In the fall of 1918, San Diego children skipped rope to a popular rhyme:
I had a little bird
Its name was Enza
I opened the window
In the last weeks of World War I and in the months that followed, an influenza outbreak swept the world, infecting a billion people and killing as many as 50 million. It was one of the deadliest pandemics in history. In San Diego the scourge reached epidemic proportions . . .
Read the story of The Spanish Flu.
The Board of Education has just had their attention directed to a most deplorable state of morals existing in our schools; and the evil has been traced to some degraded persons . . . poisoning the minds of boys and girls. –Reverend Samuel J. Shaw, United Presbyterian Church, San Diego.
In 1903 San Diego, the 14th century novel The Decameron, was the target of the book censors. Read about the Deplorable State of Morals.
San Diegans planted olive trees by the hundred, citrus by the thousand and eucalyptus trees by the multi-million . . . the coming of the eucalyptus from Australia was the long awaited Millennium—practically a supernatural beneficence to every area of life: economical, medicinal, and ethereal. –Leland G. Stanford, San Diego librarian and author.
The story of San Diego’s eucalyptus trees.
An atomic bomb blast in San Diego Bay? No. More like a mushroom of smoke, mud, and water propelled by 2,040 pounds of TNT in seven feet of water. This bomb was detonated by the Naval Electronics Laboratory just a few miles from the Hotel del Coronado in June 1946. The scale model experiment recorded wave intensity from underwater explosions. The San Diego blast was a warm-up exercise for the world’s first underwater nuclear bomb explosion at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on July 24, 1946.
Many thanks to the San Diego Book Awards Association, which held their 20th annual awards ceremony last night and gave San Diego Yesterday the prize for Local Interest. My gratitude to the judges and this fine organization!
Best Published Local Interest
Richard W. Crawford
San Diego Yesterday
Yesterday Tent City had a big crowd as the forerunner of the record breaker which is expected today. Every tent was crowded to capacity and day visitors packed the boats on every trip across the bay. –San Diego Union, July 4, 1910
Fourth of July celebrations in the early 1900s were huge civic affairs. And no city did it better than Coronado in 1910. Read about Coronado’s 4th of July.
Last summer the collections of the San Diego Central Library moved to a new building at 330 Park Blvd. For the past several months the staff of Special Collections has been busily unpacking and arranging boxes of materials once relegated to the basement of our old building. Among reams of material we make discoveries. Below is a forgotten architectural rendering of the proposed Carnegie Library. The completed structure, designed by the New York firm of Ackerman and Ross, was dedicated in April 1902.
In honor of National Library Week (April 13-19) here’s a little San Diego library trivia:
One of the smaller branches of the San Diego Public Library was the Marston Store branch. As “a convenience to tourists and shoppers,” the room opened in 1917 on the 5th floor of the famed department store at 5th and C Streets. The branch closed in 1921 and its collection was moved to the new Mission Hills branch.
I’ve just created a new Facebook page for San Diego Yesterday–the book, that is. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoYesterday