San Francisco

September 2 2013

Spanish mission, New Spain, Mexico, US, 1776-.

Mexican-American War, Alta California to US, 1846-48.

Gold rush, making of San Francisco, 1848-55.

San Francisco Examiner, 1863-.

San Francisco Chronicle, 1865-.

Lurid portrayal of Barbary Coast, “curse-mark on San Francisco’s brow”, in BE Lloyd, Lights and Shades of San Francisco, San Francisco, AL Bancroft, 1876.

A Trip Down Market Street: San Francisco from 8th Street down Market Street to the Ferry Building, shot by the Miles Brothers from the front of a cable car. The Library of Congress had dated it to September 1905, based on the state of construction of buildings, but an ad in the New York Clipper on April 28 1906 claims that it was shot a week before the earthquake of April 18. The uploader says “Stunden”, hours. Number plate evidence dates it to no earlier than February. Cars were recruited to circle around the camera. About the film.

Bubonic plague, 1900-04.

Earthquake and fire, 1906.

Report by Jack London, Collier’s, May 5: “Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone.”

Trailer for San Francisco, 1936 movie directed by WS Van Dyke, starring Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy, about “the lusty days when the Barbary Coast was the boldest district from Singapore to Paris”:

Earthquake; but was even the Barbary Coast this lusty at 5.13 am?:

San Francisco Symphony, 1911-.

Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915. Documentary starts here.

San Francisco Opera, 1923-.

Golden Gate Bridge construction 1933-37.

Bridge opening, 1937:

Colour film by Harold T O’Neal, August 1940, so pre-war, via GLBT Historical Society:

[That clip has been taken down, and wasn’t very gay. This is similar, from Prelinger Archives: ]

Thousands of gay servicemen and women were dishonourably discharged, 1941-45. Many were processed out in San Francisco. Some settled there rather than going home. The city became a magnet for others.

Via GLBT Historical Society, Harold T. O’Neal Collection:

City Lights Bookstore, 1953.

Roy Harris, eighth symphony, San Francisco, 1961-62.

Paul Hoefler Productions, bland travelogue and history with no mention of earthquake, 1963:

Summer of love and Scott McKenzie’s song, 1967.

Emergence of Castro as gay hub, circa 1970.

Silicon Valley (southern Bay Area), first use of name 1971.

Election and assassination of Harvey Milk, 1978.

AIDS, June 5 1981-, first reported cases, though they were in LA.

June 28 1969 (Stonewall riots, New York) to June 5 1981 is a US era. June 5 1981 to July 16 1996 (close of 11th AIDS conference, Vancouver, where HAART therapy was promulgated) is another.

Clip about PBS documentary about AIDS in San Francisco by David Weissman, We Were Here, 2011:


SF Bay

Jan Morris, Independent, circa January 1991, reprinted in Locations, OUP, 1992:

“A lady leaning from her balcony admires the flowers and foliage in the gully below and remarks to me out of the blue, as I come sauntering by, ‘Sometimes I thank God just for making that particular tree down there.’”

Russian America (old post).

10 Responses to “San Francisco”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City:

    Tales of the City (1978)

    More Tales of the City (1980)

    Further Tales of the City (1982)

    Babycakes (1984)

    Significant Others (1987)

    Sure of You (1989)

    Michael Tolliver Lives (2007)

    Mary Ann in Autumn (2010)

    The Days of Anna Madrigal (due 2014)

    The first four titles were first serialised in the San Francisco Chronicle, the fifth in the San Francisco Examiner. The next three were never serialised.

  2. davidderrick Says:

    It wasn’t just London that had a plague followed by a fire.

  3. davidderrick Says:

    I guess the Barbary Coast was the equivalent of The Rocks in Sydney.

    Credits for the song San Francisco are Gus Kahn, lyrics, Bronislau Kaper, Walter Jurmann, music.

  4. noctambulul Says:

    Reblogged this on Three Years After and commented:
    Movies and history altogether.

  5. davidderrick Says:

    London’s use of the word “imperial” reminds one that the US had just become a Pacific power.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s