California history timeline for February 26 to March 4

February 26

Strauss in 1829
Levis Strauss was born in Germany. He opened a clothing company in the Gold Rush and first made jeans in the 1870’s. Today Levy’s is a world famous brand.

Levi Strauss & Co. logo

Levi Strauss & Co.

The Return of Indian Island Restoring the Center of the Wiyot World (2004).

The Return of Indian Island Restoring the Center of the Wiyot World (2004).

Crime in 1860 
White settlers murdered some 60 women, children and elder Wiyot Indians on an island near Eureka. Bret Harte, then a local newspaper reporter, fed the story to San Francisco newspapers.

 

 

Libraries in 1884
Pasadena Public Library opened after starting as “Pasadena Library and Village Improvement Society,” a private subscription library. The first building was on Central School grounds, south side of Colorado Street between Raymond Street and the Santa Fe tracks.

Pasadena Public Library (ca. 1893) in what became Memorial Park. f the Pasadena Public Library, built in Richardsonian Romanesque style stone. It was demolished except for the entry, which remains in Memorial Park, formerly Library Park. Architect was Hamilton Ridgway.

Pasadena Public Library (ca. 1893) in what became Memorial Park.

Bison buffalo in Golden Gate Park.

Bison buffalo in Golden Gate Park.

Parks in 1891 
The first buffalo, a pair named Benjamin Harrison and Sarah Bernhardt, were settled in Golden Gate Park following reports that only 1000 were left in the U.S.

 

Bridges in 1933
Golden Gate Bride groundbreaking celebration began at Crissy Field in San Francisco. 100,000 people attended.

Salinas Brewing and Ice Co (1938).

Salinas Brewing and Ice Co (1938).

Sports in 1941 
Cowboys’ Amateur Association of America was organized in California as part of the rodeo business.

 

Business in 1965 
Spoony Singh Sundher, entrepreneur, opened the Hollywood Wax Museum close to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. It cost $1.50 to enter.

Tierney in 2002 
Lawrence Tierney, Jr., actor, died in Los Angeles at age 82. He played in some 80 films, often as a  mobster or tough guy. A New York Times critic observed, “The hulking Tierney was not so much an actor as a frightening force of nature.”

Apple Corp.

Apple Corp.

Raskin in 2005 
Jef Raskin, computer pioneer, died in Pacifica at age 61. He led development of a graphical interface for Apple’s Macintosh.

Business in 2009 
Virgin Megastore, music and video retailer, announced closure of its San Francisco and New York stores. This left the company with three stores. It had 23 stores in 2002. 

Crime in 2013 
Jeremy Goulet, who ambushed Santa Cruz police detectives Loran Baker and Elizabeth Butler, was killed at the scene.

February 27

Steinbeck in 1902
John Steinbeck, author, was born in Salinas. He was famous for describing California experiences in Of Mice and Men (1937), The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952).

Public health in 1985 
Irwin Memorial Blood Bank in San Francisco said 80 Bay Area residents received blood since 1979 from donors who are know to have AIDS.

Embarcadero Freeway demolition (1991).

Embarcadero Freeway demolition (1991).

Freeways in 1991 
Demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco began. It was badly damaged in the Loma Prieta Earthquake (1989). 

Hayakawa in 1992 
S.I. Hayakawa died in Greenbrae at age 85. Born in Canada of Japanese ancestry, he was an academic and a politician, president of San Francisco State University before being elected to the U.S. Senate.   

Apple Corp.

Apple Corp.

Business in 1998 
Apple stopped development of the Newton computer.

Government in 2004 
Bill Lockyer tried to block San Francisco from issuing same-sex marriage licenses and invalidate the 3,400 gay and lesbian weddings already performed. The court halted same-sex weddings the next month.

Pride Rainbow Flag.

Pride Rainbow Flag.

Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta.

Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta.

Environment in 2006 
Experts blamed the collapse of several fish species in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta on water exports, pesticides, non-native species and poisonous algae. Giant pumps near Tracy, which moved water south, also ground up many fish.

Environment in 2007 
A 75-foot wide chunk of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill slid onto Broadway following heavy  rains. One hundred-twenty people were forced to leave their homes until repairs took place. 

Coddington in 2008 
Boyd Coddington, car-building legend, died in Whittier at age 63. His reality show “American Hot Rod” introduced the nation to the West Coast hot rod guru.

Government in 2009 
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought emergency.

California drought (2014).

California drought (2014).

Seal of San Francisco.

Seal of San Francisco.

Business in 2009 
San Francisco issued pink slips to 262 city employees. Most job cuts were to departments of parks and recreation, human services and public works. 

Crime in 2011 
Some 15 robbers held six employees at gunpoint at Unigen in Fremont, escaping with $37 million in computer components.

Crime in 2013 
Jon Wilmot, former Contra Costa fire captain, was charged with receiving stolen property, embezzlement, possession of an assault weapon and commercial burglary.

John Wilmot.

John Wilmot.

February 28

Patty Reed

Patty Reed

Overland trail in 1847
Rescuers heading down the mountain with Donner Party survivors met the second rescue group coming up. After nearly five months apart, James Reed reunited with his wife and two of their children, including Patty. But their other two children were trapped at the lake.

Gold Rush in 1849
The first steamship with gold seekers reached San Francisco. The steamship California, sailing from New York, took 4 months and 22 days to complete the trip. 

Inventions in 1888
Carrie Morse, of San Francisco, patented an adjustable bedstead for a crib. “My invention relates to the application of an adjustable bed-frame to a crib bedstead, whereby two independent beds are provided on one bedstead.”

Carrie Morse of San Francisco patented adjustable crib-bedstead (1888)

Carrie Morse of San Francisco patented adjustable crib-bedstead (1888)

Crime in 1888
The gentleman bandit known as Black Bart was seen for the last time. He left poems at the scenes of some of his 28 Wells Fargo stage coach robberies.

Fairs in 1914
Construction began on the Tower of Jewels for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. It was covered with some 100,000 cut glass “jewels” that sparkled by day and lit by 50 spotlights at night. 

Sports in 1960 
The 8th Winter Olympics closed at Squaw Valley. The Soviet Union won 7 gold medals – the U.S. won 3.

Sports in 1966
Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, two of the greatest, most popular pitchers in history, refused to renew contracts with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their 32-day holdout changed the relationship between players and owners.

Bridges in 1970
Bicycles were allowed on the Golden Gate Bridge west sidewalk.

Crime in 1997
Two bank robbers in North Hollywood and the Los Angeles Police Department fired some 2,000 rounds in a shootout. Both robbers were killed, 11 police officers and 7 civilians were injured and numerous vehicles and other property was damaged.

Antiproton.

Antiproton.

Chamberlain in 2006 
Owen Chamberlain, physicist, died in Berkeley at age 86. He and Emilio Segre shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovery of the antiproton (1959).

Education in 2008 
A California court ruled that parents must send their children to full-time public or private schools or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home. The ruling made some 166,000 children possibly truant. Later a court ruled that parents have a right to educate their children at home even if they lack a teaching credential.

Education in 2008 
New College of California in San Francisco received notice that its accreditation was revoked because of a lack of proper governing structure, failure to keep proper student records and lack of oversight. The school closed later that year.

Science in 2008 
Craig Venter, geneticist, mapped the genetic diversity of the oceans at the TED conference in Monterey. He described creating a life form that feeds on climate-ruining carbon dioxide to produce fuel.

Science in 2011 
AeroVironment, headquartered in Monrovia, reportedly built the world’s first hummingbird spy drone. The Pentagon asked them to develop a pocket-sized aircraft for surveillance and reconnaissance that mimicked biology.

Russell in 2011 
Jane Russell, legendary actress and sex symbol, died in Santa Maria at age 89. She shot to fame after starring in “The Outlaw” (1943). 

International Rivers.

International Rivers.

Environment in 2013 
International Rivers, a Berkeley-based nonprofit, won a MacArthur Foundation prize worth $750,000 for its work opposing dams and helping countries and corporations around the world find alternative energy sources.

Bubble Chamber.

Bubble Chamber.

Glaser in 2013 
Donald A. Glaser, physicist and inventor of the bubble chamber, died in Berkeley at age 87. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics (1960).

February 29

Ruef in 1936        
Abe Ruef, San Francisco political boss at the turn of the century, died in San Francisco at age 71. He served time at San Quentin Prison for graft and corruption. 

Movies in 1940 
“Gone with the Wind” won eight Oscars, including Hattie McDaniel’s win for Best Support Actress. She was the first African American actor to win an Oscar.

Science in 1940 
Ernest Lawrence, U.C. Berkeley physicist, won the Nobel Prize “for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it, especially with regard to artificial radioactive elements.” (1939).

From Ernest Lawrence's 1934 patent on the cyclotron.

Doris Haddock, known as Granny D.

Doris Haddock, known as Granny D.

Protests in 2000        
Doris Haddock, the 90-year-old known as Granny D, finished a 3,200 mile trek from California to Washington D.C to urge Congress to enact campaign finance reform.

March 1

Overland trail in 1847        
James Reed reached Donner Lake and found two of his children alive among 15 other survivors.

John Charles Frémont

John Charles Frémont

Kearney in 1847
Stephen Kearny, U.S. Army Brigadier General, ordered John Frémont to resign as military governor so he could assume that office. They were rivals in the conquest of California during the Mexican American War. 

Inventions in 1870
Catherine Howard, of San Gabriel, patented artificial flowers. “This invention consists in the formation of artificial flowers out of the cocoon of the silk-worm.”

Labor in 1936 
A 3-day strike aboard the ocean liner SS California, docked in San Pedro, led to the defeat of the International Seamen’s Union and rise of the National Maritime Union. 

San Francisco Municipal Railway logo.

San Francisco Municipal Railway logo.

Labor in 1952        
San Francisco Municipal Railway workers received a wage increase of 9.4 cents, raising their hourly rate to $1.73.

Education in 1955        
A University of California survey reported that Americans spent more money on comic books that all U.S. elementary and high schools spent on textbooks.

Labor in 1964        
Protests began at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco over racial hiring practices.

BankAmericacard sign.

BankAmericacard sign.

Business in 1977 
Bank of America, headquartered in San Francisco, adopted the name VISA for their credit cards.

Environment in 1983 
A tornado tore through Los Angeles, killing two and injuring 33 people.

Los Angeles tornado (1984).

Los Angeles tornado (1984).

Coogan in 1984        
Jackie Coogan, film and television actor, died in Santa Monica at age 69. He began acting in silent films as a child but is best known as Uncle Fester in “The Addams Family.”

Business in 1995 
Yahoo! incorporated in Santa Clara. Today some 700 million people visit Yahoo websites monthly.

Yahoo!

Yahoo!

Great Seal of California.

Great Seal of California.

Government in 2004        
California Supreme Court ruled a Roman Catholic charity must offer birth-control coverage to its employees, in spite of religious beliefs.

Breitbart in 2012        
Andrew Breitbart, politically conservative writer, activist and website operator, died in Los Angeles at age 43. He was a popular speaker at Tea Party events across the U.S. 

Andrew Breitbart.

Andrew Breitbart.

George Shirakawa Jr..

George Shirakawa Jr..

Crime in 2013
George Shirakawa Jr., age 51, Santa Clara County supervisor, resigned after prosecutors filed felony charges alleging he stole public money and nearly $100,000 in campaign contributions to finance a gambling habit.

March 2

Counties in 1857
Del Norte County was established at the far northwest corner of California. It still is home to Yurok  and Tolowa people.

Del Norte County

Del Norte County

Post offices in 1857
A U.S. post office opened in Lafayette’s Old Pioneer grocery store. The first postmaster served for 30 years, followed by his son. The store also served as a Pony Express stop in 1861-1862.

Old Pioneer Grocery Store around 1910

Old Pioneer Grocery Store around 1910

Hubert Bancroft by Craig Welch.

Hubert Bancroft by Craig Welch.

Bancroft in 1918        
Hubert Bancroft, bookman, businessman and historian, died in San Francisco at age 86. 

Bridges in 1929        
The San Mateo-Hayward Bridge opened. It was first known as the San Francisco Bay Toll-Bridge. The 7.1-mile span was the longest in the world at the time. The toll for cars was $0.45 cents plus $0.05 per passenger. 

Government in 1930        
San Francisco took possession of the Spring Valley Water Co., which controlled the city’s water supply. 

Spring Valley Water Co. (1922).

Spring Valley Water Co. (1922).

Environment in 1938
Flooding and landslides in Los Angeles County caused over 200 deaths. Two cyclones struck the region between February 27nd and March 3rd.

Oscars.

Oscars.

Movies in 1944        
The 16th Academy Awards ceremony moved to Graumann’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

Movies in 1953 
The 25th Academy Awards were first broadcast on television.

Sports in 1976 
Bob Lurie and Bud Herseth bought the San Francisco Giants for $8 million, saving it from being moved to Toronto.

Literature in 1985        
Gordo, one of the first U.S. cartoon strips to celebrate Mexican culture, ended. Gus Arriola begun it in 1941.

Gordo (August 19, 1956).

Gordo (August 19, 1956).

Santa Anita Track.

Santa Anita Track.

Races in 1986 
The first million-dollar purse for a thoroughbred handicap race was won at Santa Anita Track. 

 

Computers in 1987        
The Macintosh II computer was introduced. The first color Mac had a CPU speed of 16 MHz and sold for $3,898.

California state flag

California state flag

Business in 2004        
California voters approved Proposition 57, a $15 billion bond measure, to be repaid over the next 9 to 14 years. They also passed Proposition 58, prohibiting future deficit financing.

McCambridge in 2004        
Mercedes McCambridge, actress of radio, stage, film, and television, died in San Diego at age 85. Orson Welles called her “the world’s greatest living radio actress.”

Crime in 2006        
Los Angeles prosecutors charged 19 people, including former police officers, with staging home robberies in Southern California to steal drugs, money and weapons.

Scott in 2006        
Garrett Scott, documentary filmmaker, died in Coronado at age 37. His “Occupation: Dreamland” (2005) was based on footage shot while embedded with the 82nd Airborne in Fallujah, Iraq.

Government in 2010        
Jerry Brown, former two-term governor, announced he would run for a third term as governor.

Jerry Brown, photograph by Will Davison.

Jerry Brown, photograph by Will Davison.

Crime in 2012        
Police and federal agents seized 750 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value around $34 million from a San Jose apartment. 

March 3

Government in 1849
San Francisco began to collect taxes to generate municipal funds.

San Francisco in 1849

San Francisco in 1849

Newspapers in 1851
Daily True Standard in San Francisco published for at least two months before it closed.

Government in 1853
Congress appropriated $150,000 and authorized engineers “to Ascertain the Most Practical and Economical Route for a Railroad From the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.” The Transcontinental Railroad was completed on May 10, 1869.

Golden Spike ceremony completing the Transcontinental Railroad.

Golden Spike ceremony completing the Transcontinental Railroad.

The only known photograph of an Army camel. Government Depot near Banning's Wharf.

The only known photograph of an Army camel. Government Depot near Banning’s Wharf.

Government in 1855
The U.S. Congress appropriated $30,000 for an experiment using camels as pack animals to cross the desert to California. The experiment ended but the camel barns are still standing in Benicia, in Solano County. 


California forests.

California forests.

Government in 1885 
California established the first permanent forest commission in the U.S.

Radio in 1925
KFWB, known as News Talk 980, started broadcasting. It was the third radio station in Los Angeles.

KFWB logo.

Ambergris.

Ambergris.

Ambergris in 1934        
Alf Haraldsen reportedly found some 150 pounds of ambergris near Bolinas. The rare material is formed in the intestines of whales and used to make perfume. His find, valued around at $75,000 then, would be worth more than $1,000,000 today. 

Business in 1936        
Standard Oil of California struck oil at Damman No 7, the first commercial oil well in Saudi Arabia, 

Candlestick+Park+PostcardSports in 1959 
The San Francisco Giants stadium was named Candlestick Park.

Earthquakes in 1959        
An earthquake measured 5.5 on the Richter scale shook the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Labor in 1964        
Terence Hallinan, student activist, was arrested in a protest against racial discrimination in hiring at the Sheraton Palace Hotel. Protests then focused on hiring practices of the Cadillac salesroom on Van Ness. 

Music in 1966 
Buffalo Springfield formed in San Francisco, with Stephen Stills and Neil Young. It lasted only two years but was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1997).

Ships in 1980        
The submarine Nautilus, the first atomic ship, was decommissioned at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo. She put to sea in  January 1955, set many records and traveled places beyond the limits of previous submarines.

Crime in 1981        
Tookie Williams, leader of the Crips, was convicted of killing four people in Los Angeles (1979) and sentenced to death. 

Crime in 1983        
Peter Ivers, a 37-year-old musician, was murdered in his Los Angeles apartment. He was best known as host of New Wave Theatre, a locally broadcast television show.  

Kaye in 1987        
Danny Kaye, actor, singer, dancer, comedian, broadcaster and legendary showman, died in Los Angeles at age 78. He starred in 17 movies, was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF and received the French Legion of Honor.

Crime in 1991 
Amateur video captured Los Angeles police officers beating of Rodney King. When King resisted arrest, the police forcefully subdued him. iots broke out in April when  a jury found the officers innocent. Fifty-three people died, including 10 killed by police and military forces.

Japanese American Internment in 1992
Manzanar War Relocation Center was dedicated as a National Historic Site. It was the most famous of 10 camps where some 110,000 Japanese Americans were held during World War II.

Archaeology in 2006        
Archaeologists excavating a housing development site near the Angeles National Forest found a prehistoric milling area estimated at 8,000 years old. Workers removed and cataloged about 100 tools and implements used by the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe. 

Tongva villages.

Tongva villages.

Orange County.

Orange County.

Crime in 2012        
Five Orange County men were charged with mortgage fraud. Their businesses promised homeowners secure loan modifications for an up-front fee then kept the fees with no loan modifications.

McQuarrie in 2012        
Ralph McQuarrie, movie conceptual artist, died in Berkeley at age 82. He was best known for work on the original “Star Wars” trilogy (1977-1983), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “Cocoon” (1985), for which he won an Academy Award and “Battlestar Galactica” television series (2004-2009).

Star Wars.

Star Wars.

March 4

Exploration in 1776
Father Pedro Font wrote in his diary about the salmon in the Salinas River. He was traveling with De Anza and the first colonists from Mexico to Alta California.

Government in 1804
The Spanish king divided Alta California and Baja California, separating Franciscan missions in the north from Dominican missions in the south.

California map published in 1845.

California map published in 1845.

Thomas Starr King.

Thomas Starr King.

King in 1864
Reverend Thomas Starr King died in San Francisco at age 39. He spoke passionately to keep California in the Union during the Civil War.

Government in 1881
California passed the first plant quarantine legislation in the U.S. It was to protect local crops from invasive plants and insects.

Races in 1928 
The Trans-America Footrace, nicknamed the Bunion Run, started at Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles. Runners raced 3,423.5 miles to Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Trans-American foot race (1928).

Trans-American foot race (1928).

Whaleback in southern Kings Canyon National Park.

Whaleback in southern Kings Canyon National Park.

Parks in 1940
Kings Canyon National Park, called General Grant National Park when it opened on October 1, 1890, had It’s name changed when it grew to 461,901 acres including the protection of giant sequoias.