Government in 1861
Mono County was established from parts of Calaveras, Fresno and Mariposa counties. Parts of Mono territory were given to Inyo County in 1866. It is east of the Sierra Nevada between Yosemite National Park and Nevada. Bodie, a gold rush ghost town and now a California State Historic Park is in Mono County.
Music in 1891
Sarah Bernhardt performed at the San Francisco Grand Opera House. Called “the most famous actress the world has ever known,” Bernhardt was on a grand world theatrical tour traveling on a chartered steamship carrying the diva, her company, scenery and accoutrement.
Hallidie in 1900
Andrew Hallidie died in San Francisco. He is credited with inventing the cable car in 1873 and fathering the San Francisco cable car system. Both claims are disputed.
Overland Journeys in 1908
Mr. and Mrs Jacob Murdock left Los Angeles driving their Packard on the first cross-country car trip. There were no gas stations so, in most cases, the fuel was purchased at department stores or mechanical workshops where it was stored in sealed canisters. They reached New York City in 32 days, 5 hours and 25 minutes.
Post offices in 1915
A U.S. post office opened at Universal City.
Television in 1962
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent the first satellite relay of a television signal between Camp Parks, California and Westford, Massachusetts.
Sports in 1962
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, threw 18 strikeouts against the San Francisco Giants. The Baseball Hall of Fame player tied the strikeout record set in 1938 by Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians.
Sports in 1963
The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the 17th NBA Championship, 4 games to 2.
Sports in 1967
The Philadelphia 76ers beat the San Francisco Warriors for the 21st NBA Championship, 4 games to 2.
Overton in 1967
Frank Overton, film and television actor, died in Pacific Palisades at age 49. His films included “The Dark At the Top of the Stairs” (1960).
Sports in 1978
Nolan Ryan, California Angels pitcher, struck out 15 Seattle Mariners batters. It was the 20th time he struck out 15 batters in a game.
Sports in 1981
The San Antonio Spurs blocked 20 shots by the Golden State Warriors to set a National Basketball Association record.
Environment in 1984
The Morgan Hill Earthquake struck along the Calaveras fault, east of San Jose and north of Morgan Hill. It was felt over 46,000 square miles and caused over $7 million in damages.
Crime in 1995
Gilbert Murray, 47-year-old California Forestry Association president, was killed by a mail bomb at his Sacramento headquarters. The bomb was from the Unabomber.
Government in 2001
California’s credit rating was downgraded by S&P for the 1st time since the recession of 1994.
Sports in 2004
Vitali Klitschko stopped Corrie Sanders in the eighth round to win the World Boxing Council heavyweight title in Los Angeles.
Business in 2008
U.C. Berkeley Police Chief Victoria Harrison, age 54, retired with a $2.1 million package then returned to the same job for more money.
Music in 2008
The Grateful Dead band decided to give the group’s archives to the U.C. Santa Cruz library.
Crime in 2013
Robert Shearer, San Francisco State University official, was charged with taking bribes for a waste-disposal contract that cost millions in additional dollars. Stephen Cheung, age 47, of Chemical Hazardous Material Technology was charged with 118 felonies, including commercial bribery.
War in 1846
Mexican forces defeated U.S. military in a skirmish along the Rio Grande called the Thornton Affair. The ambush and capture of Americans was a reason U.S. President James K. Polk declared war with Mexico.
Government in 1851
Klamath County was established. It was formed from Trinity County and covers the northwestern part of the state. The Klamath and Salmon River Indian War (1855) and the Bald Hills War (1858-1864) kept the area unsettled and the county dissolved in 1874.
Government in 1851
Nevada County was formed. It is in the Sierra Nevada, known as the Gold Rush Mother Lode Country. The first long-distance telephone call was in Nevada County from French Corral to French Lake (1877).
Government in 1851
Placer County was established. It stretches from the Sacramento Valley to Lake Tahoe and is one of the fastest growing counties in California by population.
United Nations in 1945
The United Nations Conference on International Organization produced the United Nations Charter. Delegates from 50 Allied nations met in San Francisco.
Health in 1955
Some children who received a polio vaccine were reported sick with the disease. Two batches of vaccine made by Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley were found to contain live polio virus.
Sports in 1961
San Francisco Giants baseball games began being broadcast on television.
Business in 1961
Robert Noyce was granted a patent for an integrated circuit, starting a legal battle with Jack Kilby over rights to the patent. Kilby invented one version of the circuits. Noyce developed the silicon integrated circuit, which was more useful because machines could be much smaller.
Crime in 1965
Michael Andrew Clark, age 16, shot at cars traveling along Highway 101 south of Orcutt from a nearby hilltop. He killed three people and wounded ten before committing suicide when the police arrived.
Rogers in 1995
Ginger Rogers, show business legend, died in Rancho Mirage at age 83. She danced and sang in films, on stage, radio, and television through five decades.
Government in 2005
Dick Murphy, 62-year-old mayor of San Diego announced his resignation under the weight of criticism over his controversial election and failure to address the pension underfunding problem.
Science in 2007
Joe DeRisi, U.C. San Francisco biochemist, announced finding genes of a spore producing parasite, Nosema ceranae, in dead bees. Spanish researchers had shown that the parasite can wipe out a beehive.
Crime in 2008
A bomb exploded at a San Diego FedEx building. Another bomb exploded at a San Diego courthouse on May 4. No one was injured in either.
Shark attacks in 2008
A shark killed David Martin, a 66-year-old triathlete, at Solano Beach near San Diego.
Arthur in 2009
Beatrice Arthur, stage and television actress, died in Los Angeles at age 82. She was best known for roles in “Maude” (1972-1978) and “The Golden Girls” (1985-1992).
Crime in 2010
Fresno police cracked down on gangs after three people were killed in separate shootings. In May police made some 648 arrests including 216 for felony offenses.
Health in 2012
Following discovery of mad cow disease in a California dairy cow, South Korean retailers pulled U.S. beef from their stores. U.S. health authorities said the animal was never a threat to the nation’s food supply because the dead cow an atypical case of BSE. That meant a random mutation in the animal rather than infected cattle feed was the cause.
Government in 1856
Peter Lassen lead pioneers in the Susanville area to declare the independent territory of Nataqua in northeast California and western Nevada. It ended in a gun fight between Nataquans and a posse sent to collect taxes on February 15, 1863.
Crime in 1859
Peter Lassen, for whom the county and mountain were named, was murdered in the Black Rock Mountains in the Nevada Territory. He arrived in Mexican California around the same time as John Sutter and settled on a 22,206-acre rancho north of Sutter’s Fort. As a trail blazer, he established the Lassen Cutoff of the California Trail, which he falsely promoted as a short-cut, which lead to much suffering and might have caused his murder.
Clubs in 1859
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was established in San Francisco. Over time it supported a library, provided relief funds to individuals, welcomed dignitaries, buried the dead and aided communities during times of disaster.
War in 1873
U.S. Army Captain Thomas lead five officers, 66 troops and 14 Warm Spring Scouts into the lava beds chasing the Modocs in an effort to force them to return to the Klamath reservation. While they ate lunch, Modoc warriors attacked. Troops that did not flee were killed or wounded.
Parks in 1938
Channel Islands National Monument was dedicated. Today Channel Islands National Park includes five islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources.
Sports in 1964
The Boston Celtics beat the San Francisco Warriors in the 18th NBA Championship, 4 games to 1.
Transportation in 1971
The last San Francisco lightship was replaced by an automatic buoy. It marked the main shipping channels to help guide ships into the Bay.
Science in 1981
Dr. Michael R. Harrison of U.C. San Francisco Medical Center performed the world’s first human open fetal surgery.
Government in 1983
Diane Feinstein, then San Francisco Mayor, defeated a recall attempt by 81%. She proposed banning handguns in San Francisco and became subject to a recall attempt organized by the White Panther Party.
Japanese American internment in 1942
Salinas Assembly Center, built on a rodeo grounds, opened. It was part of the forced detention of some 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Assembly centers were used to securely move people to the ten internment prisons.
Prisons in 1936
Joseph “Dutch” Bowers, reportedly the first man to try to escape from Alcatraz prison, fell seventy feet to his death after being shot by a guard while climbing a fence.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
The first Japanese American prisoners arrived at the Tanforan detention center south of San Francisco. People were held there for 169 days before being transferred to relocation camps.
Health in 1955
The U.S. government stopped using all Salk vaccine manufactured by Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley pending investigation of 7 to 14 ill children who were inoculated with the company’s vaccine.
Race Relations in 1963
Marvin Sheldon, San Francisco real estate developer, said he wanted no African Americans in any of the homes he has built in Golden Gate Heights. He rejected a $39,950 offer by Wilt Chamberlain, star of the San Francisco Warriors, to buy a home.
Crime in 1995
Robert Citron, former Orange County Treasurer, pleaded guilty to six counts of defrauding investors in the county investment pool. While he never profited personally, his actions were blamed for a $1.6 million loss, which caused the county to file for bankruptcy.
Handler in 2002
Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel, Inc. of El Segundo, died in Los Angeles at age 85. She created the Barbie doll (1959).
Stein in 2008
Hal Stein, jazz saxophonist and teacher, died in Oakland at age 79. His career spanned the swing and bebop eras of jazz.
Barnes in 2009
Ernie Barnes, professional football player, actor, author and artist, died in Los Angeles at age 68. He was the official artist of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Newspapers in 1849
The Placer Times was first published at Sacramento City.
Gold Rush in 1849
Samuel Brannan began ferry service to Mormon Island, one of the first gold mining camps. It was located where the North and South Forks of the American River come together. Today it is under Folsom Lake.
Churches in 1850
Grace Episcopal Church of San Francisco was organized as a parish by the first regularly appointed Episcopal missionary to California. Today Grace Cathedral is an international pilgrimage center for church-goers and visitors.
Education in 1855
Santa Clara College, founded by Jesuits, is the oldest institution of higher education in the state. Today the university has 5,250 undergraduate and 3,270 graduate students.
War in 1856
Yokut Indians repelled an attack on their land by some 100 would-be Indian fighters called “Petticoat Rangers.” The Tule River War in the southern San Joaquin Valley lasted six weeks.
Libraries in 1880
The California State Legislature approved an “Act to establish free public libraries and reading rooms…” Today it is a research center for the state government and hub for all California public libraries.
Fires in 1908
A fire at a San Francisco stable killed 48 horses.
Bridges in 1937
A ceremony marked the driving of the last rivet into the Golden Gate Bridge. A rivet gun destroyed a symbolic gold rivet so a steel rivet finished the job.
Sports in 1961
Warren Spahn, the Milwaukee Braves pitcher known as “Hooks,” threw his second no hitter at age 41 to beat the San Francisco Giants, 1-0.
Sports in 1966
The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 20th NBA Championship, 4-3.
Accidents in 1973
Thousands of bombs on 18 railroad cars, headed for the Vietnam War, exploded over 18 hours in the town of Antelope. Fifty-five hundred structures were damaged. The accident lead to passage of the Transportation Safety Act (1974).
Sports in 1985
Fernando Valenzuela, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, set a record for most consecutive innings at the start of a season without allowing an earned run (41) before the Padres ended the streak.
Radio in 1998
Public Radio Inc. of San Francisco received a $185,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to create “Lost and Found Sound: An American Record.”
Government in 1998
Mabel Teng, San Francisco Supervisor, announced that the Boy Scouts of America would be barred from taking part in a $500,000 city charity drive because it refused to admit gays.
Calhoun in 1999
Rory Calhoun, Western film star, died in Burbank at age 76. He starred in the 1950s TV series “The Texan.”
Business in 2003
Apple, Inc., of Cupertino, launched the iTunes Music store. It became a media player, media library, online radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application that changed the music industry.
Science in 2006
A U.C. Berkeley research team reported creating microscopic versions of compound eyes like those of insects.
Business in 2010
Sempra Energy, parent company of San Diego Gas and Electric Co., agreed to pay $410 million to settle claims that it played Enron-style games with California’s electricity market during the 2000-2001 energy crises.
Business in 2010
Palm Inc., of Sunnyvale, agreed to be bought out by Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, for about $1.4 billion in cash. It helped originate the smart phone with its Palm Pilot “personal digital assistants.”
Exploration in 1769
The San Carlos arrived in San Diego Bay after more than 100 days at sea from Mexico. It was one of Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolá’s ships that founded a colony in San Diego. Due to a map error by Vizcaíno in 1602, the ship landed at the future site of Los Angeles before returning south.
War in 1856
During the Tule River War, Yokut Indians repelled a second attack by the ‘Petticoat Rangers,’ a band of civilian Indian fighters at Four Creeks. The Yokuts lived along the shores of Tulare Lake in the Central Valley, which disappeared by 1900 due to water diversion and farming.
Forts in 1857
The U.S. Army Pacific Division Headquarters were established at the San Francisco Presidio. Congress decommissioned it and transferred the land to the National Park Service on October 1, 1994.
Hearst in 1863
William Randolph Hearst was born in San Francisco. He built the nation’s largest newspaper chain. He promoted “”yellow journalism,” sensationalized stories of questionable truth.
Television in 1953
The first U.S. experimental 3D television broadcast showed an episode of “Space Patrol” on KECA-TV in Los Angeles.
Movies in 1953
The first Cinerama movie theater opened in Los Angeles. It had a deeply curved screen that extended into the auditorium.
Pfeiffer in 1958
Michelle Pfeiffer, actress, was born in Santa Ana. She is best known for roles in “Scarface” (1983), “Batman Returns” (1992) and “Hairspray” (2007).
Radio in 1963
KRE-AM in Berkeley changed its call letters to KPAT. KPAT changed back to KRE in 1972 then became KBLX in 1986 then KBFN in 1989 and back to KBLX in 1990. The current call letters, KVTO, were adopted in 1994. It broadcasts a Chinese format.
Music in 1971
Bill Graham closed the Fillmore in San Francisco and the Fillmore East in New York, legendary concert halls. He was angry about greed in the music industry. He soon changed his mind and put on shows with Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd, the Who and the Grateful Dead.
Hitchcock in 1980
Alfred Hitchcock, legendary film director, died in Bel Air at age 78. His films set in California include “Rebecca” (1940), “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943), “Vertigo” (1958) and “The Birds” (1963).
Libraries in 1986
Los Angeles Public Library burned. A fire at the Central Library damaged or destroyed some 400,000 books and other items.
Environment in 1988
Moloko, the first California condor chick conceived in captivity, was born in the San Diego Zoo.
Flight in 1990
The space shuttle Discovery landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base after a mission which included deploying the Hubble Space Telescope.
Riots in 1992
Riots started in Los Angeles when LA Police Department officers accused of beating Rodney King were acquitted. Over the next three days fifty-three people were killed, 2,300 injured and an some $717 million in property damaged.
Radio in 1996
Howard Stern Radio Show premiered on KFRR 104.1 FM in Fresno.
Business in 2004
Google, in Mountain View, unveiled an IPO, Initial Public Offering, that sold nearly $3 billion in stock.
Environment in 2004
Cleanup crews arrived at Suisun Marsh to tackle an estimated 60,000 gallon diesel fuel spill from a pipeline operated by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners of Houston, Texas.
Business in 2005
Apple, Inc., in Cupertino, began selling the Tiger operating system, OS X version 10.4, for the Mac computer.
Accidents in 2006
A rock slide at Ferguson Ridge, 8 miles west of El Portal, shut down the Highway 140 connection to Yosemite National Park.
Technology in 2010
ChronoZoom was announced and demonstrated at U.C. Berkeley. The free interactive zoomable timeline included the history of everything.
Prisons in 2013
Sixty-two prisoners reportedly died in California from 2006 through 2013 after coming down with a fungal infection called valley fever. The federal manager of health care in the state’s prisons ordered 3,300 inmates transferred from Pleasant Valley and Avenal, which had the highest rates.
Education in 1857
George Minns opened Minns’ Evening Normal School in San Francisco. It later became the California State Normal School and moved to San Jose. A southern campus became UCLA and the San Jose campus became San Jose State University.
Education in 1859
The California state legislature granted a charter to St. Ignatius Academy in San Francisco. What began as one-room schoolhouse in 1855 grew into one of the leading college preparatory schools in the state.
Inventions in 1867
Adelia Waldron of San Jose patented an improved washing machine. “The stationary washboard in front is faced by a movable one kept in position by two eccentric buttons fastened to the ends of the box. Wooden pegs in conjunction with a sliding clamp hold the clothes as the frame moves.”
Newspapers in 1853
The Placerville Herald debuted and published until at least November 5, 1853.
Newspapers in 1872
The only known edition of The Truckee Republican appeared on April 30, 1872.
Indians in 1908
Robinson Rancheria in Lake County was formed as Pomo tribal land. Today it is home to Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino.
Hollywood in 1927
Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford became the first celebrities to leave footprints in concrete at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Transportation in 1936
The Park-O-Meter, the first ones in San Francisco were on Market Street, charged 10 cents for 20 minutes.
Movies in 1938
The animated cartoon short “Porky’s Hare Hunt,” a Warner Bros production, debuted in movie theaters. It introduced Happy Rabbit, an early version of Bugs Bunny.
Japanese American internment in 1942
Turlock Assembly Center, built at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, opened. It was part of the forced detention of some 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Assembly centers were used to securely move people to the ten internment prisons.
Sports in 1952
Louise Suggs won the LPGA Golf Open in Stockton. It was one of 58 professional tournaments she won, including 11 majors. Suggs co-founded the Ladies Professional Golf Association with Patty Berg and Babe Zaharias in 1950.
Sports in 1961
Willie Mays, legendary San Francisco Giants outfielder, hit four home runs in a game with the Milwaukee Braves.
Public health in 1998
Daniel Jones, age 40, blew up his truck and fatally shot himself on a connector bridge between the Harbor and Century Freeways on live TV. He had HIV and displayed an anti-HMO banner before killing himself.
Public health in 2001
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a measure 9-2 to allow city employees medical benefits for a sex change.
Flight in 2001
The Soyuz-32 carried California businessman Dennis Tito and Russian astronauts to dock with the International Space Station.
Gupton in 2003
Eric Gupton, founding member of the Black theater troupe Pomo Afro Homos, died in San Francisco at age 30. The group’s breakthrough show was “Fierce Love: Stories From black Gay Life” (1990).
Business in 2004
The National Labor Relations Board, in San Francisco, ruled that cab drivers for an East Bay taxi companies are employees, not independent contractors. Therefore they were entitled to unionize. The companies refused to negotiate.
Transportation in 2009
San Francisco Municipal Railway announced plans to raise adult bus and streetcar fares by 50 cents to $2.00. It was the largest one-time raise in nearly a century. Service cuts were also approved.
Gray in 2013
Mike Gray, writer and filmmaker, died in Los Angeles at age 77. His work included the original screenplay for “The China syndrome” (1979).
Exploration in 1774
De Anza’s expedition to bring supplies from Mexico reached Monterey. The journey north took nearly three months because they got lost. The return journey south took only about a month.
Overland Journeys in 1841
The first wagon train left Independence, Missouri for Oregon. The 70 farmers followed a fur traders route to the Columbia River. That became the Oregon Trail.
Education in 1860
The first school in California for blind children opened in a small wood frame building in San Francisco. Forty-eight students enrolled in 1866. It became the California School for the Blind in Fremont.
Accidents in 1881
Five children were killed by a train when their family’s wagon stuck on the tracks in San Lorenzo.
Angel Island in 1892
The U.S. Quarantine Station opened on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. Approximately 200,000 Asian immigrants entered the U.S. here, making it the Ellis Island of the West. People spent years on the island waiting for entry. Today the U.S. Quarantine Station is a National Historic Landmark within Angel Island State Park.
Business in 1912
The Beverly Hills Hotel opened. It became the scene of legendary glamour, riches and romance.
Sports in 1973
The San Francisco Giants staged a record-breaking comeback by scoring 7 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-7.
Sports in 1991
Rickey Henderson, Oakland A’s outfielder, stole his 939th base, making him the all-time leader in this category.
Sports in 1992
The Los Angeles Dodgers postponed three games due to the riots over the Rodney King beating.
Crime in 1992
Eric Houston killed four people at Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst, where he failed history four years earlier.
Radio in 1997
The Howard Stern Radio Show premiered in San Diego on KIOZ 105.3 FM.
Cleaver in 1998
Eldridge Cleaver, political activist, died in Pomona at age 62. He wrote Soul On Ice (1968) while in Folsom Prison. He jumped bail after a 1968 shooting, returning to the U.S. in 1975. Cleaver renounced his actions as a Black Panther and became a Republican.
Reeves in 2000
Steve Reeves, body builder and actor, died in Escondido, at age 74. He was best known for roles in “Hercules,” “The Last Days of Pompeii,” and “Duel of the Titans.”
Race relations in 2002
California’s Department of Insurance released identities of 613 former slaves and 433 slaveholders.
Radio in 2006
KQED of San Francisco and KTEH of San Jose merged under the name Northern California Public Broadcasting.
Protests in 2007
Los Angeles Police officers responded to a May Day pro-immigration rally overflowing onto city streets by driving motorcycles through the crowd then ordering the crowd to disperse. Some people began throwing plastic bottles and rocks at officers who responded with batons and rubber bullets.
Sports in 2012
Guggenheim Partners purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.1 billion.