California History Timeline, January 24 to January 31

January 24

Exploration in 1770
Gaspar de Portolà’s expedition searched for Monterey Bay but overshot it and found San Francisco Bay. They turned south, hoping to meet the supply ship from Mexico at Monterey Bay. The ship never arrived so they marched back to San Diego, surviving by eating their mules. 

Portola's signature

Overland Journeys in 1847
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “Ceased snowing yesterday about 2 o’clock. Wind about S.E. All in good health. Thanks be to God for his mercies endureth for ever. Heard nothing from Murphys camp since the storm. Expect to hear they suffered some.” An infant died.

James Marshall standing in front of Sutter's Mill.

James Marshall standing in front of Sutter’s Mill.

Gold Rush in 1848
James Marshall found the gold flakes in the American River at Sutter’s saw mill that ignited the Gold Rush. He reportedly said,  “I have found it.” “What is it?” inquired Scott. “Gold,” I answered. “Oh! no,” replied Scott, “That can’t be.” I said, “I know it to be nothing else.”

Flight in 1910 
Louis Paulhan, pioneer French aviator, flew in an air show over Tanforan Race Track in San Bruno before a crowd of 75,000. He flew 1,300  feet high at 70 mph.

Louis Paulhan making his record flight, flying at 4,600 feet, in his Henry Farman biplane in Los Angeles (January 12, 1910).

Louis Paulhan making his record flight, flying at 4,600 feet, in his Henry Farman biplane in Los Angeles (January 12, 1910).

Fremont in 1956
Fremont incorporated. It is named for John C. Frémont and combined the towns of Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs.

Fremont, California.

Fremont, California.

Earthquakes in 1980
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck north of Livermore Valley, injuring 44 people and causing some $11.5 million in property damage, primarily at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. 

Sports in 1982 
The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21, in Super Bowl XVI.

"A Star is Born" (1976).

“A Star is Born” (1976).

Cukor in 1983 
George Cukor, film director, died in Los Angeles at age 84. His films included “My Fair Lady” (1964), “Love Among the Ruins” (1975) and “A Star is Born” (1976).

Business in 1984 
The first Apple Macintosh went on sale. The revolutionary personal computer with a speed of 8 MHz and 128k of RAM sold for $2,495.

Apple Macintosh (1984).

Apple Macintosh (1984).

Hubbard in 1986 
L. Ron Hubbard, science fiction author and founder of Scientology, died in Creston at age 75. By 2007 the Los Angeles based church claimed 10 million members worldwide.

Church of Scientology, Los Angeles.

Church of Scientology, Los Angeles.

O.J. Simpson.

O.J. Simpson.

Crime in 1995 
O.J. Simpson’s trial started in Los Angeles for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, her friend. It became one of the most publicized criminal trials in U.S. history.

Energy in 2001
California received bids for long-term electricity contracts in an auction to help ease the energy crises.

Business in 2006 
Walt Disney, in Burbank, announced it would buy Pixar Animation Studios, headquartered in Emeryville, in a stock deal valued at $7.4 billion.

Nicholas in 2006 
Fayard Nicholas, the older of the Nicholas Brothers tap dancing duo, died in Los Angeles at age 92. They were stars of the Harlem Renaissance jazz circuit and stage, film, and television into the 1990s.

Accidents in 2006
Four people died when a twin-engine plane skidded off a Carlsbad airport runway then burst into flames.

Roberts in 2010 
Pernell Roberts, actor, died in Malibu at age 82. He played the oldest son in the “Bonanza” (1959-1973) television series and later starred in “Trapper John M.D.” (1979-1986).

Government in 2011 
California Supreme Court ruled that cities and counties do not have to consult with unions before laying off workers to save money.

January 25

Royal Chapel of Monterey postcard.

Royal Chapel of Monterey postcard.

Missions in 1795        
The Royal Chapel of Monterey, Alta California’s first cathedral, was dedicated with a mass of thanksgiving. 

Ranchos in 1846
Rancho Cañada de San Vicente y Mesa del Padre Barona was granted. It covered 13,316 acres south of Ramona in present day San Diego County.

Rancho diseno

Rancho diseno

Margaret and Patrick Breen

Margaret and Patrick Breen

Overland Journeys in 1847
Patrick Breen, travelling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “Began to snow yesterday evening & still continues. Wind W.”

Accidents in 1878        
The King Philip, a clipper ship, sank outside of San Francisco Bay when its anchor failed and the ship drifted onto Ocean Beach, where it foundered. The ship’s remains  were found more than 100 years later.

King Philip wreckage at Ocean Beach.

King Philip wreckage at Ocean Beach.

Clubs in 1928        
The Zamorano Club, named after Agustin Zamorano, the first printer in Alta California, was founded in Los Angeles to print handmade books.

Armchair Detective premiered: July 6, 1949

Armchair Detective premiered on July 6, 1949

Television in 1949
The first Emmy Awards, television’s response to the movie’s Oscars, were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club. Then there were some 350 television sets in L.A. Local station KTLA swept the awards. Its most popular show was “Armchair Detective.”

Flight in 1959 
American Airlines flew the first coast-to-coast commercial jet from Los Angeles to New York. A ticket which cost around $300, around $2,425 today.

American Airlines magazine in 1959

American Airlines magazine in 1959

Charles Manson mugshot

Charles Manson mugshot

Crime in 1971
Charles Manson was convicted, along with Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkle of the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles (1969).

Sports in 1974 
Ray Kroc, CEO of McDonald’s, bought the San Diego Padres for $12 million. He said, “I am not buying the Padres to make money, I’m buying the Padres because I love baseball. The Padres will be my hobby.”

Gaylord Perry.

Gaylord Perry.

Sports in 1978 
The San Diego Padres traded pitcher Dave Tomlin and $125,000 to the Texas Rangers for Gaylord Perry, who won the Cy Young Award that year.

Sports in 1981
The Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10, in Super Bowl XV.

Sports in 1987 
The New York Giants beat the Denver Broncos, 39-20, in Super Bowl XXI, played in Pasadena. 

Government in 2005       
Legislators in San Francisco voted 8-3 to ban smoking in public parks, becoming the first major U.S. city with an wide ban on tobacco use.

No smoking.

No smoking.

Google.

Google.

Business in 2006        
Google Inc., in Mountain View, launched a search engine in China that censored material about topics sensitive to Beijing. Google claimed it was a trade-off to provide Chinese greater access to other information.

January 26

Ranchos in 1846
Rancho Cañada de Capay was deeded. It covered 40,079 acres in present day Yolo County.  The name means “valley of the Capay” in Spanish. “Capay” is a Southern Wintun Indian word for “stream.”

Rancho diseno

Rancho diseno

Overland Journeys in 1847
Patrick Breen, travelling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “Cleared up yesterday. To day fine & pleasant. Wind S. In hopes we are done with snow storms. Those that went to Suitor’s not yet returned. Provisions getting very scant. People getting weak living on short allowance of hides.”

Nero, a Donner Party dog.

Nero, a Donner Party dog.

Charles Bowles, also known as Black Bart.

Charles Bowles, also known as Black Bart.

Crime in 1882
Charles Bowles, English-born gentleman bandit known as Black Bart who left poems at the scenes of his crime, held up Wells Fargo stagecoaches 28 times. His 21st was near Cloverdale in Sonoma County.

 

 

 

Flight in 1911 
Glenn Curtiss flew the first seaplane from San Diego Bay. He was also the first pilot to land an aircraft on a ship at sea. 

he flew the first seaplane from the water in the United States

he flew the first seaplane from the water in the United States

Frances Orlando, who lived as a man, married Elizabeth Nunes. Courtesy Welcome to the "Girl Who 'Wed' Another Girl" website, a web area for the San Francisco Public Library exhibit by Dr. Nicoletta Karam.

Frances Orlando, who lived as a man, married Elizabeth Nunes. Courtesy the San Francisco Public Library.

Civil rights in 1929        
Frances Orlando, age 19, was arrested in San Francisco for dressing in men’s clothing.

 

 

 

 

Movies in 1939 
Filming began on “Gone With the Wind” in Los Angeles.  It won ten Academy Awards at the 12th Academy Awards in 1940 and was the highest grossing film at the time.

Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory

Science in 1949
The 200″ Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory saw first light, becoming the largest optical telescope in the world.

 

Amusement Parks in 1954 
Ground breaking began for the building of Disneyland in Anaheim.

Disneyland opening day in 1955

Disneyland opening day in 1955

Sports in 1960 
The Oakland Raiders joined the American Football League.

A truck and garage buried in mud after flooding in Highland (1969).

A truck and garage buried in mud after flooding in Highland (1969).

Environment in 1969       
California was declared a disaster area after two days of flooding and mud slides killed some 100 people in Southern California.

Business in 1998        
Intel, in Santa Clara, introduced a 333 Mhz chip. It was expected to reach 450Mhz speed.

Intel logo (1968-2005).

Intel logo (1968-2005).

Diane Whipple.

Diane Whipple.

Crime in 2001        
Diane Whipple, age 33, died after being attacked by two dogs in her San Francisco Pacific Heights apartment. The dogs were owned by two prison gang members but kept by Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller, who were indicted for murder and manslaughter.

Sports in 2003 
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII. Rioting erupted on Oakland streets after the game.

Accidents in 2005
Two trains derailed in Glendale, killing 11 and injuring 200, in the second deadliest crash by a Metrolink commuter railroad.

No smoking.

No smoking.

Government in 2006        
California legislators became the first in the U.S. to label secondhand tobacco smoke as a toxic air contaminant.

Business in 2007       
Intel, in Santa Clara, announced it would use a new material on its next generation of chips to make them more energy efficient. 

Intel logo (1968-2005).

Intel logo (1968-2005).

Nadya Suleman.

Nadya Suleman.

Multiple Births in 2009        
Nadya Suleman, age 33, gave birth to eight babies in Bellflower, the second time in history octuplets survived more than a few hours.

January 27

Business in 1827
Le Héros anchored in San Francisco Bay to trade for furs to sell in China. But because its goods did not interest the Indians or Mexicans, the ship spent nearly two years trying to trade its cargo.

Engraving of San Francisco Bay from Duhaut-Cilly's Voyage Autour du Monde published in Paris in 1834-1835.

Engraving of San Francisco Bay from Duhaut-Cilly’s Voyage Autour du Monde published in Paris in 1834-1835.

Nero, a Donner Party dog.

Nero, a Donner Party dog.

Overland Journeys in 1847
Patrick Breen, travelling with the Donner Paty, wrote in diary: “Began to Snow yesterday & still continues to sleet. Thawing a little. Wind W. Mrs. Keyber here this morning… Keysburg sick & Lanthrom lying in bed the whole of his time. Don’t have fire enough to Cook their hides. Bill & Sim. Murphy sick.”

Fairs in 1894 
The Midwinter International Exposition opened in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It featured an Electric Tower, a Fine Arts Building and a Royal Pavilion. 

Midwinter International Exposition in San Francisco (1894).

Midwinter International Exposition in San Francisco (1894).   

Music in 1962   
The Chubby Checker Twist Party at the Cow Palace, attended by 17,000 fans became the first big rock concert in Bay Area history.

Transamerica Pyramid.

Transamerica Pyramid.

Architecture in 1969      
Transamerica Corp. announced plans to build a tower in San Francisco. Work on the 853-foot Pyramid was completed in 1972.

Crime in 1969        
Byron Booth and Clinton Smith, convicts, escaped from the California Institution for Men at Chino. The next day they bought tickets to fly from Los Angeles to Miami. They hijacked the plane and it landed in Cuba. Officials removed the hijackers then the plane continued to Miami. 

Transportation in 1971  
BART’s tunnel to the Montgomery Street Station was”holed thru,” completing the tunneling for the two-level Market Street subway after six years.

BART map.

BART map.

Sports in 1973  
UCLA’s basketball team won its 61st game in a row, setting a NCAA record.

Accidents in 1984
Michael Jackson burned his head when a special effects accident caught his hair on fire while recording “Billie Jean” for a Pepsi Cola commercial in Los Angeles.

Crime in 2009       
Kraft Foods and Frito-Lay managers admitted to taking $318,000 in bribes from Randall Rahal, a former sales broker for SK Foods of Lemoore, a major Central California tomato processor. 

Crime in 2009       
Police found seven people dead at a home in Wilmington near Los Angeles.  Ervin Lupoe killed his children and wife before killing himself. Both parents had been recently fired from their jobs.

Business in 2010       
Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s iPad to bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops at MacWorld in San Francisco. 

Zinn in 2010        
Howard Zinn, historian, teacher and political activist, died of a heart attack in Santa Monica at age 88. His work included A People’s History of the United States (1980).

Great Seal of California.

Great Seal of California.

Government in 2012       
The California Air Resources Board approved strict vehicle emissions called the Advanced Clean Car program. It would reduce greenhouse gas emission by 50% by 2025.

January 28

Business in 1880 
Henry Casebolt, San Francisco inventor of the cable car grip, sold his interest in the Sutter Street Railway.

Sutter Street Railway's last horse-drawn car (1913).

Sutter Street Railway’s last horse-drawn car (1913).

Los Banos, Merced County.

Los Banos, Merced County.

Post Offices in 1890
A U.S. post office opened at Ingomar, near Los Banos in Merced County. The post office closed in 1921.

Crime in 1911
San Francisco police arrested 145 people for gambling in a raid on a San Francisco poolroom.

Beverly Hills in 1914 
Beverly Hills incorporated.

Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills.

Accidents in 1948 
A plane chartered by U.S. Immigration Services carrying 32 people crashed west of Coalinga. There were no survivors.

Accidents in 1969
An oil well off the Santa Barbara coast became the largest oil spill in the U.S. at the time. Today it ranks third after Deepwater Horizon (2010) and Exxon Valdez (1989) spills. In response to this blowout, modern environmental protection laws were passed and the environmental movement was born.

Sports in 1984 
The Los Angeles Kings shut down Wayne Gretzky, ending his historic 51-game scoring streak.

Music in 1985 
“We are the World” was recorded in Hollywood by the group USA for Africa to provide funds for famine relief. It featured many famous singers and sold 20 million copies.

Accidents in 1986 
An oil spill began when the tank barge Apex Houston lost a hatch cover while being towed from the Shell Oil refinery in Martinez to Long Beach. It spilled some 25,800 gallons of crude oil, killing some 6,500 seabirds along Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties.

Apex Houston oil spill (1986).

Apex Houston oil spill (1986).

Sports in 1990 
The San Francisco 49ers the beat Denver Broncos, 55-10, in Super Bowl XXIV.

Accidents in 1994 
A helicopter crashed into a San Jose office building, killing the pilot.

Gunner Lindberg murdered Thien Minh Ly (1996).

Gunner Lindberg murdered Thien Minh Ly (1996).

Crime in 1996  
Gunner Lindberg, of the Insane Criminal Posse, murdered Thien Minh Ly at a Tustin high school in a racially motivated attack. Lindberg was convicted and sentenced to death.

Business in 2002 
Palm Inc., in Sunnyvale, introduced a handheld computer with wireless e-mail and message service.

Palm Inc.

Palm Inc.

Jim Gray.

Jim Gray.

Gray in 2007 
Jim Gray, age 63, acclaimed computer scientist, disappeared while sailing from San Francisco to the Farallon Islands, some 25 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Business in 2008 
Security costs for Governor Schwarzenegger and other top state officials reportedly approached $38 million a year.

Crime in 2008
Wireless, a Fremont technology company, filed for bankruptcy. Stephen Durland, its financial officer, was later convicted of fraudulent stock sales and Jasper Knabb, its CEO, was sent to federal prison for stock fraud.

Pegasus Wireless.

Pegasus Wireless.

Accidents in 2008
One worker was killed and two others badly injured when a 5-story power plant tower collapsed during demolition in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood.

Marijuana leaf.

Marijuana leaf.

Business in 2010
Dhar Mann, age 25, opened iGrow, a shop for medical marijuana in a 15,000-square-foot warehouse near the Oakland Airport.

Protests in 2012
Oakland riot police fought with anti-Wall Street protesters, fired tear gas and bean bag projectiles and arrested some 200 people in clashes that injured three officers and at least one demonstrator.

Crime in 2012
A California police officer under investigation for sex with a minor was shot and killed by fellow officers as they tried to arrest him in Santa Maria.

January 29

Inventions in 1878
Clara L. Bradley, of San Francisco, patented a ladies underwear; “as by this improvement only one skirt is necessary, and this one possesses all the advantages of the several skirts now generally worn, and also to furnish a skirt which is peculiarly adapted to the present style of close-fitting garments.”

Clara Bradley underwear patent , 1878

Clara Bradley underwear patent , 1878

Hollywood in 1958
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, movie stars, married. Newman, the legendary actor and political activist, created a food company, Newman’s Own, and a foundation that “uses the power of giving to help transform lives and nourish the common good.”

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Movies in 1959 
Walt Disney, in Burbank, released the animated musical film “Sleeping Beauty,” the last Disney animated fairy tale until “The Little Mermaid” in 1989. 

Music in 1967
Mantra-Rock Dance, a benefit for the San Francisco Hare Krishna temple, was one of the great events in hippie history and probably the first rave.

Freddie Prinze, Sr.

Freddie Prinze, Sr.

Prinze in 1977
Freddie Prinze, Sr., comedian and actor, shot himself and died in Los Angeles at age 23. His starred in “Chico and the Man” (1974-1977) and fathered Freddie Prinze, Jr., also an actor. 

Sports in 1980 
The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 154-153, in quadruple overtime. The Lakers  won the NBA championship that season.

Architecture in 1985
Goldie Shack, one of 5,610 shacks built to house people following the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, was moved to the San Francisco Presidio for preservation.

Earthquake shacks (1906).

Earthquake shacks (1906).

Sports in 1994
The San Francisco 49ers became the first team to win five Super Bowl titles; 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1994.

Sports in 2002
The San Diego Chargers hired Marty Schottenheimer as their 13th head coach

Great Seal of California.

Great Seal of California.

Business in 2009
A California judge ruled that Governor Schwarzenegger could force state workers to take furloughs to close the budget gap.

January 30

San Francisco in 1847
Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco by order of Alcalde (mayor) Bartlett who wanted the town to have an American name following the Mexican American War.

San Francisco in 1849

Nero, a Donner Party dog.

Nero, a Donner Party dog.

Overland Journeys in 1847
Patrick Breen, traveling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary that in payment for a debt, John and Edward Graves took Mrs Reid’s goods and hides that she and her family would live on, leaving her with just two pieces of hide.

 

Movies in 1931 
Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights” premiered at Los Angeles Theater.

Hackman in 1931 
Gene Hackman, actor, was born in San Bernardino. In a 50-year career, he won two Academy Awards, including best actor in “The French Connection” (1971).

Boothe in 1955 
Jill Boothe, Los Angeles-born national skiing champion, crashed and broke her neck while trying to make the U.S. Olympic team. Paralyzed below her shoulders, she spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Boothe wrote, typed and painted using her neck and shoulder muscles with the help of a hand brace.

Technology in 1982
Richard Skrenta wrote the first PC virus code disguised as an Apple boot program called “Elk Cloner.” It caused no damage but was a practical joke.

Elk Cloner (1982).

Elk Cloner (1982).

Ilene Misheloff, age 13 (1989).

Ilene Misheloff, age 13 (1989).

Misheloff in 1989 
Ilene Misheloff, age 13, disappeared in Dublin while walking home from school and has not been seen since.

 

 

Transportation in 1993 
Los Angeles inaugurated the Metro Red Line, the city’s first modern subway.

Red Line mid-Wilshire.

Red Line mid-Wilshire.

Sports in 1996
Magic Johnson returned to play for the Los Angeles Lakers four years after retiring from professional basketball.

Chevron.

Chevron.

Business in 2009 
Chevron, in San Ramon, reported a record $23.93 billion annual profit.

Protests in 2011 
Some 800 to 1,000 people protested against the influence of Charles and David Koch, brothers who finance conservative causes. They disrupted a political retreat in Rancho Mirage run by the Kansas billionaires. 

Education in 2012
Claremont College admitted to submitting false SAT scores since 2005 to improve the school’s ranking.

Claremont Colleges.

Claremont Colleges.

January 31

Overland Journeys in 1847
Patrick Breen, travelling with the Donner Party, wrote in his diary: “Lantron Murphy died last night about 1 o’clock. Mrs. Reid & John went to Graves this Morning to look after her goods.”

Col. John C. Fremont

Col. John C. Fremont, Republican candidate for the President of the United States by Baker & Godwin

Government in 1848
John C. Frémont was convicted by a military court of mutiny, disobeying a superior officer and military misconduct. He later became the first Republican Party presidential candidate.

Orphans in 1851
The San Francisco Orphan’s Asylum was founded, the first in California. It helped kids whose parents died on their way to the Gold Rush. 

Grey in 1872
Zane Grey, author, was born. He was famous for Western fiction, like Riders of the Purple Sage (1912). Many of his books became screenplays for television and movies. His home in Altadena is a registered historic place.

Accidents in 1957
A commercial airliner and a military fighter jet collided then crashed into Pacoima Junior High School in the San Fernando Valley. Seven people were killed and 75 injured. 

Business in 1972
Herb Peterson created the Egg McMuffin at his Santa Barbara McDonald’s franchise.

Goldwyn in 1974 
Samuel Goldwyn, film mogul, died in Los Angeles at age 95. He founded and and ran several film studios in Hollywood in the early 1910s, including MGM Studios.

Continental Walk for Peace and Social Justice (1976).

Continental Walk for Peace and Social Justice (1976).

Protests in 1976 
Some 1,000 people joined the Continental Walk for Disarmament and Social Justice led by comedian Dick Gregory and Rev. Ralph Abernathy in San Francisco. Protestors marched across the U.S., reaching Washington, D.C. that October.

Sports in 1988 
The Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos, 42-10, in Super Bowl XXII, played in San Diego.

Sports in 1993 
The Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills, 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII, played in Pasadena.

Kelley in 2012 
Mike Kelley, artist, committed suicide in South Pasadena at age 58. He worked with found objects, drawings, assemblies, performance and video. He was described as “one of the most influential American artists of the past quarter century …”

Site of Alaska Airlines crash (2000).

Site of Alaska Airlines crash (2000).

Accidents in 2000
Alaska Airlines flight #261 crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Mugu, killing all 88 people aboard. It was reportedly caused by inadequate maintenance.