Articles by Richard Crawford
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He has been called the greatest benefactor in San Ysidro history–a mining engineer turned rancher who donated land for churches and schools, and built the community’s first public library. Dimly remembered today as the namesake of streets and schools, Frank B. Beyer is less known as the “gambler from the owner’s side of the table”—a man with a colorful career below the border, who spent his last years giving back his wealth to his adopted community.
The story Frank “Booze” Beyer and Tijuana.
Nearly a century ago, the students at San Diego High decided to end their school year early. Here’s the story of The Student Strike.