|24 Sep 1855
||Preserved head of bandit Joaquin Murieta and the hand of "Three Fingered Jack" auctioned, bringing $36.
|17 Sep 1859
||San Francisco resident Joshua A. Norton proclaims himself Emperor of these United States, a title he retains until his death in 1880. The successor to Emperor Norton I has yet to be anointed.
|16 Jul 1860
||A decree from Emperor Norton I of San Francisco, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, dissolves the United States of America.
|12 Aug 1869
||In San Francisco, Emperor Norton I issues a stern edict outlawing both the Republican and Democratic political parties. Violators face a prison term of five-to-ten years.
|8 Jan 1880
||Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, dead in San Francisco. Born Joshua A. Norton, he was adopted by the citizens of the city and issued frequent imperial proclamations.
|18 Apr 1906
||A devastating earthquake strikes San Francisco at 5:13 a.m., followed by a major aftershock three hours later. More than 3,000 people are killed from either collapsing structures or any of the 59 separate fires which burn over the next three days. In the downtown area, the U.S. Army is forced to dynamite whole city blocks in order to contain the flames, due to the lack of water pressure.
|5 Sep 1921
||Undiscovered actress Virginia Rappe somehow ruptures her bladder during actor-comedian Fatty Arbuckle's party at the Saint Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Three days later, the feverish woman is checked into a maternity hospital, where she dies from peritonitis. Arbuckle is eventually tried for murder, but acquitted.
|2 Aug 1923
||President Warren G. Harding dies suddenly at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. His wife Florence forbids an autopsy, and
the President's body is embalmed shortly after death. It is speculated
by many that the cause of death, initially reported as "a stroke of
apoplexy," was in fact poison administered by the First Lady.
|1 Jan 1934
||Alcatraz opens for business as a federal prison.
|8 Dec 1941
||The day after Pearl Harbor, the 4th Interceptor Command reports two formations of enemy planes approaching Los Angeles, spotted in the San Francisco area. Fortunately, the seagulls do not bomb the city.
|26 Jun 1945
||The United Nations Charter is signed at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, paving the world for the New World Order. Aim for the blue helmets, everyone!
|5 May 1955
||An internal CIA memo emphasizes the need for a drug that creates a state of "pure euphoria" and no letdown. From this springs Operation Midnight Climax, in which CIA brothels were set up in San Francisco, and their customers surreptitiously dosed with LSD by prostitutes. Operative George Hunter White observed reactions behind a two way mirror, purely in the interest of science.
|19 Jun 1964
||San Francisco's Condor Club becomes the first topless bar in the United States when dancer Carol Doda steps onstage in a bottom-only swimsuit designed by Rudi Gernreich. Other San Francisco clubs follow suit just days later.
|31 Jul 1969
||The San Francisco Chronicle, the Examiner, and the Vallejo Times-Herald receive nearly identical letters from the Zodiac Killer. Specific details are given about recent murder scenes, along with the demand that a "cipher" be printed on on the front page of the papers (or else Zodiac will go on a "ram-Page").
|13 May 1971
||President Richard M. Nixon: "The Bohemian Grove—which I attend, from time to time—it is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine, with that San Francisco crowd. I can't shake hands with anybody from San Francisco."
|22 Sep 1975
||In front of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, Sara Jane Moore pulls out a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver and points it at Gerald Ford. Before she can assassinate the President, a bystander named Oliver "Bill" Sipple grabs Moore's arm. Sipple, a closeted gay man, is later outed by the press. The spotlight on his personal life causes him to complain: "My sexual orientation has nothing to do with saving the President's life."
|18 Nov 1978
||Reverend Jim Jones and 900 People's Temple members commit mass murder/suicide in Guyana.
|4 Dec 1978
||Dianne Feinstein named mayor of San Francisco after the assassination of Mayor Moscone, jumpstarting her otherwise pathetic political career. The pro-censorship bitch is now a US Senator, and carries a handgun for protection while campaigning to prohibit others from doing so.
|21 May 1979
||A judge gives Dan White only seven years for the premeditated murders of Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone, prompting thousands to march on San Francisco's City Hall. In what will come to be
known as the White Night Riots, the demonstration takes a violent
turn, resulting in significant property damage and the torching of
twelve SFPD cruisers. Police respond with brutal beatdowns at gay
bars in the Castro district.
|24 Nov 1983
||Jimmy "the Beard" Ferrozzo is crushed to death after hours in San Francisco's Condor Club. Ferrozzo, the club's assistant manager, was fucking one of the strippers on top of a baby grand piano when one of the pair inadvertently flipped the switch to the motorized winch that lowered the instrument from the ceiling. Only when his legs are trapped between the piano and the ceiling that Ferrozzo manages to shut off the hoist, but he dies of a heart attack. The exotic dancer remains trapped underneath his body until firefighters arrive to free her, several hours later.
|3 May 1988
||The White House confirms stories that President Ronald Reagan's travel and public appearances are scheduled around astrological data furnished by a mystic in San Francisco. The astrologer also supplies input to the timing of critical international events, such as a recent arms control summit in Iceland.
|17 Oct 1989
||The Loma Prieta earthquake strikes the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 67 and causing billions in property damage. The 6.9 magnitude temblor manages to collapse a long section of the double-decker I-880 freeway, smushing motorists between the two layers. Part of the Bay Bridge also collapses. Worst of all, the quake postpones the third World Series game.
|27 Feb 1991
||Mitchell brother Jim shoots and kills Mitchell brother Artie for reasons that aren't exactly clear. The brothers had built up a San Francisco porn empire centered around the O'Farrell Theater, and were responsible for one of the best-selling porno films of all time: Behind the Green Door, starring Marilyn Chambers and John Holmes.
|1 Jul 1993
||Gian Luigi Ferri steps into the San Francisco law offices of Pettit & Martin at 101 California Street with two full-auto TEC-DC9s and a .45 semiauto pistol. In the span of four minutes, Ferri kills 8 and wounds 6 others before blowing his brains out. Almost as quickly, the victims' families file suit against Intratec, the manufacturer of the TEC-9, as well as the owner of the Las Vegas pawn shop where he bought one of them.
|25 May 1996
||The body of Bradley Nowell is discovered in his room at San Francisco's Ocean View Motel. Nowell, lead singer for radio trio
Sublime, was killed by an accidental smack overdose.