I wish everyone a happy and peaceful New Year.
In January a group of heavily armed clowns occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State. Late in the month, most of them were arrested and one was killed. Somehow the survivors were acquitted in October.
In January David Bowie died. This was the beginning of what people felt was an unusual number of celebrity deaths throughout the year. Part of it must be that rock'n'rollers from the 1950s and 1960s are reaching the ages where people usually die. Monte Irvin, one of the first two African-American players on the Giants, died. Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship died.
We marked the 50th anniversary of the Trips Festival. They shut down Market east of Beale to erect a Super Bowl Village. This was Super Bowl 50 rather than Super Bowl L for some reason. We marked Gelett Burgess' 150th birthday.
In February, Maurice White, lead singer of Earth, Wind and Fire, died. Dan Hicks of the Charlatans and the Hot Licks died. Bob Elliot of Bob and Ray and Captain Eric Brown, the greatest test pilot ever, died. Author Umberto Eco died.
We marked the 100th anniversary of Dadaism. We marked the 100th birthday of San Francisco Mayor Joe Alioto. Author Harper Lee and great San Francisco Giant Jim Davenport died. We marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Verdun. We marked the 100th anniversary of the death of author Henry James.
I was interviewed for an article cable cars on San Francisco neighborhood news site Hoodline.
In March, I decided to cut on my posts again. I stopped several monthly series. We attended the sixth annual San Francisco History Expo at the Old Mint.The ACE (Altamont Commuter Express) train derailed in Niles Canyon and 14 people were hurt.
Record producer Sir George Martin died.
We marked the 100th anniversary of Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico. We marked the 100th anniversary of the mass lynching of Italians in New Orleans. We observed the 100th birthday of trumpeter Harry James. We marked the 100th anniversary of the US Army Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa. We observed the 100th anniversary of the death of Ishi. We marked the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
In April, on April Fool's Day, the idiot Governor of Mississippi proclaimed Confederate Heritage Month.
Merle Haggard died. Prince died. He was far too young.
We marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of newspaper columnist Herb Caen. We marked the 75th birthday of disgraced baseball player Pete Rose. We marked the 100th anniversary of the Lafayette Escadrille. We marked the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.
I was interviewed for an article the 75th annivesary of the end of the Castro Street cable car line on San Francisco neighborhood news site Hoodline.
In May we celebrated the 150th anniversary of gymnopedist and phonometrician Erik Satie. We marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.
In May we marked the 100th anniversary of Sholem Aleichem's death. We also marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak.
In May I reached the of the News of the Week as Shown in Films series, which stopped running in Motography magazine in May, 1916.
In June we visited Westlake Joe's for the first time since its long closure. The people of Great Britain voted for BrExit. Representative John Lewis led other Democratic members of Congress in a citizen to try to inspire their useless Republican counterparts to something about mass shootings and other gun violence. Two BNSF freight trains collided and caught fire in Texas and 3 crew members died.
The Greatest of All Time, Muhammed Ali died.
We marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Field Marshal Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener. We marked composer Cole Porter's 125th birthday. We observed the 100th anniversary of the death of German aviator Max Immelmann, the Eagle of Lille. We marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Victor Chapman, the first American aviator to be killed in action. We marked the 50th anniversary of the Sutro Baths fire.
In July I attended the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest. We visited the California State Railroad Museum.
Elie Wiesel died.
I missed the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. We marked the 100th anniversary of Eugene Ely making the first launch of an airplane from a ship that was underway. We observed the 100th anniversary of the Preparedness Day Bombing in San Francisco. Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated as a major party's candidate for President.
In August we got to play tourist and visit Fisherman's Wharf for the first time in years. We rode the Niles Canyon Railway. I finally mentioned Donald Trump and his revolting behavior. We enjoyed the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. We went to our only Giants game of the season.
Bobby McFerrin died.
In September we marked the 100th anniversary of the hanging of Mary the Elephant. We celebrated the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. I spoke to kids at Good Shepherd School in Pacifica about the current DAR essay contest, which was inspired by the anniversary. A commuter train smashed into the barriers at Hoboken Terminal, killing a woman on the platform.
I made only eight posts in August and seven in September, so I decided to revive some of my monthly series. In fact, I started in September with autos from the Blackhawk Museum.
In October Vin Scully retired after broadcasting Dodgers games for 68 seasons. We took the cat to get blessed.
We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
I revived the series of posts of airplanes from the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
In November, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908. Father Lu, who had been the administrator at Good Shepherd, was installed as our pastor. Despite being entirely unfit for the job, Donald Trump won the Presidency. Incidents of racist, misogynistic and xenophobic violence have been rising.
Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell died. Soon after, Mose Allison and Sharon Jones died. She was too young. Ralph Branca died. Fidel Castro died.
We marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Jack London.
I revived the series of posts on aviation history.
In December, a fire killed at least 36 people at the Oakland Ghost Ship, an artists' collective.
In December, we marked the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
John Glenn and George Michael died.
Since I missed the start of the Battle of the Somme and I was reading a book about the first day, I started a series on poets who were killed on the first day of the battle.
We had a fair amount of rain throughout the year, but not enough to make up for the five year drought.
Black Lives Matter protests continued during the year. Right wing nut jobs took great offense.
During most of the year, Native Americans and their allies tried to block the Dakota Access Pipeline from crossing the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The Standing Rock Sioux are concerned that the oil pipeline will contaminate their water supply. So far they have managed to stop the pipeline.
The US Congress, under the inspired leadership of a bunch of Republican jerks, did almost nothing. They Senate under Mitch McConnell broke more than 200 years of precedent by flatly refusing to consider President Obama's nomination for an open position in the Supreme Court. Sadly, this gross dereliction of duty did not hurt them in the election.
Da'ish is still murdering people in Syria and Iraq. Russia and the Syrian government are indiscriminately killing civilians, most recently in Aleppo.
The image shows actress Monica Bannister, who appeared in the chorus of many Busby Berkeley movies.