San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. It is the birthplace of the United Nations, the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856, after three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines, San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, as of 2016, San Francisco is ranked high on world liveability rankings.
The earliest archaeological evidence of habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the system gradually ended, and its lands became privatized. In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, and the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7,1846, during the Mexican–American War, montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography. The California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers, with their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849.
The promise of fabulous riches was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. Some of these approximately 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels, many were left to rot, by 1851 the harbor was extended out into the bay by wharves while buildings were erected on piles among the ships. By 1870 Yerba Buena Cove had been filled to create new land, buried ships are occasionally exposed when foundations are dug for new buildings. California was quickly granted statehood in 1850 and the U. S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate, silver discoveries, including the Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1859, further drove rapid population growth. With hordes of fortune seekers streaming through the city, lawlessness was common, and the Barbary Coast section of town gained notoriety as a haven for criminals, entrepreneurs sought to capitalize on the wealth generated by the Gold Rush
Halloween in the Castro
The Halloween celebration held in The Castro district of San Francisco began in the 1940s as a neighborhood costume contest. San Franciscos gay Halloween celebration in the early 1960s originally centered on the gay bars in the Tenderloin district. They had moved there from the North Beach neighborhood which continues to be a magnet for adult entertainment, in the late 1960s, the celebration was centered on Grant Avenue in North Beach. From 1970 to 1978, the Halloween celebration was held on Polk Street in Polk Gulch, in 1977 gay-bashers clashed with police and tear-gas was used to disperse the crowds. By 1979, the gay village had moved to the Castro. The event became known as the leading Halloween celebration in the U. S. where costumes ranged from the outrageous to the spectacular, by 2002, Halloween crowds had grown to the hundreds of thousands and became difficult to control. In 1948, Cliffs Variety Store began hosting a childrens Halloween festival that featured a costume contest, by 1979, the Childrens Halloween ended as the neighborhoods population shifted from families with children to more single men.
Halloween in the Castro was tied to the LGBT culture of San Francisco, after World War II, in the 1940s, the San Francisco Bay Area became a haven for LGBT military personnel who didnt want to go back to their old lives. In the 1950s, a group of gay bars in San Franciscos Tenderloin area helped create a strip of venues for sex and late night fun. There has been a South-of-Market leather subculture and BDSM bar scene with gay-focussed sex clubs sharing Folsom street, in addition to those outed militarily there were arguably many more who successfully remained closeted, left voluntarily when able to or never entered the service in the first place. People were living double lives and I didnt understand it, why be ashamed of who you are. At his main performing venue at the time, the Black Cat Bar and he exhorted the clientele, Theres nothing wrong with being gay–the crime is getting caught, and United we stand, divided they catch us one by one. At closing time he would call upon patrons to join hands, sometimes he would bring the crowd outside to sing the final verse to the men across the street in jail, who had been arrested in raids earlier in the night.
And to be able to put arms around other gay men and to be able to stand up. We were really not saying God Save Us Nelly Queens and we were saying We have our rights, too. Sarria fought against police harassment, both of gays and of gay bars, raids on gay bars were routine, with everyone inside the raided bar taken into custody and charged with such crimes as being inmates in a disorderly house. Although the charges were dropped, the arrested patrons names and workplaces were printed in the newspapers. When charges were not dropped, the men usually quietly pleaded guilty
White Night riots
The events took place on the night of May 21,1979 in San Francisco. Earlier that day, White had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter and that White was not convicted of first-degree murder had so outraged the citys gay community that it set off the most violent reaction by gay Americans since the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. The gay community of San Francisco had a conflict with the San Francisco Police Department. Whites status as a police officer intensified the communitys anger at the SFPD. Initial demonstrations took place as a march through the Castro district of San Francisco. After the crowd arrived at the San Francisco City Hall, violence began, the events caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property damage to City Hall and the surrounding area, as well as injuries to police officers and rioters. Several hours after the riot had broken up, police made a retaliatory raid on a gay bar in San Franciscos Castro District. Many patrons were beaten by police in riot gear, two dozen arrests were made during the course of the raid, and several people sued the SFPD.
In the following days, gay leaders refused to apologize for the events of that night and this led to increased political power in the gay community, which culminated in the election of Mayor Dianne Feinstein to a full term, the following November. In response to a promise, Feinstein appointed a pro-gay Chief of Police. The American settlers who moved west toward California in the 18th and 19th centuries were largely male prospectors and miners, events such as the California Gold Rush created a broadly male society in that region. Romantic friendships were common, and often tolerated, as San Francisco was settled the ratio of men to women remained disproportionately high, resulting in the growth of a culture that was more open-minded towards homosexuality. The citys notorious brothel district – named the Barbary Coast – earned the city a reputation as a lawless, the end of Prohibition prompted the opening of several gay bars along North Beach. The most notable of these were the Black Cat where female impersonation shows became the draw.
During World War II, San Francisco became a major point for servicemen stationed in the Pacific Theater. The U. S. military, which was concerned about homosexuality, had a policy of dismissing servicemen caught in known gay establishments with blue discharges. As many of these men faced ostracism from their communities and families, the number of men that remained was a significant factor in the creation of a homosexual community in San Francisco. In 1951, the California Supreme Court affirmed in Stoumen v. Reilly the right of homosexuals to assemble peacefully, to assist homosexuals with legal problems, in 1951 labor activist Harry Hay started the Mattachine Society, from his living room in Los Angeles
Alfred E. Clarke Mansion
The Clarke Mansion survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fires which had destroyed many of the Victorian mansions from the same era. On December 7,1975, it was designated a San Francisco City landmark, the mansion was used briefly as a hospital. Today, it is used as a property, with 15 apartments. This article incorporates text by Mae Silver available under the CC BY-SA3.0 license, an Irish policeman with a very colorful reputation owned the mansion, now an historic landmark, called Nobby Clarkes Folly at the corner of Douglass and Caselli Streets in Eureka Valley. Nobby was both the pride and bane of the Police Force, answering the call for gold, Alfred Clarke arrived from Ireland in 1850 aboard the ship Commonwealth. After an unrewarding attempt in the hills of Nevada County, Clarke returned to the city docks. Restless to do better, he connected himself with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, on his waterfront beat, he had an altercation with a seaman who bit his hand so badly he never recovered full use of it.
Likely, his nickname Nobby came from that injury, Clarke moved up the ladder until he was clerk to the Chief of Police. He made a use of that position by running a side business lending money to patrolmen. Soon he was making money than the Chief and that revelation likely figured in his removal from the Force for the next three years. Nobby used that time to his advantage and he studied law and passed the bar. When he returned to the Police Department in 1870, he was legal advisor to the department. It was Nobby Clarke, the attorney, who introduced Emperor Norton-style splashes of excitement, apparently courtrooms held such an attraction to Clarke, he could hardly stay away from appearing there daily. He filed many, some say, too many cases mostly against the Police Commission or about the Department itself, while his legal demeanor was over zealous, at times he seemed genuinely concerned about his former fellow officers. In 1896 he aimed a suit directly at the Police Commissioners who had discharged 50 patrolmen in 1894 and he asked for compensation of $40,000 for each while characterizing the Commissioners as persons with evil eyes, depraved minds and abandoned hearts.
Clarke wasnt entirely off the wall on this case, in view of the deep depression, Nobby was clearly contentious and maybe a bit proud. After he built, or over built, his mansion in the Gilded Age, he and his neighbor, Behrend Joost. By it was their nature to achieve by outdoing everyone else and their stormy relationship didnt stop with sharp words, neighbors still recount stories of their fist fights on 18th Street
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5,12 a. m. on April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.8 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI. Severe shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several days. As a result, about 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed, the events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest natural disasters in the history of the United States. The death toll remains the greatest loss of life from a disaster in Californias history. The San Andreas Fault is a transform fault that forms part of the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The strike-slip fault is characterized by mainly lateral motion in a dextral sense, the 1906 rupture propagated both northward and southward for a total of 296 miles. This fault runs the length of California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, the maximum observed surface displacement was about 20 feet, geodetic measurements show displacements of up to 28 feet.
The 1906 earthquake preceded the development of the Richter magnitude scale by three decades. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the quake on the moment magnitude scale is 7.8. According to findings published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, severe deformations in the earths crust took place both before and after the earthquakes impact. Accumulated strain on the faults in the system was relieved during the earthquake, the main shock epicenter occurred offshore about 2 miles from the city, near Mussel Rock. Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada, a strong foreshock preceded the main shock by about 20 to 25 seconds. The strong shaking of the main shock lasted about 42 seconds, there were decades of minor earthquakes – more than at any other time in the historical record for northern California – before the 1906 quake. For years, the epicenter of the quake was assumed to be near the town of Olema, in the Point Reyes area of Marin County, because of evidence of the degree of local earth displacement.
In the 1960s, a seismologist at UC Berkeley proposed that the epicenter was more likely offshore of San Francisco, at the time,375 deaths were reported, partly because hundreds of fatalities in Chinatown went ignored and unrecorded. The total number of deaths is uncertain today, and is estimated to be roughly 3,000 at minimum. Most of the deaths occurred in San Francisco itself, but 189 were reported elsewhere in the Bay Area, nearby cities, such as Santa Rosa and San Jose, in Monterey County, the earthquake permanently shifted the course of the Salinas River near its mouth. Where previously the river emptied into Monterey Bay between Moss Landing and Watsonville, it was diverted 6 miles south to a new channel just north of Marina
Harvey Bernard Milk was an American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk moved from New York City to settle in San Francisco in 1972 amid a migration of gay men to the Castro District and he took advantage of the growing political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests, and three times ran unsuccessfully for political office. His theatrical campaigns earned him increasing popularity, and Milk won a seat as a city supervisor in 1977, his election made possible by, and a key component of, a shift in San Francisco politics. Milk served almost 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city, despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and a martyr in the gay community. In 2002, Milk was called the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States, anne Kronenberg, his final campaign manager, wrote of him, What set Harvey apart from you or me was that he was a visionary.
He imagined a world inside his head and he set about to create it for real. Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, Milk was born in Woodmere, New York, to William Milk and Minerva Karns. He was the son of Lithuanian Jewish parents and the grandson of Morris Milk. As a child, Harvey was teased for his ears, big nose, and oversized feet. He played football in school, and developed a passion for opera, in his teens, he acknowledged his homosexuality to himself, under his name in the high school yearbook, it read, Glimpy Milk—and they say WOMEN are never at a loss for words. Milk graduated from Bay Shore High School in Bay Shore, New York, in 1947 and attended New York State College for Teachers in Albany from 1947 to 1951 and he wrote for the college newspaper. One classmate remembered, He was never thought of as a possible queer—thats what you called them then—he was a mans man, after graduation, Milk joined the United States Navy during the Korean War. He served aboard the rescue ship USS Kittiwake as a diving officer.
He transferred to Naval Station, San Diego to serve as a diving instructor, in 1955, he was discharged from the Navy at the rank of lieutenant, junior grade. Milks early career was marked by frequent changes, in years he would take delight in talking about his metamorphosis from a middle-class Jewish boy. He began teaching at George W. Hewlett High School on Long Island, in 1956, he met Joe Campbell, at the Jacob Riis Park beach, a popular location for gay men in Queens. Campbell was seven years younger than Milk, and Milk pursued him passionately, Even after they moved in together, Milk wrote Campbell romantic notes and poems. Campbell and Milk separated after almost six years, it would be his longest relationship, Milk tried to keep his early romantic life separate from his family and work
California's 12th congressional district
Californias 12th congressional district is a congressional district in the U. S. state of California. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, has represented the district since January 2013, the 12th district is entirely within the city of San Francisco. Prior to redistricting by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission of 2011, when the 12th Congressional District was created after the 1930 Census, it was located in Los Angeles County. As Californias population grew, the district generally shrank in area and progressed northward, richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, represented this district from 1947-1951. Nancy Pelosi, the 60th Speaker of the House, is the current representative of this district, as of April 2015, there are five living former members of the House of Representatives from this district. The most recent representative to die was Tom Lantos, who died in office on February 11,2008, list of United States congressional districts GovTrack. us, Californias 12th congressional district RAND California Election Returns, District Definitions California Voter Foundation map - CD12
Muni Metro is a light rail/streetcar hybrid system serving San Francisco, operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway, a division of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. With an average ridership of 128,500 passengers as of the fourth quarter of 2014. Muni Metro operates a fleet of 151 light rail vehicles made by Breda, Muni Metro is the modern incarnation of the traditional streetcar system that had served San Francisco since the late 19th century. Recently, the system has undergone expansion, most notably the Third Street Light Rail Project, completed in 2007, other projects, such as the Central Subway, are underway. Muni Metro descended from the traditional streetcar system started on December 28,1912. The first streetcar line, the A Geary, ran from Kearny and Market Streets in the Financial District to Fulton Street, the system slowly expanded, opening the Twin Peaks Tunnel in 1917, allowing streetcars to run to the southwestern quadrant of the city. By 1921, the city was operating 304 miles of trolley lines and 25 miles of cable car lines.
The last line to service before 2007 was the N Judah. However, five heavily used streetcar lines traveled for at least part of their routes through tunnels or otherwise reserved right-of-way, as a result, these lines, running PCC streetcars, continued in operation. The new tunnel would be connected to the existing Twin Peaks Tunnel, the new underground stations would feature high platforms, and the older stations would be retrofitted with the same, which meant that the PCCs could not be used in them. Hence, a fleet of new rail vehicles was ordered from Boeing-Vertol. The K and M lines were extended to Balboa Park during this time, on February 18,1980, the Muni Metro was officially inaugurated, with weekday N line service in the subway. The Metro service was implemented in phases, and the subway was served only on weekdays until 1982. The K Ingleside line began using the Metro subway on weekdays on June 11,1980, the L Taraval and M Ocean View lines on December 17,1980, and lastly the J Church line on June 17,1981.
Meanwhile, weekend service on all five lines continued to use PCC cars operating on the surface of Market Street through to the Transbay Terminal, finally, on November 20,1982, the Muni Metro subway began operating seven days a week. At the time, there were no plans to revive any service on the surface of Market Street or return PCCs to regular running. However, tracks were rehabilitated for the 1983 Historic Trolley Festival, Muni criticism had been something of a feature of life in San Francisco, and not without reason. The Boeing trains were sub-par and grew crowded quickly, Muni did take steps to address these problems