Not Your Century

On hiatus as of March 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis. Get unlimited access to the Chronicle. | A daily celebration of the news — and the news media — of years gone by. King Kaufman takes you on a quick tour of the Bay Area and the world as it used to be, which often colors the world of your century.

1992: Say Goodbye to the Giants
The local 9 lose again at the ballot box in their attempt to get a new publicly funded stadium. They're 0-for-4. They're never going to get a new ballpark, are they?
8 min
1944: D-Day by the Bay
As Allied troops storm the beaches of Normandy, a Chronicle reporter patrols the city. He finds a subdued reaction, with scattered rejoicing in the immigrant-heavy produce market and at the French consulate.
5 min
1972: Angela Davis Acquitted
"Wild Scene in the Courtroom." The former UCLA professor had been charged with supplying the guns in a 1970 courtroom takeover that left a judge and three others dead.
6 min
1986: Crisis at the Mexican Border
The Reagan administration says it's going to get tough and crack down. "The drug trafficking and related violence along the border is a horror story," says one official. Sound familiar?
5 min
1913: The Last Horsecar in San Francisco
Mayor Sunny Jim Rolph grabs the reins and drives old Car 45 on its last Market Street run. Horse-drawn streetcars are going the way of, well, horse-drawn streetcars.
4 min
1964: The Rolling Stones Invade America
First the Beatles and now these guys. The Chronicle wants to know: When will this British Invasion end? At least they're just bringing music from England, not the battles between gangs of Mods and Rockers.
5 min
1911: The First Indy 500
It wasn't just the first Indianapolis 500, it was the first 500-mile race, period. The winner was the only solo driver. Ray Haroun didn't need someone to help watch out for other cars. He used his new invention: A rearview mirror.
6 min
1987: The GMO Food War Begins
Activists resort to vandalism to block the University of California from field testing Ice-Minus, the first experiment with genetically modified crops outside a lab.
4 min
1975: Evel Knievel Is Through!
The Most Important Man in the World — at least according to the 11-year-old future host of Not Your Century and his bike-jumping friends — says he's retiring after his latest crash, at Wembley Stadium in London.
8 min
1943: Inside a U.S. Prison Camp for Japanese Am...
San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Milton Silverman tours the camp at Tulelake. Though the camps enjoy overwhelming popular support at the time, his report is surprisingly frank.
7 min
1967: Sex is Everywhere
With the sexual revolution in full swing, a study says it's having an effect on the mental health of young women. In San Francisco, the obscenity trial over Lenore Kandel's erotic poetry collection "The Love Book" continues.
5 min
1956: The Destruction of the Fillmore
The Board of Supervisors approves a plan that will devastate the African-American community of the Fillmore, "the Harlem of the West." It's urban renewal, which James Baldwin says "means moving the Negroes out. It means Negro removal."
6 min
1910: The King Is Dead
He wasn't king long, but Edward VII had a whole era named after him. His mother, Queen Victoria, blamed him for the death of his father and never forgave him. But other people liked him. Especially the ladies.
5 min
1999: Dan Quayle in San Franciscoe
The former VP, running for president, returns to the scene of his "Murphy Brown" comment, for which he was roasted—but not like he was roasted for spelling potato "potatoe."
5 min
1954: Brown vs. Board of Education
The Supreme Court delivers a death sentence for the doctrine of separate but equal, the basis for legal segregation. It's an epochal decision, but not the top headline in the newspaper.
4 min
1967: Undercover With the Hippies
A Chronicle reporter spends a month in Haight-Ashbury, living with the flower children, getting high with them and trying to understand their culture of peace, love and psychedelic bananas you heard us psychedelic bananas.
6 min
1960: San Francisco Protests HUAC
The anti-Communist House Un-American Activities Committee is holding hearings at S.F. City Hall, and protesters — chanting, singing and comparing the committee to Nazis — are brutalized by police.
5 min
1932: Who Killed the Lindbergh Baby?
The search for the missing Charles Lindbergh Jr. had gripped the nation. Now that the 2-year-old has been found dead, the great aviator has recruited some sketchy characters to help find the killer.
6 min
1982: Randy Shilts and the Dawn of AIDS
The headline about what would become the AIDS epidemic was buried on Page 6. It was the first story on the disease by the man who would become its voice: Randy Shilts. A special longform edition of Not Your Century.
19 min
Bonus: Randy Shilts Biographer Andrew E. Stoner
Host King Kaufman interviews Andrew E. Stoner, the author of “The Journalist of Castro Street: The Life of Randy Shilts,” which is out this month.
23 min
1869: The Golden Spike
The transcontinental railroad is completed by the driving of the final spike. It's hooked up to telegraph wires, so Leland Stanford's hammer blow sends a nationwide signal for the celebrations to begin. It's the first mass media event.
6 min
1959: Great White Shark Attack
San Francisco teenager Albert Kogler is killed by a "maneater" while swimming in the bay. Shirley O'Neil braves the shark's attack to pull him from the water, then becomes an international sensation when she baptizes her dying friend on shore.
6 min
1965: A Surrender to the Fleshpots of North Beach
San Francisco Mayor John F. Shelley has given in. Not to the temptations of the flesh, but to the idea that topless entertainment is here to stay in North Beach.
5 min
1942: Japan Routs the U.S. at Corregidor
The last allied stronghold in Southeast Asia falls. General Douglas MacArthur had hoped to hold out for reinfocements, but they never came. Still, the battle had slowed Japan's drive to conquer the Pacific, and the tide would soon turn.
4 min
1970: The Kent State Shooting
President Nixon reverses course and escalates the Vietnam War by invading formerly neutral Cambodia, and America's college campuses erupt in protest. In Ohio, National Guardsmen open fire on unarmed demonstrators, killing four.
5 min