Californian History

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 462

Historic Event

1542-06-27 Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sets sail from the Mexican port of Navidad to explore the west coast of North America on behalf of the Spanish Empire

  • 1769-07-14 The de Portolá Expedition establishes a base in California, and sets out to find the Port of Monterey (now Monterey, California)

Historic Event

1769-07-16 Father Junipero Serra founds Mission San Diego the 1st mission in California

  • 1770-06-03 Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo founded in California
  • 1771-07-14 Mission San Antonio de Padua founded in California
  • 1771-09-08 Mission San Gabriel Archangel forms in California
  • 1772-09-01 Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa forms in California
  • 1776-11-01 Mission San Juan Capistrano founded in California
  • 1777-01-12 Mission Santa Clara de Asis founded in California
  • 1777-01-18 San Jose in California founded
  • 1798-06-13 Mission San Luis Rey de Francia founded in California
  • 1812-03-15 1st Russian settlement in California at Russian River
  • 1841-05-15 First emigrant wagon train to make it to California leaves Independence, Missouri on a 1,730 mile journey over the Sierra Nevada [1]
  • 1841-11-04 First wagon train arrives in California after a five and a half month and 1,730 mile journey over the Sierra Nevada from Missouri [1]
  • 1846-06-14 California (Bear Flag) Republic proclaimed in Sonoma, declaring independence from Mexico
  • 1846-07-21 Mormons found 1st English settlement in California (San Joaquin Valley)
  • 1846-08-17 Commodore Robert F Stockton, US Navy, annexes California
  • 1847-01-09 1st San Francisco newspaper published (California Star)
  • 1847-01-16 John C. Frémont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory
  • 1848-02-02 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican–American War: US acquires Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona for $15 million
  • 1848-05-30 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between US and Mexico comes into force, giving New Mexico, California and parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado to the US in return for $15 million

Discovery of Gold in California

1848-12-05 US President James K. Polk triggers Gold Rush of 1849 by confirming a gold discovery in California

  • 1849-02-18 1st regular steamboat service to California starts (or 02/28)
  • 1849-03-12 1st gold seekers arrive in Nicaragua en route to California
  • 1849-06-22 Stephen C Massett opens concert at San Francisco courthouse using only piano in California
  • 1849-08-19 NY Herald reports gold discovery in California
  • 1849-09-01 California Constitutional Convention convenes in Monterey
  • 1849-09-19 1st commercial laundry established, in Oakland, California
  • 1849-11-13 Peter Burnett elected first governor of California
  • 1850-01-05 California Exchange opens
  • 1850-01-22 Alta California becomes a daily paper, 1st such in Calif
  • 1850-02-18 California Legislature creates nine Bay Area counties
  • 1850-08-31 California pioneers organized at Montgomery & Clay Streets
  • 1850-09-09 California is admitted as the thirty-first state of the Union
  • 1851-01-31 San Francisco Orphan's Asylum founded, 1st in California
  • 1851-03-25 Yosemite Valley discovery made public by Major James D. Savage and Captain John Boling after being shown by Indian guides in California
  • 1852-04-19 California Historical Society forms
  • 1852-07-03 Congress authorizes US's 2nd mint (San Francisco, California)
  • 1852-11-23 Just past midnight, a sharp jolt likely caused by heavy rains causes Lake Merced, California, to drop 30 feet (9m)
  • 1853-07-25 Joaquin Murrieta, the famous Californian bandit known as "Robin Hood of El Dorado", is killed by California Rangers
  • 1853-09-11 1st electric telegraph used - Merchant's Exchange, San Francisco to Pt Lobos, California
  • 1856-01-08 Dr John A Veatch discovers borax, Tuscan Springs, California
  • 1857-01-09 7.9 earthquake shakes Fort Tejon, California
  • 1858-09-16 1st overland mail for California

Pony Express

1860-04-03 Pony Express began between St Joseph, Missouri & Sacramento, California

  • 1860-04-13 1st Pony Express reaches Sacramento, California
  • 1861-10-26 Pony Express (Missouri to California) ends after 19 months
  • 1862-01-23 Agoston Haraszthy, 1st vintner in Sonoma Valley, California imports 10,000 grape vine cuttings
  • 1866-05-24 Berkeley, California named (for George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne)
  • 1867-06-27 Bank of California opens doors
  • 1868-03-23 University of California founded in Oakland, California
  • 1868-06-09 1st meeting of Board of Regents, University of California
  • 1868-10-21 Severe earthquake at 7:53 AM, centered in Hayward, California
  • 1869-01-18 Elegant California Theater opens in San Francisco
  • 1869-04-18 1st international cricket match, held in San Francisco, won by California
  • 1870-02-10 City of Anaheim in California incorporates for the 1st time, but disincorporates after two years as the tax burden was too high
  • 1870-03-14 California legislature approves act making Golden Gate Park possible
  • 1870-03-18 1st US National Wildlife Preserve (Lake Meritt in Oakland California)
  • 1871-10-24 Mob in Los Angeles, California hangs 18 Chinese
  • 1872-01-20 California Stock Exchange Board organized
  • 1872-02-14 1st US state bird refuge authorized (Lake Merritt, California)
  • 1872-03-26 7.8 earthquake shakes Owens Valley, California
  • 1873-02-20 University of California gets its first Medical School (UC/San Francisco)
  • 1873-08-18 1st ascent of Mount Whitney, California (14,494')
  • 1875-06-07 California Rifle and Pistol Association founded
  • 1876-06-04 An express train called the Transcontinental Express arrives in San Francisco, California, via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after having left New York City.
  • 1876-06-14 California Street Cable Car Railroad Co gets its franchise
  • 1878-03-18 City of Anaheim in California incorporates for the 2nd time
  • 1878-03-26 Hastings College of Law founded in California
  • 1878-04-10 California Street Cable Car Railroad Co starts service
  • 1878-07-26 In California, poet and American West outlaw calling himself "Black Bart" makes his last clean getaway when he steals a safe box from a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The empty box found later with a taunting poem inside.
  • 1879-02-10 1st electric arc light used (California Theater)
  • 1880-10-04 University of California founded in Los Angeles
  • 1881-03-04 California becomes 1st state to pass plant quarantine legislation
  • 1884-03-17 John Joseph Montgomery makes 1st glider flight at Otay, California
  • 1885-03-03 1st US state (California) establishes a permanent forest commission
  • 1887-02-01 Harvey Wilcox of Ks subdivides 120 acres he owned in Southern California & starts selling it off as a real estate development (Hollywood)
  • 1888-06-01 California gets its 1st seismograph
  • 1888-08-11 California Theatre closed (now a Pac Tel Phone Store)
  • 1890-01-01 The Rose Parade, then known as the Tournament of Roses, is first held in Pasadena, California
  • 1890-10-01 US Congress establishes Yosemite National Park (California)

Historic Event

1891-10-01 Stanford University, California opens its doors after being founded by Leland Stanford and his wife Jane with a $40M donation (1891 dollars), in memory of their son. Among its first graduation class, future US President Herbert Hoover.

  • 1896-05-26 James Dunham murders six people in Campbell, California
  • 1896-06-16 Temperature hits 127°F at Fort Mojave, California
  • 1899-02-18 80°F recorded in San Francisco, California
  • 1899-07-29 Southern California Golf Association forms
  • 1901-09-16 Alturas, California, is incorporated as the only city in Modoc County.
  • 1902-04-02 "Electric Theatre", the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles, California
  • 1905-01-02 Elara, a satellite of Jupiter, discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine in San Jose, California
  • 1906-02-22 Black evangelist William J Seymour arrives in Los Angeles, California

Boxing Title Fight

1906-10-02 Canadian world heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Burns KOs American challenger 'Fireman' Jim Flynn in 15 rounds to retain his title in Los Angeles, California

  • 1907-05-11 A derailment outside Lompoc, California, kills 32 Shriners when their chartered train jumps off the tracks at a switch near Surf Depot
  • 1907-06-13 Lowest temperature ever in 48 US states for June, 2°F in Tamarack, California
  • 1907-07-04 Canadian world heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Burns KOs Bill Squires of Australia in round 1 in Colma, California, his 6th title defence
  • 1908-01-09 Muir Woods National Monument, California, established
  • 1908-01-16 Pinnacles National Monument, California established

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 3,056

Junípero SerraJunípero Serra (1713-1784)

1713-11-24 Spanish missionary priest who founded the 1st missions in California, born in Petra, Majorca

  • 1796-08-25 James Lick, American land baron in California, born in Stumpstown, Pennsylvania (d. 1876)
  • 1801-07-26 John Drake Sloat, 1st Military Governor of California (Union Navy), born in Sloatsburg, New York (d. 1867)
  • 1810-10-23 William Leidesdorff, Mixed-race early Californian businessman, born in Christiansted, Virgin Islands, Danish West Indies (d. 1848)
  • 1814-11-22 Serranus Clinton Hastings, American politician and lawyer (3rd Attorney General of California), born in Watertown, Jefferson County, New York (d. 1893)
  • 1819-11-23 Josiah Dwight Whitney, American Geologist who led the California Geological Survey (Mount Whitney and Whitney Glacier are named for him), born in Northampton, Massachusetts (d. 1896)
  • 1820-05-23 Lorenzo Sawyer, 9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, born in Le Roy, New York (d. 1891)
  • 1820-09-03 George Hearst, American businessman and politician (U.S. Senator from California), born in Sullivan, Missouri (d. 1891)
  • 1822-08-22 George Stoneman, US Union general-major and Governor of California (1883-87), born in Busti, NY (d. 1894)

Leland StanfordLeland Stanford (1824-1893)

1824-03-09 American business tycoon (Southern Pacific Railroad), 8th Governor of California and founder of Stanford University, born in Watervliet, New York

  • 1838-08-17 Laura de Force Gordon, California lawyer, a prominent suffragette, and 1st woman to run a daily newspaper in the US (Stockton Daily Leader, 1874), born in North East, Pennsylvania (d. 1907)
  • 1848-09-04 Jennie Lee, American actress (The Birth of a Nation), born in Sacramento, California (d. 1925)
  • 1851-05-18 James Budd, American politician, Governor of California (1895-99), born in Janesville, Wisconsin (d. 1908)
  • 1855-11-20 Josiah Royce, American philosopher (Conception of Immortality), born in Grass Valley, California (d. 1916)
  • 1857-09-06 Zelia Nuttall, American archeologist and historian, born in San Francisco, California (d. 1933)
  • 1859-01-19 Alice Eastwood, botanist (Handbook of Trees of California), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1861-10-08 Theodore Roberts, American actor (Roaring Road, 10 Commandments), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1928)

William Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph Hearst (1863-1951)

1863-04-29 American newspaper publisher (San Francisco Examiner, Seattle P-I), born in San Francisco, California

  • 1864-01-16 Frank Bacon, American playwright, actor and author (Lightnin'), born near Yuba City, California (d. 1922)
  • 1864-04-10 Tully Marshall, American actor (Let's Go, Red Dust), born in Nevada City, California (d. 1943)
  • 1864-10-28 Adolfo Camarillo, American prominent land owner, horse breeder, and rancher, born in Ventura, California (d. 1958)
  • 1864-12-31 Robert G Aitken, American astronomer (Binary Stars), born in Jackson, California (d. 1951)
  • 1866-09-01 James J. Corbett, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1892-97), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1933)
  • 1866-09-02 Hiram Johnson, Progressive politician, US Senator, Governor of California (1911-17), born in Sacramento, California (d. 1945)
  • 1867-04-11 Mark Keppel, Superintendent of Los Angeles County Schools from 1902-1928, born in Butte County, California (d. 1928)
  • 1867-07-04 Stephen Mather, American industrialist and conservationist (organized US National Park Service), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1930)
  • 1869-06-27 Kate Carew [Mary Williams], American caricaturist, born in Oakland, California (d. 1961)
  • 1869-08-23 James (Sunny Jim) Rolph, San Francisco mayor (1912-31), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1934)
  • 1869-09-10 Caro Roma [Carrie Northey], American composer and singer, born in California (d. 1937)

Amadeo GianniniAmadeo Giannini (1870-1949)

1870-05-06 American banker and entrepreneur (founded Bank of America), born in San Jose, California

  • 1870-09-07 Thomas Curtis, American athlete (Olympic 1896 Gold), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1944)

Joseph ErlangerJoseph Erlanger (1874-1965)

1874-01-05 American physiologist (shock therapy-Nobel 1944), born in San Francisco, California

Robert FrostRobert Frost (1874-1963)

1874-03-26 American poet (Mending Wall, Road Not Taken), born in San Francisco, California

  • 1874-06-14 Edward Bowes, American radio host (Major Bowes Amateur Hour), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1946)
  • 1874-10-08 Nance O'Neil, American actor (Cimarron), born in Oakland, California (d. 1965)
  • 1876-09-30 Katherine Griffith [Kiernan], American actress (Pollyanna, Fast Company), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1921)
  • 1877-01-10 Frederick Gardner Cottrell, American inventor (electrostatic precipitator), born in Oakland, California (d. 1948)
  • 1877-04-30 Alice B. Toklas, American-Parisian avant-garde and companion of Gertrude Stein, born in San Francisco, California (d. 1967)

Isadora DuncanIsadora Duncan (1877-1927)

1877-05-26 American free form/interpretative dancer, born in San Francisco, California

  • 1877-06-17 Russell Simpson, American actor (San Francisco, Abraham Lincoln), born in Danville, California (d. 1959)
  • 1877-09-09 Frank Chance, American Baseball HOF first baseman (World Series 1907, 08; 2 x NL stolen base leader; NL runs leader 1906 Chicago Orphans/Cubs) and manager (Chicago Cubs, NY Yankees, Boston RS), born in Salida, California (d. 1924)
  • 1877-09-13 Stanley Lord, Captain of the SS Californian the night of the Titanic disaster, born in Bolton, Lancashire, England (d. 1962)
  • 1878-05-24 Lillian Moller Gilbreth, American psychologist and industrial engineer (CIOS Gold Medal-1954), born in Oakland, California (d. 1972)
  • 1878-08-31 Frank Jarvis, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1900), born in California, Pennsylvania (d. 1933)
  • 1878-10-09 Robert Warwick, American actor (Falcon's Adventure), born in Sacramento, California (d. 1964)
  • 1879-12-12 Laura Hope Crews, American actress (Camille; Gone With The Wind), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1942)
  • 1881-08-06 Leo Carrillo, American actor (American Empire, Cisco Kid), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1961)
  • 1882-05-25 Harry Fox [Arthur Carringford], American vaudeville dancer, comedian and actor (Talent Scout), born in Pomona, California (d. 1959)

Rube GoldbergRube Goldberg (1883-1970)

1883-07-04 American cartoonist who made the easy outrageously difficult (Pulitzer Prize 1948), born in San Francisco, California

  • 1884-04-30 Albert Elkus, American composer, born in Sacramento, California (d. 1962)
  • 1884-09-22 Minerva Urecal [Dunnock], American stage, radio, and screen character actress (Accent on Love; The Adventures of Tugboat Annie; Peter Gunn; The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao), born in Eureka, California (d. 1966)
  • 1884-10-17 Lewis Bennison, American actor (The Road Called Straight), born in Oakland, California (d. 1929)
  • 1885-10-03 Sophie Treadwell, American playwright and journalist, born in Stockton, California (d. 1970)

George S. PattonGeorge S. Patton (1885-1945)

1885-11-11 American WWII general (Sicily, Italy and Normandy) known as "Old Blood & Guts", born in San Gabriel, California

  • 1886-02-08 Charlie Ruggles, American actor (Bringing Up Baby, The Patchwork Girl of Oz), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1970)
  • 1886-12-20 Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1909-11, 19), born in Healdsburg, California (d. 1974)
  • 1887-03-24 Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, American actor (The Bell Boy, Moonshine, Keystone comedies), born in Smith Center, Kansas (d. 1933)
  • 1887-08-24 Harry Hooper, American Baseball HOF right fielder (World Series 1912, 15, 16, 18 Boston Red Sox), born in Bell Station, California (d. 1974)
  • 1888-04-18 Duffy Lewis, American baseball left fielder (World Series 1912, 15, 16; Boston Red Sox), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1979)
  • 1888-04-26 Anita Loos, American screenwriter, novelist (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and playwright, born in Sisson, California (d. 1981)
  • 1888-07-16 Percy Kilbride, American stage and screen actor (The Egg and I; Ma and Pa Kettle films), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1964)
  • 1888-07-23 Gluyas Williams, American cartoonist (Fellows Citizen), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1982)
  • 1888-11-18 Frances Marion, American screenwriter and actress (Pollyanna), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1973)
  • 1889-02-04 Walter Catlett, American actor (Climax, Front Page, Tale of 2 Cities), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1960)

Victor FlemingVictor Fleming (1889-1949)

1889-02-23 American film director (The Wizard of Oz; Gone With The Wind), born in Pasadena, California

  • 1889-06-11 Wesley Ruggles, American actor, producer and director (I'm No Angel, Arizona, Too Many Husbands), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1972)
  • 1889-07-15 Marjorie Rambeau, American stage, silent and sound screen actress (Primrose Path; Torch Song), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1970)
  • 1889-12-10 Ray Collins, American actor (Homecoming, Good Sam, Rose Marie), born in Sacramento, California (d. 1965)

Walter KnottWalter Knott (1889-1981)

1889-12-11 American farmer who created the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in California and introduced the boysenberry to America, born in San Bernardino, California

  • 1890-01-10 Ernest Milton, American actor (Cat Girl, Fiddler's Three), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1974)
  • 1890-01-16 Lloyd Bacon, American actor (Charlie Chaplin), born in San Jose, California (d. 1955)
  • 1890-04-26 Edgar Kennedy, American actor and director (My Old Dutch), born in Monterey County, California (d. 1948)
  • 1890-07-20 Verna Felton, American actress (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp, December Bride), born in Salinas, California (d. 1966)
  • 1890-07-25 Julian Rivero, American actor (Son of Oklahoma, Via Pony Express), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1976)
  • 1890-07-25 Tom O'Brien, American actor (Physical Evidence), born in San Diego, California (d. 1947)
  • 1890-07-26 Daniel J. Callaghan, US Admiral (Medal of Honor), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1942)
  • 1890-08-02 Marin Sais, American actress (The Pony Express Girl), born in San Rafael, California (d. 1971)
  • 1890-10-24 Kathleen Lockhart Manning, American composer, born in Hollywood, California (d. 1951)
  • 1890-12-02 William Gaxton, American actor (Destry, Convoy), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1963)
  • 1890-12-25 Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts (Believe it or Not), born in Santa Rosa, California (d. 1949)

Elizabeth RyanElizabeth Ryan (1891-1979)

1891-02-05 American tennis player (26 Grand Slam doubles titles), born in Anaheim, California

  • 1891-02-07 Ann Little [Mary Brooks], American actress, born in Mount Shasta, California (d. 1984)

Earl WarrenEarl Warren (1891-1974)

1891-03-19 Governor of California and 14th US Supreme Court Chief Justice (1953-69), born in Los Angeles, California

  • 1891-05-22 Robert Gordon Sproul, American educator and college president (University of California), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1975)
  • 1891-06-03 Mary Browne, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1912-14), born in Ventura County, California (d. 1971)
  • 1891-06-26 Sidney Coe Howard, American dramatist (Swords, Pulitzer 1925), born in Oakland, California (d. 1939)
  • 1891-09-07 Roscoe Karns, American actor (Capt Shafer-Hennesey), born in San Bernardino, California (d. 1970)
  • 1891-09-28 Myrtle Gonzalez, American silent film actress regarded as Hollywood's first Latin and Hispanic movie star actress (Missy, The Chalice of Courage, Her Great Part), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1918)
  • 1891-12-07 Fay Bainter, American actress (Jezebel, Our Town, State Fair), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1968)
  • 1892-03-03 Edmund Lowe, American actor (Black Sheep, Good Sam, Dillinger, Hot Pepper), born in San Jose, California (d. 1971)
  • 1893-03-03 Bill Nestell, American actor (Dangerous Venture, Buckskin Frontier), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1966)
  • 1893-05-04 Edgar Dearing, American actor (Pollyanna, Abraham Lincoln, Free & Easy), born in Ceres, California (d. 1974)
  • 1893-10-12 Velvalee Dickinson, American spy, convicted of espionage against the United States on behalf of Japan during World War II, born in Sacramento, California (d. 1980)
  • 1893-11-03 Robert Lindley Murray, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1917-18), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1970)
  • 1893-11-22 Harley Earl, American automobile designer (1st head of design at General Motors), born in Hollywood, California (d. 1969)
  • 1894-02-10 Roy D'Arcy [Roy Giusti], American actor (Warning Shadows, Revolt of Zombies), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1969)
  • 1894-03-26 Will Wright, American actor (Adam's Rib, Living Christ Story), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1962)
  • 1894-08-02 Hal Mohr [Harold Leon Mohr], American Cinematographer and husband of Evelyn Venable (Captain Blood), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1974)
  • 1894-08-03 Harry Heilmann, American Baseball HOF outfielder (4 × AL batting champion, Detroit Tigers) and broadcaster (WXYZ), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1951)
  • 1894-10-12 Charles Hodge, NYU professor (Answers for Americans) (d. 1964)

Famous Weddings

Weddings 1 - 100 of 327

Herbert Hoover

1899-02-10 Future US President Herbert Hoover (24) marries college sweetheart Lou Henry (24) in Monterey California

Frank Capra

1923-11-25 Film director Frank Capra (26) weds actress Helen Howell in San Francisco, California

Edwin Hubble

1924-02-26 Astronomer Edwin Hubble (34) weds Grace Burke in Pasadena, California

John Steinbeck

1930-01-14 American author John Steinbeck (27) weds Carol Henning (23) in Los Angeles, California (divorced 1942)

Wedding of Interest

1940-01-26 Actor Ronald Reagan (28) weds Academy Award-winning actress Jane Wyman (23) at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather church in Glendale, California

Richard Nixon

1940-06-21 37th US President Richard Nixon (27) weds Pat Ryan (28) at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California

George Reeves

1940-09-22 "Adventures of Superman" actor George Reeves (26) weds Ellanora Needles at the Church of Our Savior in San Gabriel, California

Ava Gardner

1942-01-10 Actress Ava Gardner (19) weds actor Mickey Rooney (21) in Ballard, California

Susan Hayward

1944-07-23 Actress Susan Hayward (27) weds actor Jess Barker (32) at St. Thomas Church in Los Angeles, California

Eileen Ford

1944-11-20 Model agency executive Eileen Ottensoser (22) weds businessman Gerard W. Ford (20) in San Francisco, California

Angela Lansbury

1945-09-27 American actor Richard Cromwell (35) weds British actress Angela Lansbury (19) in Independence, California; divorce in 1946

Janet Leigh

1945-10-05 American actress Janet Leigh (18) weds American sailor Stanley Reames at Morris Chapel in Stockton, California; divorce in 1949

John Wayne

1946-01-17 Actor John Wayne (38) weds actress Esperanza Baur (25) in Long Beach, California

Leo Durocher

1948-02-16 American baseball player and manager Leo Durocher (41) weds actress Laraine Day (27) in Santa Monica, California; divorce in 1960

Jennifer Jones

1949-07-13 Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Jones (30) weds "Rebecca" film producer David O. Selznick (47) in Beverly Hills, California

Vin Scully

1958-02-15 Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully (30) weds model Joan (not the actress) Crawford (20) in California

Rod Steiger

1959-09-19 Academy award-winning actor Rod Steiger (34) weds stage and film actress Claire Bloom (28) in Los Angeles, California

Bob Denver

1960-01-22 Comedic actor Bob Denver (25) weds Maggie Ryan in California

Wedding of Interest

1964-06-27 Broadway musical actress-singer Ethel Merman (56) weds Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine (47) in Beverly Hills, California; divorce 1964

Jayne Mansfield

1964-09-24 American actress Jayne Mansfield (31) weds American film producer and director Matt Cimber (28) in Mulege, Baja California Sur, Mexico; divorce in 1966

José Ferrer

1964-11-22 Actress Rosemary Clooney weds actor José Ferrer for the second time in Los Angeles, California

Billie Jean King

1965-09-17 American future tennis star Billie Jean Moffitt (21) weds American future attorney and sports promoter Larry King (20) in Long Beach, California; divorce in 1987

Rod Laver

1966-06-20 Tennis champ Rod Laver (27) weds Mary Benson at St. Luke's Presbyterian Church in San Rafael, California

  • 1968-08-25 "The Outlaw" actress Jane Russell (47) weds actor Roger Barrett (47) at the Community Presbyterian Church in Beverly Hills, California
  • 1974-01-31 "The Outlaw" actress Jane Russell (52) weds real-estate broker John Calvin People (45) in Santa Barbara, California

Quincy Jones Jr

1974-09-14 American composer-arranger-producer Quincy Jones Jr (41) weds Ameriican "Mod Squad" actress Peggy Lipton (28) in Los Angeles, California; divorce in 1990

  • 1975-06-07 Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard (21) weds Cheryl Alley (21) at Magnolia Park United Methodist Church in Burbank, California

Walter Payton

1976-07-07 NFL running back Walter Payton (21) weds Connie Norwood in Los Angeles, California

Dick Clark

1977-07-07 "American Bandstand" TV host Dick Clark (47) weds Kari Wigton (34) in Malibu, California


1978-08-11 Charo marries Kjell Rasten, a producer, in South Lake Tahoe, California

Donna Summer

1980-07-16 Five-time Grammy Award singer Donna Summer (31) weds award-winning arranger Bruce Sudano (31) in Los Angeles, California

Kate Jackson

1982-05-01 Actress Kate Jackson (33) weds business executive David Greenwald in Beverly Hills, California

Joni Mitchell

1982-11-21 Canadian singer Joni Mitchell (39) weds American bassist Larry Klein (26) in Malibu, California; divorce in 1994

John Elway

1984-03-03 Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway (23) weds swimmer Janet Buchan in Menlo Park, California

Sylvester Stallone

1985-12-15 Actor Sylvester Stallone (39) weds "Rocky IV" actress Brigitte Nielsen (22) in Beverly Hills, California

Steven Seagal

1987-09-05 Actor Steven Seagal (36) weds actress Kelly LeBrock (27) in Beverly Hills, California

Robin Williams

1989-04-30 Actor and comedian Robin Williams (37) weds nanny Marsha Garces at a private ceremony in Lake Tahoe, California

James Woods

1989-06-02 Actor James Woods (42) weds horse trainer Sarah Owen (26) in Beverly Hills, California

David Hasselhoff

1989-12-09 "Baywatch" actor David Hasselhoff (37) weds actress Pamela Bach (26) at the Little Brown Church in Studio City, California

George Brett

1991-02-15 Baseball superstar George Brett (37) weds Leslie Davenport in Manhattan Beach, California

  • 1993-08-08 California state senator Tom Hayden (54) weds American actress Barbara Williams (40); divorce in 2016

Merle Haggard

1993-09-11 Country singer Merle Haggard (56) weds (fifth and final time) Theresa Ann Lane at his ranch near Redding, California

  • 1993-11-13 "Ladyhawke" actress Michelle Pfeiffer (35) weds television writer and producer David E. Kelley (37) in Santa Barbara, California

Jerry Garcia

1994-02-14 Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia (51) weds Deborah Koons (40) in Tiburon, California

  • 1994-07-10 The "Anthrax" heavy-metal guitarist Scott Ian (31) weds Debbie Leavitt (23) in Huntington Beach, California
  • 1994-09-17 "L.A. Law" actor Blair Underwood (30) weds freelance talent coordinator Desiree DaCosta (29)

Whoopi Goldberg

1994-10-01 Actress Whoopi Goldberg (38) weds labor union organizer Lyle Trachtenberg in California

Brian Wilson

1995-02-06 "The Beach Boys" leader and chief songwriter Brian Wilson (52) weds former model and car saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter (47) at Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County, California

  • 1995-05-07 Eldest son of Shirley Jones and screenplay writer Shaun Cassidy (36) weds actress Susan Diol (30) in Westwood, California

Charlie Sheen

1995-09-02 Actor Charlie Sheen (30) weds model Donna Peele (25) in Malibu, California

Wedding of Interest

1996-04-27 Actress Robin Wright (30) weds actor Sean Penn (35) in Santa Monica, California

  • 1996-05-26 "Seinfield" actor-comedian Wayne Knight (41) weds makeup artist Paula Sutor (44) in Pacific Palisades, California
  • 1996-06-08 Lyricist and songwriter Carole Bayer Sager (52) weds former chairman of Warner Bros. Robert Daly (60) in Bel Air, California
  • 1996-06-22 "Full House" actress Candace Cameron (20) weds Montreal Canadiens hockey player Valeri Bure (22) at the Church of the Valle in Van Nuys, California

Wedding of Interest

1997-04-19 Tennis player champion Andre Agassi (26) weds actress and model Brooke Shields (31) in Monterey, California

  • 1997-05-03 "Port Charles" soap opera actor Jon Lindstrom (39) weds "The Young and The Restless" actress Eileen Davidson (38) in Cambria, California

Snoop Dogg

1997-06-12 Rapper and actor Snoop Dogg (25) weds high school sweetheart Shante Taylor at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina Del Rey, California

  • 1997-07-04 "Beverly Hills 90210" actor Ian Ziering (34) weds model-actress Nikki Schieler (26) in Beverly Hills, California

Wedding of Interest

1997-07-26 Director James Cameron (42) weds actress Linda Hamilton (40) in Malibu, California

Larry King

1997-09-05 American TV and radio host Larry King (64) weds (for 7th, and final time) American singer Shawn Southwick (38) in a hospital room in Los Angeles, California; he dies during divorce proceedings in 2021

William Shatner

1997-11-15 TV host and actor William Shatner (66) weds former Ford model Nerine Kidd (38) in Pasadena, California; widowed in 1999

  • 1998-01-05 "Hercules" actor Kevin Sorbo (39) weds actress Sam Jenkins (33) at the Beurge Chapel in Pacific Palisades, California
  • 1998-02-14 Golden Globe Award-winning actress Sharon Stone (40) weds San Francisco Examiner executive editor Phil Bronstein (47) in Beverly Hills, California

Lucy Lawless

1998-05-28 "Xena: The Warrior Princess" Lucy Lawless (30) weds executive producer Rob Tapert (43) at Saint Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica, California

  • 1998-06-27 American "Murphy Brown" actress Faith Ford (33) weds personal trainer and writer Campion Murphy (35) on Clint Eastwood's 22-acre Mission Ranch in Carmel, California

Robert Evans

1998-07-12 "Dynasty" actress Catherine Oxenberg (36) weds "Chinatown" film producer Robert Evans (68) in Beverly Hills, California. Marriage lasts nine days.

Susan Wojcicki

1998-08-23 YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki (30) weds Google executive Dennis Troper in Belmont, California

  • 1998-09-19 American "Full House" actor John Stamos (35) weds American supermodel Rebecca Romijn (25) at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California

Brendan Fraser

1998-09-27 "The Mummy" actor Brendan Fraser (30) weds actress Afton Smith (32) at Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, California; divorce in 2007

  • 1998-10-25 "Punky Brewster" actress Soleil Moon Frye (22) weds television producer and actor Jason Goldberg (26) at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, California
  • 1998-12-19 American actress Vivica A. Fox (34) weds American singer Christopher Harvest at the Park Plaza in Los Angeles, California; divorce in 2002
  • 1999-01-16 "General Hospital" actor Steve Burton (29) weds model Sheree Gustin (22) at a cliffside church in Dana Point, California
  • 1999-03-20 "Smallville" actress Annette O' Toole (46) weds "Laverne and Shirley" actor Michael McKean (51) at The Regal Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California

Courteney Cox

1999-06-12 Actor and film director David Arquette (27) weds "Friends" actress Courteney Cox (34) at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California

  • 1999-07-15 "Grateful Dead" guitarist Bob Weir (51) weds Natasha Muenter (31) in Mill Valley, California

Wedding of Interest

1999-07-17 Academy Award-winning actress Helen Hunt (36) weds "The Simpsons" voice actor Hank Azaria (35) in Los Angeles, California

Raquel Welch

1999-07-17 Actress Raquel Welch (58) weds Richard Palmer in Beverly Hills, California

Rob Thomas

1999-10-02 "Matchbox Twenty" lead singer Rob Thomas (27) weds model Marisol Maldonado in Santa Ynez, California

Wedding of Interest

2000-07-29 American actress Jennifer Aniston (31) weds actor and film producer Brad Pitt (36) in a private ceremony at Malibu, California

  • 2000-09-03 "Will & Grace" actress Debra Messing (32) weds actor-screenwriter Daniel Zelman (33) at a private estate in Santa Barbara, California

Pete Sampras

2000-09-30 Tennis star player Pete Sampras (29) weds actress and former Miss Teen USA Bridgette Wilson (27) in Los Angeles, California

Jon Favreau

2000-11-24 Actor, screenwriter and director Jon Favreau (34) weds physician Joya Tillem (30) in Sonoma, California

Jennie Garth

2001-01-20 American "Fast Lane" actor Peter Facinelli (27) weds American actress and director Jennie Garth (28) at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Montecito, California; divorce in 2013

Kobe Bryant

2001-04-18 NBA star player Kobe Bryant (22) weds Vanessa Laine at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Dana Point, California

Anne Heche

2001-09-01 "Six Days Seven Nights" actress Anne Heche (32) weds American cameraman Coleman Laffoon in Los Angeles, California; divorce 2009

Jennifer Lopez

2001-09-29 American singer-actress Jennifer Lopez (32) weds dancer-choreographer Cris Judd (32) in Calabasas, California; divorce in 2004

Christina Applegate

2001-10-20 Actor Johnathon Schaech (32) weds actress Christina Applegate (29) at the three-acre Cree Estate in Palm Springs, California

  • 2001-11-24 "Angel" actor David Boreanaz (32) weds actress Jaime Bergman (26) at Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs, California
  • 2002-04-13 "Law & Order" actor Benjamin Bratt (38) weds actress-model Talisa Soto (35) in San Francisco, California
  • 2002-06-15 Actor Charlie Sheen (36) weds actress Denise Richards (31) under a rose arch dotted by over 1000 blooms in Brentwood, California
  • 2002-08-25 "Baywatch" actress Yasmine Bleeth (34) weds strip club owner Paul Cerrito at Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, California
  • 2002-09-20 "The Monkees" lead vocalist Micky Dolenz (57) weds Donna Quinter in Calabasas, California

Anthony Hopkins

2003-03-01 "The Silence of the Lambs" actor Anthony Hopkins (65) weds actress-producer Stella Arroyave (47) in Malibu, California

  • 2003-04-25 "Angel" actress Amy Acker (26) weds actor James Carpinello (27) at Hans Fahden Vineyard in Napa Valley, California
  • 2003-05-10 "Broadway" singer-actress Carol Channing (82) weds Harry Kullijian at Big Valley Grace Community Church in Modesto, California

Dennis Rodman

2003-05-13 NBA star Dennis Rodman (42) weds Michelle Moyer in a small civil ceremony in Newport Beach, California

  • 2003-05-18 Actress Rena Sofer (34) weds director and producer Sanford Bookstaver (29) in Malibu, California

Famous Deaths

Juan Rodríguez CabrilloJuan Rodríguez Cabrillo (1499-1543)

1543-01-03 Portuguese-Spanish conquistador who conquered Central America and later discovered California, dies of gangrene at around 43

Junípero SerraJunípero Serra (1713-1784)

1784-08-28 Spanish missionary priest who founded the 1st missions in California, dies at 70

  • 1848-05-18 William Leidesdorff, Mixed-race early Californian businessman, dies at 37
  • 1851-07-05 Juanita, Mexican, lynched by California gold diggers
  • 1853-07-25 Joaquin Murieta, Mexican born Californian outlaw
  • 1867-11-28 John Drake Sloat, 1st Military Governor of California (Union Navy), dies at 86
  • 1876-10-01 James Lick, American land baron in California, dies at 80
  • 1891-02-28 George Hearst, American businessman and politician (U.S. Senator from California), dies at 70
  • 1891-09-07 Lorenzo Sawyer, 9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, dies at 71
  • 1893-02-18 Serranus Clinton Hastings, American politician and lawyer (3rd Attorney General of California), dies at 78

Leland StanfordLeland Stanford (1824-1893)

1893-06-21 American business tycoon (Southern Pacific Railroad), 8th Governor of California and founder of Stanford University, dies of heart failure at 69

  • 1907-04-05 Laura de Force Gordon, California lawyer, a prominent suffragette, and 1st woman to run a daily newspaper in the US (Stockton Daily Leader, 1874), dies at 68
  • 1928-02-29 Ina Coolbrith, first poet laureate of California (b. 1841)
  • 1935-12-02 State of California uses gas chamber instead of hanging for 1st time: Robert Lee Cannon (29) and Albert Kessel (28) executed for role in Folsom Prison escape attempt resulting in murder of warden and guard (San Quentin State Prison. Marin County)
  • 1945-08-06 Hiram Johnson, American progressive politician, US Senator, Governor of California (1911-17), dies at 78
  • 1962-01-24 Stanley Lord, Captain of the SS Californian the night of the Titanic disaster, dies at 84
  • 1965-03-17 Almos Alonzo Stagg, American football coach (University of Chicago), dies in California at 102
  • 1966-01-03 Rex Lease, American actor (Fast Bullets, Sunny Skies, Custer's Last Stand), dies at 62
  • 1967-01-10 Emerson Treacy, American actor (California Straight Ahead, Prowler), dies after surgery at 66
  • 1973-11-30 Bruce Yarnell, American actor (Outlaws) and singer, dies when single‐engine plane he was piloting crashes into northern Los Angeles county (California) mountain slope at 37 [1]

Earl WarrenEarl Warren (1891-1974)

1974-07-09 Governor of California and 14th US Supreme Court Chief Justice (1953-69), dies at 83

  • 1977-03-27 A. P. Hamann, American politician and city manager of San Jose, California, dies in the Tenerife airport disaster at 67
  • 1978-02-28 Philip Ahn, American actor (Kung Fu, Thoroughly Modern Millie), dies from pneumonia at 66
  • 1978-11-18 Leo Ryan, American teacher and politician (U.S. House of Representatives from California, 1973-78), assassinated at 53 in Jonestown, Guyana
  • 1979-08-09 Raymond Washington, American gangster, founder of Los Angeles gang the Crips, murdered in drive-by shooting at 25
  • 1981-08-15 Pappy Waldorf, American College Football Hall of Fame tackle and coach (Northwestern, California), dies at 78

Walter KnottWalter Knott (1889-1981)

1981-12-03 American farmer who created the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in California and introduced the boysenberry to America, dies at 91

  • 1984-03-05 Michael Sklar, American comedian (Laugh-In; Sha Na Na), dies at 39
  • 1989-08-22 Huey P. Newton, African-American activist, revolutionary and co-founder of the Black Panther Party, shot and murdered by Tyrone Robinson in the streets of Lower Bottoms, Oakland, California at 47

Alice MarbleAlice Marble (1913-1990)

1990-12-13 American tennis player (US Open 1936, 1938-40), dies of pernicious anaemia at 77

  • 1992-02-27 S. I. Hayakawa, Canadian-American academic, politician (U.S. Senator from California, 1977–83) and writer (Language in Action), dies of a stroke at 85
  • 1992-04-21 Robert Harris, American criminal and murderer, executed in a gas chamber at 39 in San Quentin State Prison, California

George MurphyGeorge Murphy (1902-1992)

1992-05-03 American politician (US Senator, California), actor and dancer (MGM Parade), dies of leukemia at 89

  • 1992-11-07 Henri Temianka, Scottish-born Polish composer (California Chamber Symphony), dies at 85
  • 1993-03-26 Roy Riegels, University of California football player who ran wrong way, dies at 84
  • 1993-11-03 Duncan Gibbins, director (Fire With Fire), dies in California fire at 41
  • 1996-02-16 Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown, American politician and Governor of California (D: 1959-67), dies at 90
  • 1997-10-16 Adam Kennedy, American actor (The Californians) screenwriter (The Domino Principle), novelist (Just Like Humphrey Bogart), and painter, dies of a heart attack at 75
  • 1999-12-04 Rose Elizabeth Bird, California Supreme Court Justice (1977-87), dies at 63
  • 2000-07-30 Nan Leslie [Nan Coppage], American actress (Kings Row, The Californians), dies of pneumonia at 74
  • 2001-03-18 John Phillips, American singer and guitarist (Mama & Papas-California Dreaming), dies at 65
  • 2003-02-07 John Reading, Mayor of Oakland, California (b. 1917)
  • 2003-02-10 Al Ruffo, Mayor of San Jose, California (b. 1908)
  • 2003-12-01 Clark Kerr, first Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (b. 1911)
  • 2003-12-10 Sean McClory, Irish actor (The Californians, My Chauffeur), dies at 79

Ronald ReaganRonald Reagan (1911-2004)

2004-06-05 40th US President (Republican: 1981-89) and actor (Bedtime for Bonzo), dies at 93

  • 2006-07-03 Joseph Goguen, American computer scientist (professor of Computer Science at the University of California and University of Oxford), dies at 65
  • 2007-02-05 Leo T. McCarthy, American politician and 43rd Lieutenant Governor of California (1983-1995) (b. 1930)
  • 2007-04-22 Juanita Millender-McDonald, American congresswoman from southern California, dies at 68
  • 2011-11-23 Carlos Moorhead, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California), dies at 89
  • 2012-01-04 Ruben Ayala, American politician (California State Senator 1974-1998), dies of natural cause at 89
  • 2012-02-06 Norma Merrick Sklarek, 1st African-American woman architect in NY & California, dies at 85
  • 2014-03-31 Charles Keating, American district attorney (Los Angeles California), dies at 90
  • 2014-11-06 Carole Mathews [Jean Deifel], American actress (The Californians, Swamp Women), dies at 94
  • 2017-03-05 Anthony Beilenson, American politician (Rep-D-California, 1977-97), dies at 84
  • 2017-06-25 Bill Dana [William Szathmary], American comedian, characters actor (José Jiménez) and screenwriter (The Nude Bomb, The Bill Dana Show), dies at 92
  • 2017-08-09 Al McCandless, American Republican politician (Rep-R-CA 1983-95), dies at 90
  • 2018-01-01 John V Tunney, American politician (Rep/Sen-D-California), dies of prostate cancer at 83
  • 2018-05-08 George Deukmejian, American politician, 35th Governor of California (1983-91), dies at 89
  • 2018-07-30 Ron Dellums, American politician (D-House representative from California, 1971-1998), dies of cancer at 82
  • 2019-03-03 Bobbi Fiedler, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California), dies at 81