Government in 1852
Tulare County was established. It was named for Tulare Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Great Lakes until it was drained for agriculture. Sequoia National Park and part of Kings Canyon National Park are in the county. 442,179 people lived there in 2010, according to the census.
Libraries in 1880
San Francisco Public Library began lending books. It opened on June 7, 1879 but did not begin lending books until July 19th.
Parks in 1911
Mount Gilbert in Kings Canyon National Park was named for G.K. Gilbert (1843-1918), a leading geologist of his time.
Accidents in 1963
The U.S. Navy accidentally dropped a 2-foot, 25-pound practice bomb on Market St. in San Francisco.
Music in 1978
Dead Kennedys played their first show at Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco. They were a leading punk band in the early 1980s and won a large global following, especially in the United Kingdom.
Libraries in 1990
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum opened in Yorba Linda. Nixon agreed to turn over most materials from his presidency, including White House tape recordings. He wanted selected recordings destroyed but Congress intervened and moved those materials to the National Archives.
Titus in 2009
Warren Titus, founder of Royal Viking and Seabourn cruise ship lines, died at a in Marin County at age 94. He helped create the vacation cruise industry.
Goldhaber in 2010
Gerson Goldhaber, physicist, died in Berkeley at age 86. He contributed to discovering the antiproton and the “charm” quark in 1955, later known as the J/psi particle.
Accidents in 2011
Three hikers were swept over the 317-foot Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.
Overland Journeys in 1846
The Donner Party separated at the Little Sandy River from other wagons and took the road to Fort Bridger. Most safely followed the trail to Fort Hall. The Donner Party was lead by George and Jacob Donner, brothers, and James Reed.
Newspapers in 1854
The Southern Californian debuted in Los Angeles. “An independent weekly paper, devoted to the interests of Southern California, literature, markets, etc., etc.” It continued in English and Spanish until January 1856.
Labor in 1934
The San Francisco General Strike ended. Following Bloody Thursday on July 5th, in which two strikers were shot and killed and 109 wounded by San Francisco police. 65,000 trade unionists staged the most widespread strike in U.S. history, shutting down the city for four days.
Transportation in 1940
Arroyo Seco Parkway opened. Formerly known as the Pasadena Freeway, it partly followed the route of the raised, wooden California Cycleway. The first freeway in the Western U.S. is now called State Route 110.
Music in 1964
Jan & Dean’s “Surf City” was the first surf record to go #1. Its opening line, “Two girls for every boy!” helped create a popular vision of California as a paradise of sun, sand and endless summers.
Sports in 1970
Bill Singer, Los Angeles Dodgers, no-hit the Phillies 5-0. Singer walked nobody but hit one batter and committed two errors.
Public Health in 2005
San Francisco Bay Area air quality officials imposed the toughest regulations in the U.S. to reduce flaring, which releases gasses into the atmosphere, at the East Bay’s oil refineries.
Government in 2006
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized $150 million in loans to the state’s stem cell agency. A day earlier President George Bush vetoed legislation that expanded federal funding for stem cell research.
Earthquakes in 2007
A 4.2 earthquake jolted the San Francisco Bay area. It broke glass and rattled nerves but no injuries.
Government in 2009
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders bridged a $26.3 billion budget gap by cutting, borrowing and shifting funds.
Government in 2010
Oakland City Council adopted regulations permitting industrial-scale marijuana farms.
Government in 2011
Los Angeles passed a pioneering new law to protect bicyclists from harassment by motorists.
Exploration in 1586
Thomas Cavendish, privateer, sailed from England for Spanish colonies. He intended to raid Spanish ports and ships in the Pacific then return home by circumnavigating the globe. He returned home two years later, 27 years old and laden with treasure.
Gold Rush in 1847
James Marshall left Sutter’s Fort with Sutter and an Indian guide, looking for a place to build a sawmill. They settled for a spot they called Coloma on the American River where Marshall found the gold that ignited the Gold Rush on January 28, 1848.
Accidents in 1907
The passenger steamer SS Columbia collided with the steam schooner San Pedro off Shelter Cove. The Columbia sank, killing 88 people.
Earthquakes in 1952
The Kern County earthquake in the southern San Joaquin Valley measured 7.3 on the Richter scale. Twelve people were killed, 18 injured and it caused an estimated $60 million in property damage, centered around Tehachapi. It was the strongest earthquake in California since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Education in 1999
Lilly Endowment Inc. of Indianapolis awarded $50 to the San Francisco based Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Reisner in 2000
Marc Reisner, environmentalist author, died in Marin at age 51. His Cadillac Desert (1986) was an indictment of water management in the West.
Fires in 2002
The McNally Fire burned 150,670 acres in Sequoia and Inyo National Forests as well as in Giant Sequoia National Monument. It destroyed 14 structures and cost an estimated $45.7 million. It burned for more than a month.
Education in 2006
California Department of Education said an estimated 5% of high school seniors did not graduate because they failed the exit exam.
Mako in 2006
Mako, born Makoto Iwamatsu, Japanese-born film and television actor, died in Somis at age 72. He co-founded the East West Players, the first Asian-American theater company (1965).
Craig in 2008
Sid Craig, entrepreneur, died in Del Mar at age 76. He and his wife Jenny, a fitness expert, founded Jenny Craig. Today it has some 700 weight management centres in Australia, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.
Government in 2009
Oakland voters overwhelmingly approved the first tax on medical marijuana dispensaries in the U.S.
Backer in 2010
Don Backer, astronomer and pioneer in the use of the radio telescope, died in Berkeley at age 66. He led a group that discovered PSR B1937+21, a pulsar with a rotation period of just 1.6 milliseconds.
LGBTQ in 2012
U.S. military marched for the first time in full uniform at San Diego’s Gay Pride Parade.
Exploration in 1769
Gaspar de Portolà, with Father Crespí, 63 leather-jacket soldiers and a 100 mules loaded with provisions camped at Cristianitos Canyon. They were marching north from San Diego, searching for Monterey Bay. Their campsite is near modern San Clemente in Orange County.
Inventions in 1884
Felice Molini of San Francisco patented a pea shelling machine. It was designed to be run by steam, horse or other “suitable power.”
Inventions in 1890
Olive Christin of Bodie patented a steam cooker. “My invention relates to food cookers or steamers, and has for its object to provide a simple, inexpensive, and efficient apparatus of this character which will cook several different kinds of edibles at once without giving one the flavor of the other, and with economy of time, space, labor, and fuel.”
Crime in 1916
A suitcase bomb exploded in San Francisco during a Preparedness Day parade, killing 10 and injuring 40. The attack on the event supporting U.S. entry into World War I was the deadliest in San Francisco history. Two labor leaders, Thomas Mooney and Warren K Billings, were convicted; one sentenced to life in prison and the other to death. Years later, a commission reviewing the evidence found no proof of their guilt and the men were pardoned and released.
Crime in 1957
Two El Segundo police officers were shot and killed after pulling over a car for running a red light. Gerald Mason, then 68-years-old, was arrested following fingerprint ID from a FBI database (2003).
Crime in 1995
Elyse Pahler, 15 years old, was murdered in San Luis Obispo by teenagers in a death metal band called Hatred. Her body was not found for 8 months until revealed by Joseph Fiorella (16), who received a 26 year to life sentence.
Memorials in 1997
A group of Armenian organizations purchased .38 acres on Mt. Davidson in San Francisco for a memorial to Armenians massacred during World War I.
Kovacs in 2007
László Kovács, cinematographer, died in Beverly Hills at age 74. He was a pioneer of New Wave films in the 1970s, most famously for “Easy Rider” (1969) and “Five Easy Pieces” (1970).
Government in 2008
California reported 63,061 foreclosures during the 2nd three months of the year.
Government in 2008
Governor Schwarzenegger signed a law giving pet owners the right to set up a trust to care for their animals.
Getty in 2008
Estelle Getty, actress and comedienne in film, television and theatre, died in Los Angeles at age 84. She was best known as sarcastic Sophia on “The Golden Girls” (1985-1992).
Accidents in 2010
A Greyhound bus crashed near downtown Fresno killing six people, injuring nine. It had struck an overturned SUV. The 18-year-old driver SUV driver was found to have a .11% blood alcohol level.
Crime in 1849
Twenty-four members of the Hounds were convicted of conspiracy, riot, robbery and assault with intent to kill in a trial before San Francisco’s Alcalde. They were members of an early racist gang with roots in New York, that attacked Chileans, Peruvians and Mexicans.
Religion in 1854
Emanu-El synagogue founded in San Francisco. The German Jewish congregation was one of the first in California. Today the congregation of over 2,100 households still includes original families.
Crime in 1877
White rioters burned Chinese laundries in San Francisco. Four people were killed and more than $100,000 worth of property was destroyed in Chinatown. Anti-Chinese sentiment spread throughout the U. S., culminating in the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882.
Imus in 1940
Don Imus, controversial radio personality, radio host, humorist, landscape photographer, philanthropist and writer, was born in Riverside.
Music in 1942
Harry James and his Orchestra recorded “I Had the Craziest Dream” in Hollywood for Columbia Records.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
Pinedale Detention Camp closed. The Camp near Fresno was one of 15 temporary detention centers that securely moved approximately 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry to ten internment prisons during World War II.
Griffith in 1948
D.W. Griffith, pioneer filmmaker, died in Los Angeles at age 73. He is best known as director of “The Birth of a Nation” (1915).
Accidents in 1982
Actor Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed when a helicopter crashed on top of them during filming of a Vietnam War scene for “Twilight Zone: The Movie” (1983).
Business in 1998
Odwalla Inc., in Half Moon Bay, agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine for contaminated apple-based juices.
Fire in 2002
Fire in Sequoia National Park burned 48,200 acres in three days.
Government in 2003
A ballot to recall Governor Gray Davis qualified for the October 7 election.
Accidents in 2007
A helicopter delivering water to firefighters in the Klamath National Forest crashed, killing the pilot. More than 1,100 fire fighters were battling about 30 lightning-sparked fires covering 14 square miles near the Oregon state line, threatening 550 homes near Happy Camp.
Business in 2008
Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena, winner of a legendary 1976 wine tasting event in France, was bought by Cos d’Estournel of France.
Business in 2008
Google, in Mountain View, unveiled a new service dubbed “Knol.” Contributing authors would share in ad revenue in this Internet encyclopedia.
Harris in 2009
E. Lynn Harris, author, died in Los Angeles at age 54. Invisible Life (1994) was a coming-of-age as a gay man story. His ten consecutive books reached The New York Times Best Seller list, making him among the most successful African-American or gay authors of his era.
Crime in 2010
Three administrators in Bell, a small community near Los Angeles, agreed to resign. Their huge salaries sparked outrage. Robert Rizzo was paid $787,637 a year, Angela Spaccia $376,288 a year and Randy Adams $457,000. Seven officials were convicted on graft and corruption charges and given sentences up to 12 years in prison.
Overland journeys in 1929
The second Trans-American foot race from New York to San Francisco ended after 2½ months. The winner was 60-year-old Harry Abrams, who placed 11th in 1928. He was the first person to run across the continental U.S. twice.
Ramos in 1935
Mel Ramos, pop artist, was born in Sacramento. He is best known for paintings superheroes and nude women emerging from cornstalks or Chiquita bananas, with candy or in martini glasses.
Television in 1953
KEYT-TV channel 3 in Santa Barbara began broadcasting. During the 1950s, the station ran programming from all four TV networks: ABC, CBS, DuMont, and NBC. Today it is an ABC affiliate.
Radio in 1982
KHJ, in Los Angeles, and KFRC, in San Francisco, became the second and third stereo AM stations. Both began in the 1920s. KFRC no longer operates today but but KHJ broadcasts Spanish language entertainment.
Crime in 1986
A San Francisco Federal jury convicted Jerry Whitworth, U.S. Navy radioman, of spying for Russia. He was sentenced to seven life terms in prison on the espionage convictions, plus 17 years for tax fraud and fined $520,000.
Sports in 1987
Hulda Crooks, 91-year-old mountain climber from California, became the oldest woman to conquer Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak.
Crime in 2006
Dennis Herrera, San Francisco City Attorney, obtained a civil injunction and $20,000 in penalties against Carlos Romero for his graffiti. This was the first time the city sued a graffiti tagger.
Power in 2006
Thousands of California customers lost power as a scorching heat wave threatened to push the state into a power emergency with more blackouts possible.
Crime in 2007
Contra Costa County prosecutors announced charges against Diablo Valley College for changing students’ transcript grades in exchange for cash.
Business in 2007
Intel Corp., headquartered in Santa Clara, announced the first modulator made from silicon that can encode data onto a beam of light at a rate of 40 billion bits per second (gigabits). Such speeds represented a rate 40 times faster than most corporate data networks.
Government in 2009
California Senate approved a plan to close the state’s $26 billion budget deficit, providing hope after weeks of fiscal gloom.
Government in 2009
An Oakland city parking department memo ordered officers to avoid enforcing violations in some wealthy neighborhoods, but continue enforcing violations in the rest of the city.
Government in 2012
Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 for the Safe Drug Disposal Ordnance. It required producers of drugs sold or distributed in the county to pay for safe collection and disposal of unused medications
Missions in 1797
Father Fermin Lausen dedicated Mission de San Miguel Arcángel. The site for California’s 16th mission was chosen for the large Salinan Indian population that the priests wanted to evangelize. Today the mission in San Luis Obispo County is a parish church of the Diocese of Monterey.
Accidents in 1850
The clipper ship Frolic, sailing from Hong Kong to San Francisco, wrecked off the Mendocino coast. It carried opium from India to China to trade for silver and merchandise. The crew escaped but the cargo was lost. She carried ornately carved camphor trunks, fine silks, tables with inlaid marble tops, a prefabricated two-room house with oyster-shell windows, gold filigree jewelry, mother-of-pearl gambling pieces, ivory napkin rings and 6,109 bottles of English ale.
Crime in 1853
Joaquin Murrieta, the Californio bandit also known as “Robin Hood of El Dorado,” was killed. He was considered a bandit or a Mexican patriot, depending on your point of view.
Crime in 1878
Charles Earl 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. The fifth robbery was one mile from Barry Creek Sawmill in Butte County.
Protests in 1896
An estimated 5,000 cyclists gathered in San Francisco to demonstrate for better roads.
London in 1897
Jack London, 17 years old, sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush. From there he began submitting stories to magazines. The Son of the Wolf, was published in 1900 and The Call of the Wild in 1903.
Fire in 1901
Fire destroyed the Byron Hot Springs Hotel in Byron. A new hotel designed by James and Merritt Reid was built but burned in 1912 and was replaced again by James Reid in 1914.
Fire in 1903
Telegraph Hill Observatory burned and closed. It was known as the “party palace and observation post atop Telegraph Hill” since it opened in 1882. It staged jousting contests to attract customers. But the Observatory was too inaccessible on top of the hill. The building’s materials were hauled away for firewood. Today it is the site of Julius’ Castle, a landmark restaurant.
Women in 1918
Annette Abbott Adams became the female Assistant Attorney General of the United States. Born in Prattville, she became one of the first female school principals in the state and one of the first women admitted to the California Bar.
Paris in 1925
Jerry Paris, television actor-director, was born in San Francisco. He is best known as the dentist next door on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-1966).
Music in 1944
Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters recorded Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In” in Los Angeles for Decca Records.
Transportation in 1967
Construction began on San Francisco’s Muni Metro, a light rail/streetcar system that began in 1912. Today it’s the third largest U.S. light rail system, ridden by more than 160,100 people daily.
Movies in 1980
Red Vic repertory Movie House in San Francisco opened at Haight and Belvedere. It moved in 1991 then closed in 2011 after a final birthday screening.
Sports in 1990
Roseanne Barr, comedian, sparked controversy when she sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” off key, grabbed her crotch and spit on the pitcher’s mound at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.
Radio in 1991
Howard Stern added KLSX FM-97.1 in Los Angeles to his New York syndicated show. Within 18 months, he dominated markets in both cities, a feat never before accomplished.
Protests in 1997
Some 5,000 bicycle riders in San Francisco defied the approved route for the Critical Mass ride and struck out on their own. Some 250 were arrested for traffic violations. Confrontations between bikers, police and commuters were reported.
Schlesinger in 2003
John Schlesinger, film and stage director and actor, died in Palm Springs at age 77. His films included “Midnight Cowboy” (1969) and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1971).
Business in 2005
Intel, in Santa Clara, announced plans to build a $3 billion computer microprocessor fabrication plant in Arizona.
Crime in 2005
Nels Niemi, San Leandro police officer, was shot and killed by Irving Ramirez, a convicted methamphetamine user. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to die by lethal injection.
Rainey in 2005
Ford Rainey, stage, film and television actor, died in Santa Monica at age 96. He was a familiar face on screen from 1949 until the 1980s, when he appeared in commercials.
Government in 2006
San Francisco Supervisors approved providing health care coverage to the city’s some 82,000 uninsured residents.
Business in 2006
Hewlett-Packard, in Palo Alto, signed a $4.5 billion agreement to buy Mercury Interactive Corp., a maker of software for information technology networks.
Crime in 2007
Stockton police arrested 51 alleged gang members and seized $400,000 worth of drugs following a 6-month investigation. Members and affiliates of the Norteno and South Side gangs were arrested.
Accidents in 2007
PG&E electrical breakers in San Francisco caused a power outage that knocked out a number of Web sites.
Environment in 2007
The East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan was unveiled. It called for $350 million spent over 30 years to preserve 30,000 acres of open space around Mt. Diablo. It also listed some 12,000 acres for new development.
Government in 2008
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill banning trans fat in restaurants and food facilities. California was the first state to do so.
Burns in 2008
Harriet Burns, film artist and designer, died in Los Angeles at age 79. Hired in 1955, she was a founding source for Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland’s development. She appears on several episodes of Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color,” a backstage look at the Walt Disney Company.
Government in 2011
Governor Jerry Brown signed the “Dream Act.”allowing illegal immigrants to receive privately funded scholarships for the state’s public colleges and universities.
Crime in 2013
Barnaby Jack, a 35-year-old hacker who specialized in finding security flaws, was found dead in San Francisco. He had been due to give a presentation entitled “Implantable Medical Devices: Hacking Humans.” Police ruled out foul play.
Emperor Norton in 1860
Norton I, Emperor of North America and Protector of Mexico, issued a royal proclamation dissolving the United States. San Francisco’s celebrated eccentric issued several other royal proclamations, including one commanding that a bridge be built where the Oakland Bay Bridge now stands.
Crime in 1875
Charles Earl Bowles, English born gentleman bandit known as Black Bart, left poems at the scene of his crimes. He held up Wells Fargo stage coaches 28 times. His first was in Calaveras County near Copperopolis.
Movies in 1951
“Alice in Wonderland,” Walt Disney’s 13th animated film, premiered. It failed commercially and critically at first but has became one of the most popular Disney movies of all time.
Business in 1963
The Fly Trap in San Francisco, open since 1883, closed to make room for the 43-story Wells Fargo Tower. Today the restaurant is under new management.
Mountain climbing in 1989
Mark Wellman, 29-year-old paraplegic, reached the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park after hauling himself up the granite cliff six inches at a time over nine days.
Sports in 1991
Mark Gardner, Montreal Expo’s pitcher, no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers for 9 innings but lost in the 10th; 1-0.
Business in 2000
Napster Inc., in Los Angeles, was ordered to halt all illegal song swapping over the Internet.
Business in 2001
Hewlett-Packard, in Palo Alto, announced 6,000 worldwide job cuts and JDS Uniphase, headquartered in Milpitas, announced another 7,000 cuts.
Business in 2002
Texas Pacific Group, in Fort Worth, Texas and San Francisco, agreed to buy Burger King for $2.26 billion.
Government in 2003
People working to oust Governor Gray Davis held a celebration in Sacramento, more than two months before the October 7 election, with his recall on the ballot.
Crime in 2006
Nick-Tomasito Birco, 39-year-old San Francisco police officer, was killed when a van carrying four robbery suspects broadsided his patrol car.
Business in 2007
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums brokered negotiations between the locked-out Teamsters’ Union and Waste Management following 25 days of uncollected trash.