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.
Inventions in 1871
Selena C. Ewing, of Hills Ferry, patented an Improvement for cooking stoves. “My invention relates to partitions-to be employed more particularly in cooking-stoves, but applicable also to all other kinds of stoves; and It consists in the employment of a plate of metal, made to fit in the fire-place and top chamber of the stove, which can be moved back and forth. across the fire-place in order to diminish the size of the fire-place when desired, in order to economize fuel.”
Hollywood in 1912
Vernon Country Club opened. It started as a roadhouse in a beet field, but became a legendary Hollywood nightclub. Rudolph Valentino was a $35-a-week dancer there, before he became famous,
Flight in 1923
Lieutenants Oakley Kelly and John Macready flew the first nonstop transcontinental flight. They took off from Mitchel Field, New York to Rockwell Field, North Island, San Diego. Their official time was 26 hours, 50 minutes and 38 3⁄5 seconds.
San Francisco in 1925
Kezar Stadium opened in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It was home to the 49ers and Raiders and a concert venue for Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Starship, Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, Crunchees and other bands. Bleacher planks were sold to fans before the place was demolished.
Crime in 1928
An Emeryville police raid on a brewery next door to the home of the police chief found 5,000 gallons of brewing beer and 3,000 bottles of beer.
Prisons in 1946
The Battle of Alcatraz lasted two days after an attempted escape from Alcatraz Island Federal Penitentiary. Two guards and three inmates died in the violence.
Chessman in 1960
Caryl Chessman, robber, kidnapper and rapist, was executed at San Quentin Prison at age 38. His autobiography, Cell 2455, Death Row (1954), became a best-seller.
Earthquakes in 1983
The Coalinga Earthquake shook the region from Los Angeles to Lassen County, from the coast to western Nevada. Some 5,000 aftershocks were recorded through July 31. Nearly 900 had a 2.5 or higher magnitude.
Rappaport in 1990
David Rappaport, the 3’11’ film and television actor, died in the San Fernando Valley at age 38. He was best known for roles in “Time Bandits” (1981) and “Wizard” (1986-1987).
Gallo in 1993
Julio Gallo, co-founder of Gallo Wines headquartered in Modesto, died in a car accident in Tracy at age 82.
Earthquakes in 1995
A scientific theory predicted a 6.0 magnitude earthquake for the Central Valley by July 9. It did not happen.
Crime in 1996
John Dylan Katz, age 16, was beaten and put into a coma in Windsor, apparently for wearing the wrong colors. Three men and a woman were arrested for the assault.
Accidents in 1997
An armored car flipped in Oakland, releasing 27 bags of money containing around $550,000. A total of $106,000 was recovered.
Military Expeditions in 1855
William Walker left San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua and build a canal.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. It called for evacuating Japanese-Americans from Los Angeles. Some 110,000 Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast were eventually forcibly held in 10 relocation camps through much of World War II.
Accidents in 1957
A Navy bomber practicing evasive maneuvers sheared high-voltage lines in the East Bay, causing a power outage in San Francisco and the Peninsula.
Business in 1991
Walt Disney Company, in Burbank, joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Today it employs some 175,000 people.
Parker in 2003
Suzy Parker, model and actress, died at age 69 in Montecito. She appeared on magazine covers, in advertisements and movie and television roles during the 1950s.
Government in 2004
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited King Abdullah II of Jordan following criticism from Arab-Americans that his Mideast trip excluded a meeting with Arabs.
Crime in 2006
Federal agents raided a San Francisco-based cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking operation, resulting in 19 indictments.
Philanthropy in 2007
James Simons, hedge fund manager and philanthropist, announced a $10 million donation to Berkeley’s Mathematical Sciences Research Institute from the Simons Foundation.
Schirra in 2007
Wally Schirra, one of the original Mercury seven astronauts, died at age 84 in La Jolla. He logged nearly 300 hours in space from 1962 to 1968.
Protests in 2010
Some 20 students at U.C. Berkeley began a hunger strike. They demanded the school denounce Arizona’s new immigration law, drop charges against protesters from anti-fee hike occupation, rehire laid-off janitors and declare Berkeley a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.
Cooper in 2011
Jackie Cooper, child actor turned film director, died at age 88 in Santa Monica. He played in the “Our Gang” film series starting in 1929. Later he played Perry White, Daily Planet editor, in the 1970s and 1980s Superman Series with Christopher Reeve.
Fires in 2013
The Springs Fire, which started in Camarillo, threatened 4,000 homes but burned just 15. The fire ended when rain moved through the area, raining more than half an inch in some places.
Flight in 2013
The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered airplane took off from Moffett Federal Field, south of San Francisco. It attempted to fly across the U.S. using solar power.
Exploration in 1770
Gaspar de Portolá, exploring for the Spanish King, named the Santa Monica Mountains. It was his second attempt to find Monterey Bay and establish a colony. With him marched Lt. Pedro Fages, twelve Catalonian volunteers, seven leather-jacket soldiers, five Baja California Indians, two muleteers, and Father Crespi serving as the expedition’s chaplain.
Fires in 1850
A fire that started in a San Francisco saloon burned 300 buildings and caused $4,000,000 in damage. One person died in the fire and several were wounded by firearms that discharged from the heat.
Fires in 1851
Sydney Ducks, a gang of Australian ex-convicts, set fire to a store on San Francisco’s Portsmouth Square. It was the fifth fire in 18 months. Two thousand buildings burned. The loss was estimated $12,000,000. Since there was no police force, the Committee of Vigilance formed, hung some criminals and drove others from the city.
Oakland in 1852
Oakland incorporated. The town was within a vast oak grove. Today Oakland is continually listed among the top U.S. cities for sustainability practices. It ranks at the top for using electricity from renewable resources.
Business in 1911
Police Chief Seymour ordered owners of brothels at 633 Jackson and 719 Commercial Street in San Francisco to charge prostitutes no more than $2 per day. They had been charging the women $5 per day.
Radio in 1922
KNX-AM in Los Angeles began transmissions. It had begun as a five-watt amateur station, 6ADZ, in 1920. Today it is an “All News, All the Time” CBS station.
Hollywood in 1927
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences incorporated in Los Angeles. Today its some 5,765 members vote for winners of Oscars.
Sports in 1928
The Trans-American footrace began at Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles. It ended at Madison Square Garden in New York City, some 3,423 miles. Fifty-five of the 199 runners completed the 84-days run. Newspapers nicknamed it the Bunion Derby. It was repeated in 1929.
Prison in 1946
U.S. Marines from Treasure Island Naval Base stopped a two-day riot at Alcatraz federal prison in which five people were killed.
Music in 1959
The first Grammy Awards for musical excellence were held in Los Angeles and New York.
Sports in 1965
Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants outfielder, hit his 512th home run, breaking Mel Ott’s 511 National League record.
Politics in 1992
Bill Clinton, Democratic presidential candidate, toured riot-torn Los Angeles streets and blamed it on what he called 12 years of Republican neglect.
Crime in 1998
A federal judge in Sacramento sentenced Theodore Kaczynski, known as the “Unabomber,” to four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepted a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty.
Babbitt in 1999
Manuel Babbitt, a 50-year-old Vietnam veteran, was executed at San Quentin Federal Prison for murdering an elderly woman in Sacramento. He refused his last meal but asked that the $50 allotted be given to homeless Vietnam veterans. Babbitt was buried with full military honors in Massachusetts.
Environment in 2009
California Water Resources Control Board released a study that said only 21 of 152 lakes studied were free of mercury and other contaminants. One hundred and thirty-one lakes showed pollutants above state health guidelines.
DeLuise in 2009
Dom DeLuise, film and television actor, died at age 75 in Santa Monica. His passion for food lead to a second career as a popular chef and cookbook author.
Hollywood in 2010
Julia Louis-Dreyfus received the 2,407th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her name was misspelled on her star before it was corrected.
Crime in 2011
Louis Lombardi, a 38-year-old San Ramon police officer, was arrested for theft of confiscated drugs. He pleaded guilty to selling drugs with his commanding officer, stealing jewelry and cash from crime scenes and possessing stolen guns.
Business in 2011
Intel, in Santa Clara, unveiled the Ivy Bridge processor made with a 3-D manufacturing technique that increased chip performance as much as 37% while using less power.
Murphy in 2011
Mary Murphy, film actress, died at age 80 in Beverly Hills. She played a wholesome small-town girl opposite Marlon Brando in “The Wild One” (1953).
Crime in 2012
Federal agents in southern California arrested Michael Franks, age 29, suspected in 10 bank robberies. He was dubbed the “Snowboarder Bandit” for wearing snowboarder clothes.
Accidents in 2013
A limousine caught fire on the San Mateo Bridge over San Francisco Bay. The driver and four women in a bridal party escaped. Five others died in the fire, including the bride.
Exploration in 1602
Sebastián Vizcaíno, explorer for the Spanish king, sailed from Acapulco to explore the California coast. He sought safe harbors for Spanish ships returning from the Philippines.
Labor in 1907
Streetcar workers in the Carmen’s Union, demanding a $3 per day for an 8-hour day, went on strike in San Francisco. Patrick Calhoun, president of the United Railroads, hired James Farley to break the union. Thirty-one people died from shootings and streetcar accidents and 1100 were injured.
Movies in 1934
Columbia Pictures, of Los Angeles, released the first Three Stooges short film, “Woman Haters.” They made some 190 shorts by 1959.
Television in 1949
KGO-TV channel 7 in San Francisco began broadcasting. It is the Bay Area’s second-oldest television station, behind KPIX channel 5.
Sports in 1956
Jim Bailey ran a mile record, 3:58.6, before a crowd of 38,500 people at the Los Angeles Coliseum. He became the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes on American soil.
Sports in 1962
Bo Belinsky, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, no-hit the Baltimore Orioles, 2-0. That made him an instant celebrity as a rookie with the original Los Angeles Angels.
Sports in 1966
Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants outfielder, hit his 512th home run.
Sports in 1969
The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 23rd NBA Championship, 4 games to 3.
Sports in 1975
The Oakland A’s released Herb Washington. The pinch runner played 104 games without batting, pitching or fielding but stole 30 bases, scoring 33 runs.
Fires in 2004
Some 3,000 firefighters battled wildfires in Southern California. Affected areas ranged from Santa Barbara to San Diego Counties. Many of the communities were still devastated from autumn fires.
Butler in 2005
June MacCloy Butler, singer and film actress, died at age 95 in Sonoma. Her last major role was in “Go West” (1940), starring the Marx Brothers.
Accidents in 2008
A spill of toluene, a toxic chemical, in Richmond killed some 200-300 fish in an irrigation canal. The spill was the result of the theft of valves on holding tanks. Damages from the theft of the brass worth $10 totalled some $250,000.
Government in 2009
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the time was right to debate legalizing marijuana for recreational use in California.
Fires in 2009
The Jesusita Fire began in the Santa Barbara hills. It destroyed 80 homes, damaged 15 more and burned 8,733 acres before being contained. Officials charged two men with misdemeanors for allegedly sparking the fire.
Music in 1965
The Grateful Dead, then known as the Warlocks, played their first show at Magoo’s Pizza in Menlo Park.
Ranchos in 1834
Rancho Milpitas was deeded. The name comes from the Nahuatl word for maize and could be translated “little cornfields.” It covered 4,458-acres in today’s Santa Clara County.
Business in 1850
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce began. Today it represents some 1,500 member business organizations and their 200,000 employees.
Clubs in 1860
The Olympic Club in San Francisco was organized as an gymnastic club by the Lafayette Hook and Ladder Company. Today it is the oldest athletic club in the U.S. and hosted U.S. Golf Opens in 1955, 1966, 1987, 1998 and 2012.
Race relations in 1882
The Chinese Exclusion Act passed. It ended all immigration of Chinese laborers. Chinese immigrants worked in the Gold Rush and built railroads but racial prejudice only grew over time. The Act was repealed in 1943.
Parks in 1907
President Theodore Roosevelt declared Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone as U.S. National Monuments. Today the area is Lassen Volcanic National Park. The peak is the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southern-most volcano in the Cascade Range.
Hollywood in 1941
Bob Hope led a group of celebrities in his first USO show at March Field, near Riverside. His shows included comedians, singers, actors and actresses who gave their time and talent to troops and families around the world.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
Fresno, Merced and Sacramento Assembly Centers opened. They were part of the forced detention of approximately 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 1974
Paul Lindblad, Oakland A’s pitcher, made a wild throw in the first inning of a 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. That ended his record streak of 385 consecutive errorless games.
Ranchos in 1846
Rancho Boca de la Playa was deeded. Its name means ‘mouth of the beach.’ It covered 6,607 acres in today’s Orange County, along the coast from present day San Juan Capistrano to San Clemente. The Pablo Pryor Adobe Hide House is among the oldest standing adobe dwellings in California.
Airports in 1927
San Francisco Municipal Airport, Mills Field, was dedicated. It had a 13-by-14-foot public waiting room, a lunchroom, and sleeping quarters. To get there, cars crossed a one-lane bridge over the canal running along the unpaved Bayshore Highway.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
Pinedale and Pomona Assembly Centers opened. One was built on a former mill workers housing area. The other was on the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. Both were part of the forced detention of approximately 110,000 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Assembly centers were used to securely move people to the ten internment prisons.
Crime in 1947
Nick DeJohn, a Chicago Mafia gangster, was strangled and his body stuffed into the trunk of a car in San Francisco. He had reportedly fled Chicago after murdering several other gang members and was living in Santa Rosa under an alias.
Crime in 1954
A San Francisco jury decided that Harold Jackson and Joseph Lear should be executed for kidnapping Leonard Moskowitz. Their sentences were later changed to life in prison and both men died in San Quentin.
Shark Attacks in 1959
Albert Kogler, San Francisco State College student, died following a shark attack while swimming off Baker Beach. Shirley O’Neill, also a San Francisco State College student, pulled her friend to the beach.
Sports in 1959
At “Roy Campanella Night” at the Los Angeles Coliseum, 93,103 fans watched Sandy Koufax, Dodgers’ pitcher, beat the New York Yankees, 6-2. Baseball’s biggest crowd was for an exhibition game.
Sports in 1960
Norm Sherry, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher, hit a home run to win the game against the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-2, for his brother Larry Sherry, Dodgers pitcher.
Accidents in 1964
Pacific Air Lines Flight 773 crashed near San Ramon, killing all 44 aboard. The FBI later reported that a cockpit recorder tape indicated the pilot and co-pilot were shot by a suicidal passenger.
Sports in 1982
The Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles. The team returned to Oakland in 1995.
Weather in 1987
Temperature reached 105°F in Sacramento.
Electricity in 2001
California electricity grid operators ordered statewide rolling power blackouts to ease power shortages.
Philanthropy in 2002
David Geffen, co-founder of DreamWorks, donated $200 million to the UCLA School of Medicine. This was the largest donation to a medical school in the U.S.
Sports in 2009
Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodger’s star outfielder, was suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games for using HCG, a banned drug.
Education in 2009
University of California regents voted 17-4 to raise tuition by 9.3%, the 6th increase in 7 years.
Furia in 2009
John Furia Jr., prolific screen and television writer, died at age 79 in Los Angeles. His work included popular TV series, like “The Twilight Zone” (1959-1964), “Bonanza” (1959-1973), “Hawaii Five-O” (1968-1980) and “The Waltons” (1971-1981).
Accidents in 2010
Dan Benavides, a 39-year-old CHP officer, was killed when his patrol plane went down near Highway 78 in Imperial County.
Estanislao Rebellion in 1829
Mexican soldiers battled hundreds of Cosumnes warriors who fled Bay Area missions. The Indians, lead by a man called Estasnislao in the greatest uprising of the mission period, had built a natural fortification in a bend of today’s Stanislaus River and repeatedly fought off the soldiers.
Dana in 1836
Richard Henry Dana sailed from San Diego, returning to Boston. He dropped out of Harvard University and shipped out to California to improve his health. His adventures formed the basis for Two Years Before the Mast (1840), an eyewitness account of a sailor’s life, rancho culture and the hide and tallow trade.
Transportation in 1941
The last original Market Street Railway, Cable Car #133, was scrapped because of a lack of storage space.
Japanese American Internment in 1942
Marysville Assembly Center opened, built on a former migrant worker’s camp. It was part of the forced detention of approximately 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 1968
Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Oakland A’s pitcher, threw a perfect game to beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0.
Sports in 1970
The New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA championship,113-99. It was the ninth consecutive NBA championship series with a team from California, all of which were lost.
Parks in 1976
Revolution, the first steel roller coaster with a vertical loop, opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. It appears in “Rollercoaster” (1977), “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park” (1978) and “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983).
Business in 2013
Electric car maker Coda Holdings Inc. of Los Angeles filed for bankruptcy after selling just 100 cars.