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14th April
2014
written by Richard

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.

br_mr1Marstons branch

 

26th March
2014
written by Richard
Available at Amazon.com.

Available at Amazon.com.

 

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

19th March
2014
written by Richard
Alonzo Horton, ca. 1868.

Alonzo Horton, ca. 1868.

Mr. A. E. Horton yesterday donated to the San Diego Free Reading Room Association his fine library. It will be remembered by old residents that this library was bought as the nucleus for a public institution some time ago—Mr. Horton having paid a large sum of money for it.  –San Diego Union, May 21, 1873.

San Diego’s first public library struggled to open its doors. A large book donation by city father Alonzo Horton was a start. But there were strings attached. . .

The story of San Diego’s First Library.

12th March
2014
written by Richard

With a roar that rocked the walls of the Savage Tire Company three hundred yards away, shook a trolley car on the rails five blocks off, and rattled the windows in the houses within the radius of over a mile, the Standard Oil Company’s 250,000-gallon distillate tanks blew up yesterday just before noon . . . –San Diego Union, October 6, 1913.

It was the most spectacular fire San Diego had ever seen. On Sunday morning, October 5, 1913, oil tanks at the Standard Oil Company plant at the foot of 26th Street exploded. The story of The Great Standard Oil Fire.

Union_Oct_7_1913

6th January
2014
written by Richard

The city awoke this morning in a climate apparently transplanted. Shivers ran where shivers had not run before and the weather bureau was bombarded from early morn with telephone calls to know the reason why. Lightly constructed “Southern California” houses shrank with the cold and fairly trembled with the quivering of their occupants. –San Diego Tribune, January 6, 1913.

A century ago San Diego got a cold taste of winter weather.  The story of the Big Freeze.

freeze1913

San Diego Union, January 7, 1913.

3rd January
2014
written by Richard

Next Friday I’ll be at the Coronado Historical Society for an illustrated talk on San Diego history. That’s Friday, Jan. 10, 5:30 pm in the Lecture Hall of CHS, 1100 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118. Here’s some more details from the CHA website.

san-diego-yesterday-cover1-199x300

3rd December
2013
written by Richard
Children await the opening of a new toy library. National Archives.

Children await the opening of a new toy library. National Archives.

 

Christmas day every day in San Diego. Toys every day for children to whom the real Christmas has never meant a thing. That is the purpose of San Diego toy loan libraries. –San Diego Union, August 13, 1939.

A federal government success story: toy libraries for children during the Great Depression.         The Toy Loan Libraries.

29th November
2013
written by Richard

For all you fans of America’s sometimes finest city here’s a couple good reads on our fascinating history. The books are available at Amazon and in bookstores (Costco, Barnes and Noble. . .)

441.4 San Diego AC

Now available in bookstores and Amazon.com.

13th November
2013
written by Richard
The Thanksgiving Day menu from the Horton House Hotel.

The Thanksgiving Day menu from the Horton House Hotel.

In 1872, the dour secretary of San Diego founder Alonzo Horton would complain in his diary: Thanksgiving Day has not been very well observed. Too tired to work and too forgetful of comforts enjoyed . . . May our ingratitude be forgiven.  –Jesse Aland Shepherd.

But in future years San Diegans would invest a bit more in the national holiday: Thanksgiving in Early San Diego.

5th November
2013
written by Richard

It was a crime that incensed San Diegans: the “murder” of a young sailor from a US. warship by a deputized marshal. For one summer and fall, San Diegans would eagerly follow the case of a “posse” gone wild and accused of brutalizing American sailors.

The story of a riot in the Stingaree and The People versus Breedlove.

The crew of the USS Charleston.

The crew of the USS Charleston.

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