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.
Newspapers in 1846
The Californian, the first newspaper in Alta California, debuted in Monterey. The single-sheet publication on 11.75 X 10.25 sheets of paper were published in English on one side and Spanish on the other. The big news item in the first edition was the U.S. declaring war on Mexico.
Transportation in 1849
The George Washington steamboat left from Benicia and arrived in Sacramento on August 17. It was the first river steamboat in California. Some 300 steamboats later provided regular service between San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento.
Child in 1912
Julia Child was born in Pasadena. She became a fine chef and pioneer television food personality, Child introduced Americans to French cooking through her many books and television shows.
Movies in 1939
“The Wizard of Oz” premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. It officially opened nation-wide on August 25, 1939, earning just $3 million. Today it is an iconic part of popular culture.
Riots in 1945
Riots broke out in San Francisco when people went wild celebrating the end of War in the Pacific; Victory over Japan Day. Eleven people died and 1,000 injured in the VJ Day chaos. Thousands of drunken soldiers and sailors smashed store windows, attacked women, halted traffic, wrecked 30 Muni streetcars and killed a Muni worker. It was the deadliest riot in San Francisco history.
UFOs in 1960
A UFO was sighted by over Tehama County by three Red Bluff patrolmen. They reported; “When the UFO had descended to about 100 or 200 feet altitude it suddenly reversed direction and climbed to 500 ft. Description: round or oblong surrounded by a glow (color not mentioned) and having definite red lights at each end.” They continued to watch the UFO as it performed “unbelievable” aerial feats.
Crime in 1980
George Bosque, age 25, abandoned his Brinks armored truck at the San Francisco Airport Hilton Hotel, stole a car then vanished with some $1.8 million in cash. When e was caught, he pleaded not guilty.
Environment in 1996
Botulism began killing birds at the Salton Sea. At 278 feet below sea level, it is more than 10% saltier than the Pacific Ocean. Mexican sewage and Coachella valley farm pesticides pollute the big lake.
Business in 2005
Reliant Energy paid $135.4 million to settle charges of energy manipulation during the energy 2000 crises in California. It also dropped $299.5 million in claims it is owed.
Business in 2005
Hershey Company purchased Joseph Schmidt, a San Francisco gourmet chocolate maker. It previously purchased Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, a gourmet chocolate maker in Berkeley,
Business in 2011
Google, in Mountain View, offered to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
Crime in 2013
A boat communicating with a truck in a parking lot was spotted by lifeguards in Malibu. Authorities recovered 52 bales of marijuana and arrested two men.
Flight in 1927
The Dole Air Race, the first from Oakland to Honolulu, began. Just two of the six planes that took off made it across the Pacific Ocean. A little plane named Woolaroc, won in 26 hours, 17 minutes flying time.
Lugosi in 1956
Bela Lugosi, film actor, died in Hollywood at age 73. He was famous for his performance in “Dracula” (1931).
Riots in 1965
The Watts riot/revolt ended in Los Angeles after six days. Thirty-four people died, 857 were injured and over 2,200 arrested. Property damage was around $200 million. It was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement.
Bufano in 1970
Benny Bufano, sculptor, died in San Francisco at age 71. He was best known for large-scale monuments representing peace.
Crime in 1986
Flozelle Woodmore, age 18, shot and killed her abusive boyfriend with a .357 magnum in the front of their 2-year-old son in Los Angeles. She was paroled in 2007.
Environment in 1987
Nearly 5,000 people meditated for two days at Mount Shasta and elsewhere for the Harmonic Convergence. They believed a special alignment of planets in our solar system would bring world peace.
Granger in 1993
Stewart Granger, film actor, died in Santa Monica at age 80. He was a popular leading man from the 1940s to the early 1960s.
Business in 2006
Google, in Mountain View, launched a free wireless network for its hometown.
Crime in 2007
Kathleen Culhane, 40-year-old private investigator, was sentenced in Sacramento to five years in state prison for forging documents to save the lives of Death Row inmates.
Labor in 2009
BART management and union leaders avoided a strike that would have shut down the San Francisco Bay Area’s mass transit rail system. They reached the tentative contract agreement less than 6 hours before the deadline.
Prisons in 2010
Santa Rita Jail deputies in Dublin Tasered inmate Martin Harrison, age 51, to move him to another cell. He was in the midst of alcohol withdrawal and died two days later. His four adult children won a $8.3 million settlement (2015).
Ryan in 2010
Dr. Frank Ryan, celebrity plastic surgeon, died when his car went over a cliff on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. He was texting while driving. Dr. Ryan was famous for performing multiple surgeries on reality TV star Heidi Montag. He also established a foundation to provide free removal of gang-related tattoos.
Transportation in 1849
The George Washington, the first river steamboat in California, began regular service between Sacramento and San Francisco. Some 300 steamboats later provided regular transportation between San Francisco, Benicia, Stockton and Sacramento.
Transportation in 1855
The Sacramento Valley Railroad, the first passenger railroad in the West, made a trial run from Sacramento to Folsom.
Earthquakes in 1896
A 6.0 earthquake struck the southeastern Sierra Nevada.
Business in 1908
The Bank of Italy opened new headquarters in San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. It merged with Bank of America in 1928. Today Bank of America is a multinational corporation headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Public health in 1953
Narcotics Anonymous was founded in Los Angeles. Based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, NA welcomes people to meetings for recovery from drug addiction. By 2010 there were NA meetings in more than 130 countries.
Gershwin in 1983
Ira Gershwin, songwriter for his composer brother George, died in Beverly Hills at age 83. They wrote songs like, “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”.
Sports in 2008
Bay Meadows Racetrack in San Mateo held its last race after nearly 74 years. It was the longest continually run stakes event in California. Bay Meadows donated 92% of profits to the war effort during World War II.
Fire in 2013
The Rim Fire, which burned 257,314 acres in the Sierra Nevada, was started by a hunter’s illegal campfire. The third largest wildfire in California history was named for the Rim of the World vista point in the Stanislaus National Forest.
Crime in 1856
The second Committee of Vigilance in San Francisco disbanded. They formed in May after a corrupt politician shot a prominent journalist. There was no regular police force.
Names in 1873
Three men climbed what they thought was an anonymous mountain and named it Fisherman’s Peak. But Clarence King, geological surveyor, already named Mount Whitney in 1863. He had climbed the highest peak in the U.S. but stopped short of the summit, returned in 1871 but climbed nearby Mount Langley by mistake. When he later completed his climb it was too late to claim the first recorded ascent. But he kept his claim to the original name.
Transportation in 1896
Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway made its first run. The tourist train took visitors to what became Stinson Beach until 1930.
Environment in 1906
A tropical cyclone moved north from Gulf of California bringing rain to southern California for two days.
Redford in 1936
Robert Redford, film actor, director, producer, businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist, was born in Santa Monica. He’s been called the “Godfather of Indie Film” because of his founding the Sundance Film Festival.
Business in 1947
Hewlett-Packard Company, in Palo Alto, was incorporated. It reported first year revenues of $1.5 million. Today HP is one of the world’s leading software companies.
Business in 1951
Mark Sullivan, in San Francisco, spoke with H.T. Killingworth, in New York City, on the first transcontinental wireless phone call.
Crime in 1985
Brothers George, age 32, and Columbus Bender, age 33, stole over $65,000 in quarters from a San Francisco Brink’s office. They were caught carrying $3,400 in quarters from a Reno casino, tried and sentenced to 4 years in jail.
Crime in 1985
Peter and Barbara Pan were attacked in their San Francisco home. Both were shot in the head. He died but she survived. Scrawled on the wall in lipstick were an inverted pentagram and “Jack the Knife.” The murder was later attributed to Richard Ramirez, the “night stalker.”
Accidents in 1994
Stella Liebeck, who spilled scalding coffee from McDonald’s on her lap, was awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages. She ended up getting $480,000.
Business in 2004
Google, in Mountain View, expected its stock to trade between $85 and $95 per share, down from $108 and $135. It also said the total number of shares to be sold will be cut to 19.6 million, down from 25.7 million.
Crime in 2004
Federal agents raided Charles Lepp’s Lake County marijuana farm where grew over 32,000 plants. He claimed his land was for patients who didn’t own land to grow marijuana for medical purposes. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2009.
Government in 2008
California’s supreme court barred doctors from claiming religious beliefs to deny medical care to gays, lesbians and transgender people.
Business in 2011
Hewlett-Packard, in Palo Alto, announced it would stop manufacturing personal computer.
Exploration in 1769
Gaspar de Portolà reached the area that become Santa Barbara. He was traveling with Father Crespí, 63 leather-jacket soldiers and a 100 mules loaded with provisions, marching north from San Diego, searching for Monterey Bay.
Gold Rush in 1847
John Sutter and John Marhsall agreed to build a lumber mill on the American River at a place known to the Indians as “Culloomah”. That’s where Marshall found the gold that began the Gold Rush on January 24, 1848.
Gold Rush in 1848
The New York Herald broke the news back East of gold discovery in California.
Business in 1882
“The Curse of California” cartoon showed the railroad monopoly as an octopus controlling the Nob Hill elite, farmers, lumber interests, shipping, fruit growers, stage lines, mining and the wine industry.
Circus in 1910
The Barnum & Bailey Circus arrived in San Francisco. It came with some 1,280 people, 700 horses and 400 elephants in 85 railroad cars.
Theater in 1913
W. C. Fields, then known as William Claude Dukenfield, performed as The Silent Humorist at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theater. He became one of the great comic film actors of the silent era through the 1930s.
Music in 1964
Six months after taking the East Coast by storm, the Beatles played at the Cow Palace in San Francisco on the opening night of their concert tour.
Marx in 1977
Groucho Marx, legendary comic of vaudeville, radio, film and television, died in Los Angeles at age 87. He made 13 feature films with the Marx Brothers before he launched a solo career as host of the radio and television game show “You Bet Your Life” (1947-1961).
Business in 1993
Mattel Inc., in El Segundo, merged with Fisher-Price Inc. in a stock swap valued at about $1 billion. That made them the second largest toy company, after Hasbro Inc.
Politics in 1996
Ralph Nader accepted the presidential nomination of the Green Party in Los Angeles. He criticized tax breaks for corporations and called for a “political alternative” to the Democraticic and Repubican parties.
Fire in 2002
An 8-alarm fire in San Jose consumed about 25% of the new $500 million Santana Row shopping and residential complex along South Winchester Boulevard.
Business in 2004
Google, headquartered in Mountain View, began trading shares at $85 per share. Today one share sells for more than $600. Google’s first employees, paid in stock, became millionaires.
Lynds in 2005
Dennis Lynds, mystery writer, died in Santa Barbara at age 81. He wrote some 20 books under the pseudonym Michael Collins, including his Dan Fortune private eye series.
Science in 2006
Cave Research Foundation explorers discovered a large cave in Sequoia National Park, which they named Ursa Minor.
Business in 2010
Intel, headquartered in Santa Clara, bought McAfee Inc., a security software maker, for $7.68 billion.
Cities in 2013
Demolition began on Pagoda Palace, a San Francisco North Beach theater built in 1908. The site provided access to boring machines to dig the Central Subway.
Environment in 1921
A tropical cyclone moved north from Baja California and into Arizona, producing rain in southern California and Arizona.Al Capone mug shot.Crime in 1934
Al Capone and 42 other prisoners traveled in steel barred railroad coaches from the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia to Alcatraz.
Crime in 1989
Jose and Kitty Menendez were murdered in their Beverly Hills mansion. Their sons, Eric and Lyle were accused of murdering them. The jury deadlocked in their first trial. But they were later convicted of first-degree murder in spite of their defense based on a history of parental abuse.
Education in 1998
UC Berkeley tied with the University. of Virginia as the best public university in the country according to a US News & World Report.
Business in 2001
Chevron, Shell, Texaco and Unocal oil companies agreed to clean up California’s environment polluted by their leaking MTBE storage tanks. ARCO, Exxon, Mobil and Tosco refused to participate.
Business in 2012
The price of a share of Apple Corp., headquartered in Cupertino, closed at $662.38. That made its value $623 billion, the world’s highest market cap ever.
Diller in 2012
Phyllis Diller, standup comedian, film and voice actress, died in her Los Angeles at age 94. Known for her wild stage personality, wild hair and clothes, she was the voice of the Queen in “A Bug’s Life,” Granny Neutron in “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius “and various characters on “Robot Chicken.”
Post in 2013
Ted Post, film and television director, died in Los Angeles at age 95. He directed 13 films including “Hang ‘em High” (1968) and “Magnum Force” (1973) starring Clint Eastwood, 56 episodes of “Gunsmoke” and 90 episodes of “Peyton Place.”
Music in 1935
Benny Goodman, “King of Swing,” and his band began a three-week series of shows at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles that launched the Swing Era.
Flight in 1968
William Dana reached 81.53 km. in the last high-altitude X-15 flight.
Crime in 1971
Six men died in a attempted escape from San Quentin Prison. After visiting with his lawyer, George Jackson, founder of the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang, pulled a pistol hidden in his hair and began to release other prisoners.
Crime in 1975
Members of the Symbionese Liberation Army used pipe bombs in a failed attempt to blow up police cars at an International House of Pancakes in Los Angeles.
Labor in 2006
Minimum wage in California was increased by $1.25 over the next year to $8.00 per hour, making it the highest in the U.S.