Exploration in 1579
Sir Frances Drake reached Drake’s Bay. Having captured several Spanish treasure ships, he needed to repair his ships and prepare for sailing to England by crossing the Pacific Ocean.
Inventions in 1890
Lydia Mackenzie of San Francisco patented a portable crib. “My invention relates to an improvement in children’s cribs; and it consists of a portable arrangement of parts…”
Inventions in 1890
Delia McGregory of Los Angeles patented a milk churn. “The object of my invention is to produce a wholesome, palatable, inexpensive compound, superior to my former compound in quality, texture, and appearance.”
Government in 1913
U.S. Marines sailed from San Diego to protect American interests in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution.
Parsons in 1952
John Parsons, rocket scientist, businessman and occultist, died in Pasadena at age 37. He died in a home laboratory explosion.
Music in 1967
Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love” peaked at #5 on the Billboard singles chart. The group was the first San Francisco psychedelic rock band to reach international mainstream success.
Crime in 1994
O.J. Simpson, following a televised low-speed highway chase, was arrested for murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Crime in 2005
Marcus Wesson, patriarch of a large clan he bred through incest, was convicted in Fresno. He murdered nine of his children and was sentenced to death.
Government in 2005
San Francisco began an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing for Commodities Ordnance. It became the first US city to consider public health and environmental values when purchasing products.
Franz in 2006
Arthur Franz, film and television actor, died in Oxnard at age 86. His was best known for roles in “The Sniper” (1952) and “Hellcats of the Navy” (1957).
Crime in 2008
Oakland police arrested Mark Chandler, age 33, Acorn gang leader, and some 30 members. They were charged with murders, carjackings, restaurant robberies and trafficking drugs and weapons.
Charisse in 2008
Cyd Charisse, film actress and dancer, died in Los Angeles at age 86. She was best known for “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952), where she danced with Gene Kelly. She was born Tula Ellice Finklea in Texas and married singer-actor Tony Martin.
Sports in 2010
Los Angeles Lakers won a 16th NBA championship by defeating the Boston Celtics, 83-79.
Business in 2011
California government and corporate leaders broke ground on the $4 billion Blythe Solar Power Project in Riverside County.
King in 2012
Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police led to the L.A. riots (1991), died in Rialto at age 47.
Ranchos in 1841
Rancho New Helvetia, meaning New Switzerland, was deeded to John Sutter. After gold was discovered at his mill on the American River at Coloma, his fort was abandoned and Sacramento was built on his land.
Post offices in 1856
A U.S. Post Office opened in Hornitos (originally Hornitas). The Mariposa County town was named for the above ground graves of Mexican miners, built in the shape of small ovens or hornitos. It had a population of 75 in 2010.
Cities in 1886
Pasadena incorporated. It became the fifth city in Los Angeles County. Today it is best known as home to the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade. It had a population of 137,122 in 2010.
Overland journeys in 1903
Horatio Jackson began the first transcontinental car trip in San Francisco. He bet $50 to prove he could drive across the country. Jackson did not own a car, had little driving experience and no map. He bought a used, 2-cylinder, 20 horsepower Winton automobile for the journey and convinced Sewall Crocker, a mechanic, to join him. They arrived in New York with their dog, Bud, on July 26, 1903.
Rancherias in 1907
The Hopland Indian Rancheria was established. It covers 40 acres in Mendocino County and has approximately 291 tribal members who live in the area, some 45 live on the reservation. Today the tribe owns and operates the Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino.
Accidents in 1936
Wally, the 25-year-old elephant, was shot to death in San Francisco. He trampled to death Edward Brown, Fleishhacker Zoo keeper.
Sports in 1960
The San Francisco Giants hired Tom Sheehan as manager. Age 66, he became baseball’s oldest debuting manager. That season, San Francisco won 46, lost 50 and and fell to a second-division, fifth place finish. Sheehan returned to scouting duties at season’s end.
Sports in 1972
Jack Nicklaus shot a 290 in the 72nd US Golf Open at Pebble Beach to win $30,000. Nicklaus, known as The Golden Bear, was among the most accomplished professional golfers of all time. He won 18 career major championships.
Public health in 1981
The AIDS epidemic was formally recognized by medical professionals in San Francisco. Since then, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has killed between 2.8 and 3.5 million people.
Allen in 1992
Peter Allen, Australian songwriter and entertainer, died in San Diego County, from HIV/AIDS at age 48.
Crime in 1996
Federal prosecutors charged Theodor J. Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, with four attacks, including two killings in Sacramento.
Sports in 2000
Tiger Woods shot a 272 in the 100th U.S. Golf Open at Pebble Beach to win nearly $5 million. He won his first U.S. Open by a record-setting 15 strokes over runners-up, which remains the greatest victory in any major championship.
Lubow in 2002
Raymond Lubow, Morley guitar pedals creator, died in Los Angeles at age 82. His musical special effects “Morley Man” logo was a long-haired rocker.
Business in 2003
Google, in Mountain View, launched AdSense. It let website publishers serve ads targeted to the content of their pages.
Business in 2004
Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo in Sunnyvale, and his wife Jane Bovington Semel reportedly planned to donate $25 million to UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute.
Business in 2007
A citizen’s commission appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger voted to raise legislators’ pay by 2.75%.
Business in 2007
Terry Semel stepped down as chief executive officer of Yahoo Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, and handed control to co-founder Jerry Yang.
Crime in 2007
Kevin Morrissey, age 51, overwhelmed by financial worries, shot and killed his wife and two children in Berkeley’s Tilden Park.
Khan in 2009
Ali Akbar Khan, Indian-born master performer and teacher of the 25-string Sarod, died in San Anselmo at age 87. The Ali Akbar College of Music , began in Calcutta (1967), is now in San Rafael with a branch in Basel, Switzerland.
Business in 2010
Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce.com, in San Francisco, donated $100 million to UC San Francisco for a children’s hospital at UCSF Mission Bay. The $1.5 billion complex was scheduled for completion in 2014.
Ranchos in 1839
Rancho Boca de Santa Monica was deeded. The 6,656-acre Mexican land grant in present day Los Angeles County included what is now Santa Monica Canyon, the Pacific Palisades and parts of Topanga Canyon.
Newspapers in 1855
El Clamor Publico began publishing in Los Angeles. It was founded by 19-year-old Francisco Ramirez, the former Spanish editor of the Los Angeles Star. It was published weekly until August 1859. The paper expressed strong political views in support of the Mexicanos as well as publishing poetry and literature.
Post offices in 1861
A U.S. Post Office opened in Anaheim. John Fischer was named Postmaster.
Inventions in 1883
Catharina Gilberts of San Francisco patented a mincing knife.
Cranston in 1914
Alan Cranston, journalist and Democratic Senator from California, was born in Palo Alto. He ran for the Democratic presidential nomination (1984).
Music in 1932
The first concert was held in San Francisco’s Sigmund Stern Grove. The outdoor amphitheater has held free weekly concerts and performances during the summer since 1938.
Flight in 1947
Albert Boyd, pioneer US Air Force test pilot, flew the P-80R to a new world’s speed record of 623.753 mph at Muroc Air Force Base. It arrived too late to be used in World War Two but played a role in the Korean War.
Television in 1954
Tasmanian Devil debuted in “Devil May Hare,” a Warner Brothers cartoon. He stalks Bugs Bunny but is little more than a nuisance.
Sports in 1955
Jack Fleck shot a 287 in the 55th U.S. Golf Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco to win $6,000. It was one of the great upsets in golf history. Fleck, a municipal course pro from Iowa, not only won his only major title, he denied Ben Hogan a record fifth U.S. Open.
Film in 1957
Walt Disney’s “Johnny Tremain,” originally made for television, debuted in movie theaters. Its success later inspired Disneyland’s Liberty Square.
Theater in 1964
Carol Doda, exotic dancer, wore a topless bathing suit at the San Francisco Condor Club. After breast implants, her bust became known as Doda’s “twin-44s.” The club erected a neon sign with blinking nipples that lasted to 1991.
Music in 1984
“Weird Al” Yankovic gave a free live performance at Del Mar Fair. He was known for parody songs like “Another One Rides the Bus,” “I Love Rocky Road” and “Word Crimes.”
Arthur in 1991
Jean Arthur, film actress, died in Carmel at age 90. She played in three Frank Capra films: “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” (1936), “You Can’t Take It With You” (1938) and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939). She was a major star of the 1930s and 1940s.
Sports in 2000
The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers in the NBA finals, 4-2. Shaquille O’Neal was MVP.
Crime in 2001
A San Jose jury convicted Andrew Burnett of tossing a little dog, Leo, to its death on a busy highway in a fit of road rage. He was sentenced to three years in prison for the death of the fluffy white Bichon Frise.
Beauty pageants in 2011
Alyssa Campanella, age 21, of Los Angeles, beat 51 beauty queens to take the Miss USA title at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Education in 1853
Henry Durant, Congregational minister, began Contra Costa Academy in Oakland as a private school for boys. In 1855, the school was chartered as the College of California, which eventually became UC Berkeley.
Cities in 1855
San Francisco commissioners were appointed to lay out streets and blocks west of Larkin, extending to the city to its charter line of 1851.
Wilson in 1942
Brian Wilson, singer-songwriter, was born in Inglewood. He is best known as the co-founder and leader of the Beach Boys.
Crime in 1947
Bugsy Siegel was shot dead at his girlfriend’s Beverly Hills mansion. Mob associates, angry over soaring costs of Siegel’s Flamingo resort in Las Vegas, ordered his murder.
Television in 1948
“Toast of the Town,” filmed in Los Angeles and hosted by Ed Sullivan, debuted on CBS-TV. The prime-time variety show featuring vaudeville acts and rock music became “The Ed Sullivan Show” (1955).
Sports in 1966
Billy Casper shot a 278 in the 66th U.S. Golf Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. He won $26,500. Casper staged one of the great comebacks, coming from seven strokes behind Arnold Palmer. Casper won the second of his three major titles.
Sports in 1973
Bobby Bonds, San Francisco Giants outfielder and Barry Bonds’ father, set a National League record with 22 lead off home runs.
Sports in 1982
Tom Watson shot a 282 in the 82nd US Golf Open at Pebble Beach to win $60,000. He won his only U.S. Open, two strokes ahead of Jack Nicklaus, for the sixth of his eight major titles.
Sports in 1984
Dave Kingman, Oakland A’s, hit his third grand slam home to defeat the Kansas City Royals, 8-1. That season, after hitting 35 home runs and driving in 118 runs, he was named American League’s Comeback Player of the Year. He hit 14 grand slam home runs in his career.
Government in 2003
Governor Gray Davis announced car license fees would triple and Finance Director Steve Peace said California was operating with borrowed money.
Accidents in 2003
Thirty-one Union Pacific loose railroad cars rolled freely over 30 miles, reaching speeds of 70 miles per hour before workers forced them off the tracks at Commerce. Cars loaded with lumber destroyed or damaged four homes and injured a dozen people.
Government in 2005
State and federal officials set aside $2 million to study why fish populations in the San Joaquin and Sacramento River Delta dropped sharply. Suspicious causes included non-native predators, increased herbicide and pesticide runoff along with water depletion to supply Southern California and the Central Valley.
Art in 2009
The San Francisco Chronicle published a photograph of a San Francisco sculpture made with toothpicks. Scott Weaver of Rohnert Park spent some 3,000 hours over 34 years building it.
Sports in 2010
Graeme McDowell shot a 284 in the 110th US Golf Open at Pebble Beach. His only major title earned $1,350,000.
Libraries in 2011
Google and the British Library agreed to let Internet users read, search, download and copy thousands of texts published between 1700 and 1870.
Fires in 2012
A 4-alarm fire tore through a San Francisco Pier 29 warehouse, causing over $2 million in damages. The structure dated back to 1915. Its 1918 front was restored in time for the America’s Cup Race (2013).
Environment in 2012
An invasive Japanese brown kelp, commonly known as Wakame, reportedly spread through the San Francisco waterfront. It was first discovered in California in 2000 and in San Francisco in 2009.
Slater in 2013
Philip Slater, professor, author and early LSD tester, died in Santa Cruz at age 86. His books include The Pursuit of Loneliness (1970), Wealth Addiction (1980) and A Dream Deferred (1992).
Ranchos in 1834
Rancho Petaluma was deeded to Mariano Vallejo. The 66,622-acre Mexican land grant was in present day Sonoma County. Vallejo was born a Spanish subject, served in the Mexican military and helped shape California’s transition to American statehood.
Crime in 1879
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. The ninth robbery was in Butte County, three miles from Forbes Town.
Environment in 1920
An earthquake struck the Newport-Inglewood fault. It extended 47 miles from Culver City to Newport Beach then into the Pacific Ocean. On March 10, 1933, the Long Beach earthquake, struck the southern part of the same fault, killing 115 people, the deadliest earthquake in California history after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Sports in 1987
Scott Simpson shot a 277 in the 87th U.S. Golf Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco to win $150,000. It was his only major title, which he won by one stroke, beating 11 former champions.
Sports in 1988
The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons in the 42nd NBA Championship, 4-3. They became the first team in 20 years to repeat as champions. James Worthy racked up a triple-double; 36 points, 16 rebounds,10 assists and was named MVP.
Sports in 1989
Rickey Henderson was traded by the New York Yankees to the Oakland A’s for two pitchers and an outfielder. Henderson played for the A’s four different times and for the Yankees, Blue Jays, Padres, Mets, Mariners and Red Sox.
Hollywood in 1990
Little Richard, recording artist, songwriter and performer, got a star on Hollywood’s walk of fame. He was a pioneer of rock and roll and major influence on popular music for 50 years.
Sports in 1992
Tom Kite won $275,000 at the 92nd U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. He was the first to add a third wedge to his bag, among the first to use a sports psychologist and to emphasize physical fitness for game improvement.
Flight in 2004
SpaceShipOne, built by Mojave Aerospace Ventures, became the first privately funded plane to achieve spaceflight.
Theater in 1849
Stephen Massett presented the first concert in San Francisco. His one-man show was held at the Police Court in Portsmouth Square. The British poet-actor, song and dance artist, composer, essayist, lawyer, auctioneer and notary public was a “wandering minstrel in many lands.”
Fire in 1851
San Francisco burned for the sixth time in two years. As before, it was set on purpose. Sea-breezes quickly spread the flames. City Hall burned, a $3 million loss, and Jenny Lind Theater burned for the sixth time. San Franciscans rebuilt with water tanks on many roofs and began to organize a fire department.
Inventions in 1875
Jennett Cooper, of San Francisco, patented an improvement in medical compounds. “My invention relates to a new medical compound for the treatment of coughs, colds, all diseases of the nasal organs, throat, and lungs, liver complaint, venereal diseases, consumption, rheumatism, dyspepsia, and various other diseases.”
Sports in 1976
Randy Jones, San Diego Padres pitcher, tied the record of 68 innings without a walk. He was known as a “junkball” pitcher. Pittsburgh coach Bob Skinner said, “Randy’s pitches are too good to take and not good enough to hit.”
Movies in 1977
Walt Disney Company, in Burbank, released “The Rescuers.” It told the story of the Rescue Aid Society, an international mouse organization headquartered in New York.
Gold Rush in 1849
Two nuggets, one weighed 40 ounces and the other 25 pounds, were found on the north fork of the American River according to the Placer Times.
Crime in 1883
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 27th robbery was in Amador County, four miles from Jackson.
Weather in 1902
The temperature at Volcano Springs set a US temperature record for June when it reached 129°F.
Rancherias in 1909
The Manchester Point Arena Indian Rancheria was established. Approximately 873 Pomo people live on the 364 acre Mendocino County reservation.
Watkins in 1916
Carleton Watkins, photographer, died in Napa at age 87. He was the greatest documentary photographer of the West during the later 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Crime in 1930
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tingard captured the trawler known as Dora and confiscated 400 cases of imported whiskey in Drake’s Bay.
Film in 1955
Walt Disney Company, in Burbank, released “Lady And The Tramp.” It features a pet female Cocker Spaniel named Lady and a stray male mutt called the Tramp.
Science in 1958
Dr. John Jay Osborn and Dr. Frank Gerbode used their heart-lung machine to operate on an 8-year-old boy at Stanford Hospital before a television audience of some 1.2 million.
Track and field in 1967
Jim Ryun set a world record by running a mile in 3:51.1 at a Bakersfield track meet. The 20-year-old sophomore from the University of Kansas later entered politics and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007.
Food banks in 1997
San Francisco Food Bank, which distributes food to hungry people in the city, opened a Potrero Hill center with cold storage.
Accidents in 1997
Three new Municipal Railway cars crashed in San Francisco, injuring three MUNI employees.
Business in 2003
Apple Computer Inc., in Cupertino, introduced Macintosh computers that used its “G5” microprocessor. The IBM Corp. design handled twice as much data at once as traditional PC microchips.
Fire in 2005
The first major wildfire of the season burned some 5,500 acres of desert brush and at least six homes in Morongo Valley.
Spelling in 2006
Aaron Spelling, legendary film and television producer, died in Los Angeles at age 83. He was best known for shows like “Charlie’s Angels” (1976-1981) and “Beverly Hills 90210” (1990-2000). He held 218 producer and executive producer credits, the most in U.S. television history.
White in 2006
Julian White, pianist, composer and teacher, died in Kensington at age 76. His nearly 50 years of Bay Area recitals with reflections on the relationship between music and self-knowledge developed a large audience.
Fire in 2008
More than 840 wildfires sparked by a lightning storm burned across Northern California. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called on firefighters in Nevada and Oregon to help battle the blazes.
Lotto in 2009
Santa Cruz resident Clyde Persley, age 49, turned in his winning SuperLotto Plus ticket to get his first check for about $16 million in four to six weeks.
Falk in 2011
Peter Falk, television actor, died in his Beverly Hills at age 83. He was best known as the star of the detective series “Columbo” (1971-1977).
Missions in 1767
King Charles III, the Spanish king expelled Jesuits from Alta California missions. He heard they were keeping gold, silver and pearls from Alta California and not sharing with him. So he ordered them to return home.
Missions in 1797
Friar Fermín Lasuén dedicated Mission San Juan Bautista. It was the 15th of 21 Alta California missions. By 1803,1,036 Native Americans lived there. The mission counted 1,036 cattle, 4,600 sheep, 22 swine, 540 horses and 8 mules that year.
Pueblos in 1835
Mariano Vallejo founded the pueblo of Sonoma. He laid out the 8-acre plaza and structures facing the plaza, including the soldiers’ barracks and his home, Casa Grande. The remains of Casa Grande, the barracks and San Francisco Solano are now managed by Sonoma State Historic Park.
Mexican American War in 1846
The Battle of Olompali, the first battle of the Mexican American War in California, was fought. Colonel Castro’s forces from Monterey fought John Frémont’s bear flag militia. Two Americans and five or six Californios were killed. In the 1960’s, the Grateful Dead lived on the site which now is Olompali State Historic Park in Marin County.
Transportation in 1900
Oliver Lippincott drove a Locomobile steam car into Yosemite Valley. Lippincott, of the Art Photo Co. in Los Angeles, rode around in the first automobile in the valley for weeks to take pictures to promote Yosemite and the Locomobile.
Movies in 1916
Mary Pickford became the first female movie star to sign a million dollar contract. She agreed to make 12 films in two years but with authority over their production. Known as “America’s Sweetheart,” she co-founded United Artists and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Movies in 1949
“Long-Haired Hare,” starring Bugs Bunny, debuted in theaters. The Looney Tunes short by Warner Brothers, of Los Angeles, pitted Bugs Bunny’s musical style against opera.
Television in 1949
“Hopalong Cassidy” (1949-1952) became the first network western. It was filmed at Anchor Ranch in Lone Pine. The stories appeared first in books then on the radio and film before being adapted to television.
Sports in 1979
Rickey Henderson debuted for the Oakland A’s and stole his first base. His 1,406 career steals is 50% higher than the previous record. He also holds the major league records for runs scored, unintentional walks and leadoff home runs. Henderson played for the A’s four times in his career.
Crime in 1993
David Gelernter, Yale University computer engineer, was injured in his New Haven, Connecticut office by a bomb sent by Theodore Kaczynski, called the Unabomber, from Sacramento.
Crime in 1997
Dennis Hope of Rio Vista was reportedly doing a good business selling real estate on the moon. He charged $15.99 for 1,777 acres of lunar land plus tax and shipping.
Winchell in 2005
Paul Winchell, ventriloquist, inventor and children’s television show host, died in Los Angeles at age 82. He was best known for working with his puppets, Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff and as the voice of Tigger, Winnie the Pooh’s friend.
Fire in 2007
The Angora Fire started near South Lake Tahoe. It destroyed more than 200 structures in two days. It began as an illegal campfire, burned until July 2, 2007 and caused over $141 million in damage.
Government in 2010
California Budget Project, in “Making Ends Meet,” estimated a single adult must earn nearly $32,000 to live in San Francisco. Two working parents with two children needed more than $84,000 to get by in the city.
Government in 2010
Oakland City Council voted to lay off 80 of the city’s 776 police officers as it slashed at a $30.5 million budget deficit.
Shorenstein in 2010
Walter Shorenstein, major real estate developer, died in San Francisco at age 95. He controlled some 130 buildings nationwide.
Government in 2011
Federal Trade Commission opened a investigation into Google’s online search and online advertising businesses to see if it abused its dominant position.