods in about a six-mile radius of downtown. The system slowly changed into a bus system until the last streetcar went out of service in 1963.
Burroughs in 1950
Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, died in Encino at age 74. He wrote 24 Tarzan novels and 50 other thrillers.
Crime in 1968
Elizabeth Ernstein, age14, disappeared while walking home from school in Mentone, San Bernadino County. Her remains were found near Wrightwood but not identified through DNA testing until 2012.
Electricity in 2001
California officials declared a power alert. They ordered the first of two days of rolling blackouts.
Business in 2002
Carly Fiorina, head of Hewlett-Packard, headquartered in Palo Alto, won the battle to buy Compaq Computer.
Sports in 1972
The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors by a record 63 points; 162 – 99.
Music in 1974
The Jefferson Starship, formerly the San Francisco psychedelic band called The Jefferson Airplane, began their first tour.
Sports in 1991
Sacramento Kings set a NBA record of 29 consecutive road losses.
Crime in 2008
Oakland police officers shot and killed Jose Luis Buenrostro, age 15, who they claimed aimed a shotgun at them.
Business in 2012
Apple Corp. announced its first dividend since 1995. It also begin a $10 billion share buyback program. Shares closed at $601.10.
Prisons in 1913
The U.S. Army announced that Alcatraz island would be abandoned as a military prison and turned over to the Department of Justice for use as a federal penitentiary.
Japanese American Internment in 1946
Tulelake Detention Camp closed. This detention camp in Siskiyou County was part of the mass incarceration of nearly 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
Radio in 1955
KXTV-TV channel 10 in Sacramento began broadcasting.
Labor in 1959
Harry Bridges, labor leader, spoke at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club luncheon about his trip to Russia. He shared the Soviet Union’s promise that within 10 years its workers would enjoy the highest standard of living in the world, the highest wages, the shortest work week, the best free medical care, the best education and no unemployment.
Accidents in 1988
DeAndra Anrig, age 8, went airborne when the string of her kite was snagged by an airplane flying over Shoreline Park in Mountain View. She flew 10 feet off the ground for 100 feet until she let go. Anrig was not seriously hurt.
Sports in 1990
Los Angeles Lakers retired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s #33 jersey. He was a 6-time NBA Most Valuable Player, 19-time NBA All-Star, 15-time All-NBA selection, and 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. He lead the NBA in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals attempted and made, blocked shots, defensive rebounds and personal fouls.
Parks in 1999
Legoland California was the first Legoland outside of Europe when it opened in Carlsbad. Legoland Florida opened in 2011.