Archive for April, 2011
Prolonged blasts from nearly all the steam whistles in town heralded the arrival of the big Benson log raft at noon today . . . during its slow passage up the bay crowds of people hastened to the water front. Before the big mass of timber had reached the wharves all the docks were lined with spectators. –– San Diego Tribune, September 8, 1906.
The story of San Diego’s ocean-going timber: The Benson Rafts.
The story of San Diego’s right-wing radicals of the 1930s, the Silver Shirts.
Way back in 1995, while in the employ of the San Diego Historical Society, I published a small collection of my stories in Stranger Than Fiction: Vignettes of San Diego History. The articles were all based on primary sources found in what is now known as the Document Archives of the San Diego History Center.
It’s a nice collection of stories illustrated by scores of historical photographs in a book design by artist Jill Berry, who designed the Journal of San Diego History for many years.
Some of the stories have been reworked and expanded for my Union-Tribune column “The Way We Were,” but the original compilation is still in print and available at my book site through Amazon.com
What has become of the police force? The archives of the city show that there is such an organization here, yet . . . the criminal element has been holding high carnival during the last few days, “the guardians of the peace” have done nothing to indicate they are on duty.–San Diego Union, August 6, 1887.
Fighting crime in 1887 San Diego: Policing the City.
With colorful names and extravagant claims, “patent medicines” sold widely in the United States in the late 1800s. The popular cure-alls of pills and syrups were advertised in every newspaper with bold woodcuts extolling the miraculous benefits of Hood’s Sarsaparilla to purify the blood, Cuticura Soap to prevent “disfiguring humours,” or Chaulmoogra, “the East India Cure” that promised relief for every ailment this side of the grave.
Here’s the story of the San Diego Medicine Show.
Murray caught; on his way to San Diego. He gave up like a cuss. Terrible excitement. Parties have started out to catch and lynch him. Will keep them back all I can . . . —Thomas Weller, deputy constable, July 1889.
A surprise telegram announcing the capture of an “assassin” came as a huge relief to all San Diegans. Only days before the county had been stunned by the slaying of Charles Wilson, the popular City Marshal of Oceanside. Now the “cold-blooded murderer from Texas”–as the newspapers called him–was in the hands of a posse and on his way to a jail cell in downtown San Diego.
The story of Killing the Marshal.
“Spalding” is perhaps the world’s most recognized name in sporting goods. Less well-known is the man who founded the famous company: Albert Goodwill Spalding, a member of the baseball Hall of Fame, business magnate, and prominent San Diegan.
The story of A. G. Spalding and San Diego.
The thrilling and fascinating spectacle of a San Diego-built plane, piloted by a famous army and air mail aviator, racing across the Atlantic Ocean . . . will be witnessed this summer. A contract for the construction of a monoplane for his proposed New York to Paris non-stop flight was awarded to the Ryan Aircraft Company of this city yesterday by Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh. –San Diego Union, March 1, 1927.
Read the story of Charles Lindbergh and San Diego.