Recent Events


  • Chronic outbreaks of bubonic plague.
  • April 14: The design of John M. Gamble is adopted for a flag for the City of San Francisco. The phoenix on the flag, originally intended to be an emblem of a new era of prosperity for the city, is now generally taken to symbolize the rebirth of the city after the earthquake and fire of 1906.


  • Strikes in nearly all sectors of workforce cripple San Francisco.
  • February 22: Rio de Janeiro sinks outside Golden Gate; 129 lost.
  • August 1: Burials within city limits outlawed.


  • July 31 : First Pacific Coast-built submarine launched at Union Iron Works.


  • July 4: President Theodore Roosevelt sends telephone message around the world from San Francisco.
  • July 25: Telegraph Hill’s haunted castle burns down.


  • September 4: First San Francisco Odd Fellows Conclave meets.
  • October 17: Bank of Italy (later Bank of America) founded.
  • December: End of first bubonic plague epidemic.


  • April 18-20: Earthquake and fire destroy 500 city blocks, kill 700.
  • November 15: Mayor Schmitz and Abe Ruef indicted for bribery, extortion by Oliver Grand Jury.


  • April 18: Fairmont Hotel opens.
  • May 29: Bubonic plague resurfaces in Chinatown.
  • July 8: Mayor Eugene Schmitz sentenced to five years at San Quentin for graft and corruption.
  • August 26: Harry Houdini performs underwater chain escape at Aquatic Park.
  • September 7: Sutro’s third Cliff House bums to the ground in electrical fire.
  • December 7: Political boss Abe Ruef sentenced to fourteen years at San Quentin for corrupting city government.


  • July 7: Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet departs from San Francisco harbor.
  • July 9: Marin’s Muir Woods becomes national monument.
  • November 13: Francis J. Heney assassinated in court by Morris Haas.


  • Excavations for new Hall of Justice, General Hospital completed.
  • December 16: Palace Hotel officially reopens.


  • Angel Island’s immigration station opens. Luisa Tetrazinni sings to 250,000 at foot of Lotta’s Fountain.


  • January 31 : Congress approves San Francisco’s bid to host Panama Canal Exposition.
  • March 7: Abe Ruef begins 14-year sentence at San Quentin.
  • December 29: Inspection and licensing of prostitutes commences.


  • February 20: Police move into newly completed Hall of Justice.
  • March 12: Women vote for first time in San Francisco. $800,000 purchase of Civic Center
    land authorized.


  • State Red Light Abatement Act goes into effect, effectively shutting down Barbary Coast dives. First anti-Japanese land ownership law passed. Abe Ruef released from prison after a civic campaign in his favor.
  • April 5: Mayor Rolph breaks ground for new city hall.


  • Preparations for Panama-Pacific Exposition.
  • January 6: Supervisors pass exhumation order, beginning 25-year legal battle to clear all cemeteries out of San Francisco.


  • January 25: Alexander Graham Bell in New York holds first transcontinental telephone conversation with Thomas Watson in San Francisco.
  • February 20 – December 4: Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
  • August 27: Gen. Pershing’s wife and three children die in fire at Presidio.
  • December 28: Mayor Rolph dedicates new City Hall.


  • April 29: Artists’ Ball held to raise funds to preserve Palace of Fine Arts.
  • July 10: Law & Order Committee forms to curtail labor violence.
  • July 22: Preparedness Day Parade bombing kills 16.
  • September 22: North American Hall at California Academy of Sciences dedicated.


  • Presidio shifts to full wartime mobilization, processing thousands of recruits for service in
  • February 15: Dedication of rebuilt City Public Library.
  • July 14: Twin Peaks Tunnel completed.


  • December 31: Ferry Building siren sounds for first time at 5:OO p.m.


  • April 23: Army’s 363rd Division (San Francisco’s Own) returns to San Francisco from New York.
  • September 17: Pres. Woodrow Wilson visits.
  • November 3: Crissy Field dedicated at Presidio.
  • December 8-31: Ten planes of Army group flight return to San Francisco.


  • Alien Land Law Act forbids purchase of land by Japanese immigrants in the name of their nativeborn children.
  • April 28: Asian Banking Corporation incorporated.
  • May 5: Captive Army balloon takes aerial photographs of San Francisco and waterfront for
    Chamber of Commerce.
  • May 19: Mass meeting held at Civic Auditorium to raise funds for war memorial.
  • June 28: Democratic National Convention opens at Civic Auditorium. Prohibition effectively
    repealed for duration of convention.
  • July 29: First transcontinental airmail flight from New York lands at San Francisco.
  • November: Fund drive for war memorial raises $2,012,000.
  • December 5: Police Detective Miles Jackson and Miles Dorman killed during arrest.


  • January 2: Opening of De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.
  • January 24: Asian Banking Corporation opens to customers.
  • February 22-23: Civilian mail pilots fly to San Francisco from New York in 33 hours, 20 minutes.
  • June 28: Joseph Strauss presents first plan for Golden Gate Bridge to City Engineer.
  • August 8: Bank of Italy opens day-and-night Liberty Bank of San Francisco on Market Street.
  • September 5: Roscoe Arbuckle’s career ruined in scandalous death of actress Virginia Rappe.
  • December 31 : Last horse-drawn fire wagon companies closed down.


  • April 15: Legendary French restaurant Old Poodle Dog closes.
  • April 22: KPO radio station goes on the air.
  • November 8: Municipal Popular Symphony concerts begin.


  • January 31: Merchants’ National Bank of San Francisco purchased by the Sacramento-San
    Joaquin Bank.
  • July 29: Pres. Warren G. Harding arrives in San Francisco.
  • August 2: Harding dies at Palace Hotel.
  • September 17: Fire ravages Berkeley; San Francisco volunteers its fire department to put out the blaze.
  • September 25 – October 8: San Francisco Grand Opera’s first season at Civic Auditorium.
  • September 29: Opening of Steinhart Aquarium in Golden Gate Park.
  • December 30: Thousands of walnuts wash up on Ft. Point after dumping from ship by federal


  • War Dept. consents to building of Bay and Golden Gate Bridges. Japanese immigration forbidden
    until 1951.

Recent Events

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