Prisons in 1913
The U.S. Army announced that Alcatraz island would be abandoned as a military prison and turned over to the Department of Justice for use as a federal penitentiary.
Japanese American Internment in 1946
Tulelake Detention Camp closed. This detention camp in Siskiyou County was part of the mass incarceration of nearly 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
Radio in 1955
KXTV-TV channel 10 in Sacramento began broadcasting.
Labor in 1959
Harry Bridges, labor leader, spoke at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club luncheon about his trip to Russia. He shared the Soviet Union’s promise that within 10 years its workers would enjoy the highest standard of living in the world, the highest wages, the shortest work week, the best free medical care, the best education and no unemployment.
Accidents in 1988
DeAndra Anrig, age 8, went airborne when the string of her kite was snagged by an airplane flying over Shoreline Park in Mountain View. She flew 10 feet off the ground for 100 feet until she let go. Anrig was not seriously hurt.
Sports in 1990
Los Angeles Lakers retired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s #33 jersey. He was a 6-time NBA Most Valuable Player, 19-time NBA All-Star, 15-time All-NBA selection, and 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. He lead the NBA in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals attempted and made, blocked shots, defensive rebounds and personal fouls.
Parks in 1999
Legoland California was the first Legoland outside of Europe when it opened in Carlsbad. Legoland Florida opened in 2011.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
Manzanar Detention Camp opened. This detention camp in the Owens Valley was part of the incarceration of nearly 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
Sports in 1946
The Los Angeles Rams signed Kenny Washington, making him the first African American player in National Football League since 1933. He played just three years, but had an enormous impact on the NFL.
Sports in 1959
University of California Golden Bears beat West Virginia Mountaineers in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, 71-70.
Prisons in 1963
The federal penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay closed.
Sports in 1964
UCLA beat Duke, 98-83, to finish an undefeated NCAA basketball season, 30-0.
Environment in 1970
San Francisco mayor Joseph Alioto proclaimed the first Earth Day. It was celebrated on April 22, 1970.
Exploration in 1774
Juan Bautista De Anza reached Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. He led 3 padres, 20 soldiers, 11 servants, 35 mules, 65 cattle, and 140 horses to establish a Spanish colony in Alta California.
Government in 1852
Siskiyou County, on the Oregon border, was created from Shasta and Klamath Counties. An 1851 gold strike flooded the area with prospectors. In the early 1940s, it was home to the State of Jefferson movement and the County Board of Supervisors voted to secede from California in 2013.
Inventions in 1864
Eliza Hall of San Francisco patented a furnace for smelting ore.
Government in 1866
Inyo County was formed from parts of Mono, Tulare, Kern and San Bernardino Counties. It includes Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the U.S., and Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America.
Government in 1872
Ventura County, originally part of Santa Barbara County, was established on the coast. Today is part of the greater Los Angeles region. The area is culturally rich from the time of the Chumash to today.
Transportation in 1875
1,500 railroad workers, mainly Chinese, began work on the San Fernando Tunnel. It was one of 18 tunnels the Southern Pacific Railroad needed to pass through the Tehachapi Mountains and link Northern and Southern California.
Inventions in 1892
Rebecca Miles of Porterville patented a milk churn. “The special object of the invention is to make a rocking churn in which the cream shall be agitated by one or more rollers moved alternately in opposite directions from one side to the other.”
Government in 1893
Kings County was formed from Tulare County in the Central Valley. In 1928 the Kettleman North Dome Oil Field became one of the most productive oil fields in the U.S. Today it is an agricultural region.
Environment in 1957
The San Francisco Bay area was struct by the strongest earthquake since 1906. It registered 5.3 on the Richter scale and was preceded by some six smaller quakes. A fire started in the Lowell High School chemistry lab when chemicals spilled.
Business in 1993
Intel Corporation shipped the first Pentium chips that ran at 60 and 66 MHz clock speeds, used 3.1 million transistors, had 4 GB of addressable memory, and measured 16.7 mm by 17.6 mm. It was Intel’s first superscalar x86 micro architecture and, as a direct extension of the 80486 architecture, it included dual integer pipelines, a faster floating-point unit, wider data bus, separate code and data caches and features for further reduced address calculation latency.
Newspapers in 1861
The Daily Independent Journal debuted in San Rafael. It later merged with The Marin County Journal and become the Marin Independent Journal in 1948.
Education in 1868
University of California was established when the governor signed into law the Organic Act “to Create and Organize the University of California.”
Radio in 1922
KMJ-AM in Fresno began radio transmissions. It is the 38th oldest licensed and continuously operated radio station in the U.S.
Transportation in 1937
Los Angeles Railway Co., with some 20 lines and 1,250 streetcars, started using PCC streetcars. Shirley Temple, then America’s biggest child star, unveiled its first PCC car. They ran until 1963.
Prisons in 1939
Guards beat 41 prisoners at San Quentin Prison in Marin County. William Lewis later testified that he loaded a rubber hose with BB shot to beat convicts.
President Kennedy in 1962
President John Kennedy landed at Alameda Naval Air Station then he went to U.C. Berkeley to deliver the traditional Charter Day address.
Sports in 1968
UCLA Bruins beat the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 30th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, 78-55.
Government in 1998
The California State Supreme Court ruled that Boy Scouts was a private organization and not subject to the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
Accidents in 1998
A Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter crashed while transporting an injured 12-year-old girl to a hospital. The girl and three others were killed.
Crime in 2006
Karen Eklund, age 31, of Antioch was shot 11-20 times and killed by police in San Francisco following a 40-mile pursuit. She had been sought on a federal warrant in an identity-theft case.
Government in 2007
An Alameda County judge released a report giving the state 60 days to stop killing fish or shut down pumps that send water to southern California.
Business in 2010
Google, in Mountain View, criticized Australia’s plan to filter the Internet, saying it went too far and could set a dangerous precedent.
Taylor in 2011
Elizabeth Taylor, legendary actress, died in Los Angeles at age 79. She was famously beautiful and acted in films for more than that 50 years.
Crime in 2012
Frederick Salyer, age 56, former owner of SK Foods, pleaded guilty in Sacramento to running the company as a racketeering enterprise. He bribed purchasers, fixed prices and altered lab tests of moldy tomato paste.
Crime in 2012
Sandra Jessee, age 61, was sentenced to life in prison for the 1998 murder of her third husband. She had him murdered to avoid paying his medical bills and to collect insurance money.
Crime in 2012
California border patrol officials found 13 pounds of methamphetamine in the gas tank of a car being towed through a checkpoint in Temecula. Another 38 pounds were found in the panel of a car at the same checkpoint on March 25.
Environment in 1806
An earthquake caused extensive damage to the Santa Barbara presidio chapel but did little other damage at the mission.
Exploration in 1844
John Frémont named Walker Pass after Joseph Walker, mountain man and scout. The mountain pass through the Sierra Nevada connects the San Joaquin Valley with the Mojave Desert.
Transportation in 1860
The clipper ship Andrew Jackson arrived in San Francisco in record time from New York; 89 days.
Monuments in 1934
The 103-foot Mount Davidson Cross in San Francisco was first lit. President Franklin Roosevelt lit it by an electrical impulse telegraphed from the White House.
Labor in 1998
Oakland City Council adopted a Jobs and Living Wage Ordnance. Businesses working with the city had to pay workers at least $8 an hour with benefits or $9.25 without benefits. It was the 17th U.S. city to adopt such an ordnance.
Crime in 1999
Robbers stole $2.3 million from a Loomis armored truck as it traveled between San Francisco and Sacramento. The theft was not reported until May 6. No arrests have been made.
Sports in 2001
Michelle Kwan, U.S. skater born in Torrance, won her fourth World Figure Skating title. Over her career, she won two Olympic medals, five World and nine U.S. championships.
Yordan in 2003
Philip Yordan, screenwriter, died in San Diego at age 88. He won an Academy Award for “Broken Lance” (1954).
Business in 2005
A jury ordered Toshiba Corp. to pay Lexar Media, Inc., in Fremont, $465 million. It was the largest intellectual property verdict in California history.
Business in 2006
Google stock traded up 7%, reaching $365.80 per share after news that it would be added to the S&P 500 index.
Rogers in 2007
Marshall Rogers, graphic artist, died in Fremont. He drew Batman comics with a mix of new detail and dark fantasy in the 1970s.
Science in 2009
Cepheid, gene-based test developer in Sunnyvale, announced a rapid, diagnostic test for tuberculosis that would be available at reduced cost in developing countries.
Culp in 2010
Robert Culp, television actor, died in Los Angeles at age 70. Culp shot to fame thanks to his role in “I Spy” (1965-1968).
Government in 2011
Governor Jerry Brown signed into law billions of dollars in cuts to state programs and services to help resolve the state’s $26.6 billion deficit.
Exploration in 1776
Juan Bautista de Anza, after leading the first Mexican colonists to Monterey then exploring north to discover San Francisco, turned south and reached San Joseph Cupertino arroyo, now called Stevens Creek.
Newspapers in 1848
The California Star, rival newspaper to The Californian, announced the discovery of gold.
Business in 1851
When Indians burned James Savage’s trading camp on the Merced River, Savage lead a militia on a reprisal raid, leading him to find Yosemite Valley. Savage had opened a trading post that made him so rich, supposedly he rolled a barrel of gold dust through the lobby of a San Francisco hotel.
Government in 1853
Alameda County was formed from Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties on the east side of San Francisco Bay. Today it is home to Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward and Fremont.
Inventions in 1879
Hanna Israel, of Banta, patented a collapsible parasol.
Patriotism in 1949
Robert Sproul, University of California president, proposed a faculty loyalty oath. The U.C. Board of Regents later voted to require all employees to sign a loyalty oath.
Music in 1963
The Beach Boys’ second album, Surfin’ USA, was released three months after the release of Surfin’ Safari. The title track became the their first big hit in the U.S..
Sports in 1972
UCLA Bruins beat the Memphis Tigers to win a 6th consecutive NCAA title, 87–66
Music in 1980
The Dead Kennedys were invited to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards in San Francisco to give the event “New Wave credibility.” They played “California Über Alles.”
Music in 2006
An evangelical Christian concert, “Battle Cry for a Generation,” drew some 25,000 teens to AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Protests in 2006
Some 500,000 people rallied in Los Angeles to protest legislation in Congress that would tighten enforcement against undocumented immigrants and erect more walls along the southern border.
Ownes in 2006
Buck Owens, country singer born in Bakersfield, died in Bakersfield at age 76. The so-called rhinestone cowboy shaped the sound of country music with “Act Naturally” and popularized it on “Hee Haw” (1969 – 1992).
Fleischer in 2006
Richard Fleischer, film director, died in Woodland Hills at age 90. His films included “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954) and “Conan the Destroyer” (1984).
Highways in 2013
People celebrated the opening of the Tom Lantos Tunnels, called the Devil’s Slide Tunnels. Opening the Highway 1 tunnels on the San Mateo coast was a victory for motorists and environmentalists.
Business in 2013
Palace Hotel executives in San Francisco changed their decision, responding to protests, and returned Maxfield Parrish’s “Pied Piper of Hamelin” painting to the hotel following its restoration.
Business in 2013
Yahoo of Sunnyvale acquired Summly, a British startup, for some $30 million. Summly founder Nick d’Aloisio, age 17, created an iPhone app to summarize articles in 300-400 characters.
Government in 1825
The constitution of the Mexican Republic was ratified in Monterey, ending the First Mexican Empire. The padres refused to provide a religious ceremony because they knew the Republic would favor the growth of ranchos over supporting the missions.
Ranchos in 1841
Rancho Santa Ana del Chino was deeded. The 22,193-acre Mexican land grant was in the Chino Hills of present day San Bernardino County. The land was part of the San Gabriel Mission.
Environment in 1872
The Great Lone Pine earthquake struck. It was one of the strongest earthquakes in California history. Of the estimated 250-300 inhabitants of Lone Pine in Inyo County, at least 27 died and many houses were destroyed.
Frost in 1874
Robert Frost, born in San Francisco, son of a journalist, grew up to become one of America’s great poets.
Education in 1878
Hastings College of Law was founded in San Francisco. It was named after the first chief justice of the California Supreme Court. The University of California’s first law school is the oldest law school on the West Coast.
Wilde in 1882
Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and playwright, arrived in San Francisco for a series of lectures.
Transportation in 1895
A law created the job of Lake Tahoe Wagon Road Commissioner to maintain the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road. California’s first state road stretched to the Nevada state line.
Chandler in 1959
Raymond Chandler, novelist and screenwriter, died in La Jolla at age 71, He was best known as a mystery writer and for his detective Philip Marlowe, His works included Farewell, My Lovely (1940) and The Long Goodbye (1953).
Sports in 1973
The UCLA Bruins defeated the Memphis State Tigers to win a 7th straight NCAA title, 87–66.
Government in 1977
Rose Bird was sworn in as Chief Justice of California, the first woman to hold that title. She became known for opposition to the death penalty.
Sports in 1979
The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants announced plans to play exhibition series in Tokyo. The Giant players rejected it.
Halston in 1990
Roy Halston Frowick, the fashion designer known as Halston, died in San Francisco at age 57. He was known for elegant, minimal cashmere or ultasuede outfits in mid-1970s.
Packard in 1996
David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co., died. The David & Lucille Packard Foundation’s highest priority is to reduce world-wide population growth.
Labor in 1997
United Farm Workers Union petitioned the U.S. Environmental Agency for a 4-day period when farmworkers stayed out of strawberry fields after the application of capstan, a cancer causing fungicide.
Cults in 1997
Thirty-nine bodies are found in the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide at Rancho Santa Fe, CA.
Energy in 2001
California state regulators proposed a 40% rate increase to address the state’s energy crisis.
Dean in 2004
William Jan Berry died in Los Angeles. He and Dean Torrence were pioneers of “surf music,” a sound popularized by The Beach Boys. Jan and Dean peaked in 1963 and 1964 with 16 Top 40 hits.
Sterling in 2004
Jan Sterling, stage, film, and television actress, died in Los Angeles at age 82. She was best known for playing opposite Kirk Douglas in “Ace in the Hole” (1951).
Business in 2007
Intel Corp. of Sacramento announced plans to build a $2.5 billion chip factory in China for a bigger presence in the Chinese market. It also unveiled a chip with optical connections to increase speed.
Business in 2009
Tesla Motors, in San Carlos, unveiled its state-of-the-art five-seat sedan. The Model S was billed as the world’s first mass-produced, highway-capable electric car.
Architecture in 2013
Henry Doelger’s Art Deco / Streamline Modern office in San Francisco became the city’s 265th historical landmark.
Architecture in 1970
The Conservatory of Flowers was dedicated as a San Francisco historic landmark. It is also a state and national historic landmark. Built from a demolished 12,000 square feet Victorian greenhouse, it was one of the first buildings in Golden Gate Park and is the oldest wood and glass conservatory in North America.
Sports in 1972
Wilt Chamberlain lead the Los Angeles Lakes to their first NBA title since moving to L.A. They also set a NBA record by winning 69 of 82 games.
Sports in 1973
UCLA won their seventh straight NCAA basketball title under coach John Wooden. His teams won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, won 620 games in 27 seasons, had a record winning streak of 88 games and four perfect 30–0 seasons.
Government in 1850
San Jose, Benicia and San Diego were incorporated in a coordinated effort to establish city governments to Americanize California after the Mexican-American War.
Gold in 1850
Dr. Thadeus Hildreth and his party found a 22-pound gold nugget in Tuolemne County. The place was first named Hildreth’s Diggings, then New Camp, then American Camp and finally Columbia. The population soon swelled to 15,000.
Muir in 1868
John Muir landed in San Francisco and soon set off on a 300-mile walk to Yosemite Valley with Joseph Chilwell.
Japanese in California in 1869
Japanese colonists, fleeing war at home, landed in San Francisco. They were on their way to Coloma to found the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony, the first Japanese colony in the U.S.. It lasted just two years but remains as a state historic site and is protected by the American River Conservancy.
Inventions in 1883
Mary Merrill of San Francisco patented a portable artist easel.
Transportation in 1895
The legislature created a three-person Bureau of Highways to coordinate efforts by counties to build good roads. This began the state highway system. Today Caltrans employs some 22,250 people.
Radio in 1928
KGB-AM in San Diego CA began radio transmissions.
Crime in 1938
Al Girolo, San Francisco SPCA officer, broke up a cockfight at the back of 1363 Underwood Street in Hunters Point. Seven men were arrested and six roosters rescued.
Race relations in 1961
The hiring of the first African American milk route driver started a name-calling fight between Mayor George Christopher and Terry Francois, head of the local NAACP, who owned Christopher Dairy Farms. He hired William Garrick to deliver milk to schools and restaurants in South San Francisco. Christopher said Teamsters Local 226 would not let African Americans join the union.
Parks in 1986
Disney-MGM broke ground for the Studio Backlot Tour, now one of the the park’s most popular attractions.
Crime in 1998
Dr. Aramais Paronyan, of Burbank, was charged with heading a $13 million Medi-Cal fraud ring from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Crime in 1998
Armed robbers in Commerce shot the driver of a Dunbar Security armored car and escaped with $2.94 million in cash.
Government in 2000
A San Francisco jury ordered Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds to pay $20 million in punitive damages to Leslie Whiteley, who had lung cancer. It was a rare legal victory by a smoker over the tobacco industry.
Business in 2000
Cisco Systems of San Jose passed Microsoft as the most valuable company in the world.
Energy in 2001
California regulators approved electricity rate hikes of up to 46 percent.
Protests in 2006
Many thousands of protesters in California marched to demand legal status for some 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
Curtis in 2006
Dan Curtis, television producer-director, died in Brentwood at age 78. He was best known for horror films and televisions series, like “Dark Shadows” (1966-1971).
Government in 2007
San Francisco banned plastic grocery bags after lobbying from environmentalists and a supermarket trade group. It was the first U.S. city to adopt such a rule.
Business in 2007
United Commercial Bank of San Francisco became sole owner of the Business Development Bank of Shanghai. It started as China’s first foreign-owned bank in 1992.
Crime in 2009
Sandra Cantu, age 8, went missing from her mobile park home in Tracy. On April 10 Melissa Huckaby, age 28, a Sunday school teacher, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and killing Cantu.
Government in 2012
The California Judicial Council voted to kill a $2 billion computer system linking the state’s 58 county courts. Over $500 million had been already spent in a launch effort.
Rich in 2012
Adrienne Rich, poet and essayist, died in Santa Cruz at age 82. She was “one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the 20th century.”
Government in 2013
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control said a toxic waste dump site near Kettleman City agreed to pay $311,000 in fines for failing to report 72 hazardous materials spills over the last four years.