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…

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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Richard Carrico in Ocean Beach and His Story of Warner Springs Ranch

September 21, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Before a good-sized audience of at least 80 people who had assembled in the old pews of the Water’s Edge Faith Community church, Richard Carrico – the well-known archeologist, writer and lecturer – entertained with his stories of Warner Springs Thursday evening, the 20th of September. Carrico appears in Ocean Beach once a year to give lectures – mostly about the native peoples of San Diego County – and this time was no different. Accompanied by a slide show, Carrico and his knowledge and wit held the audience for over an hour and half.

The Original Cupeños and Warner Springs Ranch

Carrico explained he was hired 4 years ago by the new owners of the Warner Springs Ranch

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‘I Have a Dream’ at the San Diego-Mexico Border and Reflections on 1968

September 7, 2018 by Source

By Rev. Richard Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

1968 came back to me when I stood with Martin Luther King, III, at the Border on August 28 and listened to folks on the other side of the Border holler in pure delight that the day had finally come when a black leader stood tall in the fight for a just immigration policy.

King, III, took us back to his father’s “I Have a Dream Speech” fifty-five years ago and reminded us that there’s no room for leaders who separate children from their parents in the world his father envisioned. No. Dr. King wanted to build bridges, not barriers, to freedom.

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Memories of a Doctor on the ‘Front Lines’ During Chicago 1968

August 29, 2018 by Source

By Jeoffry B. Gordon, MD

Fifty years ago this week, I was in Chitown.

Having just finished my medical internship and working several years with the famous pediatrician Dr. Ben Spock on anti-war issues, I was in a white coat among the checkered blue caped and the robin’s-egg blue helmeted police and real people.

I will never forget walking along the lines of scared, sweating teenage national guardsmen with fixed bayonets,

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The Whole World Was Watching 50 Years Ago Today – the Day a Whole Generation Was Radicalized

August 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

by Frank Gormlie

50 years ago today, the Democratic Party was in the midst of holding its 1968 national convention in the city of Chicago. While hundreds of party delegates met in the steamy convention hall to hammer out who was to be the nominee. Thousands of anti-war demonstrators had converged on the city, an armed camp.

50 years ago today, I was 20 years ago and living with my 19-year old spouse, Susan, in a small, one-bedroom cottage on Brighton Avenue in Ocean Beach.

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The May 1970 National Student Strike

May 4, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Many of us are aware of the tragic and fatal events that came down 48 years ago at Kent State University in Ohio during protests against the Vietnam war and president Nixon’s expansion of it with his invasion into Cambodia. On May 4, four students were shot dead and eleven wounded by National Guardsmen who had been called in to quell the unruly protests. What many of us don’t know is what came before and what came afterwards.

On April 30, Nixon announced the invasion into Vietnam’s neighbor. In response, campuses nationwide exploded into a national student strike -. And certainly San Diego campuses were no exception.

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Under the Gun in Ireland: A Report From the North – August, 1983

March 17, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

Editordude: In honor of St Patrick’s Day, we publish the following piece just sent to us by Michael Steinberg, who went to Ireland a number of times during the 1980s. Happy Paddy’s Day!

By Michael Steinberg

In 1983, I was among a contingent of 82 Americans, including 7 San Diegans, who went on a fact finding tour of Northern Ireland.

What we found there was a vicious colonialism that rules through murder, lies and a concerted attempt at total social control. And a native people who exist under this everyday terror and resist it with extraordinary courage and grace.

I arrive a few days before the tour begins to explore the southern Republic a bit. I first visit the city of Limerick at the mouth of the River Shannon on the west coast. It was from here that my great-grandfather Cornelius Donahue emigrated sometime in the mid 19th century.

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The Struggle for Black Sitcoms : Black History Month

February 22, 2018 by Annie Lane

By Annie Lane

In the early 20th Century, African Americans were primarily featured in stereotypical and unflattering roles, such as comic clowns or in black minstrelsy — shows performed primarily by whites which mocked and demeaned black people as inferior. The first all-black sitcom to appear on television in the 1950s, Amos ‘n’ Andy, is demonstrative of this racist trend, and was taken off the air after roughly 70 episodes due to protests by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other groups.

It would be 20 years before black sitcoms would officially take root in American television.

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Burning the Christmas Greens

December 27, 2017 by Jim Miller

[Editor: Here are sites for San Diego’s Christmas Tree Re-cycling Program.]

In William Carlos Williams’s famous poem “Burning the Christmas Greens” he notes how at “the thick of the dark moment” in “winter’s midnight” we turn to the trees because “green is a solace” that we use to “fill our need.” Thus the “living green” along with “paper Christmas bells covered with tinfoil and fastened by red ribbons” seem “gentle and good to us.”

But then when their time is past we feel the relief as we clear our rooms and assign the greens to the fireplace and “in the jagged flames green to red, instant and alive.” And we stand “breathless to be witnesses as if we stood ourselves refreshed among the shining fauna of that fire.”

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What Does the LA Times Know that We Don’t Know? – ‘1984’ Listed As ‘Non-Fiction’

November 29, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Every Sunday, the Los Angeles Times prints the lists of the bestselling books for that week. There’s the hardbacks and there’s the paperbacks – and they’re both divided into Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Well, Sunday, November 26th, like all Sundays, the Times printed the bestsellers. But way down in the paperbacks section was a subtle change – which tells us the LA Times knows something we don’t. Just what is it?

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On JFK’s Assassination Anniversary – the 3 Big Lies Continue

November 22, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Today, November 22nd, is the 54th anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy.

And for weeks now, the government has been releasing large batches of long-secret JFK assassination records – but it’s been mainly hype as the documents lack any substantive content and “at least two-thirds of the never-seen JFK files that were supposed to be released — some 2,538 records — remain secret”, states a report from AlterNet.

Here are the 3 Big Lies repeated by Matthews:

  1. The Warren Commission was right.
  2. Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy.
  3. And Oswald did it alone.

Just the opposite is actually true.

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September 16th: Mexican Independence Day

September 16, 2017 by Staff

Grito de dolores graphicEditor: It’s important for people living north of the US-Mexico border to know and understand important events and dates for people living south of the border.

And today, September 16th, is one of those days, as it’s Mexico’s Independence Day, a celebration of the anniversary of the beginning of the war against imperial Spain. It’s equivalent to July 4th on this side of the border.

by Fleur De Lys

September 16th is that time of year when all Mexicans from around the world are celebrating Mexican Independence Day. On September 1810 Mexico began a 10-year war for independence with Spain and since the country gained its independence, things came a long way but violence is still too high. … The traditional shout-out in Mexico for Mexican Independence Day is “Viva Mexico!” After the 1910 revolution that toppled dictator Porfirio Diaz, Mexicans were free to live in their own country, to have their own government and be able to shout out loud (or gritar) “Viva Mexico!”

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‘America First:’ The Value of Knowing Where We’ve Been

August 10, 2017 by Source

By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

Tough subjects seem always to end up with Greek or Latin roots. Alienation, bulimia, catastrophe, depression … just go through the alphabet and you’ll find them.

In our fragile democracies, maybe we assign concepts like these, wrestled over by so many psychoanalysts, social and clinical psychologists, political scientists, sociologists, historians, writers for large daily newspapers — even some politicians — that they’ve become contorted and distorted to the point that they are merely suggestive, symbolic, abstracted from the particular.

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