History

Items that are historically significant in some way. They may be recent history or ancient history, pertinent to local history or something on a grander scale…

November 5th: Guy Fawkes Day

November 5, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Guy Fawkes maskNovember 5th is Guy Fawkes Day.

Many Americans know Guy Fawkes through the movie “V for Vendetta“, or at least recognize the mask, popularized by the film, and which then used by activists in the Occupy Wallstreet movement back in 2011, which was modeled after his face.

We have a basically positive view of Fawkes.

But in England, it’s the other way around. Fawkes is seen by many as a traitor and they celebrate his death.

You’re familiar with the John Lennon song, “Remember” where he sings “remember, remember, the 5th of November….”? Listen to the rest of the words.

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House of Representatives Votes for Rules for the Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump

October 31, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The US House of Representatives – in an historic move – just voted to approve the rules to be used for the impeachment inquiry into president Trump. By a vote of 232 to 196, the House passed rule that will:

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Sustained Outrage…With a Smile: ‘Life and Times of Molly Ivins’ Playing in Hillcrest

October 14, 2019 by Staff

By Brett Warnke

“Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins,” is playing up in Hillcrest. If you’ve got 93 minutes to spare this week, I’d spend every one of them at this fine movie. It’s a funny biopic about a writer who walked with Civil Rights marchers, warned us about both George Bushes, and could drink the notoriously pickled Texas legislature right out of the bar.

You’ve probably heard of Molly Ivins (1944-2007). Occasionally, you’ll find her books Who Let The Dogs In or Bushwhacked or Shrub flung out on the Bargain Bin shelves. Grab them. Buy them all. Open them when the empty suits on the left say “we can’t because it’s costly” or when the idiots on the right say “we won’t because they’re brown.”

Molly was raised in a Texas house with a pool, born to a right-wing oil man who was shocked she allowed black friends to the house (and the pool). Her mother was wonderfully lazy and would watch TV, talk on the phone, and personified the suburban wife Molly never wanted to be.

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Luisa Moreno: A Proud San Diego Troublemaker

October 4, 2019 by Staff

By Brett Warnke

In a 1991 article John Celardo writes, “Luisa Moreno sensed the local uneasiness created by [World War II], particularly in San Diego. Housing was in short supply, rations became a nuisance, transportation became a problem, and racial conflicts in the Navy and around San Diego became more intense.”

Luisa Moreno was born and died in Guatemala but spent the 1940s and 1950s as one of San Diego’s tireless and brave local labor organizers. She challenged the bogus tranquility of our quiet little paradise in the sun. She understood the divisions and attempted to forge friendships across the city but, like most greats, she had all the right enemies.

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Why Should the Woman Always Have to Pay: Unsolved Murders in San Diego – OB Historical Society Presents – Thurs., Sept.19

September 17, 2019 by Source

Author Richard Carrico Returns to Ocean Beach for 1923 Unsolved Murder of Local Dancer and Actress

Richard L. Carrico will take the Ocean Beach Historical Society and guests back to 1923 to delve into the mysterious unsolved murder of Fritzi Mann, local dancer and actress. “Found dead on the beach at Torrey Pines, Fritzi showed evidence of blunt force trauma but died from drowning. In addition the autopsy report noted that she was in a “delicate condition.”

The police hauled in several suspects including a Hollywood producer, wealthy businessmen, and Louis Jacobs, a medical doctor from the Army base at Camp Kearny. Jacobs stood trial twice for the murder but ultimately got a verdict of not guilty.

To this day the case remains unsolved, but Carrico has a theory about who the murderer was.

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Dr. Seuss Knew a Thing or Two About Lindbergh

September 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Dr. Seuss was of course Theodor Seuss Geisel. Before he became famous drawing Dr. Seuss books, he drew political cartoons.

Dr. Seuss Knew Who Lindbergh Was

Here’s a few of his cartoons:

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Albert Spalding, Madame Tingley and the Great Myth of Baseball

September 10, 2019 by Source

By Randy Dotinga / Voice of San Diego / September 2, 2019

If you head out to a Padres game this month, you might assume you’re enjoying the national pastime invented by a man called Doubleday in a bucolic place called Cooperstown. But this origin story is a hoax, perhaps the greatest in all of sports, and it has its roots right here in Point Loma, where wealth, the occult and shameless myth-making collided early in the 20th century.

At the center of it all was a man named Albert Goodwill Spalding,

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OB Historical Society Presents: The City Guard Band at the Greek Theatre August 17

August 13, 2019 by Source

From OB Historical Society

Did you ever dream of traveling back in time, to an era when life seemed simpler, less pretentious and . . . more fun? An opportunity to do just that presents itself this Saturday, August 17 when the Ocean Beach Historical Society presents the San Diego City Guard Band in a Free Concert at the famous Greek Theater on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University.

When Carlson and Higgins first subdivided the sand dunes that they had chosen to name Ocean Beach, they decided that they would need something more than the salt air to draw potential buyers out to the remote coastal hillside.

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Winners and Losers – the San Diego Edition Story #1: the 35th Anniversary of the McDonald’s Massacre

July 30, 2019 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / July 29, 2019

We know how it’s played at the Del Mar racetrack. There are winners. There are losers. It’s a brutal ordeal for the horses but there’s a hefty payoff in the offing for a certain percentage of track regulars.

City politics has a lot in common with horse racing. But while it takes years of selective breeding and training to produce a winning horse, a winning candidate can be created through selective inbreeding, deft maneuvering, and discrete fingers on the scale.

To illustrate what this means in real time, consider the jarring juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated stories that appeared this month in the news–practically on the same day. Read them separately and you get a hint of the embedded gentleman’s agreement that controls San Diego civic life.

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‘Help!’ Lifeguard Presentation at OB Historical Society

July 19, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

On Thursday, July 18, Michael Martino, former Chief Lifeguard for the California State Parks System, gave a presentation on his new book, “Help! San Diego Lifeguards To The Rescue” at Water’s Edge Church on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The recently published book is the first volume of Mr. Martino’s proposed complete history and covers the period of 1868 to 1941. In the audience of 60 to 70 people were about 10 former lifeguards and retired officers from the lifeguard service.

Mr. Martino showed slides of pictures, charts, and news clippings taken from his book and recounted stories about lifeguards in San Diego with a particular emphasis on Ocean Beach’s role in that history.

In the early days before professional lifeguards appeared, ordinary citizens were the only people available to rescue swimmers

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OB Historical Society: Lifeguards of San Diego County – Thurs., July 18

July 15, 2019 by Source

The Ocean Beach Historical Society this Thursday is presenting: HELP! Lifeguards of San Diego County by Michael Martino at Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B. This is on Thursday, July 18, at 7 PM – a free event.

Join Michael Martino, former chief lifeguard with the California State Parks, as he discusses the life and death stories behind the formation of San Diego’s lifeguard service.

This lecture, based on Martino’s book HELP! San Diego Lifeguards to the Rescue, begins with the early pre-lifeguard years when citizens helped with rescues and bathhouses along the coast hired their own private lifeguards.

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Here’s Robert Mueller’s First Public Statement Since the Release of His Report

May 29, 2019 by Source

On Wednesday, May 29, Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered a statement about the Russia investigation. The statement, as prepared for delivery, is available below.

By Robert Mueller / May 29, 2019

Two years ago, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel, and he created the Special Counsel’s Office.

The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.

I have not spoken publicly during our investigation. I am speaking today because our investigation is complete. … beyond these few remarks, it is important that the office’s written work speak for itself.

n.

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May 5, 1970 Was One of the Most Explosive Days in American History

May 5, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Those of us long in tooth and gray in hair remember the tumultuous days of the May 1970 national student strike and the murder of four students at Kent State by National Guardsmen on May 4; those younger know the song “Four Dead in Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young about the Kent State shootings.

The deadly clash was part of the student response to President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia, which he announced on April 30.

But what most of us don’t realize is that the day following the Kent State killings, May 5th – was indeed one of the most explosive days in American history as literally hundreds of university, college and high school campuses blew up in response – and for that day at least, the American educational system broke down.

Angry, tearful young people across the nation reacted with an intensity and in numbers not witnessed before or since.

Emergency meetings, rallies, protests, mid-night marches, letter-writing, impeach Nixon petitions, sit-ins, flag-lowerings, leafleting downtowns, confrontations with local police and guardsmen, teargas, rocks, road blockades, memorials for the dead, fires in ROTC buildings – all of these were part of the response of thousands upon thousands of American students across the land.

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May Day in San Diego: Remember the Folks Who Brought You the 8-Hour Day

April 29, 2019 by Jim Miller

May Day March Kickoff:
Wednesday, May 1st at 3:30pm
at Thomas Jefferson School of Law
701 B St. San Diego, CA. 92101
Rally: 5:00pm at Sempra Energy
488 Eighth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
After Rally, March Continues to Barrio Logan

By Jim Miller

The majority of Americans don’t know much about May Day or they simply associate it with the state sponsored holiday in the former Soviet Union. For the most part, it’s lost down the memory hole. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover a whole forgotten history of American workers and their struggle for basic dignity and rights in the workplace and in society.

The truth of the matter is that May Day has deep American roots. It started in 1866 as part of the movement pushing for the 8-hour day. As historian Jacob Remes reminds us:

The demand for an eight-hour day was about leisure, self-improvement and freedom, but it was also about power. When Eight Hour Leagues agitated for legislation requiring short hours, they were demanding what had never before happened: that the government regulate industry for the advantage of workers.

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Black Panthers in San Diego

April 15, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Interview with Henry Wallace – San Diego Black Panther

There are Black Panthers here in San Diego today. Henry Wallace – for one – is a member of the San Diego Black Panther Party. Henry Wallace was also a Black Panther here in San Diego back in the late Sixties, fifty-some years ago.

Today a Black Panther Party chapter exists in San Diego. And Henry Wallace is responsible for breathing new life into the militant political party that calls our town home.

This is all part of the history Henry shares with us here in an interview with the OB Rag.

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48 Years Ago OB’s Most Violent Day Became a Watershed Event for its Future

March 28, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Introduction

March 28 is the anniversary of a wild and crazy day in the history of Ocean Beach. It was the day in 1971 when a peaceful gathering in what’s now Collier Park of hundreds of Ocean Beach anti-Vietnam war activists, environmentalists and college students were charged by a platoon of baton-wielding San Diego police officers – resulting in what became known as the Collier Park Riot.

This most violent day in OB history came to become a significant watershed event in that same history and pushed Ocean Beach to become the community it is today.

Wait – you might say. What is the Collier Park? And who is Collier? Keep reading.

Late March in Ocean Beach nearly 5 decades ago had a different feel that it does today. It was definitely a different time.

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The Jennings House on Rosecrans: Topic and Setting for OB Historical Society – Thurs., March 21

March 19, 2019 by Source

The Jennings Family… More than Meets the Eye!

Thursday, March 21, 7 PM- “Special Event-Program” at the Jennings House Café at 1018 Rosecrans, Point Loma. By Cathy Gallagher,

The historic Jennings House on Point Loma, built in 1886, will be the topic, and the setting, for the OBHS meeting on March 21.

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Some History of the Dirt & Kids at the Famosa Pump Track – With Plenty of Questions Remaining

March 19, 2019 by Source

By Katie Mae B.

“It’s the dirt!” they both say in unison. “The unique mix of dirt, sand and organic materials – that is what makes it the perfect dirt.”

You can see the little boys shining through the eyes of the men across from me – Jesse and Darren. These two have been active in Famosa Open Space pump track at different points over a few decades and with the same core group. Now they are a part of the larger group working together to save the whole space.

What I am about to share is a small snapshot in the infinite time span over which Famosa Open Space has existed in its current state.

Who knows what was here before 1909! What we do know is that it’s all about the dirt.

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Celebrating International Woman’s Day Since the 1970s

March 8, 2019 by Staff

Rag cover Int Womens Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day.

The OB Rag staff has been celebrating it since the 1970s. The OB Rag cover – Early March, 1975 – published here – commemorates International Woman’s Day. The cover shows a crowd of women activists from Ocean Beach on the OB Pier.

The cover was later formatted as a poster for a display at the OB Library of OB Rags during the 1990s by Bob Edwards, a former OB Ragster of the seventies.

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How OB Stayed ‘OB’ and Avoided Over Development Like Mission Beach

March 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for How OB Stayed ‘OB’ and Avoided Over Development Like Mission Beach

Originally posted June 11, 2014
There is a reason that Ocean Beach has stayed as OB and did not suffer the fate of, say, its neighbor to the north – Mission Beach.

Have you been up to Mission Beach lately? Walked or biked on the Boardwalk? Surfed the MB curls?

Did you realize there’s no community left there? It’s all time-shares, vacation rentals, and empty buildings.

But most importantly for us, it’s practically wall-to-wall 3 story expensive giants facing the ocean for – literally – miles – all along the famous Boardwalk.

And the reason OB didn’t go that way is because …

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A Tribute to the “Ocean Genius” – Walter Munk

February 22, 2019 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Feb. 13, 2019

The great man, who seemed like he would live forever, died the afternoon of Friday, February 8, 2019 at the age of 101. The New York Times had dubbed him the “Einstein of the Oceans” an appellation he rejected.

He modestly bowed to Einstein’s towering intellect. Virtually unknown outside of scientific circles, Munk’s achievements have touched us all; from creating the science of wave prediction that greatly advantaged the D-Day invasion of 1944 to providing initial research pointing to global warming. A contributor to the Huffington Post, Max Guinn observed, “Following Munk’s accomplishments is a Forrest Gump journey through history.”

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Billionaire Jacob’s Plan for Balboa Park Back On the Shelf

February 13, 2019 by Source

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a group of major philanthropists are shelving a plan to remodel Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama after bids for the project came in way over budget last month.

Lisa Halverstadt / Voice of San Diego / February 12, 2019

A controversial plan to clear cars from Balboa Park’s central mesa is on hold.

Philanthropist Irwin Jacobs, who has long championed the Plaza de Panama project, said this week that philanthropists have halted fundraising efforts necessary to get the project to the finish line after three construction bids each came in at least $20 million higher than earlier estimates for the project.

“There is an excellent plan for how to proceed, but the costs are a little too high at this point,” Jacobs said.

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Trump Says There’s an ‘Urgent National Crisis’ at Border – Here’s Actual Numbers

February 11, 2019 by Source

Trump sees ‘urgent national crisis’ at border. You decide. Here are U.S.-Mexico border apprehension numbers.

by Shyla Nott & Brandon Quester / inewsource / February 8, 2019

President Donald Trump urged Congress to pass funding for a border wall during his State of the Union address on Tuesday for what he called an “urgent national crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Kennedy, King, RFK, Malcolm X Relatives and Scholars Seek New Assassination Probes

January 28, 2019 by Source

By Tom Jackman / Washington Post / January 25, 2019

Joined by relatives of Robert F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, a group of more than 60 authors and investigators have called for a new congressional investigation into the assassinations of the three men and President John F. Kennedy, saying that the four slayings were not resolved and “had a disastrous impact on the course of American history.”

In a public statement, they demanded a public tribunal modeled on South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” process to persuade either Congress or the Justice Department to revisit all four assassinations.

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50 Years after the Santa Barbara Oil Spill

January 24, 2019 by Source

By David Helvarg / San Francisco Chronicle / Jan. 23, 2019

Fifty years after a California oil spill launched the modern environmental movement, we may finally be moving beyond the age of oil, and none too soon.

In October, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, warned global carbon emissions would have to be cut by 45 percent by 2030 if there’s any hope of keeping planetary warming at a dangerous but less than catastrophic level.

Luckily, job-generating renewable energy now has become competitive with or cheaper than most forms of fossil fuel. Progressive democrats are also calling for a Green New Deal that aims to transition the U.S. economy to clean energy, addressing both climate change and inequality.

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Just What Was ‘the Saturday Night Massacre’?

November 8, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Almost daily and nightly we hear comparisons of the abuse of power by president Trump to those by former president Richard Nixon back in the mid-1970s. And at times like these – immediately after Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his appointment of a Trump loyalist and critic of the Mueller investigation to now be the acting-attorney general – we hear comparisons to the “Saturday Night Massacre” which led eventually to Nixon’s resignation

Okay, then, just what was the “Saturday Night Massacre”?

It was Saturday, October 20, 1973, and the nation was deep in the grip of the Watergate scandal and the investigation into Nixon’s abuses of power.

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San Diego’s Early Liberal Oligarch George Marston Celebrated

October 25, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Marston Legacy Reception Open to Public – Thursday, October 25 · 4-6pm Marston House Museum & Gardens

San Diego’s premier historical group, the Save Our Heritage Organization, is organizing a big shindig in honor of George Marston and his family. There’s a permanent exhibit called The Marston Legacy: Progress and Preservation and SOHO is having a Preview Reception on October 25 in the 1905-built Marston House Museum in Balboa Park.

So, what’s the big deal? Why should we care about some old, dead rich dude?

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The Ups and the Downs: My Reporter’s Life, Part Three

October 23, 2018 by Source

Part One
Part Two

By Bob Dorn

By the late 1970s, I was brought back into the newsroom to do general assignment reporting, a kind of sideways move. I could handle breaking stuff, and innocent features (like my seven-day case of hiccups) but the editors might have figured I offered too much trouble on the beats — police, higher education and investigations.

Once again on the day shift, I made it to journalism’s summa cum laude, or maybe just the magna version.

On September 25, 1978, a fully-loaded PSA liner crashed into a private Cessna in

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Some Big Developments – My Reporter’s Life, Part Two

October 18, 2018 by Source

Here’s Part One

By Bob Dorn

I didn’t know that the police beat was one of the tests normally applied to newcomers until the San Diego Evening Tribune editors released me from it after six months and, to my surprise, had me cover the County Board of Supervisors.

Developers had been pumping out two-story stuccoes amidst the chapparaled and original Spanish land grants to the east and the north of the city. The collapse of C. Arnholt Smith’s US National Bank was at this time the largest bank failure in US history, so I was a bit surprised to be assigned to cover the Board of Supervisors; after having been in town only 12 months or so I figured I didn’t know f-all about the county.

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My Reporter’s Life, Part One: Pain and Suffering at the San Diego Police Department

October 16, 2018 by Source

By Bob Dorn

I worked for the San Diego Evening Tribune for approximately eight years and 11 months. I was just 13 months short of being vested in the retirement program when I quit. That’s okay.

If I’d stayed on at the paper I might have gone fully crazy.

I was 28 when the Trib hired me out of a small-town daily in New Jersey’s rural northwest.

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