17 October 1940
The Luftwaffe carries out the longest night raid on London yet and daylight raids over south east England, hitting Canterbury
RAF attacks power-station at Brest
War in the Sea
Vice-Admiral Tovey is appointed commander-in-chief of the Home Fleet
The Royal Navy takes part in an inconclusive action with four German destroyers south west of Land's End
Saturday October 17, 1970
It was Saturday, under the sign of Libra (see zodiac on October 17, 1970). The US president was Richard Nixon (Republican), the UK Prime Minister was Edward Heath (Conservative), Pope St Paul VI was leading the Catholic Church. Famous people born on this day include Jay McGillis and Marciano Vink. In that special week of October people in US were listening to I'll Be There by Jackson 5. In UK Band Of Gold by Freda Payne was in the top 5 hits. Husbands, directed by John Cassavetes, was one of the most viewed movie released in 1970 while Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw was one of the best selling book.
But much more happened that day: find out below..
You can also have a look at the year 1970, at October 17 across the years or at October 1970 calendar.
- Watch an early motion picture of a trip down the C&O Canal in a 1917 film entitled Down the Old Potomac from the collection Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies. Search this collection on the term canal for more on the Panama Canal, the Erie Canal, and the canal that circled the Pan-American Exposition.
- Search the George Washington Papers using the terms potomac transportation or potomac navigation (match all of these words) to read about George Washington’s thoughts about the importance of the Potomac River to western trade. Also search potomac company (match this exact phrase) to read correspondence and diary entries regarding his overseeing of the Potomac Company construction of canals and locks. Other terms to search are potomac, canals, locks, rapids, or falls.
- Search the phrase chesapeake and ohio or c&o canal in the following collections to see related images of this historical waterway.
The Euro is introduced into 12 countries within the Euro-zone, including France and Germany
Scientists begin to create tiny strands of genetic material, RNA, that promise to revolutionise medicine
The first group of 20 prisoners arrives at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba
Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial in The Hague, charged with war crimes and genocide
Halle Berry becomes first black woman to win a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Monster's Ball
The International Criminal Court is founded
WorldCom collapses after an investigation into fraud of $3.8bn
John Leslie is 'accidentally' outed by Matthew Wright as the alleged rapist in Ulrika Jonsson's autobiography Jonsson never confirms the claim and Leslie always denies it.
The Prestige oil tanker spills its 77,000-tonne cargo off the coast of Spain, causing the world's worst oil spill
This Date In The NBA: October
Several NBA stars and other members of the league’s family gathered in New York for the taping of a special series of anti-drug public service announcements entitled “Don’t Foul Out.”
October 1, 1999
Boston Celtics legend Kevin McHale, former Cleveland Cavaliers president and COO Wayne Embry and late Fort Wayne and Detroit Pistons owner Fred Zollner lead a class of five basketball immortals who are enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
October 1, 1999
Boston Celtics legend and Hall of Famer Bill Russell, who led the franchise to 11 NBA Championships in his 13 seasons from 1956 until 1969, is the subject of ESPN’s SportsCentury series. Russell was selected by a distinguished panel of 48 journalists, historians, observers and administrators as #18 on the list of the greatest North American athletes of the 20th Century.
October 1, 2002
Wang Zhizhi signs a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, resulting in Wang becoming the first player from the People’s Republic of China to play in the National Basketball Association.
October 3, 1974
Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers, dubbed “Mr. Clutch” for his performances on the court, retired after playing 14 seasons in the NBA. West scored 25,192 points during his career, along with averaging 29.1 ppg in 153 playoff games.
October 3, 2005
Following the fallout and a bevy of suspensions from the Indiana Pacers-Detroit Pistons altercation, Pacer Ron Artest is reinstated.
October 5, 1950
Drawing lots out of a hat for three members of the defunct Chicago Stags franchise, Boston Celtics owner Walter Brown and Coach Red Auerbach ended up with what they thought was the booby prize, Bob Cousy. The $8,500 price tag for Cousy paid dividends of six NBA Championships for Boston.
October 6, 1993
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls announced his retirement from the NBA at a news conference in Deerfield, IL. Jordan’s retirement after nine seasons came less than four months after he helped lead the Bulls to their third consecutive NBA Championship with a six-game victory over Phoenix in the 1993 NBA Finals. His nine-year totals included 21,541 career points, seven straight league scoring titles (1987-93), an NBA record-high career scoring average (32.3 ppg), and three regular season and three NBA Finals MVP awards. Jordan announced his return to the NBA on March 18, 1995 and 24 hours later played in a game against Indiana at Market Square Arena, scoring 19 points in the Bulls’ 103-96 overtime loss.
October 6, 1998
The NBA announced that all 114 preseason games for this year have been canceled because of the stalled collective bargaining negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association.
October 7, 2015
Harry “The Horse” Gallatin, a member of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and a 7-time All-Star, dies at age 88.
October 8, 1975
The San Antonio Spurs, then members of the ABA, defeated the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks 109-107 in the first basketball game ever played in the Louisiana Superdome.
October 8, 1999
Los Angeles Lakers Co-Owner/Vice President Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the legendary point guard who directed the great Showtime Lakers of the 1980s, is the subject of ESPN’s SportsCentury series. Johnson was selected by a distinguished panel of 48 journalists, historians, observers and administrators as #17 on the list of the greatest North American athletes of the 20th Century.
October 8, 2002
The NBA officially opens an office in Beijing, China.
October 9, 1993
The first 10 players on the USA Basketball Dream Team that would compete at the 1994 World Championship of Basketball in Canada were named: Dominique Wilkins, Joe Dumars, Mark Price, Derrick Coleman, Tim Hardaway, Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Shawn Kemp, Dan Majerle and Steve Smith.
October 9, 2001
Milwaukee coach George Karl was named coach of USA Basketball’s 2002 World Championship team that would compete in the FIBA World Championship for Men, beginning Aug. 29 in Indianapolis.
October 10, 1972
Bob McAdoo made his debut for the Buffalo Braves at home against Atlanta. The Hawks won 120-109.
October 10, 1980
Kevin McHale made his debut for the Boston Celtics against Cleveland. Boston won 130-103.
October 10, 2000
Dick Klein, who founded the Chicago Bulls in 1965, died in his sleep in Greenville, S.C. at age 80.
October 11, 1980
The Dallas Mavericks opened their first season in the NBA with a 103-92 victory at home against interstate rival San Antonio.
October 11, 2002
The Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves played the first preseason game in the Dominican Republic at the Palacio de los Deportes in Santo Domingo. It marked the 19th time the NBA held a game in Latin America.
October 11, 200 8
In a preseason match-up, Denver beats the Phoenix, 77-72, at the Indian Wells (California) Tennis Garden. The game is noteworthy because it is the first NBA game played outdoors in three decades.
October 12, 1979
Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics scored the first 3-point basket in NBA history with 3:48 left in the first quarter of a 114-106 victory over Houston at Boston Garden. This game also marked the debut of Boston rookie Larry Bird.
October 12, 1979
Magic Johnson made his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers at the San Diego Clippers. The Lakers won 103-102.
October 12, 1989
The NBA joined USA Basketball, the national governing body for the sport in the United States.
October 12, 1999
NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain passed away at his home in Bel-Air, California at the age of 63. A 13-time NBA All-Star, first-ballot Hall of Famer and holder of numerous records, many of which will never be broken, Chamberlain arrived in the NBA in 1959 out of the University of Kansas (1955-58), after a one-year stint with the Harlem Globetrotters (1958-59). In his first season with the Philadelphia Warriors, Chamberlain astonished the professional basketball world by averaging an NBA rookie record 37.6 points and 27.0 rebounds on his way to capturing the NBA MVP and NBA Rookie of the Year Awards following the 1959-60 season.
October 13, 1967
The Seattle SuperSonics dropped a 144-116 decision to the San Francisco Warriors in their first NBA game.
October 13, 1967
The first ABA game was played with the Oakland Oaks beating the Anaheim Amigos, 132-129. The game introduced the red, white and blue ball and used the 3-point field goal.
October 13, 1970
Calvin Murphy made his debut for the San Diego Rockets at Chicago. The Bulls won 111-96.
October 13, 1970
Dave Cowens made his debut for the Boston Celtics at New York. The Knicks won 114-107.
October 13, 1979
Golden State lost a 102-96 overtime decision to Chicago. The Warriors went on to lose their next nine overtime games as well, setting the NBA record for consecutive overtime losses with 10.
October 13, 1998
The NBA announced that it has canceled the first two weeks of the 1998-99 season because of the stalled collective bargaining negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association. The cancellation included all games originally scheduled to be played through November 16.
October 13, 2000
Isiah Thomas, Bob McAdoo and 24-second shot clock innovator Danny Biasone are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
October 14, 1970
Bob Lanier made his debut for the Detroit Pistons at the Seattle SuperSonics. The Pistons won 123-117.
October 14, 1970
Nate Archibald made his debut for the Cincinnati Royals at home against New York. The Knicks won 128-104.
October 14, 1987
Chicago Bulls sign first-round pick and future Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen
October 14, 2002
Houston defeats Sacramento, 88-86, in an NBA preseason game. The game is remarkable because it is played in Shanghai, China, the first time two NBA clubs met in China.
October 15, 1965
Rick Barry made his debut game for the San Francisco Warriors at home against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors won 122-115.
October 15, 1966
Bill Russell became the NBA’s first black head coach when he was designated as player-coach of the Boston Celtics. In his coaching debut he led the Celtics to a 121-113 win over the San Francisco Warriors at Boston Garden. Russell, who coached Boston for three seasons, led the Celtics to a pair of NBA titles in 1968 and 1969.
October 15, 1966
Dave Bing made his debut for the Detroit Pistons at Cincinnati. The Royals won 103-99.
October 15, 1966
Matt Guokas Jr. played in his first game for the Philadelphia 76ers, marking the first time a father-son combination had competed in the NBA. Matt Sr. played with Philadelphia in the 1940s, and at the time of his son’s debut, was a sportscaster for the 76ers.
October 15, 1970
Dan Issel made his debut for the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA at Indiana. The Pacers won 127-95.
October 15, 1971
Julius Erving made his debut for the Virginia Squires of the ABA at the Carolina Cougars. The Squires won 118-114.
October 16, 1962
Dave DeBusschere made his debut for the Detroit Pistons against Los Angeles during a neutral site contest in New York. The Lakers won 122-106.
October 16, 1963
Jerry Lucas made his debut for the Cincinnati Royals at the St. Louis Hawks. The Royals won 112-93.
October 16, 1965
Billy Cunningham made his debut for the Philadelphia 76ers at the Baltimore Bullets. The 76ers won 133-101.
October 16, 1968
The Milwaukee Bucks made their debut with a 89-84 loss to the Chicago Bulls before a Milwaukee Arena crowd of 8,467.
October 16, 1968
Wes Unseld made his debut for the Baltimore Bullets at home against the Detroit Pistons. The Bullets won 124-116.
October 16, 1970
The Portland Trail Blazers defeated fellow expansion club Cleveland 115-112 to pick up their first victory in the NBA.
October 16, 1971
Artis Gilmore made his debut for the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA at home against the New York Nets. The Colonels won 107-98.
October 16, 1999
After a scare in the opening game the previous day, the San Antonio Spurs flexed their muscles in Milan, Italy and continued the NBA’s domination of the McDonald’s Championship. With Tim Duncan leading the way, the Spurs rolled to a 103-68 rout of Vasco da Gama of Brazil in the final of the biennial international tournament at the FilaForum. Duncan earned the Drazen Petrovic Trophy as the tournament MVP with a 32-point, 18-rebound performance. Duncan had 20 of his points in the first half when the Spurs built a 56-36 lead. After seeing its lead cut to 79-66, San Antonio outscored the Brazilian team, 24-2 in the fourth quarter. David Robinson had 16 points and Avery Johnson added 14 for the Spurs.
October 17, 1964
Willis Reed made his debut for the New York Knicks at home against Los Angeles. The Lakers won 113-109.
October 17, 1968
Elvin Hayes made his debut for the San Diego Rockets at home against the Seattle SuperSonics. The Rockets won 128-110.
October 17, 1970
Pete Maravich made his debut for the Atlanta Hawks at home against Milwaukee. The Bucks won 107-98.
October, 17, 2005
The NBA issues a Dress Code Memo/policy applicable to all NBA players.
October 18, 1967
Earl Monroe made his debut for the Baltimore Bullets at home against the New York Knicks. The Bullets won 121-98.
October 18, 1968
Jack Ramsay made his NBA coaching debut for the Philadelphia 76ers at home against the Los Angeles Lakers. The 76ers won 114-96.
October 18, 1969
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made his debut for the Milwaukee Bucks at home against the Detroit Pistons. The Bucks won 119-110.
October 18, 1969
NBA All-Star guard Lenny Wilkens made his NBA coaching debut for the Seattle SuperSonics at New York. The Knicks won 126-101.
October 18, 1974
Chicago center Nate Thurmond, in his first game with the Bulls, recorded the NBA’s first quadruple-double, with 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks in the Bulls’ 120-115 overtime win over Atlanta at Chicago Stadium. Alvin Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson are the only other NBA players to have recorded quadruple-doubles in an NBA game.
October 18, 1974
Moses Malone made his debut for the Utah Stars of the ABA at New York. The Nets won 105-89.
October 18, 1974
Bill Walton made his debut for the Portland Trail Blazers against Cleveland. Portland won 131-129.
October 18, 1989
A crowd of 35,156, the largest ever to attend an NBA preseason game, turned out at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for the debut of the Minnesota Timberwolves. But the Los Angeles Lakers, a franchise originally located in Minneapolis, won the game 100-90.
October 18, 1993
NBA Commissioner David J. Stern and the Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation, Boris Stankovic, jointly announced that the Most Valuable Player award for the McDonald’s Championship would be named the Drazen Petrovic Trophy, honoring the late New Jersey Nets star killed in a car accident in Germany on June 7, 1993.
October 18, 1994
A sellout crowd of 15,324 at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy in Paris, France watched Golden State defeat Charlotte 132-116, behind Chris Mullin’s game-high 25 points The game in Paris was one of 11 NBA games played outside the United States during the 1994 preseason.
October 18, 1997
Chicago’s Michael Jordan is named MVP of the 1997 McDonald’s Championship in Paris.
October 18, 2002
The San Antonio Spurs, who had called the Alamodome home since 1993, opened their new home, the The SBC Center, with an exhibiion versus the New York Knicks.
October 18, 2012
Slater Martin, a seven-time All-Star playmaking guard, dies at the age of 86.
October 19, 1958
Hal Greer made his debut for the Syracuse Nationals at home against the Detroit Pistons. The Nationals won 103-94.
October 19, 1960
Oscar Robertson and Jerry West made their debuts on opposing teams. The Cincinnati Royals beat the Los Angeles Lakers 140-123, as the Lakers opened their inaugural season in Los Angeles.
October 19, 1961
Philadelphia’s Wilt Chamberlain began a streak of 126 consecutive games with 20 or more points. The streak, which included a 100-point game against the Knicks and a seven-game span of 50 or more points per game, ended on January 19, 1963.
October 19, 1961
Walt Bellamy made his debut for the Chicago Packers at the New York Knicks. The Knicks won 120-103.
October 19, 1963
Nate Thurmond made his debut for the San Francisco Warriors at the Baltimore Bullets. The Warriors won 103-102.
October 19, 1992
The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat met in a special preseason game at sold-out Miami Arena to benefit the victims of Hurricane Andrew in South Florida. Chicago won the game 111-94 with the teams raising over $500,000 for charity.
October 19, 1999
The Boston Celtics announced season-long plans to honor Red Auerbach for his 50 years of service to the organization. Throughout the 1999-2000 season, the Celtics used a series of events, activities and tributes to pay homage to the distinguished career of Auerbach. The 23rd annual B’nai B’rith Dinner tipped off a celebration which paid tribute to Auerbach’s impact and achievements in both Celtics and NBA history.
October 20, 1971
Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scores 57 points in a 122-115 win over the Los Angeles lakers.
October 20, 1962
John Havlicek made his debut for the Boston Celtics at home against the New York Knicks. The Celtics won 149-116.
October 20, 1972
The Buffalo Braves scored an NBA-record 58 points in the fourth quarter, but still dropped a 126-118 decision to the Celtics at Boston Garden.
October 20, 1973
Boston pulled down an NBA record 39 offensive rebounds in a game against the Capital Bullets at the Capital Centre, but the Celtics ended up losing the game, 96-87.
October 20, 1976
The Philadelphia 76ers acquired Julius Erving from the New York Nets in exchange for $3 million.
October 21, 1967
The expansion Seattle SuperSonics won their first NBA game, defeating San Diego in overtime, 117-110.
October 21, 1972
One day after setting an NBA record by scoring 58 points in the fourth quarter of a 126-118 loss at Boston, the Buffalo Braves scored an NBA record-low four points in the third quarter of a 91-63 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at Buffalo.
October 21, 1976
Adrian Dantley and Alex English made their debuts against each other. Dantley’s Buffalo Braves defeated English’s Milwaukee Bucks 133-112.
October 21, 1979
Guard Sam Smith of the Chicago Bulls scored the first four-point play in NBA history during a 113-111 loss to the Bucks at Milwaukee.
October 21, 1995
The Houston Rockets defeat Buckler Bologna of Italy 126-112 in the championship game of the six-team McDonald’s Championship, in front of a sellout crowd of 10,708 at London Arena in London, England. Clyde Drexler is awarded the Drazen Petrovic Trophy as the tournament MVP after averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 assists in two games, including 25 points and 10 assists against Buckler Bologna. The Rockets, who downed Australia’s Perth Wildcats 116-72 in the tournament semifinals, are the first reigning NBA Champion to play in the McDonald’s Championship
October 22, 1957
Sam Jones made his debut for the Boston Celtics at the St. Louis Hawks. The Celtics won 115-90.
October 22, 1958
Elgin Baylor made his debut for the Minneapolis Lakers at home against the Cincinnati Royals. The Lakers won 99-79.
October 22, 1960
Lenny Wilkens made his debut for the St. Louis Hawks at home against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Hawks won 112-96.
October 22, 1976
Robert Parish made his debut for the Golden State Warriors at home against the New York Nets. The Nets won 104-103.
October 22, 1976
Twin brothers Tom and Dick Van Arsdale played together in a game for the Phoenix Suns, becoming the first and only pair of twins to play for the same NBA club. The Suns ended up losing the game 111-98 to the New Orleans Jazz.
October 22, 1999
NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain, who died October 12, 1999 at the age of 63, is the subject of ESPN’s SportsCentury series. Chamberlain was selected by a distinguished panel of 48 journalists, historians, observers and administrators as #13 on the list of the greatest North American athletes of the 20th Century. The charismatic Chamberlain played 14 seasons with the Warriors, 76ers and Lakers and dominated the NBA like no other player ever. He holds numerous NBA records, most notably for single-season scoring average (50.4 ppg), single-season minutes (48.5 minutes per game) and highest single-season rebound average (27.3 rpg). On March 2, 1962, Chamberlain did the unthinkable and scored 100 points in a game against the Knicks. For his career, Chamberlain averaged 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds. Before coming to the NBA, Chamberlain played at the University of Kansas and averaged 29.9 points and 18.3 rebounds for his career.
October 23, 1967
The New Jersey Americans (today the New Jersey Nets), a new ABA franchise sold to Arthur Brown, played its first game.
October 23, 1975
Bill Willoughby made his debut for the Atlanta Hawks, becoming the youngest player in league history at 18 years, five months and three days old.
October 23, 1987
The Milwaukee Bucks defeated Tracer Milan of Italy 123-111 in the opening game of the first McDonald’s Championship, held at the Milwaukee Arena. The Bucks defeated the Soviet National Team 127-100 in the championship game of the tournament, sponsored by the NBA and FIBA.
October 23, 1993
In the finals of the sixth McDonald’s Championship, held at the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany, the Phoenix Suns defeated Italian League champion Buckler Bologna 112-90, as Charles Barkley led all scorers with 28 points. Barkley was awarded the Drazen Petrovic Trophy as MVP of the tournament, after scoring 52 points in two games.
October 23, 2012
The NBA announces that the Center position will be removed from the All-Star ballot in favor of three “undefined” frontcourt players.
October 23, 2019
Guard Kyrie Irving scores 50 points in his debut game with the Brooklyn Nets, setting a new record for most points scored in a debut with a new team. Despite his efforts, though, the Nets would lose in overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 127-126.
October 24, 1959
Wilt Chamberlain played in his first NBA game with the Philadelphia Warriors, beginning a record streak of 1,045 consecutive games–his entire career–without a disqualification. The record was later broken by Moses Malone of Atlanta on April 19, 1991, in his 1,046th game without disqualification.
October 24, 2019
Atlanta Hawks forward Vince Carter checks into the game with 6 minutes, 52 seconds left against the Detroit Pistons. In doing so, he became the only NBA player to play in 22 seasons.
October 24, 1993
Before a sellout crowd of 20,808 at the Mexico City Sports Palace, the New York Knicks defeated the Houston Rockets 103-93 in a preseason matchup, led by 20 points each from Patrick Ewing and Charles Smith.
October 25, 1985
Karl Malone made his debut for the Utah Jazz at home against Houston. The Rockets won 112-108.
October 25, 2013
Eight-time All-Star and Hall of Famer Bill Sharman dies at the age of 87.
October 25, 1999
The Portland Trail Blazers are named as one of only five companies across the nation to receive the Points of Light Foundation 1999 Award for Excellence in Corporate Community Service. The Blazers are the only professional sports team ever to be recognized and the first corporation to receive the award in the state of Oregon. The award honors companies which have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community service and which have very strong employee volunteer programs that target serious social problems. The other award winners are the Glaxo Wellcome Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC LensCrafters, Cincinnati, OH NEC Electronics Inc., Santa Clara, CA and United Airlines, Elk Grove Township, IL.
October 25, 2000
The NBA announced that as a result of an arbitrator’s ruling that the Minnesota Timberwolves, forward Joe Smith and his agent entered into a secret agreement in violation of the NBA’s salary cap rules, NBA Commissioner David J. Stern directed the forfeiture of Minnesota’s next five first-round draft picks, fined the team $3.5 million and voided all contracts between Smith and the Timberwolves. On December 8, the NBA restored Minnesota’s first round draft pick in 2003.
October 25, 2012
Commissioner David Stern formally announces his intention to retire on February 1, 2014. The date will mark exactly 30 years since Stern took over the position in 1984.
October 26, 1976
The Indiana Pacers won their first NBA game with a 120-90 home victory over Seattle. The Pacers entered the league from the ABA, along with the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and New York Nets.
October 26, 1984
Charles Barkley made his debut for the Philadelphia 76ers at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 76ers won 111-101.
October 26, 1984
John Stockton made his debut for the Utah Jazz at Seattle. The SuperSonics won 102-94.
October 26, 1984
Michael Jordan made his debut for the Chicago Bulls at home against the Washington Bullets. The Bulls won 109-93.
October 26, 1985
Patrick Ewing made his debut for the New York Knicks at home against Philadelphia. The 76ers won 99-89.
October 27, 1956
Tom Heinsohn made his debut for the Boston Celtics at the New York Knicks. The Celtics won 115-112.
October 27, 1984
Hakeem Olajuwon made his debut for the Houston Rockets at the Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets won 122-111.
October 27, 1992
The Houston Rockets defeated the Dallas Mavericks 104-102 in a preseason game held in Mexico City, before a crowd of 19,527 at the Mexico City Sports Palace. It was the first NBA game ever played in Latin America.
October 28, 1967
Walt Frazier made his debut for the New York Knicks vs. Detroit. The Pistons won 111-98.
October 28, 1973
Seven-foot center Elmore Smith of the Los Angeles Lakers blocked an NBA-record 17 shots in the Lakers’ 111-98 home victory over Portland.
October 28, 1983
Clyde Drexler made his debut for the Portland Trail Blazers against the San Diego Clippers. Portland won 117-93.
October 28, 1998
The NBA announced that it has canceled all games through November 30 and indefinitely postponed the entire 1998-99 season because of the stalled collective bargaining negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association.
October 28, 1999
Jayson Williams of the New Jersey Nets donates over $2 million to his alma mater, St. John’s, in the name of his former college coach, Lou Carnesecca. Although the exact amount was not revealed, it was believed to be in the neighborhood of the $2.5 million donation that Portland Trail Blazers guard Steve Smith made to his alma mater, Michigan State, a few years ago. The amount was the largest donation ever to St. John’s by a professional athlete. Williams said that he wanted to do something to honor Carnesecca, who he looked to as a mentor and a role model.
October 28, 2006
Legendary Boston Celtics coach, general manager and president Red Auerbach dies of a heart attack at the age of 89.
October 28, 2016
Russell Westbrook scores 51 points in an 113-11- win over the Phoenix Suns.
October 29, 2018
Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors sets an NBA single-game record with 14 made 3-pointers in a 149-124 win over the Chicago Bulls. Thompson broke the mark set by Warriors teammate Stephen Curry (13) in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 7, 2016.
October 29, 1961
Oscar Robertson handed out a franchise-record 22 assists during Cincinnati’s 139-132 win over visiting Syracuse. The “Big O” went on to average a triple-double (30.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg and 11.4 apg) for the Royals during the 1961-62 season, becoming the first NBA player to average double figures in assists.
October 29, 1977
Boston Celtic standout John Havlicek became the second player in NBA history to connect on 10,000 career field goals, reaching the milestone in a 103-98 loss at Cleveland.
October 29, 1982
Dominique Wilkins made his debut for the Atlanta Hawks at Detroit. The Pistons won 94-86.
October 29, 1982
James Worthy made his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers against Golden State. The Warriors won 132-117.
October 29, 1994
On the second day of the two-day “NBA Challenge” in Mexico City, a sellout crowd of 21,268 at the Palacio de los Deportes (Sports Palace) watched Seattle defeat San Antonio 124-95 in the championship game. Shawn Kemp led Seattle with 29 points and 10 rebounds. In the third place game, Houston defeated the LA Clippers, 111-103.
October 29, 1996
In conjunction with the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the list of The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History was announced. It included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Charles Barkley, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Earvin Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Pete Maravich, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Parish, Bob Pettit, Scottie Pippen, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens, and James Worthy
October 29, 2001
The now-defunct Fayetteville Patriots won the top selection in the NBDL’s Inaugural Draft Lottery.
October 29, 2003
LeBron James made his NBA debut against the Sacrament Kings on the road, tallying 25 points, nine assists and six rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 106-92 loss.
October 29, 2010
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo records one of the most impressive triple-doubles in franchise history with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 24 assists in a 105-101 win over the New York Knicks. The 24 assists were the most in a game since 1996.
October 30, 1953
Red Holzman made his NBA coaching debut for the Milwaukee Hawks at home against the Minneapolis Lakers. The Hawks won 69-59. This game also marked the debut of Minneapolis’ Clyde Lovellette.
October 30, 1954
Bob Pettit made his debut for the Milwaukee Hawks at home against Ft. Wayne. The Pistons won 91-72.
October 30, 1954
Frank Ramsey made his debut for the Boston Celtics at Rochester. The Royals won 98-95.
October 30, 1954
The NBA adopted the use of the 24-second clock (the brainchild of Danny Biasone, owner of the Syracuse Nationals) and a limit of six team fouls per quarter, in an attempt to speed up play and eliminate stalling and deliberate fouls.
October 30, 1980
The NBA announced its 35th Anniversary All-Time Team–Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, John Havlicek, George Mikan, Bob Pettit, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and Jerry West. Russell was voted the greatest player of all time, Red Auerbach of the Celtics the greatest coach and the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers the greatest team ever.
October 30, 1981
Chuck Daly made his NBA coaching debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers at Philadelphia. The 76ers won 128-104.
October 30, 1981
Isiah Thomas made his debut for the Detroit Pistons at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pistons won 118-113.
October 30, 1981
Pat Riley made his NBA coaching debut for the Los Angeles Lakers at home against Houston. The Rockets won 113-112 in double-overtime.
October 30, 1993
In the first preseason game between two NBA teams ever played in Europe, the Orlando Magic, behind 14 fourth-quarter points from Dennis Scott, defeated the Atlanta Hawks 120-95 before a sold-out crowd of 9,483 at Wembley Arena in the opening of the two-game NBA London Games series.
October 30, 1996
The WNBA announced the cities of the eight teams that would compete in the WNBA’s inaugural season — Charlotte, Cleveland, Houston and New York in the Eastern Conference and Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento and Utah in the Western Conference.
October 30, 2001
John Stockton stepped onto the floor with the Jazz on Opening Night, beginning his 18th season with the same team, establishing the longest tenure with one organization. Stockton had been tied with Hakeem Olajuwon, whose 17 consecutive seasons with the Houston Rockets ended when he joined the Toronto Raptors during the offseason.
October 30, 2002
On what Mayor Ray Nagin proclaimed as “Teal Day” in the city of New Orleans, the NBA returned to the Big Easy tonight as the Hornets defeated the Utah Jazz 100-75.
October 31, 1950
Earl Lloyd became the first black player to compete in the NBA, playing for the Washington Capitols in a 78-70 road loss to the Rochester Royals.
October 31, 1969
The Seattle SuperSonics defeated the Cincinnati Royals 129-121, giving Lenny Wilkens, the NBA’s all-time winningest coach, his first coaching victory.
October 31, 2015
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors scores 53 points in a 134-120 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
October 31, 2018
Derrick Rose of the Minnesota Timberwolves career-high 50 points in a 128-125 win over the Utah Jazz.
Watson Rediscovers 1940s Attitudes Towards Race
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To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
Oh, racism. James Watson, who, you know, co-discovered DNA, went old coot on the Sunday Times. First he said that “all the testing” has proven that people descended from Africa aren’t as smart as white people. Then, because apparently the testing comment wasn’t enough, he used some anecdotal evidence from his friends.
He said he hoped that everyone was equal, but countered that “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.
Of course, everyone has condemned the guy, which is the right thing to do. But, that’s easy. It’s too easy. We all shake our heads whenever someone has one of these outbursts -- like Michael Richards or Don Imus -- or Spanish soccer fans throw bananas at African players, as if we’re surprised. As if each of us, regardless of skin color, doesn’t know someone close to us who we let get away with being a bona fide racist.
Instead of clucking about the old, irrelevant guy, we should go out to the people we know with racist attitudes and talk to them about it.
People close to us, where the stakes are a little higher and they might actually listen. Give them a copy of James Baldwin’s Fire Next Time, one of the best pieces of literature of any period or genre. Even though it was written in 1961, Baldwin looked into the heart of racism itself and youɽ be hard pressed to find anything better on the subject.
17 October 1940 - History
June 22, 1915
Earthquake in the Imperial Valley wrecked the towns of Calexico and El Centro. Six people killed in Mexicali, Mexico.
October 1, 1915
Earthquake felt by many at 7:26 a.m. centered near Redwood City on the San Andreas fault.
October 7, 1915
Very strong earthquake was felt at 9:26 p.m. centered southeast of Berkeley on the Haywards Fault Zone. Another shock was felt at 9:35 p.m.
November 1, 1915
Mild earthquake felt at 2:30 a.m.
August 6, 1916
Mild earthquake felt by many at 11:38 a.m., centered at Paicines in San Benito County, and did some damage there.
September 12, 1917
Mild earthquake felt at 3:25 a.m.
September 24, 1917
Another earthquake felt today at 1:21 p.m.
October 2, 1917
Three earthquake shocks felt at 11:40 p.m.
October 26, 1917
Mild, rocking earthquake felt today at 1:20 a.m. It came from the Haywards fault.
February 25, 1919
Rocking earthquake was felt at 2:39 p.m. It was centered near Santa Rosa, and caused some panic there and at Petaluma.
September 4, 1919
Earthquake at Hercules in Contra Costa County was felt in San Francisco at 12:16 p.m.
November 25, 1919
Rapid rocking earthquake awoke many at 3:03 a.m. It was centered about 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz and was felt as far north as Petaluma.
December 5, 1919
Earthquake at 2:34 a.m. was felt by many. It was also felt at Laguna Honda.
September 9, 1920
A mild earthquake was felt at 8:47 a.m.
October 5, 1920
An earthquake centered at Monterey was felt here at 11:04 a.m.
January 31, 1922
Mild earthquake was felt here at 5:17 a.m. It was very strong near Mendocino, and was felt as far north as Oregon and as far south as San Jose.
March 10, 1922
A mild earthquake was felt at 3:21 a.m. It was centered in the Cholame Valley in Monterey County, and caused much damage at a tiny community called Parkfield.
January 22, 1923
Not many people felt the the earthquake at 1:04 a.m., but it did much damage at Petrolia.
September 1, 1923
Tokio and Yokohama destroyed by Great Kanto earthquake. 150,000 persons killed. Friends and relatives of survivors awaited each new edition of the papers for grim details. There were many San Franciscans in Yokohama at the time of the quake and there was fear for their safety.
April 3, 1924
An earthquake centered near Mt. Hamilton was felt here today at 3:54 p.m.
December 29, 1924
A strong earthquake shock was felt at 11:27 p.m. It was strongest down the Peninsula between Palo Alto and Redwood City.
February 10, 1925
An earthquake centered at Crystal Springs was felt by many at 1:05 a.m.
June 29, 1925
Santa Barbara was wrecked by 6.3 magnitude earthquake today. Several people were killed by collapsing walls. Old Mission Restoration Committee of Santa Barbara immediately appealed for funds to restore the Mission.
July 19, 1925
An earthquake was felt at 11:24 a.m. It was centered at Evergreen, Santa Clara County, and was felt as far north as Santa Rosa.
September 30, 1925
A sharp earthquake was felt at 7:23 a.m. by a few people. It was centered near Oakland.
January 6, 1926
Sharp earthquake was felt at 9:53 p.m. centered at Kentfield.
June 29, 1926
Santa Barbara was damaged by another earthquake at 3:21 p.m. A falling chimney killed a child and a streetcar derailed. The surf was agitated violently.
October 22, 1926
A particularly strong earthquake was felt at 4:35 a.m. and did some damage. The tremor was off the coast at Monterey. It was stronger in San Francisco than at some places closer to the epicenter. A second tremor, much like the first, was felt at 5:35 a.m.
January 1, 1927
An earthquake in the Imperial Valley wrecked the town of Calexico and started fires. There was also major damage in Mexicali, Mexico.
February 15, 1927
An earthquake was felt at 3:54 p.m. It caused some damage at Santa Cruz.
September 2, 1927
The earthquake at Alum Rock near San Jose was not felt here, but it was strong enough there to throw an interurban car off the tracks.
November 4, 1927
A seawave from the earthquake at Point Argüello was recorded here but the earthquake was not felt.
May 28, 1928
Earthquake felt here at 9:39 a.m. was centered at Evergreen and did some damage there.
March 10, 1933
Southern California struck by major 6.3 earthquake. Massive damage in Long Beach. Many school buildings collapsed. Fires were started by the earthquake. 115 people were killed.
October 18, 1935
Major earthquake in Helena, Montana. Two strong-motion seismographs were immediately trucked from San Francisco to the earthquake zone to record aftershocks.
June 30, 1941
A Richter-magnitude 5.9 earthquake did significant damage to Santa Barbara.
October 21, 1941
A strong earthquake shook the Los Angeles basin and affected the output of some oil wells.
July 21, 1952
Earthquake near Bakersfield measured 7.7 on the Richter scale and did enormous damage in Kern County and vicinity. The tremor was second only in intensity to the Great Earthquake in San Francisco.
August 22, 1952
The Central Valley town of Bakerfield was badly damaged by a 5.8 earthquake.
December 21, 1954
Eureka and vicinity were badly damaged by a 6.6 earthquake.
April 15, 1956
Chronicle and Examiner published commemorative sections on the anniversary of the Great Earthquake and Fire.
April 18, 1956
California Office of Civil Defense sponsored a conference on the topic "California's Next Earthquake," and discussed disaster planning.
March 22, 1957
The worst earthquake since 1906 struck at 11:45 this morning, and registered 5.3 on the Richter scale. The main shock had been preceded by at least six smaller quakes throughout the morning. The quake started some fires, including a blaze caused by a spill in the chemistry lab at old Lowell High School, according to Lowell student Frederick F. Postel. Fires connected to the earthquake broke out, but that was denied by the Fire Chief, possibly for political reasons. The tremor was preceded by a magnitude 3 shock at 8:38 a.m., and a magnitude 3.75 quake at 10:48 a.m. There were no lives lost. The quake was centered in the Westlake District of Daly City where many water heaters were ripped from their moorings and much plaster was damaged.
Three-alarm fire at Mission and Duboce shortly after the earthquake in buildings scheduled to be torn down for the new Central Freeway. Fire Chief William F. Murray said the fire was not earthquake caused, but communications were jammed because of the tremor. Five firemen were injured.
Many buildings suffered damage in the earthquake. KPIX at 2655 Van Ness suffered broken windows as did the Palace Hotel. The top floor of St. Anne's School at 13th and Irving was badly damaged, but the children were safe. The McCreery Branch of the library, on Sixteenth near Market was so badly damaged that it would be razed. The Presidio, Sunset and Richmond branch libraries were also damaged. A water main broke at City Hall and flooded Mole Hall under construction at Civic Center. Masonry fell from California Hall at Turk and Polk streets, and Central Emergency Hospital at 50 Ivy St. reported at least 50 people were treated for injuries. There was much glass and plaster damage at the ParkMerced Apartments, and the road at Lake Merced collapsed. Sheridan Elementary, Longfellow, Mission High and Park Presidio Junior High were closed because of earthquake damage.
English comedianne Gracie Fields said, "We were on the 16th floor of a hotel when the earthquake it. We were picked up like a wedding cake, shaken and then dropped to the floor again. It was very exciting." Plaster fell in the corridors at the Hall of Justice on Kearny St., but there were no injuries in the building.
The Municipal Organ, largest west of Chicago, had broken pipes and a dislodged harp attachment which would cost $300 to repair, according to James T. Graham, auditorium supervisor. At Golden Gate Park, the Portals of the Past, remnants of the Nob Hill home of A.N. Towne from 1906, were damaged by the earthquake when one column fell.
March 23, 1957
Fire broke out at the Twin Peaks Hotel, 2160 Market St., shortly after the 12:14 a.m. aftershock. Two policemen were felled by smoke while rescuing 50 people from the hotel and adjoining buildings. The arson squad could find no connection between the earthquake aftershock and the fire.
Speaking from his laboratory in Pasadena, Dr. Charles Richter said, This is not a prediction it is only another way of saying that in California we must learn to live with the constant possibility of a serious earthquake."
Admiral A.G. Cook, the city's civil defense director, said a minimum of 70,000 homes had been damaged in the Bay Area by the earthquake.
March 24, 1957
Fire at the Crown Cork and Seal Co. on Bayshore Blvd. today was caused by boxes that fell in the earthquake and knocked a thermostat out of commission. That allowed an overhead gas heater to overheat and start the fire. It did $2500 damage.
March 26, 1957
Fire Chief Murray said none of the fires that occurred around the time of the earthquake were connected with the tremor.
April 1, 1957
Coast Highway 1 was reopened at Thornton Bluffs after earthquake- caused landslides were cleared away.
April 7, 1957
Two mild aftershocks of the March 23 earthquake were felt.
April 9, 1957
An earthquake-weakened water main broke at Haight and Buchanan and flooded three blocks.
April 29, 1957
Two minor aftershocks of the March earthquake were felt at 4:11 a.m and 4:05 p.m.
April 30, 1957
Residents on Ulloa from 15th to Madrone Ave. complained that speeding streetcars were shaking their houses. Muni General Manager Charles Miler said "The earthquake loosened some joints in the houses, making them more susceptible to the vibrations set up by moving streetcars."
November 25, 1959
An earthquake was felt today.
January 3, 1961
Earthquake centered at Hollister was felt here at 4:30 p.m. Light fixtures swayed in San Francisco.
August 11, 1963
Minor damage was caused in San Francisco by a magnitude 4.5 earthquake.
March 27, 1964
A tsunami wave smashed 56 blocks of Crescent City and killed 38 persons. Four Texaco Refinery tanks exploded when the wave generated by the Alaska earthquake rolled in. Gov. Brown declared it a disaster area. Many boats and docks within San Francisco Bay were damaged when the wave came through the Golden Gate. There was no damage in San Francisco, although thousands gathered at the Ocean Beach to watch the incoming wave. The quake killed 131 people and measured 9 on the Richter scale.
April 3, 1965
Students at UC Berkeley circulated a flyer that said Dr. Richter suggested the next location for a big shake was in the East Bay. It was a tongue-in-cheek ad for the Johnny Otis Show at Zellerbach Hall which, the flyer said, met all State earthquake requirements.
June 27, 1966
An earthquake centered in Parkfield rattled the Bay Area.
September 12, 1966
Strong earthquake shook Truckee in the Sierra Nevada.
April 18, 1969
Commemoration of the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906 held at City Hall. Mayor Alioto spoke.
February 9, 1971
6.4 earthquake centered in the San Fernando area of Southern California caused major damage and knocked down freeways. At least 65 persons were killed. Damage could exceed $1 billion.
February 21, 1971
Strong 5.9 earthquake at Point Mugu in Southern California.
May 20, 1971
International meeting on earthquakes held in San Francisco.
September 7, 1973
National Academy of Engineering Workshop on Simulation of Earthquake Effects on Structures held in San Francisco.
September 23, 1973
A Red Cross spokesman quoted in today's newspaper says the Bay Area is better prepared for earthquakes. "If a disaster is severe enough, the federal government will gear up even before it's formally called on," said Joe Leux, Red Cross liaison to a state OES earthquake planning project. "That wasn't always the case. Red tape which in the past delayed funds has finally been whacked into oblivion," he said.
August 1, 1975
A 5.9 magnitude earthquake damaged the Oroville area.
November 7, 1975
Earthquake prediction, opportunity to avert disaster: a conference on earthquake warning and response held in conjunction with the City of San Francisco Office of Emergency Services.
January 1, 1976
Severe earthquake caused much damage in Whittier.
August 13, 1978
Serious 5.7 earthquake in Santa Barbara. It threw a locomotive off the tracks.
January 19, 1979
Strong earthquake Malibu, in Southern California.
March 15, 1979
Strong earthquake struck Homestead Valley near San Bernardino.
August 6, 1979
A 5.9 earthquake centered in the Coyote Lake area near Gilroy was felt in San Francisco.
October 15, 1979
A 6.4 earthquake caused damage in Imperial Valley and Coachella.
January 24, 1980
Just after 11 a.m. a powerful rolling earthquake, centered 10 miles northwest of Livermore, jolted the city with a Richter magnitude of 5.8. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, where nuclear materials were stored, was damaged.
January 26, 1980
At 6:33 p.m. a 5.6 earthquake struck the Bay Area.
May 25, 1980
Landslides were caused by a series of earthquakes at Mammoth Lakes and Owens Valley. Three quakes, each measuring 6.1, struck the area.
May 27, 1980
A 6.2 earthquake struck the Owens Valley area.
November 8, 1980
Offshore earthquake near Trinidad in Northern California did damage to highways.
April 26, 1981
Westmorland, in Southern California, was damaged by an earthquake.
May 2, 1983
San Francisco rocked by the 6.4 earthquake that wrecked Coalinga.
April 24, 1984
6.2 earthquake centered at Morgan Hill was felt in San Francisco. Severe damage was done there. Loss estimated at $10 million.
July 21, 1984
Eighth World Conference on Earthquake Engineering in San Francisco.
November 23, 1984
Strong earthquake at Bishop near Yosemite.
September 19, 1985
Mexico City earthquake. Thousands of San Franciscans responded to pleas for donations to help earthquake victims.
September 30, 1985
Dr. Charles Richter, who helped develop the earthquake intensity scale named for him, died in a San Marino rest home. He was 85.
October 2, 1985
A strong earthquake near Redlands in Southern California.
February 26, 1986
National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council and the San Francisco Bay Region Special Study Areas Workshop met at USGS, Menlo Park.
April 9, 1986
It's Your Fault: taking responsibility for earthquake preparedness in the San Francisco Bay Region a regional conference on earthquake preparedness planning at the Hyatt Regency.
July 8, 1986
Palm Springs was rocked by a strong earthquake.
July 21, 1986
A series of earthquakes, including a 6.0 quake, struck the Chalfant Valley area in Southern California.
October 1, 1987
Strong earthquake damage in Southern California. The quake registered 6.1 on the Richter scale and damaged Whittier, Rosemead and Alhambra. Eight people were killed. A Richter-5.3 shock followed the main quake.
November 4, 1987
Major earthquake in Southern California most damage in the Whittier area.
November 14, 1987
Gov. Deukmejian signed seven bills to provide approximately $90 million in state funding for assistance to the victims of the Los Angeles area earthquake.
November 23, 1987
6.2 earthquake in the Imperial Valley. Scientists rushed to the scene because aftershocks began migrating toward the San Andreas fault. A 6.6 earthquake did strike on a nearby fault the next day. 94 people were injured.
February 20, 1988
An earthquake centered in Hollister was felt in San Francisco.
June 10, 1988
Strong earthquake in Gorman, California.
December 3, 1988
Pasadena was badly shaken by an earthquake.
February 9, 1989
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute's 41st annual meeting in San Francisco to discuss the newest trends in earthquake engineering.
April 3, 1989
L.A. voters failed to pass Proposition 3, a city initiative that would have provided $90 million in bonds for earthquake safety measures.
October 17, 1989
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck the Bay Area just before the third game of the World Series at Candlestick Park the worst earthquake since 1906. The tremor collapsed a section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Six of the deaths occurred when the exterior of a brick building collapsed at 6th and Bluxome streets in the South of Market District. Damage was estimated at almost three billion dollars in San Francisco, which was approximately one-half of the total damage figure for the entire earthquake zone.
The earthquake knocked out power to San Francisco, and the city was dark for the first time since the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Power was fully restored by October 20. Emergency telephone service became sporadic because a fire broke out in the 9-1-1 telephone equipment room, and citizens had to rely on fire alarm boxes for three days for emergency protection from fire. The quake killed 62 people throughout Central California, injured 3757 and left more than 12,000 homeless.
At least 27 fires broke out across the City, including a major blaze in the Marina District where apartment buildings sank into a lagoon filled with bay mud in preparation for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. Dozens of people were rescued by firefighters from fallen buildings in the area that were imperiled by the flames. As they had done in 1906, citizens formed a bucket brigade to help firefighters who were without water because of broken mains. A magnitude 5.2 aftershock struck 37 minutes after the initial shock.
Interstate 280 rocked so viciously during the earthquake that sections of the freeway slammed into one another, cracking off pieces. Some columns actually fractured, exposing the reinforcing steel in places where the concrete disintegrated. The Embarcadero Freeway along the Waterfront was nearly destroyed by the shaking, though Caltrans said it could be repaired.
Sporadic but minor looting broke out in the downtown Shopping District near Fifth and Market streets, the Inner Mission and Hunters Point areas. District Attorney Arlo Smith said, "If there's anyone arrested tonight for burglary or looting, tomorrow morning we're going to go into court and demand that there be no bail. Anyone engaged in that kind of conduct can expect maximum sentences." 24-year-old DeSoto Barker was shot and killed by a motorist upset by the earthquake chaos. DeSoto was at first depicted as a good Samaritan, but Police Inspector Michael Byrne later said he had stolen traffic flares from legitimate volunteers and provoked his own shooting death.
The earthquake triggered a four-foot tsunami wave in Monterey Bay as well as a huge undersea landslide. The sea level at Santa Cruz dropped three feet as water rushed out of the harbor. The tsunami wave took 20 minutes to travel from Santa Cruz to Monterey.
Lombard St., the "crookedest street in the world," was closed because a cable car was left stranded at Hyde and Lombard by the earthquake power failure.
Peoples Temple, housed in the former Albert Pike Memorial on Geary Blvd., was gravely damaged by the earthquake. The building had been badly damaged during the 1906 earthquake.
The Municipal Organ at Civic Auditorium was badly damaged by the earthquake, and was out of commission. It had also been damaged during the 1957 earthquake.
People in San Francisco, 56 miles from the epicenter, felt the earthquake about 23 seconds later than the people in Santa Cruz, 10 miles away. People in Sacramento, 100 miles distant, felt it about 22 seconds later. The strong motion recorder at Corralitos-Eureka Canyon Road, near the epicenter, recorded the earthquake beginning at 5:04:21 p.m. The first quake wave arrived one second later at the Fire Station in Capitola. The first wave began to shake the water tank at Gavilan College in Gilroy at 5:04:24 p.m. Strong motion instruments at the Pulgas Water Temple at Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir recorded the quake beginning at 5:04:31 p.m. The Sierra Point Freeway overpass monitor, nearest to Candlestick Park, recorded the quake at 5:04:34 p.m. The quake wave arrived at the Presidio of San Francisco, nearest the Marina District, at 5:04:37 with the heaviest shaking recorded at 5:04:47 p.m.
The performance of Mozart's "Idomeneo" at the Opera House was canceled after the earthquake. Water and sewage were flowing in the basement of the War Memorial and Veterans' Building. There was no word on whether "Otello" will open this weekend as scheduled.
October 18, 1989
A U-2 spy plane from Beale Air Force Base overflew San Francisco to record earthquake damage. The photos were to be used to detect problems in structures.
Preliminary ratings for the ABC, CBS, and NBC earthquake specials Wednesday night indicated nearly half of all U.S. homes with television tuned in. According to A.C. Nielsen Co. estimates, ABCs special, "The Great Quake of `89," was highest-rated with 13.2 percent of all households watching. ABC received a strong 24.2 rating and a 35 share for its earthquake coverage in the prime 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT time slot last night.
Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy called for an investigation to find out why the Bay Bridge was so badly damaged during the earthquake. McCarthy was the Acting Governor of California because Gov. Deukmejian was in Frankfort, West Germany.
Mark Smith of Los Angeles won a car in a KIIS-FM contest and promptly donated it to the Red Cross for earthquake relief. Disc Jockey Rick Dees and the station matched the $15,000 and gave Smith another car.
October 18, 1989
USGS scientist said they stood by their report warning of a major earthquake in Southern California by 2018. USGS Deputy Chief Gerry Wieczorek said "The information from last year's report is still good."
Vice President Dan Quayle and his wife, Marilyn, flew from San Diego to the Marina District. They left in four hours without making contact with Mayor Agnos, who had not slept since the earthquake. The mayor called the visit a "cheap publicity stunt." The Vice President reacted with deep emotion as he toured the Marina District. He said, "Just walking through here and seeing the loss of property, knowing of the loss of life, it hits you right here in the heart, and that's the reason I'm here."
Fire Chief Frederick F. Postel arrived at Moffett Field on a jet provided by the White House. The FBI helicoptered the chief to Central Fire Alarm Station on Turk St. where he took command of fire and rescue activities. Chief Postel was in Boston at the time of the earthquake.
October 19, 1989
Bank of California, owned by Mitsubishi, donated $500,000 for earthquake relief.
Dept. of Public Works reported that earthquake-damaged buildings include the Asian Art Museum, de Young Museum, The California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Main Library, Hall of Justice, Opera House, Richmond Police Station, Candlestick Park, the airport and Pier 45.
Earthquake in China killed 20 people. A spokesman at the State Seismological Institute said there was no known connection with the earthquake in San Francisco.
GAP stores donated $100,000 to earthquake relief programs.
IBM donated $200,000 to the Red Cross for earthquake relief.
Independent Insurance Agents of American said the earthquake was the sixth-costliest disaster in history. Damage, they said, might exceed $1 billion.
The Lefty O'Doul Bridge over Third St. remained closed until it could be inspected for earthquake damage.
The Oakland Athletics voted not to have any champagne in their clubhouse if they win the World Series. "Because of the earthquake and the feeling of the club, we didn't think it would be appropriate," A's player Dave Parker said.
The U.S. dollar closed lower at 141.55 yen in Tokyo because of the earthquake and the worsening trade deficit. A dealer at Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank says "Recent developments did not provide any incentive to buy dollars."
October 20, 1989
USGS scientists found the epicenter of the earthquake near Mt. Loma Prieta in Santa Cruz County. They said fissures hundreds of yards long, and wide as 20 inches, were found along the San Andreas Fault in the northeast corner of Nisene Marks State Park, near the head of Aptos Creek.
Association of California Insurance Companies said insurance payout for earthquake damage may reach $2 billion.
Bechtel Corp. sent 80 engineers to the Marina District at 9 a.m. to inspect homes and apartment buildings for earthquake damage.
Cal/OSHA said its offices at 455 and 525 Golden Gate Ave., and 350 McAllister St. were closed because of earthquake damage.
Citicorp/Citibank donated $150,000 to the Red Cross for earthquake relief.
Economist Frank McCormick of the Bank of America in San Francisco said earthquake damage was likely to reach $10 billion.
Fire Dept. ordered evacuation of 706 Polk St. and 149 New Montgomery because of earthquake damage.
Ford Motor Co. donated $500,000 to the earthquake relief fund.
General Motors donated $500,000 to the Red Cross for earthquake relief.
Chrysler donated $100,000 for earthquake relief.
Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York assisted in coping with Tuesday's devastating earthquake. In a letter to Gov. George Deukmejian, Cuomo said, "New York stands ready to assist in any way we can." The New York Air National Guard had already sent crews to relieve California Air Guard members.
Governor George Deukmejian told NBC-TV: "Over the six-and-a-half, nearly seven years, that I've been Governor, I've never once been told by our people that we had any kind of a problem with respect to our freeways holding up under an earthquake situation, the severity of the one that we experienced here. So this came as a big surprise to me, a terrible disappointment."
Great Western Bank gave $100,000 to the Red Cross for earthquake relief.
Mayor Agnos informed enraged survivors in the Marina District that they have just 15 minutes to enter their earthquake-damaged homes to retrieve belongings prior to demolition. 60 buildings in the Marina District were destroyed. Agnos did not win in Marina District precincts during the next mayoral election.
McDonnell Douglas employees donated $100,000 to the earthquake relief fund.
Nissan Motor Co. donated $300,000 to the Red Cross Earthquake Relief fund.
Novell computer company donated $50,000 to the United Way for earthquake relief.
Partial list of earthquake dead released. Killed in San Francisco included Jeffrey Choi, 50 Yuk Lin Lau, 34 Scott Dickinson, 3 1/2 months Donald McGlinchy, 59 and Diane Laufer, 40. Timothy Moss, 40, of San Francisco, was killed on the Cypress Freeway.
Portland Red Cross chapter shipped bread and other supplies to earthquake victims in San Francisco.
President Bush arrived at Moffett Field Naval Air Station to tour areas damaged by earthquake. He was briefed by civic leaders, including Mayor Agnos.
Proctor & Gamble donated products worth $300,000 to earthquake victims.
Sony Corp. donated $1 million for San Francisco earthquake relief.
Tass news agency reported that the Soviet government offered to send doctors, geologists and rescue workers to assist with San Francisco earthquake relief.
October 22, 1989
More than 20,000 people gathered at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park to hear the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus in a benefit concert of Beehoven's Ninth Symphony for earthquake survivors.
U.S. Navy helicopter carrier U.S.S. Peleliu housed 300 displaced earthquake victims who boarded at 1 p.m. at Pier 30-32. The Peleliu was one of three amphibious ships dispatched from San Diego to assist earthquake recovery efforts.
October 24, 1989
USGS today revised upward the magnitude of the Oct. 17 earthquake, from 6.9 to 7.1 on the Richter scale, after checking data from 18 seismic stations around the world.
Bank America Corp. shares dropped $1.25 on the New York Stock Exchange on an unfounded rumor that the bank's California and Kearny Street headquarters building was damaged by the earthquake. A bank spokesman said that the structure was not harmed by the temblor and isn't owned by the bank.
Bank of America Chairman and Chief Executive Officer A. W. Clausen was named chairman of the American Red Cross earthquake disaster relief campaign.
Congress began debate on an earthquake relief bill. "We were hit by ten times the amount of explosive power of World War II, including the atomic bomb," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, "Please give us a chance to rebuild." A Wisconsin congressman complained that the median home price in San Francisco is $350,000, and Californians don't need help because of their waste and affluence.
First major convention since the earthquake opened at the Civic Auditorium. Don Dowd, spokesman for the Computer-Aided Software Engineering Conference and Exposition said, "Our keynote speaker addressed a full house and our exhibits are open as scheduled, with about 1,500 delegates in attendance. No one here is talking about the earthquake - they're talking about improving their information technology systems."
October 25, 1989
USGS scientists said there was a 50-50 chance that an earthquake big enough to cause more damage will strike during the next two months and urges officials to prepare.
Evangelist Billy Graham toured the Marina District today. "I don't think we can say this earthquake was sent by God," he said. "We have to keep in mind that he is a God of love, mercy. Why this earthquake took place, I can't explain. I can only explain God gives grace, peace, and strength to those who trust in Him."
John Beckman, a survivor of the 1906 earthquake, died in Sherman Oak, Ca. Beckman designed sets for the motion pictures "Casablanca," "The Maltese Falcon," and the hit TV sitcom "Designing Women." He was 91.
Mayor Agnos said engineers have determined that Candlestick Park wasn't seriously damaged by the earthquake and game three of the world Series could play on Friday. Rain hampered both the A's and the Giants in their attempts to practice at Candlestick. The A's go to Phoenix for workouts today and tomorrow.
Pacific Union Co. said there was no evidence the earthquake will effect the real estate market. "Contrary to what the rest of the U.S. might believe, buyer interest has actually increased since last week's earthquake," said William Jansen, president of Pacific Union Residential Brokerage. "Many buyers hope to find good deals as a result of an expected seller's panic," he said.
San Francisco Chronicle poll showed three out of four residents in 10 Bay Area counties admitted having emotional problems since the earthquake. About two-thirds said they were worried about another major tremor.
October 26, 1989
Chronicle Architecture Critic Allen Temko slammed Caltrans in the morning paper. He wrote, "If Caltrans hadn't been ponderously inefficient and understaffed, bereft of research funds and otherwise reduced almost to a maintenance agency by the parsimony of Jerry Brown and the belatedly furious George Deukmejian, a mile of Interstate 880 might not have been swatted down by an earthquake it should have ridden out easily."
President Bush signed a $3.45 billion earthquake relief package for California.
San Francisco Examiner published a 16-page earthquake photo section documenting the day of the earthquake and its aftermath.
The California Office of Tourism suggested that earthquake effects were exaggerated. In a news release it said, "The greater San Francisco Bay Area has rebounded quickly from a major earthquake that struck the region on Oct. 17. Damage to lodging facilities, convention centers and attractions was minimal, and all major airports in the area are open and operating at full service."
October 27, 1989
Officials of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies canceled their disaster drill because of the earthquake. Yael Danieli, an Israeli psychologist and president of the society, said Northern California is handling the quake in a "typically American" manner not allowing the quake to interfere with events such as the World Series.
Southern Pacific inaugurated round-the-bay shuttle service between Oakland and San Francisco to help in the distribution of freight while earthquake damage to bridges and highways were being repaired.
The California Grape and Tree Fruit League delivered a truckload of fresh fruit for earthquake survivors at Glide Memorial Church.
October 28, 1989
A 3.1-magnitude earthquake aftershock hit at 2:28 p.m.
California Conservation Corps. members continued to work 24-hour shifts to help Marina District residents retrieve valuables from their homes and assist with traffic control. The San Francisco Conservation Corps also provided meals to earthquake victims in the Tenderloin.
City Archivist Gladys Hansen wanted to know where you were when the earthquake hit. She was compiling the stories of all Bay Area residents as she and her staff of five began what she called "the most important" earthquake project of all. She asked people from all over the Bay Area to write or record their memories of what happened to them. So far, she has received about 50 letters.
Evangelist Virgi Rosemond preached through a bullhorn at Halladie Plaza today. "Jesus said he would send earthquakes to Godless places. This city's wicked, like Sodom and Gomorrah, where men love men more than they love God," she railed on behalf of the True Hope Pentecostal Church of God.
Part of the proceeds of the 10th annual Exotic Erotic Halloween Ball went to earthquake relief. More than 10,000 celebrants attended.
San Francisco law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe donated an additional $100,000 to the earthquake relief effort, which brought its total donation to $150,000.
October 29, 1989
Japanese Red Cross Society sent 5 million yen to the American Red Cross to help earthquake victims.
Jefferson Airplane earthquake relief concert at Golden Gate Park's Polo Field.
October 30, 1989
Bridge crews completed realignment of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The structure likely will be open by the Nov. 17 deadline set by Caltrans, according to James Roberts, the agency's chief bridge engineer. Roberts said the force of the earthquake jerked the span five inches north, shearing one-inch diameter bolts and pulling the road section away from its underlying support. Each bolt, one-inch in diameter and six inches long, was designed to withstand a force of 500,000 pounds. Roberts estimated the force that damaged the bridge at 2 million pounds of thrust, substantially more than the 1.8 million pounds of thrust required for the takeoff of the space shuttle.
The U.S. Court of Appeals and Post Office facilities at 7th and Mission streets suffered extensive damage in the earthquake and will remain closed until repaired. The building was severely damaged in 1906.
October 31, 1989
FEMAs top medical-disaster coordinator went on vacation immediately after the earthquake. Lt. Col. Jerry M. Brown was medical coordinator for the Office of Mobilization Preparedness. He had scheduled vacation leave and purchased nonrefundable airline tickets, according to FEMA spokesman Bill McAda.
October 31, 1989
The earthquake prompted Woodland Hills-based Yale Management Services Inc. to implement a detailed evacuation and survival preparedness plan for its apartment and condominium complexes throughout the San Fernando Valley. The plan will provide more than 1,000 of Yale's tenants with American Red Cross-trained evacuation and survival classes, as well as access to earthquake survival kits that will include a three-day supply of food and water, blankets, 12-hour light sticks and medical supplies.
November 1, 1989
4.4 aftershock struck at 9:50 p.m., centered slightly north of the epicenter of last month's earthquake. San Francisco police reported very minor damage in the Marina District.
November 2 1989
Actor Paul Newman donated $250,000 and 10,000 pounds of his spaghetti sauce to victims of the earthquake. Nell Newman, the actor's daughter, presents the money to the American Red Cross quake relief fund in San Francisco.
November 3, 1989
In Sacramento, an Assembly committee speedily approved a one- year, quarter-cent sales tax increase to finance California's share of earthquake relief efforts, as lawmakers convened in the Capitol in a special legislative session.
The San Francisco earthquake spurred Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre to propose an earthquake safety ballot bond measure for L.A. to provide up to $300 million for seismic improvements to city buildings, housing projects, bridges and unreinforced apartment buildings. Alatorre's proposal was expected to be considered by the L.A. council Tuesday.
November 4, 1989
A magnitude 3.6 earthquake struck the Hayward fault at 11:16 p.m. near San Leandro. USGS spokeswoman Pat Jorgenson said it was the first significant tremor on the Hayward fault since a 4.7-magnitude quake in 1984.
Gov. Deukmejian named 10 members to a Board of Inquiry to investigate collapses of Cypress Freeway and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The panel was headed by nationally known earthquake engineering expert George Housner.
November 6, 1989
Gov. Deukmejian signed a 24-bill package designed to immediately assist victims of the October 17 earthquake.
November 7, 1989
Proposition P, to build a new baseball stadium, lost by less than 2,000 votes. Mayor Agnos said there was nothing to stop the Giants from moving to nearby Santa Clara. Critics of the proposition claimed stadium construction would take money away from earthquake recovery efforts.
November 13, 1989
BART ridership totaled 345,891, the fifth-highest daily total since Oct. 23. Including Oct. 23, the first full workday since the Oct. 17 earthquake, BART patronage totaled nearly 5 million during the 15 weekdays through Friday, Nov. 10. The exact total was 4,962,181, an average of 330,812 a day. Patronage on a typical weekday prior to the earthquake was 218,000.
November 14, 1989
Hurricane Hugo and the San Francisco earthquake caused enough damage to make 1989 the worst year ever for insured catastrophe losses. The private property insurance industry expected to pay a total of $6.63 billion on 31 catastrophes in 1989.
November 15, 1989
FEMA news conference to deny charges of discrimination against low-income people affected by the earthquake.
November 15, 1989
The Federal Reserve Board said the strike against Boeing Co. and the earthquake pushed production at U.S. factories, mines, and utilities down a sharp 0.7 percent in October.
November 16, 1989
Hearing on the earthquake and its effects on the California wine industry held in Gonzales, California, by the Assembly Select Committee on California Wine Production and Economy.
November 18, 1989
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened today. Caltrans had hoped to open the bridge the previous day, the one-month anniversary of the earthquake, but two foggy nights created enough moisture to interrupt stripe painting.
November 25, 1989
Jane Cryan, founder of the Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of San Francisco Refugee Shacks said the 1989 earthquake "threw me for a loop. I have decided to begin life anew in my home state of Wisconsin and am returning to my ancestral town of Oshkosh."
November 27, 1989
San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos and a city delegation begian a three- day junket to explain earthquake recovery plans with leaders of the tourism industry. Stops included Chicago, New York, and Washington. Tourism was down 10 to 20 percent.
December 1, 1989
Quarter-cent sales tax went into effect to finance earthquake repairs.
December 3, 1989
BART ended all-night "Owl" service established after the earthquake.
December 11, 1989
Vallejo City Council approved contracts to conduct a study to see if ferries or high-speed water transit had a larger, permanent role to play in highway congestion relief and emergency preparedness. Use of ferry boats was very effective after the earthquake.
December 13, 1989
California Senate Subcommittee on Earthquake Insurance hearings on the Loma Prieta earthquake, to examine how well insurance covers damage losses. The hearing held at the P.U.C. Auditorium in San Francisco.
State officials said homeowners cannot be penalized if they refused to pay for mandatory earthquake insurance required under a new law that takes effect next July.
December 15, 1989
FEMA reported 90 homeless earthquake victims were still sheltered at the old Pierce Arrow automobile showroom on Polk St.
December 19, 1989
Red Cross toy distribution to children of earthquake survivors began at the Red Cross shelter and headquarters at 1550 Sutter St.
December 29, 1989
Apple Computer Inc. said its net income fell 11 percent in the quarter that ended Dec. 29 largely because of expenses stemming from cost-reduction programs and damage from the earthquake.
Proposition 17 and the History of Voting Rights for Formerly Incarcerated Californians
Voting rights was a topic of spirited debate at California's first Constitutional Convention.
The 48 delegates gathered in Monterey in the fall of 1849 argued over whether to extend the right to vote to former Mexican citizens and Indigenous people how long gold-seeking migrants would need to reside in the state to cast a ballot and whether dueling should be punished with the loss of the franchise &mdash also known as the right to vote.
At that time, there was little discussion about the voting rights of Californians convicted of crimes. The issue was settled quickly and quietly, and the resolution would remain largely untouched for more than a century.
More recently, in the 60s and 70s, California's courts and the electorate took a new look at the disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated people, and in 1974, voting rights were extended to all Californians convicted of a felony, upon completion of their parole term.
Now, California voters are weighing whether to approve another change to voting rights for former prisoners. Proposition 17 on the November ballot would restore voting rights to parolees upon their release from state prison &mdash before successfully completing their parole.
Its passage would mark the latest turn in the state's winding history of voting rights for Californians in the criminal justice system &mdash a history driven by oscillating views on what crimes, and which Californians, should be punished with the loss of the right to vote.
"Part of this back and forth, and the level of disagreement we still have about these issues, is rooted in this disagreement about what punishment is and what rehabilitation is," said Pippa Holloway, professor of history at the University of Richmond, in Virginia.
With little controversy, California's constitutional delegates approved Article II, Section 5 of the state's constitution in 1849, which stated that "No idiot or insane person, or person convicted of any infamous crime, shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector."
But what was an infamous crime?
The term was a hold-over from English law that made its way into many U.S. state constitutions, including California's, said Holloway, author of "Living in Infamy: Felon Disfranchisement and the History of American Citizenship."
Stanley Mosk, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, 1964-2001. (Courtesy of California State Library)
'Infamous' could refer to the severity or social impact of the crime, but also to the severity of the resulting punishment, such as a branding or whipping that could leave a permanent mark on the prisoner.
In early American history, the impreciseness of the term led to some surprising applications of disenfranchisement.
"The really most obvious and jarring example of this is the crime of murder. Under historic American interpretations of the law, murder was not an infamous crime," Holloway said. "And the belief was that murder, as well as other certain crimes of violence, were not infamous because there was a belief that a violent act might be kind of pure, that it didn't evidence planning, it didn't evidence a broader social malice."
After the Civil War, lawmakers and judges in southern states used the flexibility of the term to exclude African American voters, by lowering the bar for crimes deemed 'infamous.'
In California, application of the law varied. Most courts through the early 20th century equated an 'infamous crime' with a felony. But the legislature confused matters by specifying the loss of voting rights for embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds. As a result, interpretation was largely left to county clerks and election officials.
A New Focus on the 'Integrity of the Elective Process'
In the spring of 1966, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling that upended previous practices of felon disenfranchisement.
The case involved James Otsuka, a Los Angeles resident who lost his right to vote after he was imprisoned for being a conscientious objector to the second World War. He had served his sentence decades earlier, and petitioned the court for the right to vote.
The court not only sided with Otsuka, they also demanded that voting rights only be stripped of Californians convicted of crimes that directly threatened the election process, like voter fraud.
" The unreasonableness of a classification disfranchising all former felons, regardless of their crime, is readily demonstrable," wrote Justice Stanley Mosk, in the majority opinion.
"It raises the spectre of citizens automatically deprived of their right to vote upon conviction, for example, of seduction under promise of marriage. wife-beating. failure to provide family support. conduct which is but little detrimental to society at large and is totally unrelated to the goal of preservation of the integrity of the elective process.&rdquo
The 4-3 ruling in Otsuka v. Hite left California with "a distinctly modern interpretation," of infamous crimes, Holloway said &mdash one judging that only threats to the ballot box should result in a loss of voting rights.
But as critics of the ruling predicted, the new standard of 'infamous crimes' was again difficult for local election officials to put into practice.
"By what standard is the Registrar of Voters to determine whether one convicted of crime is thereby branded as a 'threat to the integrity of the elective process'?" wondered Justice Louis Burke, in his dissent. "For example, would murder qualify?"
Scattershot implementation of the ruling meant the decision to exclude Californians convicted of felonies would largely rest with county officials for the next decade.
Voters End Confusion with Proposition 10
A survey of California counties in 1972 found that voting rights for former inmates varied county by county. Some local election officials refused to restore voting rights to any former prisoner, others created a list of crimes resulting in permanent disenfranchisement &mdash and still others considered each former inmates' case separately.
Courts were also divided on the issue: the California Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that permanent voter exclusion following a conviction for an 'infamous crime' violated equal protections rights. A year later, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that decision in Richardson v. Ramirez, ruling that convicted felons had no constitutional right to vote. The decision justified the disenfranchisement laws that now exist in dozens of states.
The issue was finally decided on the ballot. In 1974, the state Legislature put Proposition 10 before voters, which proposed to eliminate the "infamous crime" statue from the state constitution. In its place, it proposed the "disqualification of electors while mentally incompetent or imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony."
The measure was backed by Democrats, including San Francisco Sen. George Moscone and Los Angeles Assemblyman Julian Dixon. They argued against lifelong disenfranchisement, and sought to end the patchwork of county-level decisions on voting rights.
"The objective of reintegrating ex-felons into society is dramatically impeded by continued restriction of the right to vote," they wrote in that year's voter information guide.
The Los Angeles Times reported at the time that Proposition 10 was among the measures that &ldquofailed to cause much controversy during the fall election campaign." And on Election Day, as California voters sent Jerry Brown to the governor's office for the first time, Proposition 10 was approved with 56% of the vote.
That left California's law on felon disenfranchisement as it exists today: voting rights can only be restored to those convicted of a felony upon completion of their parole term &mdash a period of supervision following an inmates' release from prison.
Democrats and groups like the League of Women Voters had succeeded in ending the uncertainty of the 'infamous crime' statute and moved the state away from lifetime disfranchisement of former inmates.
But as with so many California ballot measures, Proposition 10 carried an underlying consequence: by aligning disenfranchisement with any felony (instead of specific crimes that threatened the " integrity of the elective process&rdquo ) it married suffrage to an expanding criminal justice system that disproportionately impacted Black and Latino Californians.
A Modern 'Poll Tax'?
Over the ensuing decades, the number of Californians on parole for a felony skyrocketed. A report from the UC Berkeley School of Law found an incredible 708% increase in the state's parole population between 1980 and 2010 &mdash among the largest jumps in the nation over that period.
Jose Gonzalez is among the Californians whose parole term is set for life. He spent nearly two decades in state prison for his involvement in a murder as a teenager.
"By the time I was 17, I was already sentenced and sitting in a state maximum security adult facility," Gonzalez said.
After his release, Gonzalez got a degree and is now working and raising his son, but his lifetime parole term prevents him from voting.
"As a taxpayer, as a regular person, you want to have a say," Gonzalez said. "And if you feel like you don't, then at the worst you're not invested in your community. You don't have that attachment."
Black and Latino Californians are disproportionately represented among parolees, according to a study from the Public Policy Institute of California. By the end of 2016, Black Californians accounted for 6% of the state's adult population, but 26% of the state's parole population. And Latinos made up 35% of the adult population, but 40% of those on parole.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), the author of Proposition 17 on this year's ballot, said the racial makeup of the state's parole population makes the current punishment of disenfranchisement "really kind of like poll taxes."
"If you look at the percentage of people who are on parole and can't vote, they are people of color," McCarty said. "California, for all our progressiveness, we're really behind the curve on this."
Progressives seeking to expand voting rights for formerly incarcerated Californians have chosen not to go as far as the arguments of the 1960s and 1970s, when jurists questioned the very premise of stripping voting rights for crimes that have no relation to the electoral process.
Instead, they have slowly chipped away at a declining population of disqualified voters. Recent criminal justice reforms have nearly cut the state's parole population in half over the last decade. And a 2016 law restored the right to vote for those convicted of a felony who are serving time in county jail or in county post-release supervision programs.
Proposition 17, placed on the ballot by the state legislature this summer, is the latest move to regain the vote for those formerly incarcerated. It would join California with 17 other states that already allow parolees to vote.
Republicans in the legislature were nearly unified in opposition &mdash arguing that disenfranchisement is a fitting punishment for the state's remaining parole population.
"We're dealing with murderers and rapists, not low-level offenders but utmost serious offenders," said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). "With the franchise to vote, they become more full participants in society &mdash society that they've already shown their disdain for."
The decision to reopen the voting rights debate to the relatively limited group of 40,000 parolees is ultimately a political compromise, said James Binnall, professor of Law, Criminology, and Criminal Justice at California State University, Long Beach.
But the conversation about voting rights in California could urge a re-examination, and not for the first time, of the premise for removing civic rights from those in the criminal justice system.
Supporters of Proposition 17 say they are not looking ahead to any larger enfranchisement push beyond California parolees. But Maine and Vermont have already gone further, and never strip voting rights for a felony conviction so that even inmates can vote.
"Having that discussion about why we draw lines and why reform efforts aim at certain people and leave others behind" is a "good thing," Binnall said. "And [questioning] what that does to the folks you leave behind. Are you solidifying their 'badness' by not aiming a reform effort at them?"
Everything You Need To Know About The October 17 Women’s March
It was an unforgettable sight: 200,000 people of all ages, backgrounds, and genders decked out in pink and proudly carrying “I’m With Her” and “My Body, My Choice” signs above head as they marched down the National Mall in the nation’s capital. Similar scenes were unfolding in cities small and large all across the United States and indeed the world, and an estimated five million women, men, and children took to the streets to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump, making the Women’s March the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. Now, nearly four years later, the Women’s March is back to once again fight for reproductive rights, immigration reform, LGBTQ+ rights, racial equality, healthcare reform, and the environment, among seemingly countless other women’s and human rights issues.
Although Women’s March has been held annually in the years since President Trump took office, it was not until recently that the idea for October’s event was born. Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18, Women’s March, the organization responsible for the inaugural 2017 march and every one since, co-hosted a national vigil to honor the late feminist icon and called upon its members to organize similar events across the country. When the president made clear his intent to go against Justice Ginsburg’s wishes to wait until after the impending election to appoint her replacement, women everywhere realized this would put the many rights and privileges they’ve fought so hard for under immediate threat.
With a thick cloud of anxiety hanging overhead, Women’s March organizers decided the weekend’s vigil was simply not enough, and on September 21, it announced it would host a national feminist march in partnership with the We Demand More Coalition ahead of the election. “On Saturday, October 17, women will be marching everywhere across the country to send an unmistakable message about the fierce opposition to Trump and his agenda, including his attempt to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat,” the announcement read. “If Donald Trump is allowed to appoint another Supreme Court Justice, Roe v Wade will be overturned. It’s that simple. This is everything that the Women’s March has warned about since day one of Trump’s presidency. This is the moment we’ve been preparing for.”
While the focus of the march is irrefutably on the vacant Supreme Court seat, for which President Trump has now appointed controversial federal judge Amy Coney Barrett, and on honoring Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish, the organizers hope it will serve as a vehicle to help voters support a feminist and life-affirming agenda in the upcoming election. “With the most important election of our lifetime quickly approaching and everything on the line, Women’s March will partner with a voter registration organization, allowing people to register to vote on site,” the organization said. “These marches will demonstrate the power of women: as we welcome the growing number of women on our side. The only thing that will stop Trump and Mitch McConnell from stealing another Supreme Court seat is millions of women in the streets—and defending this seat just became THE defining issue for the millions of women who will decide this election.”
One year since the October 17 movement in Lebanon, what has changed?
Exactly one year ago today, massive protests swept across Lebanon in an unprecedented movement against government failure, poor living standards, rampant corruption, lack of basic services, overwhelming sectarian rule, and the imploding economy.
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While the movement marked a turning point in Lebanon’s history, as angry citizens denounced ruling parties and expressed shared concerns of socioeconomic troubles, very little has improved.
In August, Beirut was decimated by a blast at its main port for which no one has yet been held accountable the Lebanese pound has lost nearly 80 percent of its value poverty levels have increased to 55 percent, according to a study by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and inflation has soared by 120 percent, as per recent figures by the Central Administration of Statistics.
Lebanon is currently struggling under the weight of the worst economic crisis in its history, and while some believe it was provoked by the October 17 movement, researcher of finance at University College Dublin Mohamad Faour disagrees.
Are the protests to blame?
“The economic collapse in Lebanon had nothing to do with the protests,” Faour told Al Arabiya English. “To blame the protests is very unfair.”
By early September 2019, Lebanese depositors were denied access to their dollars through ATMs and banks had started imposing arbitrary rules and withdrawal limits. Suppliers of fuel, gas, and medicine had sounded the alarm as they needed dollar bank notes to import these commodities, and citizens lined up for bread and fuel for fear of possible shortages. And while the dollar was and still is officially pegged at 1,507.5 at the Central Bank, it had already been selling for more in the black market.
“The downfall of the economy was inevitable,” emphasized Faour. “The question was when it was going to happen.”
In simple terms, Faour explained that the economic and financial crisis in Lebanon was spearheaded by taking up too much debt. For years, Lebanon has borrowed and consumed way more than its means, with almost 85 percent of its resources being imported. These imports have long been covered by the Central Bank using depositors’ money in private banks. When the deposits decreased over time eventually reaching a complete halt, Lebanon had no more money coming in, but plenty of money being sent out to finance imports and maintain the value of the Lebanese pound to the dollar.
But despite the predestined crash that had been looming ahead for the Lebanese economy, Faour explained it could have been mitigated with simple solutions and blamed government inaction for the current situation.
“The problem is not lack of reforms, it’s the lack of will to implement these reforms,” he clarified.
Policy paralysis despite early warning signs of the inevitable predicament has driven the country into complete disarray.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” explained Faour.
Lebanon’s gross domestic product (GDP) went from 57 million dollars to 30 million dollars, the unemployment rate jumped from 11-12 percent to 35-36 percent, the minimum wage of 675,000 Lebanese lira (previously $450) now equates to $80 - $100 based on the market exchange rate, and the poverty rate (now at 55 percent) is expected to reach 75 percent once subsidies are lifted.
Despite the worsening situation, Lebanon’s streets have yet to witness protests as dynamic as those of October 17.
So why aren't people on the streets again?
According to Dr. Imad Salamey, author of “Communitocracy” and associate professor of Middle East Political Affairs at the Lebanese American University (LAU), Lebanese people have recognized by now that the protest movement can only succeed with “radical eradication and uprooting of the political elite in power, even if violence is involved.”
After peaceful attempts to convince the ruling parties that their time is up did not yield expected results, it became apparent that the political establishment is reluctant in its response to the public’s demands and peaceful calls for change may not be the way forward. But “people are hesitant to take on that battle in the meantime for fear of civil war, knowing the stakes involved,” explained Dr. Salamey.
The Lebanese Civil War lasted for 15 years and ended in 1990 but its social, political, and economic repercussions still live on to this day. Fighting militias during the war later reformed into political parties and have been ruling the country ever since, reinforcing their power via sectarian tensions that never subsided.
One exception to the unfaltering political class, according to Dr. Salamey, was leader of the Future Movement party and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri who stepped down and resigned on October 29, more than ten days after ongoing protests. This came after he granted his ‘government partners’ 72 hours to show they are serious about reforms, to no avail.
His resignation prompted celebration among protestors, and law student Lyne Mneimneh who had been on the streets non-stop since October 17 described how crowds started to diminish in size after Hariri’s resignation, but she was one to stay.
“I didn’t leave the streets because Hariri wasn’t the only target,” she told Al Arabiya English. “His resignation was just a show, and I personally want to see all warlords held accountable as well.”
Now exactly one year after his resignation in compliance with the people’s demands, it seems Hariri is preparing to resume the role of prime minister once again, and protestors are not happy.
“Hariri’s return is a sign of this political class's insensitivity to people's demands, and is a sign of how far away from political reality they are,” said social and political activist Widad Taleb, who had also been on the streets since day one.
While October 17 presented a beacon of hope and possible change for both Mneimneh and Taleb, Hariri’s return may be a reality check that Lebanon is not there, not yet.