Monday, June 30, 2014

Yosemite 150 -- June 30, 2014

150 years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill creating the Yosemite Grant, setting aside the beautiful valley as a park.  These ads from the 24-June-1913 San Francisco Call promote vacationing at Yosemite.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Heir to Austrian Throne Assassinated -- June 28, 2014

100 years ago today, Serbian nationalists assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to throne of Austria-Hungary, in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.  They also unintentionally murdered his wife Duchess Sophie.  Serbia and Serbian were often rendered as Servia and Servian in English.  The assassin's name is usually spelled as Gavrilo Princip. I believe the "magazine revolver" was a semi-automatic Browning.  This event was one of the triggers of the First World War.  From the 29-June-1914 New York Tribune.




Francis Ferdinand, Nephew of Emperor

Francis Joseph, Killed in Bosnian Capital

an Hour After Warding Off

Bomb Which Injures Score.


Volley from Revolver Hits Archduke and Duchess of

Hohenburg as They Are Driving Together in Automobile

in Town of Sarajevo -- New Heir, Charles

Joseph, 27 Years Old.

Sarajevo, Bosnia, June 28. -- The Archduke Francis Ferdinand. heir to the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, and his morganatic wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot to death to-day in the main street of this, the Bosnian capital. Bullets from a magazine revolver in the hands of an eighteen-year-old youth riddled the heir apparent and his wife, and thus completed the grim task a madman had unsuccessfully attempted only a few hours before by hurling a bomb at the royal automobile.

Another terrible chapter has thus been written into the tragic and romantic history of the House of Hapsburg. and to-night the aged Emperor lies prostrated by the news in his summer place at Ischl.

The flying bullets struck Francis Ferdinand full in the face.  One tore its way into the Duchess's body. Another pierced the great artery in her throat. As the blood gushed from her neck she fell senseless across her husband's knees.

An instant later he. too, sank to the floor of the car in a heap.  Both were rushed with all speed to the palace. But no help was of avail. They died a few moments after they arrived.

The assassination had been carefully planned. It was while the heir to the Austrian throne and the woman he had loved so well were on their way to the town hall that Nedeljo Gabrinovics, a journeyman printer, slung a smoking bomb at the royal automobile. It was while they were returning from the hall, perhaps an hour later, that Gavrio Prinzip, a high school student, stood at the corner of the Rudolfstrasse and poured his fusillade into the helpless couple. Again, an unexploded bomb was found a few yards away from the scene of death. It had been flung in a corner by another madman after he had learned of the success of Prinzip's attack.


After the bomb exploded the Archduke and the Duchess proceeded to the City Hall. The automobiles were fleet and the news had not yet filtered through the crowd in waiting. Indeed, there had hardly been time to telephone. So the burgomaster was astonished when he met his royal guests at the door to have his customary address of greeting interrupted by the snapping words of Francis Ferdinand:

"Herr burgomaster, we come to pay you a visit and bombs are thrown at us. It is an insult!"

Then his princely dignity overcame his indignation, and he paused and said:

"Now you may speak." .

After the ceremonies the Archduke and his wife announced that they would visit the wounded members of their suite in the hospitals on their way to the palace. They set out in their car, this time protected by a cordon of police. They drove rapidly down the Franz Josefstrasse and were nearing the Rudolfstrasse when Prinzip, a pale faced boy -- indeed, a mere stripling, but with all the zeal of a fanatic shining in his countenance -- popped out of the front rank of the crowd like a seed from an orange. No one seemed exactly to realize what he meant to do. It was as real and as unreal as a moving picture.


Just as the automobile slowed up on the turn into the Franz Josefstrasse the boy raised his arm from his side. The sunlight struck on the dull steel of the magazine revolver and soldiers leaped to grab the youth, but before they reached him he had accomplished his deed. It was with extreme difficulty that he was rescued from the infuriated crowd.

The first attack was filled with all the dramatic intensity and suddenness with which the successful and unsuccessful attempts on the lives of European monarchs have been attended. Sarajevo was en fête to welcome Francis Ferdinand and his wife. It was a triumphal procession. Flags fluttered in the soft wind and garlands hung from the windows. A great throng of picturesquely clothed peasants pushed and shoved against the detachment of soldiers that held them good naturedly in check at the railway station where the couple were expected.


There was no especial military preparation, however, as the heir to the throne had always been regarded as so popular that no particular precautions were necessary. In fact, the general feeling that he would without doubt in the near future succeed to the throne through the death of his uncle had clothed him with a sort of affection that seemed to protect him.  With his wife and staff he came from the train to the automobile, and as the crowd cheered the royal procession started for the City Hall along the flag decorated road. A short three hundred feet from the station Gabrinovics leaped from the shelter of the Girls' High School and dashed the bomb at the automobile.  Francis Ferdinand showed splendid courage. He threw one arm to protect his wife, and with the other he warded off the bomb. It fell directly beneath the following car, and the flash of flame that blinded the eyes of the crowd and the great ball of smoke that hid the two cars from view struck terror to the hearts of the onlookers.

But as the smoke lifted the crowd saw the Archduke standing upright in the car and gazing at the automobile behind.  The Duchess remained still in her seat, her face tense, but full of courage. Francis Ferdinand leaped from his car and ran to the assistance of Count von Boos-Waldeck and Colonel Merizzo, two of his staff, who had been struck by slivers of iron and were bleeding in the face and hands. Some score of bystanders, several women and children among them, were injured by the flying fragments, and the Duchess personally sent members of the royal staff in automobiles to take the wounded to hospitals.

The crowd was in a panic, which, however, was soon checked for Gabrinovics was fleeing from the police and soldiery.  He dashed through the crowd, shuttling in and out, as hundreds, of hands clutched at his clothes and tore them from him and blows fell upon his head and shoulders. Rifle bullets crackled after him as he leaped for the bank of the River Miljachka.

He plunged beneath the surface, but a crowd of half a thousand people were on the embankment in a second, so it seemed.  The water was literally swarming with men, and soldiers standing with their guns at full aim forbore to fire, so that the printer might be taken alive. He was pulled half drowned from the river, but was almost lynched. Lieutenants had to threaten to fire into the crowd before it could be pushed back sufficiently to hurry the man to prison. 

Both Prinzip and Gabrinovics are Serbs and natives of the annexed province of Herzegovina. When put through examination by the police they gloried in their exploits. Prinzip, who has studied for a time at' Belgrade and who has been much concerned in Socialistic activities, said in a braggart manner :

"I'm a nationalist. For years I've been yearning to kill a ruler or a prince." He added that the presence of the Duchess in the car caused him to hesitate, but only for a moment.

"Then my nerve returned and I fired," he boasted.

He denied absolutely that he had accomplices, and Gabrinovics stoutly asserted that he. too, had planned with no one. He told the police he had obtained his bomb from a Belgrade anarchist whose name he did not know. Cynicism marked his attitude throughout the police inquiry. He was "coldly indifferent" to whatever happened. he said. He is twenty-one years old.

Until word comes from the Emperor the bodies of his dead will lie in state at the palace here, pending removal to Vienna for the solemn masses and their final rest in the Hapsburg vault of the great Capuchin Church in Vienna.

The only word to describe Sarajevo's of mind is "consternation." The town is wild with grief and horror. A state of terror possesses the people.  They seem to fancy that some dire fate will visit them because their town was the scene of such an awful crime, a tragedy that has rocked Europe. 

Mourning is everywhere, Black banners and black streamers literally cover the public buildings, and even in the tiny, winding back streets the peasants have hung black flags from their windows. The president of the town hurried to send a message to the Emperor, assuring his majesty in the most humble terms conceivable of the people's unalterable devotion to the head of the great House of Hapsburg.

Weeping women stand with dumb men, in great crowds, particularly where the bomb exploded and the fatal shots were fired. About them are silent reminders, for the bomb was filled with nails and lead filings, and the flying fragments left their marks on garden doors and windows, even piercing iron shutters. Three pistol bullets are embedded in the wall of the girls' High School. Anti-Servian demonstrations began to-night. The crowds knelt in the street and sang the national anthem.

It is said that after the attempt with the bomb the Duchess tried to dissuade the Archduke from venturing in the motor car again. To allay her fears M. Potiorek, Governor of Bosnia., said:
'"It's all over now. We have not more than one murderer in Sarajevo," whereupon the Archduke decided to go on.

At a meeting of the provincial Diet tonight the president of the chamber expressed Bosnia's profound sorrow and indignation over the outrage and paid a glowing tribute to the Archduke and the Duchess.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Overdue Vessels Get in at Last -- June 27, 2014

The Walla Walla Led the Way and Then Came the Homer.
A Couple of Sailing Ships and the Costa Rica Got In Later On.
Some Anxiety Is Felt for the Safety of the Whaler Beluga and Steamer Alice Blanchard.

The first of the overdue fleet got in yesterday. The Pacific Coast Steamship Company's Walla Walla put in an appearance about 8:30 a. m. and an hour later was tied up at Broadway wharf. It did not take the passengers long to get ashore and many a woe-begone looking female heaved a sigh of relief as she stepped upon the wharf. One and all asserted that it was the heaviest storm they were ever in, but Captain Wallace asserts that it was only "just a stiff blow."

Soon after the steamer left the Sound and was headed for San Francisco the wind began to blow with hurricane force.  The waves were kept down in a measure by the force of the wind, but the spray blew in blinding sheets and the rain fell in torrents. One of the boats on the starboard side was left with the plug in and at 4 P. m., it was found to be almost full of water. While the storm was at its worst an arctic owl blew on board from some where and alighted on the gaff. In spite of the pitching and tossing of the ship one of the crew managed to creep out and secure it. The stranger must have been blown off shore and sought a rest for its weary wings on the Walla Walla.

Off Cape Blanco Captain Wallace was in company with the collier Costa Rica.  The Walla Walla was just holding her own under a slow bell, while the Costa Rica was "bucking into it" and burying her bow, at every plunge, right up to the deckhouse. Captain Mclntyre brought his vessel in last night and says it was as wet a trip as he has ever made.

The Homer, fifty-six hours overdue from Coos Bay, got in during the afternoon.  Captain Jessen says the force of the wind was enormous, but that the sea was not very heavy. The spray drenched the ship from stem to stern, and the staterooms and cabins were flooded. The steamer had to be hove to, and when a slant came she was again put full speed for port.

A little anxiety was felt over the Bark Carrollton, thirteen days out from Nanaimo, B. C, and the General Fairchild, seventeen days out from Seattle, but both set all doubts at rest by getting in last night. Outside of the report of heavy weather and the loss of some sails, there was nothing special to report by either master. Another arrival was the barkentine Archer from Honolulu. The run was made in eleven days, a wonderfully fast passage. The storm that delayed the south-bound fleet helped the Archer along on her way home.

Whaling men are looking anxiously for the arrival of the steam whaler Beluga.  She ought to have been in a week ago, and her owners are wondering what is detaining her. The Beluga, Belvedere and Thrasher all passed out of Bering Sea in company. The Belvedere got in on the 6th, and the Thrasher on the 9th inst., but still there is no word of the other ship.  The schooner C. H. Merchant, from Everett with lumber, is also fully due. and the reports of wreckage drifting ashore on the Oregon coast does not tend to allay the owners' apprehensions.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Red Devils Return to Pacifica #8 -- June 26, 2014

Pacifica is one of the two cities on the San Francisco peninsula that allow the sale of fireworks. I was in the other city, San Bruno, on Wednesday and say a stand in a parking lot.  When I got back to Pacifica, I saw more stands.  I took a photo of this one in the parking lot at Pedro Point on 25-June-2014.  We had just eaten dinner at La Playa. 

Saturday after mass we drove down to Half Moon Bay and had dinner at Cameron's Pub and Inn, which is located in a former bordello with two double-decker buses parked outside. They serve as smoking rooms. I had shepherd's pie and my wife had bangers and mash. All good. 

In order to get to Half Moon Bay, we had to pass through the new Highway One detour.  They are replacing the bridge over San :Pedro Creek.  The road is coned off on the south side of Linda Mar Boulevard.  Traffic on One can turn left onto Linda Mar Boulevard, or right onto the road to Pedro Point and over the city's bridge.  Exits from the Pedro Point parking lot are blocked.  There is one entrance to the parking lot.  Near the Ace Hardware, there is a stoplight, where traffic can turn right to Pedro Point or slightly left to connect to Highway One.  The only exit from the parking lot is on Pedro Point road.  Traffic is going to be detoured for two years while they replace the bridge and remediate the creek bed.  It should reduce flooding. 

Yesterday, Tim Lincecum pitched his second no hitter for the Giants, his second against the Padres.  The only other Giants pitcher to have two no hitters was Christy Mathewson. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Seven Years -- June 24, 2014

I launched this blog on 24-June-2007, after a false start on Geocities earlier that month. 2,186 entries later, I can say I've met many nice people and learned some interesting things.  A special thanks to those of you who have taken the time to comment.

I count 1,544 labels.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mr Gillette...Was Enthusiastically Appreciated -- June 22, 2014

The manager of the Willis Wood Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri reported that the week was split between William Gillette in Sherlock Holmes and San Toy, a musical set in China.  "Mr Gillette came the first three nights, to big business and was enthusiastically appreciated."  Gillette wrote the play and went on to play the part more than 1300 times.  When Knighthood Was in Flower was a play based on a popular novel set during the reign of Henry VIII. 

Here is an article from my other blog about William Gillette and his play:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

1930 Ruxton Sedan -- June 21, 2014

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.  New Era Motors produced the Ruxton for a short time in 1929 and 1930.  The Budd Company, which later became famous for building railcars, built the bodies in Philadelphia.  Kissel built the transmission and running gear in Hartford, Wisconsin.  Moon assembled the cars in Saint Louis.  Kissel also assembled some of the cars. 

The car was unusually low because it used front-wheel drive.  The Woodlight headlights looked cool but didn't put out much light.  The car had no running boards. 

The beautiful paint scheme was designed by Joseph Urban who did scenic designs for the Ziegfeld Follies. 

The house of cards collapsed because of the Great Depression and general confusion after about 500 cars had been built. 

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.  (051/dsc_0067)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pizzini's Restaurant -- June 20, 2014

This ad, from the 05-November-1915 Opelousas Courier, touts Pizzini's Restaurant at 182 Canal Street, "Nearly opposite Opera House, New Orleans, La."  "Telephone in Office." 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Zip Stripe -- June 19, 2014

The old Market Street Railway, which was taken over by Muni in 1944, tried to make its antique streetcars look more modern by adding the zip stripe in the 1930s.  Muni recently rolled out refurbished Torpedo 1011 in a tribute to a proposed MSR PCC.  I think it looks great.  As Charles Smallwood pointed out in The White Front Cars of San Francisco, the zip stripe does not look so elegant when the car is going the other direction. 

In other news, I was sad to learn of the passing of pianist Horace Silver. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ferry Intintoli -- June 18, 2014

SF Bay Ferry's high speed catamaran Intintoli, along with sister boat Mare Island, provide most of the service between San Francisco and Vallejo.  I like the way you can see between the hulls.  I took this photo at the Ferry Building in May, 2014. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jimmy Scott and Tony Gwynn, RIP -- June 16, 2014

RIP Jimmy Scott. He had a tough life. The celestial choir will sound even better now.

I was shocked to hear that Tony Gwynn had also passed away.  He had been fighting cancer for some time.  I remember watching him play for the Padres at Candlestick.  He sure could hit.  Many people thought he might hit .400.  What he did was good enough. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers' Day, 2014 -- June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers' Day to all my fellow fathers. I miss my dad.  And I miss my father-in-law. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Flag Day, 2014 -- June 14, 2014

This cover from the 21-June-1917 Life Magazine, marks the first Flag Day after the United States declared war on Germany during World War One. 

The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936.  Here is the cover of their 16-February-1922 edition.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version. 

The image comes from (  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fast Electric Trains -- June 13, 2014

This ad, from the 30-September-1913 San Francisco Call, gives the schedule of the interurban Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railroad, which was a predecessor of the Sacramento Northern.  Passengers would ride Key System ferries from San Francisco and board Oakland, Antioch and Eastern on the Key Pier.  The trains would follow Key tracks to 40th and San Pablo.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Here is another Oakland, Antioch and Eastern ad:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Baseball Hall of Fame 75 Years -- June 12, 2014

75 years ago today, the National Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.  This famous photo shows most of the 1939 modern-day inductees.  Seated in front are Eddie Collins, Babe Ruth, Connie Mack and Cy Young.  Standing in back are Honus Wagner, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, George Sisler and Walter Johnson.  Ty Cobb was late and missed the photo.   Christy Mathewson and John McGraw had passed away. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Strangerhood - Haight-Ashbury - June 11, 2014

The San Francisco Arts Commission ( has set up a series of posters by artist Lordy Rodriquez called "Strangerhood." Rodriquez reimagines San Francisco neighborhoods as countries.  This is his version of the Haight-Ashbury.  That is one neighborhood I never visited much.  I took the photo on 15-January-2014.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Zatara -- June 10, 2014

Zatara was a supporting character in DC's Action Comics and Detective Comics for many decades.  I remember new stories when I was reading comics in the 1960s and 1970s,  Zatara was a stage magician who had actual magic powers.  He invoked his powers by speaking backwards.  Things got more interesting when his daughter Zatanna appeared.  The artists had a lot of fun drawing her.  Here he makes a rare cover appearance on Action Comics number 12.  I like the style of the Streamline Moderne rocketship.  The image is from the wonderful site CoverBrowser (  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

From Anywhere to Anywhere -- June 8, 2014

Walter T Varney flew in World War I, then became an early entrepreneur, establishing an airline that was a predecessor of United Air Lines.  He would take people anywhere from the San Carlos Aerodrome for forty cents a mile, with auto transport to San Francisco.  The ad is from  the 1922 Aircraft Yearbook.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.  "Rush Service for Professional and Business Men." 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Don Zimmer, RIP -- June 7, 2014

Everyone in baseball, players, coaches, executives and fans, was sad to learn of the passing of Don Zimmer.  He spent more than 65 years in professional baseball, and never had a job in another field.  He nearly died in 1953 when he got beaned during a minor league game, but he went on to have a full career and a full life with metal screws in his skull. 

Zim was a teammate of Jackie Robinson and played for Casey Stengel as an Original Met.  He coached for the Giants in 1987 under Roger Craig, another Original Met.  They won the National League West but lost the league championship to the Cardinals.  I still think the Giants would have done better than the Cardinals did against the Twins in the World Series.  The Giants defeated his Cubs for the 1989 pennant. 

I was impressed by the number of young players who spoke highly of him. 

In other news, California Chrome tied for fourth in the Belmont Stakes, so he did not win the Triple Crown.  After the race, one of his owners went ballistic on network television.  He felt that horses should be required to run in all three races. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day 70 -- June 6, 2014

General Dwight D Eisenhower issued this message to his soldiers, sailors and airmen on 06-June-1944, D-Day. Click on the image to see a larger version. Thank Heaven "this great and noble undertaking" was a success.

Since I first posted this item in 2011, many World War II veterans have died.  We lose about 555 each day.  Of 16 million American soldiers, sailors and airmen, there are about 1 million left.  (
The image is from Today's Document ( at the National Archives.