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…

Portuguese Festa: Even in a Pandemic They Kept the ‘Spirit’ Alive

May 24, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Want to escape all the downbeat news and losses from the COVID-19 surges and chaos of this past year?

Then cheer on San Diego’s Portuguese community for sticking with a 700-year old tradition that commemorates Portugal’s Queen St. Isable, who (during a famine) promised the Holy Spirit to give her crown to the Church, “if sent a miracle, so my people will be relieved of their hunger.”

That miracle arrived, via ships sailing into the harbor, loaded with wheat and corn.

Thus, began the celebrated Festa do Espírito Santo (Feast of the Holy Spirit), with thanks and prayers to the Holy Spirit for interceding in times of danger or calamity.

The chaotic, COVID-19 ravaged years of 2020 and 2021, certainly count as one of those “times.”

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OB’s Pat and Susan James Celebrated by SOHO for Preserving Wisteria Cottage and Garden Party Tradition – Thursday, May 27

May 21, 2021 by Staff

Susan and Pat James of Ocean Beach are being celebrated this year by SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organization) for maintaining the tradition of the Wisteria Cottage and Garden Party. It’s SOHO’s 38th annual People In Preservation Awards with an online award presentation. Pat and Susan will be celebrated during the online ceremony on Thursday, May 27, at 4pm, during National Preservation Month.

Here’s SOHO’s description:

On Niagara Avenue in Ocean Beach, you will find a charming turn-of-the-20th-century cottage that plays host each spring to abundant blooms of colorful purple wisteria vines.

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OB Historical Society Presentation on Early San Diego Historian and Point Loman Winifred Davidson – Zoom Teleconference Thursday, May 20

May 19, 2021 by Source

Please join the Ocean Beach Historical Society in their presentation “Anyone Talked History, Today?” about early San Diego historian Winifred Davidson. The Zoom teleconference will be Thursday May 20, 2021 at 7 pm.

Early San Diego historian Winifred Davidson is described as the woman who discovered San Diego’s Lost History. Davidson was a poet, a musician, an educator, a journalist, one of one of San Diego’s first preservationists, and a longtime resident of Point Loma.

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America Not Racist?

May 17, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

To the premise at America is not racist
I can hear my mother say
“You could have fooled me”
with all that
sweeping and dusting
and mopping
she did at AT&T
with her Howard University
college degree,
around 66 years
after slavery,
Jim Crow
then at the helm
of Black folk’s
not mattering,
a complaint
still alive today
in the USA.

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Remembering May 4, 1970 Half a Century Later

May 4, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

May 4, 1970 for at least an entire generation of Americans will always be associated with the shootings of unarmed students by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State Ohio. Four students were killed – two having nothing to do with the protests, one was an ROTC cadet – and eleven were wounded – they will be remembered as a stain upon US history for eternity.

At the time, it shocked the nation – and visibly and viscerally divided the country, already fractured from more than a decade of the African-American movement for civil rights and a handful of years of the ever -increasing militancy of the anti-Vietnam war movement centered on college and university campuses. A deep cultural divide had also developed in America

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OB Historical Society Presents: ‘Women of the Presidio’ – Rare Stories of Colonial and Indigenous Women – Via Zoom Wed., April 28

April 28, 2021 by Source

Join the Ocean Beach Historical Society tonight, Wednesday, April 28, for a presentation by San Diego Historian and OB Favorite, Richard Carrico on “Women of the Presidio,” – stories rarely told of Colonial and Indigenous Women on the Frontier.

Wed. April 28 at 7 pm via Zoom Teleconference Lecture Link: Women of the Presidio

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Two Oscar Nominated Movies, and Why the Sixties Never Leave Us

April 22, 2021 by Source

By David Helvarg / The Hill / April 19, 2021

Two movies nominated for Academy Awards for both “Best Picture” and ”Original Screenplay” are “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.” They capture an iconic time in our history in ways that few earlier cinematic efforts have managed with a couple of notable exceptions. These include Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” that revealed the tactical and strategic challenges of the 1960s civil rights movement for Martin Luther King and his fellow activists and Milos Forman’s “Hair” that explicitly connected the emergence of an exuberant hippie culture to the looming death culture of the Vietnam war.

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A History of OB People’s Food Store

April 14, 2021 by Source

By Eric DuVall / PtLoma – OB Monthly / April 13, 2021

It happened on Voltaire Street.

In the early decades of the community, Ocean Beach “boosters” touted Voltaire Street as an “avenue of opportunity” and Ocean Beach as the little town with two business districts.

And didn’t most of the folks who came out to OB in those days take the old street car down Voltaire Street to Wonderland Station? They sure did. And isn’t Voltaire the only “author street” that runs all the way to the beach? In fact, it is.

This is a uniquely OB-centric story, and moreover, every one of the events we are going to consider here happened right on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach.

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America’s Founders Believed in Publick Education

March 31, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican

The second and third presidents of the United States advocated powerfully for public education. Thomas Jefferson saw education as the cause for developing out of common farmers the enlightened citizenry who would take the rational action a successful republican democracy requires. Jefferson contended,

“The qualifications for self government are not innate. They are the result of habit and long training.”

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The Campaign for Collier Park, the Riot and the Aftermath

March 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Today, March 28, is the 50th anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot – and the OB Rag continues our celebration and commemoration of the event. (On Friday, we covered the basics, and on Saturday we recounted how DC Collier’s landgrant gift to “the children” of the peninsula became “the incredible shrinking park” and how Collier is considered the “true founder” of Ocean Beach.)

Today, we discuss the actual day itself, half a century ago, the campaign and build-up to the day, its aftermath and significance for Ocean Beach in 2021.

And this is part of our continuing efforts to ensure that the Ocean Beach of the 21st century has not forsaken its very own history that helped to make the village what it is today. It’s definitely part of the story of our celebrated iconoclastic corner of the hippie counter- culture, a seaside town that has consciously and consistently set itself apart from mainstream San Diego.

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Charles Collier : the True Founder of Ocean Beach

March 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

There’s an historical character who walked across Ocean Beach’s stage over a hundred years ago, who had such an effect on the development of the community that he’s considered by many to be the “true founder” of Ocean Beach. And that is Col. David Charles Collier – who Collier Park up in northeast OB is named after.

Although Collier came later than other contenders for the title, he had as much to do with what turned into our little village by the sea as anyone else. And more so.

“Charlie” Collier’s Story

Ocean Beach and Col DC Collier first intersected in 1887, when young “Charlie” – then only 16 – bought one of Billy Carlson’s lots in Ocean Beach. The lot was close to the cliffs, over on Pacific Avenue – now Coronado Avenue – and Bacon Street. Of course, as a youth – in all probability – he was backed by his father, DC Collier, Senior – a lawyer and former judge from Colorado.

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How DC Collier’s Land Grant for Ocean Beach and Point Loma Became the ‘Incredible Shrinking Park’

March 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

This weekend, the OB Rag is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot, which occurred on March 28, 1971. Our post for the occasion yesterday was just to cover the basics. Today, we use the historical event to delve more into the history of Collier Park itself and of DC Collier, who donated the land it sits on to the City.

The History of the DC Collier’s Park Landgrant of 1909

In 1909, David Charles “Colonel” Collier, a real estate developer who lived in Ocean Beach, gave a 60-acre parcel of land to the city as parkland “for the children” of the Point Loma peninsula.

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Sunday, March 28 Is the 50th Anniversary of the ‘Infamous’ Collier Park Riot

March 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Sunday, March 28 will be the 50th anniversary of the Collier Park Riot. And the OB Rag remembers that moment each year at this time.

But whoa! Riot? What riot? Where is Collier Park and who is Collier? And why should we care? 50 years is a long time, dude.

What Was the Collier Park Riot?

The riot was a violent clash between young people in Ocean Beach protesting the Vietnam war and the sale of land meant for a park with San Diego police officers. During the afternoon of March 28, 1971, a peaceful crowd of hundreds of young OBceans and college students had gathered on a vacant hill site in northeast OB along Greene Street – on what was to become Collier Park – as part of an anti-Vietnam war protest and a ‘clean-up the park’ project.

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The Beloved Wisteria Garden of Ocean Beach

March 26, 2021 by Source

Wisteria Garden Goes Online!

By Kathy Blavatt

One of the best things about living in Southern California is that you can have a usable yard. Many locals in Ocean Beach and Point Loma are very proud of their yards. They use it as outdoor living space, edible gardens, socializing, working-out, sunbathing or relaxing in the shade, planting, playing with pets, and hundreds of other uses.

In addition, as COVID has proven, a garden can improve your health and mental state. Many gardeners these days are looking to personalize their gardens to their specific needs and wants.

Ocean Beach’s best-know garden is the historic Wisteria Garden on Niagara Avenue just up the block from Sunset Cliffs Blvd. on the southside.

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OB Walkabout: The Plague Year – One Year Ago

March 25, 2021 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

In years past, the OB Rag‘s Walkabout series has tried to provide humorous and enlightening photo essays that capture the beauty and weirdness of Ocean Beach. On occasion it’s even been successful.

During the past week this reporter has walked the mean streets of Ocean Beach in search of elusive necessities such as hand sanitizer, rice, and prescription meds. In the process, a few photos have been taken that show some of our town’s varied responses to this horrible situation that has impacted every aspect of life in our community.

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A History of the OB Kite Festival

March 15, 2021 by Source

Editordude: Eric DuVall, president of the OB Historical Society, has written another OB history piece, published today in the OB – Point Loma Monthly.

By Eric DuVall / March 15, 2021

The blustery breezes of March have always blown some added anticipation and excitement into the hearts of Ocean Beach children. In fact, all true Obcecians feel the same way, for we know that those March gusts portend the arrival of kite season! And in the kite capital of the country, that is no small thing.

So return with us now to a time not so long ago — those simpler days of, say, the 1980s, an era before entertainment and experiences had become “virtual” and when the Kite Parade still proceeded proudly down the middle of Newport Avenue.

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10 New Resources Designated by City’s Historical Resources Board

March 9, 2021 by Source

San Diego City and County Designations

By Amie Hayes /Save Our Heritage Organization / March -April 2021

In January and February, the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board (HRB) designated ten new resources. …

Four new historical resources in the East Village, Bankers Hill, and La Jolla are:

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Celebrate March 8th – International Women’s Day

March 8, 2021 by Source

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is marked on the 8th of March every year and is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for those social achievements.The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women’s achievements
  • raise awareness about women’s equality
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities

History

History of International Women’s Day (From International Women’s Day)

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

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The Long Road to Equality for Women – ‘Time to Pass the ERA’

March 8, 2021 by Anna Daniels

ERA old photo 1920

Originally posted September 29, 2010

By Anna Daniels

“Feminism is doomed to failure because it is based on an attempt to repeal and restructure human nature.” … “What I am defending is the real rights of women. A woman should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother.” Phyllis Schlafly

“Schlafly’s discussion reveals a paradox. She was able to have it all: family and career. And she did it by fighting those who said they were trying to get it all for her.…” Pia de Solenni

When I walked into the unisex bathroom at the Livingroom coffeehouse, I deftly threw a kung fu kick, successfully lowering the toilet seat from its upright position with a soul satisfying BANG! accompanied by my hissed words “Here’s to you Phyllis Schlafly!”

Schlafly spear headed the anti-Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) movement in 1974, maintaining that the ERA’s passage would lead to compulsory military service for women, same sex marriage and (drum roll please…) public unisex bathrooms!

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February 22, 1974 – The Day Ocean Beach Lost Its Innocence

February 22, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

February 22, 1974 was the day Ocean Beach lost its innocence. It was the day a man – recently released from prison – who was associated with the then network of OB radicals, tried to commit what we today call “suicide by cop.”

Peter Mahone walked up to a San Diego Police officer sitting in his patrol car in the OB Pier parking lot – and pulled out a gun and shot him. Mahone then calmly walked back to his little shack on Abbott and waited for the fusillade. And it came with a vengeance. Police surrounded Peter’s little hole in the wall and poured lead into it.

Miraculously, no one died that day. The officer shot in the parking lot survived – as did Peter Mahone.

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Memories of the Closures and Damage of the Ocean Beach Pier

February 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Pier overflow 12-28-09-sm

With all the discussion about the current state of the Ocean Beach Pier, we thought about all the times over the past 12 years the pier has been forced to close and damaged. Here, then, is a memory tour of many of those moments, and a reminder of how much we all love the OB Pier. (The text and photos are from posts at the OB Rag.)

OB Pier – Monday, December 28, 2009. Photo by Jim Grant.

December 28, 2009 – The big news around downtown OB today was the big waves, number one – which forced the OB Pier to be closed by lifeguards. With large swells arriving up and down the Southern Cal coast, and with a National Weather Service high surf advisory in effect until 10 p.m. on Monday, local lifeguards had to close the pier, while a few top-notch surfers braved the waves – which could have been as high as 8 feet.

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Is This the End of the Ocean Beach Pier?

February 16, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

A recent puff piece in the local weekly newspaper about the Ocean Beach Pier can serve as an illustration of the differences between what readers get in The OB Rag what readers see in the other local paper. What people need to read about are things that matter. The pier doesn’t need a puff piece, it may need an obituary.

The Beacon article asked why “the fuss over a few washed-out railings?” The answer lies later in the piece after a brief bit of history. That history included a colossal mistake and a truly idiotic location chosen for the pier.

First, the railing comment. The article quoted the general contractor that built the pier as saying:

“Those railings are doing exactly what they were meant to do — wash away in high seas, lessening resistance of water hitting the pier,” says the general contractor who built the pier (he prefers we not mention his name for privacy’s sake). “Rails can be easily replaced, though at an expected cost to the city.”

That the contractor did not want his name used is a really mystery.

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The Furry Freak Brothers Are Back!

February 8, 2021 by Staff

You thought you had cabin fever?! The Freaks smoked some super weed 51 years ago and just woke up in 2020.

Here to bring you a much needed laugh in a teaser episode called “Kentucky Fried Freaks”are #woodyharrelson? #tiffanyhaddish? #johngoodman? #petedavidson? and more.

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Did Pickleweed Commit Murder?

February 2, 2021 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

The question on everyone’s mind is, “Did the Pickleweed commit murder?”

A gang of suspects covered in green waited until just the right moment to tumble the cliff on three innocent people below.

The January 2020 San Diego Reader cover read “Beach Erosion, Can it Be Stopped?” and laid out the case of possible perps that lead investigators to the culprit being Pickleweed!

Is Pickleweed getting a bum rap, or are they a dangerous plant? The court will soon decide.

Excerpt: January 13, 2020, San Diego Reader – “Will sand save San Diego North County’s bluffs?”: On August 2, 2019, a 30-foot-wide chunk of sandstone came loose at Grandview Surf Beach in Encinitas, beneath a condo development. It fell onto three women, two of them locals, whose children and spouses sat nearby. The three women died. A lawsuit filed by the surviving families calls the poorly maintained bluff “an unnatural, unstable, and unsafe urbanized cliff.”

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Ocean Beach in 1978

January 18, 2021 by Source

Here’s a Channel 8 news report about Ocean Beach in 1978 by reporter Cathy Clark – inside.

It’s a great journey down memory lane for some – those of us who lived in OB that year.

But also, it’s a reminder of the problems OB has had over the decades. Check out the complaints by residents, businesses and visitors – do they sound similar?

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Sustainability 101: The Rebirth of Riding Wood: An Interview with Larry O’Brien and Mike Shourds

December 30, 2020 by Terrie Leigh Relf
Thumbnail image for Sustainability 101: The Rebirth of Riding Wood: An Interview with Larry O’Brien and Mike Shourds

Originally posted August 2012

Nothing says OB more than surf, sweet boards, and social consciousness! In the following interview, OBcean Larry O’Brien, vintage body board collector, cave explorer, and aspiring eccentric shares one of his many passions: Creating boards from found wood and other materials.

Coronadoian “Paipo Mike” Shourds, builder of wooden body boards and recycled junk bikes since 1960, is also a collector and all-around creative person.

Terrie Leigh Relf: What inspired you to create your body boards?

Larry O’Brien: Back when I was in junior high school, carpentry was something taught in school, and sex was something you learned …

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105 Years Ago Charles Hatfield Made It Rain in San Diego. The Problem Was He Couldn’t Make It Stop.

December 29, 2020 by Source

By Allison McNearney / Daily Beast / Dec. 27, 2020

Since the beginning of time, humans have sought to stage-direct our environment. The drama of history may have proceeded through act after act, but the trickster in the story has remained the same: the weather.

Over the centuries, our methods for trying to control the elements have gotten ever more sophisticated, and outlandish. We’ve tried to dance the rain down, blast precipitation from the skies, give the atmosphere an electrical wake-up shock, and seed the clouds with chemicals to bend them to our will.

The pseudo-science of what was later dubbed pluviculture, or man’s attempt to artificially bring about rain, began to develop more rapidly in the early 20th century.

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Democracy and Education

December 23, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tulican / Dec. 19, 2020

Democracy and free universal public education are foundational American ideologies. They have engendered world renowned success for our experiment in government “by the people”. Two new books – Schoolhouse Burning by Derek Black and A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door by Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire – demonstrate that these principles which were integral to the American experiment are shockingly under serious attack by wealthy elites.

After his father Fred died in 1967, Charles Koch took a disparate set of assets – a cattle ranch, a minority share in an oil refinery and a gas gathering business – and stitched them together. Today it is the second largest privately held corporation in the world. In the excellent 2019 book, Kochland, Christopher Leonard states, “Koch would eventually build one of the largest lobbying and political influence machines in US history.”

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San Diego County’s 12 Most Endangered Historic Sites

December 17, 2020 by Source

SOHO Spotlights 12 Most Endangered Historic Sites

Save Our Heritage Organisation, San Diego’s only countywide historic preservation advocacy group, wraps up this year with its 22nd annual Most Endangered List of 12 historic buildings, sites, and landscapes.

The pandemic’s stressors of uncertainty, inequity, and loss underscore the unifying power of our shared multicultural heritage and venerated historic places. The pandemic also threatens historic buildings and places that are not now regularly used, visited, or monitored due to restricted activities.

These threatened sites also reflect and define San Diego’s authentic character, and cry out for preservation before it is too late. Key among these are the vulnerable redwood Red Roost and Red Rest bungalows, which have overlooked La Jolla Cove since 1894. Sadly, a recent fire severely damaged Red Rest and partly burned Red Roost. The pair has appeared on SOHO’s Most Endangered List for more than 25 years, longer than any other threatened historic resource.

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America Attacked?

December 10, 2020 by Source

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