California Historical Landmarks in Sacramento County, California
This list includes properties and districts listed on the California Historical Landmark listing in Sacramento County, California. Click the "Map of all coordinates" link to the right to view a Google map of all properties and districts with latitude and longitude coordinates in the table below. List of California Historical Landmarks National Register of Historic Places listings in Sacramento County, California
U.S. Route 40
U. S. Route 40 known as the Main Street of America, is an east–west United States Highway; as with most routes whose numbers end in a zero, US 40 once traversed the entire United States. It is one of the first U. S. Highways created in 1926 and its original termini were in San Francisco and Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the western United States, US 40 was functionally replaced by Interstate 80, resulting in the route being truncated multiple times. US 40 ends at a junction with I-80 in Silver Summit, just outside Park City. Starting at its western terminus in Utah, US 40 crosses a total of 12 states, including Colorado, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. Three former and four current state capitals lie along the route. For much of its route, US 40 runs parallel to or concurrently with several major Interstate Highways: Interstate 70 from Colorado to Washington, Pennsylvania; the route was built on top of several older highways, most notably the National Road and the Victory Highway.
The National Road was created in 1806 by an act of Congress to serve as the first federally funded highway construction project. When completed it connected Cumberland, with Vandalia, Illinois; the Victory Highway was designated as a memorial to World War I veterans and ran from Kansas City, Missouri to San Francisco, California. Other important roads that have become part of US 40 include Zane's Trace in Ohio, Braddock Road in Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Black Horse Pike in New Jersey, part of the Oregon Trail in Kansas, the Lincoln Highway throughout most of California; the western terminus of US 40 is in Silver Summit, Utah at an interchange with Interstate 80, several miles north of Park City, at Silver Creek Junction. The road is concurrent with US 189. US 40 is a limited access highway from the I-80 junction to its intersection with Utah State Route 32, about 13 miles south of Park City. From there, the road takes a southerly course to Heber City. In Heber City, there is an intersection with SR-113.
One mile US 189 splits off. There would be no more major intersections until US 40 has reached Fruitland, as it meets SR-208. About 18 miles the road enters Duchesne. In Duchesne, it meets US 191 and SR-87. US 40 starts a concurrency; the concurrency continues into Fort Duchesne and Vernal. In Roosevelt, it meets SR-87 again in a 5-point intersection. There are two intersections with SR-121, in Vernal. In Fort Duchesne, there is an intersection with SR-88. After US 40 passes Vernal, US 191 splits off and the concurrency ends. After that, there are no more major intersections until US 40 reaches Naples, as it meets SR-45. About nine miles US 40 enters Jensen. In Jensen, there is an intersection with SR-149. About 18 miles the road enters Colorado. US 40 enters Colorado, 2 miles west of Dinosaur. In Dinosaur, there is an intersection with Colorado State Highway 64. After passing Dinosaur, there are no more major intersections until US 40 reaches Maybell, as it meets with Colorado State Highway 318. 30 miles the road enters Craig.
In Craig, US 40 starts a short concurrency with State Highway 13. After Craig, SH 3 splits off; the road passes through Hayden without major intersections. It exits Hayden and enters Steamboat Springs. There is an intersection with SH 131 and SH 14. US 40 continues southeast into Kremmling. In Kremmling, there is an intersection with SH 134 and SH 9, it exits Kremmling and enters Granby. There is an intersection with US 34; the road passes Fraser and Winter Park without major intersections. About 26 miles US 40 starts a concurrency with I-70. About 15 miles I-70 splits off. Four miles s it is concurrent again. Three miles I-70 splits off again. After the second concurrency with I-70, US 40 enters Denver; the road passes through downtown Denver, has intersections with SH 391, SH 121, SH 95, SH 2 and an interchange with US 287. The route through Denver serves as the business loop for I-70. East of Denver, US 40 becomes concurrent with I-70 once again. Seventy miles it enters Limon. In Limon, I-70 splits off, however the road is still concurrent with US 287.
There is an intersection with SH 71. US 40 passes Hugo without major intersections. In Wild Horse, it meets SH 94. About 20 miles the road enters Kit Carson. There is an intersection with SH 59. After Kit Carson, US 287 splits off and the concurrency ends. After that, there are no more major intersections until US 40 reaches Cheyenne Wells, as it meets US 385 in an interchange; the road passes Arapahoe without major intersections. Seven miles US 40 enters Kansas. US 40 enters Kansas near the unincorporated community of Weskan; the first sizable town it enters is Sharon Springs, where it intersects K-27. From there it goes northeast to Oakley and follows Eagle Eye Road before merging with I-70 east of town; the two routes remain merged until Topeka, although the prior alignment of US 40, named Old Highway 40, parallels I-70 for most of the way. From Ellsworth to Salina, the old alignment of US 40 is signed as K-140. In Topeka, US 40 leaves I-70 at exit 366, follows the Oakland Expressway concurrent with K-4 north to 6th Avenue heads east along 6th Avenue out of town.
Through Topeka, US 40 follows the route of the Oregon Trail. At t
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, buildings and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property; the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually; the remainder are contributing resources within historic districts. For most of its history the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate and protect historic sites in the United States.
While National Register listings are symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; the application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians. Historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States are listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts, multiple property submissions; the Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, structure, building, or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties; some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service.
These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials, some National Monuments. On October 15, 1966, the Historic Preservation Act created the National Register of Historic Places and the corresponding State Historic Preservation Offices; the National Register consisted of the National Historic Landmarks designated before the Register's creation, as well as any other historic sites in the National Park system. Approval of the act, amended in 1980 and 1992, represented the first time the United States had a broad-based historic preservation policy; the 1966 act required those agencies to work in conjunction with the SHPO and an independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to confront adverse effects of federal activities on historic preservation. To administer the newly created National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior, with director George B.
Hartzog Jr. established an administrative division named the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Hartzog charged OAHP with creating the National Register program mandated by the 1966 law. Ernest Connally was the Office's first director. Within OAHP new divisions were created to deal with the National Register; the division administered several existing programs, including the Historic Sites Survey and the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as the new National Register and Historic Preservation Fund. The first official Keeper of the Register was an architectural historian. During the Register's earliest years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organization was lax and SHPOs were small and underfunded. However, funds were still being supplied for the Historic Preservation Fund to provide matching grants-in-aid to listed property owners, first for house museums and institutional buildings, but for commercial structures as well. A few years in 1979, the NPS history programs affiliated with both the U.
S. National Parks system and the National Register were categorized formally into two "Assistant Directorates." Established were the Assistant Directorate for Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Assistant Directorate for Park Historic Preservation. From 1978 until 1981, the main agency for the National Register was the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior. In February 1983, the two assistant directorates were merged to promote efficiency and recognize the interdependency of their programs. Jerry L. Rogers was selected to direct this newly merged associate directorate, he was described as a skilled administrator, sensitive to the need for the NPS to work with SHPOs, local governments. Although not described in detail in the 1966 act, SHPOs became integral to the process of listing properties on the National Register; the 1980 amendments of the 1966 law further defined the responsibilities of SHPOs concerning the National Register.
Several 1992 amendments of the NHPA added a category to the National Register, known as Traditional Cultural Properties: those properties associated with Native American or Hawaiian groups
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous municipality of the U. S. state of Utah. With an estimated population of 190,884 in 2014, the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a population of 1,153,340. Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area, a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along a 120-mile segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,423,912, it is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin. The world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is located in Salt Lake City; the city was founded in 1847 by followers of the church, led by Brigham Young, who were seeking to escape persecution that they had experienced while living farther east. The Mormon pioneers, as they would come to be known, at first encountered an arid, inhospitable valley that they extensively irrigated and cultivated, thereby establishing the foundation to sustain the area's present population.
Salt Lake City's street grid system is based on the north-south east-west grid plan developed by early church leaders, with the Salt Lake Temple constructed at the grid's starting point. Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was named Great Salt Lake City. In 1868, the 17th Utah Territorial Legislature dropped the word "Great" from the city's name. Immigration of international members of the church, mining booms, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad brought economic growth, the city was nicknamed the Crossroads of the West, it was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913. Two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, now intersect in the city. Salt Lake City has developed a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry based on skiing, the city hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, it is the industrial banking center of the United States. Before settlement by members of the LDS Church, the Shoshone and Paiute had dwelt in the Salt Lake Valley for thousands of years.
At the time of Salt Lake City's founding, the valley was within the territory of the Northwestern Shoshone. One local Shoshone tribe, the Western Goshute tribe, referred to the Great Salt Lake as Pi'a-pa, meaning "big water", or Ti'tsa-pa, meaning "bad water"; the land was treated by the United States as public domain. The first American explorer in the Salt Lake area was Jim Bridger in 1825, although others had been in Utah earlier, some as far north as the nearby Utah Valley. US Army officer John C. Frémont surveyed the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Valley in 1843 and 1845; the Donner Party, a group of ill-fated pioneers, had traveled through the Great Salt Lake Valley in August 1846. The valley's first permanent settlements date to the arrival of the Latter-day Saints in July 1847, they had traveled beyond the boundaries of the United States into Mexican Territory seeking a secluded area to safely practice their religion away from the violence and the persecution they experienced in the Eastern United States.
Upon arrival at the Salt Lake Valley, president of the church Brigham Young is recorded as stating, "This is the right place, drive on." Brigham Young claimed to have seen the area in a vision prior to the wagon train's arrival. They found. Four days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young designated the building site for the Salt Lake Temple; the Salt Lake Temple, constructed on the block called Temple Square, took 40 years to complete. Construction started in 1853, the temple was dedicated on April 6, 1893; the temple serves as its centerpiece. In fact, the southeast corner of Temple Square is the initial point of reference for the Salt Lake meridian, for all addresses in the Salt Lake Valley; the pioneers organized a state called State of Deseret, petitioned for its recognition in 1849. The United States Congress rebuffed the settlers in 1850 and established the Utah Territory, vastly reducing its size, designated Fillmore as its capital city. Great Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as the territorial capital in 1856, the name was shortened to Salt Lake City.
The city's population continued to swell with an influx of converts to the LDS Church and Gold Rush gold seekers, making it one of the most populous cities in the American Old West. Explorer and author Richard Francis Burton traveled by coach in the summer of 1860 to document life in Great Salt Lake City, he was granted unprecedented access during his three-week visit, including audiences with Brigham Young and other contemporaries of Joseph Smith. The records of his visit include sketches of early city buildings, a description of local geography and agriculture, commentary on its politics and social order, essays and sermons from Young, Isaac Morley, George Washington Bradley and other leaders, snippets of everyday life such as newspaper clippings and the menu from a high-society ball. Disputes with the federal government ensued over the church's practice of polygamy. A climax occurred in 1857 when President James Buchanan declared the area in rebellion after Brigham Young refused to step down as governor, beginning the Utah War.
A division of the United States Army, comman
U.S. Route 50 in California
U. S. Route 50 in the state of California runs east from Interstate 80 in West Sacramento to the Nevada state line in South Lake Tahoe. A portion in Sacramento has the unsigned designation of Interstate 305; the western half of the highway in California is a four-or-more-lane divided highway built to freeway standards, known as the El Dorado Freeway outside of downtown Sacramento. US 50 continues as an undivided highway with one eastbound lane and two westbound lanes until the route reaches the canyon of the South Fork American River at Riverton; the remainder of the highway, which climbs along and out of the canyon over the Sierra Nevada at Echo Summit and into the Lake Tahoe Basin, is a two-lane road. The US 50 corridor is a historic one, used by many 49ers who came to California during the Gold Rush as well as the Pony Express. In 1895, part of the present-day route was designated as California's first state highway, it was designated as one of two routes of the Lincoln Highway across the Sierra Nevada.
Much of US 50 was constructed during the initial construction of the California state highway system. US 50 begins in West Sacramento, where I-80 leaves the West Sacramento Freeway onto a bypass of Sacramento; the old route of I-80 through Sacramento is signed as US 50 and Business 80 in the western section and Business 80 in the eastern section. Business 80 overlaps US 50 on the West Sacramento Freeway to the split with SR 275 over the Sacramento River on the Pioneer Memorial Bridge and across I-5 to SR 99. Beginning in 2016, signs on this section are being updated to remove references to Business 80 and instead sign the route only as US Highway 50. US 50 is part Interstate Highway as well, carrying the unsigned designation of Interstate 305 from I-80 to its interchange with SR 99. At the US 50/Business 80/SR 99 interchange, Business 80 splits to the north, SR 99 heads south, US 50 continues east as the El Dorado Freeway and the Lincoln Highway; this freeway parallels Folsom Boulevard and the American River east-northeasterly through the suburb of Rancho Cordova to Folsom.
Entering El Dorado County, US 50 continues eastward through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada via El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs to downtown Placerville. The freeway ends, US 50 has several at-grade intersections in Placerville, including SR 49. Leaving Placerville, the expressway through town starts, only to end several miles later; the final section of freeway begins near Camino, where the Lincoln Highway splits from US 50, ends at the east end of Pollock Pines. Just east of Pollock Pines, US 50 continues as an undivided conventional highway with one eastbound lane and two westbound lanes, entering the river canyon of the South Fork American River near Riverton and crossing to the north side of the river near Ice House Road. From Ice House Road to the crest of the Sierras, US 50 is a rising two-lane road, staying just north of the river except for a 1995 cutoff that crosses the river twice in quick succession west of Kyburz, the boyhood home of ski racer Spider Sabich. Several hairpin turns take the highway up a grade east of Strawberry, after which US 50 continues east alongside the river to its source at Echo Summit.
Echo Summit is the highest elevation U. S. Route 50 reaches in California at 7,382 feet. In 1968, it was the site of the U. S. Olympic trials for men's track and field, held at a temporary facility in the parking lot of the Nebelhorn ski area. From Echo Summit down to the Lake Tahoe Basin, the roadway descends the side of a steep hill. Where US 50 and SR 89 split, at an intersection known as "The Y", the former turns east on the four-lane Lake Tahoe Boulevard, which it follows to and along the south shore of Lake Tahoe it enters the state of Nevada. US 50 has been added to the California Freeway and Expressway System by the state legislature, is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration; the highway east of SR 49 is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System, has been recognized as such except within the South Lake Tahoe city limits, meaning that it is a substantial section of highway passing through a "memorable landscape" with no "visual intrusions", where the potential designation has gained popular favor with the community.
The earliest roads used by Europeans to cross the Sierra Nevada into California were branches of the California Trail. The first route near the present US 50 was the Carson Route, laid out in 1848 by an eastward Mormon party that wanted to avoid the Truckee Route and its deep crossings of the Truckee River; the group left Pleasant Valley, southeast of Placerville, on July 3, following Iron Mountain Ridge up to the crest of the Sierra at Carson Pass and descending through Carson Canyon into the Carson Valley. Along the Humboldt River in Nevada, the Mormons met Joseph B. Chiles, leading a westward wagon train to California, told him of their new trail. Although this new Carson Route crossed two summits — Carson Pass over the crest of the Sierra and West Pass over the Carson Spur just to the west, these crossings were easier than Donner Pass on the Truckee Route, only three fords of the Carson River were required; the route became the primary westward route into California at the start of the Gold Rush.
Through California, the general alignment of the Carson Route, in terms of today's highways, was State Route 88 over Carson Pass and Mormon Emigrant Trail and Sly Park Road to Pleasant V
History of Sacramento, California
The history of Sacramento, began with its founding by Samuel Brannan and John Augustus Sutter, Jr. in 1848 around an embarcadero that his father, John Sutter, Sr. constructed at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers a few years prior. Sacramento was named after the Sacramento River; the river was named by Spanish cavalry officer Gabriel Moraga for the Santisimo Sacramento, referring to the Catholic Eucharist. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Nisenan branch of the Native American Maidu inhabited the Sacramento Valley area; the Spanish were the first Europeans to explore the area, Sacramento fell into the Alta California province of New Spain when the conquistadors claimed Central America and the American Southwest for the Spanish Empire. The area was deemed unfit for colonization by a number of explorers and as a result remained untouched by the Europeans who claimed the region, excepting early 19th Century coastal settlements north of San Francisco Bay which constituted the southernmost Russian colony in North America and were spread over an area stretching from Point Arena to Tomales Bay.
When John Sutter arrived in the provincial colonial capital of Monterey in 1839, governor Juan Bautista Alvarado provided Sutter with the land he asked for, Sutter established New Helvetia, which he controlled with a private army and relative autonomy from the newly independent Mexican government. The California Gold Rush started when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill, one of Sutter, Sr.'s assets in the city of Coloma in 1848. In the region where Sutter had planned to establish the city of Sutterville, Sacramento City was founded. However, its location caused the city to periodically fill with water. Fires would sweep through the city. To resolve the problems, the city worked to raise the sidewalks and buildings and began to replace wooden structures with more resilient materials, like brick and stone; the city was selected as the state capital in 1854 after Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo failed to convince the state government to remain in the city of his namesake. Indigenous people such as the Miwok and Maidu Indians were the original inhabitants of the north Californian Central Valley.
Of the Maidu, the Nisenan Maidu group were the principal inhabitants of pre-Columbian Sacramento. The first European in the state of California was conquistador Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer sailing on behalf of the Spanish Empire, in 1542. However, no explorer had yet discovered the Sacramento Valley region nor the Golden Gate strait, which would remain undiscovered until 1808 and 1623. A number of conquistadors had completed cursory examinations of the region by the mid-18th century, including Juan Bautista de Anza and Pedro Fages, but none viewed the region as a valuable region to colonize. Neither did Gabriel Moraga, the first European to enter the Sierra in 1808 and was responsible for naming the Sacramento River, although he incorrectly placed the rivers in the region. However, Padres Abella and Fortuni arrived in the region in 1811 and returned positive feedback to the Roman Catholic Church, although the church disregarded their finds as they were in conflict with all previous views of the area.
The Mexicans, who had declared independence in 1821, shared Spanish sentiments, the area remained uncolonized until the arrival of John Sutter in 1839. The area that would become the city of Sacramento was observed by many European and American mapmakers as home to Great Plains-based rivers that stretched across the Rocky Mountains and emptied into the Pacific Ocean. Speculation at the time placed the fabled St. Bonaventura River where the American-Sacramento River complex was. John Augustus Sutter arrived in the city of Yerba Buena, which would become the city of San Francisco, after encountering a massive storm en route from the city of Sitka, Russian Alaska. Alvarado noted that he needed to establish a presence in the Sacramento Valley, realized that Sutter's ambitions allowed him an opportunity to secure the valley without committing extra troops to the region; as a result, he granted Sutter's request on the condition that Sutter would become a Mexican citizen. Sutter commenced to build a fort of his namesake, Sutter's Fort, in 1840.
New Helvetia was 44,000 acres in size until he negotiated an 1841 deal with the Russians to purchase Ft. Ross, which lay in present-day Sonoma County, consolidated all of Ft. Ross' holdings with those at Fort Sutter. Sutter's New Helvetia existed within Mexican borders. John Sutter employed both
Frank Finley Merriam was an American politician who served as the 28th governor of California from June 2, 1934 until January 2, 1939. Assuming the governorship at the height of the Great Depression following the death of Governor James Rolph, Merriam famously defeated the'muck-raking' author of The Jungle, former Socialist Party member, Democratic candidate Upton Sinclair in the California gubernatorial election in 1934. Merriam served as the State Auditor of Iowa from 1900 to 1903, served in both the Iowa and California state legislatures. Born in 1865 in Hopkinton, the eldest of 11 children, his father Henry C. Merriam and his paternal uncle Charles E. Merriam had enlisted, in 1861, in the 12th Iowa Infantry, Company K, both were captured at the Battle of Shiloh. Frank Merriam spent nearly half of his life in the Midwest. After graduating from Lenox College at Hopkinton in 1888, Merriam served as the principal of the Hopkinton schools for two years and superintendent of schools at Postville for one year.
He was a school superintendent in Wisner, Nebraska He next became the editor of the Hopkinton Leader, a newspaper. In 1904, he moved to Muskogee, where he owned and published the Muskogee Evening Times, he moved to Long Beach California in 1910 with his second wife, Nellie, to attend to family obligations. There he worked in the advertising department of the Long Beach Press. Merriam was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives as a Republican at the age of 31 in 1896. Two years Merriam was elected as Iowa State Auditor, a post he would hold until 1903. In 1910 at the age of 44, Merriam moved to California. Following seven years of living in the state, Merriam was elected to the California State Assembly in 1916, representing the Long Beach area, beginning his rise in California politics. In 1922, while still serving in the Assembly, Merriam presided over the successful election campaign of former Bull Moose member and Republican candidate for governor Friend Richardson. Name recognition from Richardson's successful campaign among fellow Republicans helped Merriam be elected by the Republican majority in the Assembly as its Speaker in 1923.
During the 1926 general elections, Speaker Merriam ran as a primary candidate for Lieutenant Governor. However, state Republicans instead voted for Buron Fitts as the party's candidate for that office. Following his departure from the Assembly that year, Merriam took a two-year hiatus from state politics, he returned in the 1928 elections. After two years in that body, Merriam won the nomination for lieutenant governor and, along with the Republican candidate for governor, San Francisco Mayor James Rolph, was elected to office. On June 2, 1934, Governor Rolph was pronounced dead of heart failure at Riverside Farm in Santa Clara County. Upon the news of the Governor's death, Lieutenant Governor Merriam was sworn in as governor. Nearly into his governorship, Merriam faced labor agitation by members of the International Longshoremen's Association on the docks of San Francisco. Beginning in May 1934, longshoremen along the West Coast walked off the job to strike, protesting against the ILA national leadership's negotiated settlements with transportation and cargo companies.
Longshoremen demanded six-hour days, closed shops, the right to unionize freely. Activity in the ports of San Francisco and Oakland ground to a halt. Teamsters soon joined the longshoremen in their walk-out. Popular support for the strikers grew from various segments of the urban working-class, left unemployed by the Great Depression. By the strike's second month, violence had begun to break out along the Embarcadero as San Francisco Police clashed with the strikers during attempts to escort hired labor to the docks. Municipal officials accused the ILA's ranks filled with other left-wing radicals; as governor, James Rolph had consulted with other West Coast governors such as Julius L. Meier of Oregon and Clarence D. Martin of Washington to bring in the U. S. Department of Labor in order to settle the dispute. After his unexpected death in June, these efforts were suspended. Furthermore, negotiations between the federal government and local ILA organizers failed to yield any agreement. On July 5, 1934, as more attempts to open the Port of San Francisco were made by employers, hostilities between strikers, their sympathizers, the police reached their zenith.
Known as "Bloody Thursday", San Francisco Police shot tear gas at strikers and sympathizers on Rincon Hill, followed by a charge on horseback. Protestors surrounded a police car and attempted to overturn it, but were met by gunshots in the air, afterwards, shots into the crowd itself. In the day, police raided an ILA union hall, shooting tear gas into the building and into other local hotels. Merriam, only governor for a month, threw the state government into the fray; as reports of growing violence in San Francisco reached Sacramento by the minute, Merriam activated the California Army National Guard, deploying regiments to San Francisco's waterfront. In the weeks before "Bloody Thursday", Merriam had remained updated on the ongoing labor dispute, threatening only to activate the Guard if the situation grew too serious. Behind the public scenes, the Governor had confided to fellow Republicans that ordering the Guard into San Francisco would ruin him politically; the events of July 5, proved to be a turning point.
In addition to the Guard's deployment, federal troops of the U. S. Army were placed on stand-by in the Presidio. Merriam ordered the halt of construction on th