Ranchos in 1842
Rancho de la Punta de Reyes was deeded. A portion of the 13,645-acre Mexican land grant is in Marin County’s Point Reyes National Seashore.
Overland journey in 1846
Tamsen Donner wrote that they reached the Platte River. The journey had been easier than she expected. They were 200 miles from Fort Laramie, in present-day Wyoming.
Environment in 1896
Temperature hit 127°F at Fort Mojave. It was the hottest reading of record for June in the US.
Transportation in 1908
Taxi cab service started in Los Angeles. The Thomas Motor Car vehicles had a 16-horsepower motor. The ten taxis introduced into service were the first ones west of Chicago.
Exploration in 1909
Roald Amundsen, explorer, donated his converted herring boat, the Gjoe, to San Francisco. He sailed it across the Northwest Passage in 1905, reaching San Francisco in 1906. The boat was returned to Norway (1972), replaced by a sculpture next to the Beach Chalet at Ocean Beach.
Government in 1913
The California legislature approved the Civil Service Act. This guaranteed employment in state government based on merit and ability, not on political connections.
Transportation in 1929
Otto Funk, 62, ended his walk from New York to San Francisco. He traveled 4,165 miles in 183 days. Known as the “Walking Fiddler,” he fiddled every step of the way.
Chaplin in 1943
Charlie Chaplin, comic actor and filmmaker, married his fourth wife, Oona O’Neill, 18-year-old daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill, in Carpenteria. Chaplin’s became famous worldwide for his character, “the Tramp,” and as a cofounder of United Artists.
Art in 1954
The 13-foot neon beer glass atop the new Hamm’s Brewery in San Francisco was turned on. Brewing continued there until 1974.
Reeves in 1959
George Reeves, film and television actor, died in Beverly Hills at age 45. He was best known as Superman in the television series (1952-1958).
Television in 1966
“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” filmed in Burbank (1968-1972), debuted on NBC-TV. It featured some of the first music videos seen on network television, popularized the phrase “Sock it to me!,” launched careers and spun off a magazine and trading cards.
Music in 1967
50,000 – 90,000 people attended the first Monterey International Pop Festival. It featured Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Ravi Shankar. It was the first large-scale public performance of Janis Joplin and introduced Otis Redding to a large, predominantly white audience.
Basketball in 1975
The Milwaukee Bucks traded Kareem Abdul-Jabber and Walt Wesley to the Los Angeles Lakers for four players. The NBA’s best center, who had grown up in New York City and starred at UCLA, wanted out of Milwaukee.
Race relations in 1980
Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, received his doctoral degree from UC Santa Cruz. His doctoral thesis was titled “War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America.”
Business in 1977
Oracle Corporation incorporated in Santa Clara as Software Development Laboratories. Today it is the second-largest software maker by revenue, after Microsoft.
Sports in 1988
Thirty-two divers begin cycling on a standard tricycle underwater near Santa Barbara to complete 116.66 mi in 75 hours 20 minutes.
Music in 1990
MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Oakland native was known for flashy dance movements, choreography and Hammer pants.
Lapin in 2004
Al Lapin Jr., co-founder of the International House of Pancakes with his brother (1958), died in Los Angeles at age 76. The pancake houses became known for blue roofs and leaving a pot of coffee on the table.
Crime in 2006
In Martinez, Susan Polk was convicted of stabbing to death her millionaire psychotherapist husband, whom she had met as a 14-year-old girl in treatment.
Government in 2006
An unofficial final tally showed former US Rep. Ron Dellums won the Oakland mayor’s race by 155 votes with 50.18% of the vote.
LGBT in 2008
California county clerks began issuing marriage rights to gay men and lesbians, becoming the second US state to grant such rights.
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 sail 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.
Pasadena 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, 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.
San Francisco 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.
Movies 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.
Sports 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.
Social Services 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).