Sunday, February 13, 2011

February in San Pedro

February in San Pedro

01 February:

1868: California legislature approves “An Act to authorize the Mayor and Common Council of the city of Los Angeles to take and subscribe $75,000 [$130 million in 2009 dollars using the relative share of GDP index] to the capital stock of the Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad Company, in the county of Los Angeles, and to provide for the payment of the same, and other matters relating thereto” (see February 21)

1881: A citizens’ mass meeting is held in Los Angeles regarding Wilmington harbor improvements

1887:  Body of drowned woman, Jane Morrison (or Prescott), found floating near Deadman’s Island at San Pedro. (Los Angeles Times, 02/01/1887; 02/15/1887)

1899: Health officer Powers issues warnings and precautions to prevent spread of smallpox in Los Angeles; the next day a system of free vaccinations is announced; on 02/04/1899 two new cases reported and 1st four vaccination stations open; by the next day hundreds have been vaccinated but more new cases are discovered (Los Angeles Times, 02/01/1899; 02/02/1899; 02/04/1899; 02/05/1899; see also Dennis Piotrowski, 01/17/2011)


1911: San Francisco Call (02/01/1911, p13) reports Southern California Edison (SCE) substation on Terminal Island completely destroyed (“$6,000 loss” may be a typo—Edison plants actually cost $600,000 in those days) by fire caused by a bolt of lightning during a heavy thunderstorm on the morning of 01/31/1911; 1st known lightning-induced fire in the LA basin; in September 1910 SCE acquired the land next to Craig Shipyards (east end of Terminal Island) for a high-pressure steam turbine electricity plant—the prior January SCE officials denied premature reports it had secured land for a Long Beach plant (Los Angeles Times, 01/05/1910); Long Beach city (Historic Context Statement) misreports that SCE spent $8 million to build Plant No. 1—for $8 million in 1910 ($3.4 billion in 2009 dollars, using the relative share of GDP index) they could have built 13 power plants; Plant No. 2 was built in 1924 and Plant No. 3 (the current familiar landmark) in 1927; the SCE plant survived the dramatic land subsidence on Terminal Island (which started in the mid 1940s) caused by the extensive extractions from the area’s rich oil field (see February 28)


1911: Harbor News: Steamer Harvard departed San Pedro yesterday and sister ship Yale arrived from San Francisco; Pacific Navigation Company and Salt Lake Route invite 700 to complementary Yale excursion to Catalina on Saturday; Tug Redondo arrives in San Pedro with the badly waterlogged steamer Coos Bay in tow (refloated and pumped out after going ashore near Ventura)—board of marine underwriters has employed expert diver to assess damage; officers of lumber schooner Lakme officially exonerated of blame (in San Francisco hearing) for dumping cargo during hurricane to save their disabled leaking ship on trip to San Pedro from Coos Bay; U.S. collier Justin anchors in bay to await arrival of the Pacific torpedo boat flotilla; U.S. cruisers California and Tennessee return to San Pedro, perform maneuvers off Point Fermin, and leave for San Diego (San Francisco Call, 02/01/1911, p19; 02/02/1911, p15)


1903: San Pedro Library is established as a free public library; the library originated with the 1st meeting of the San Pedro Literary Association on 01/12/1888; hillside land on 8th Street (at Palos Verdes) was donated to the association and the 1st meeting in the new library building was on 11/18/1888; the 1st books purchased by the library was in December 1890

1918: Coast Defenses of Los Angeles organized

1952: Carl Winkler treated for shock and exposure after he and companion are rescued after their rowboat overturns off White's Point, San Pedro (USCDL, examiner-m8704)

1952: San Pedro Naval Air Base awards ceremony; medals presented to Lieutenant Colonel K. B. Pickle, Mrs. Walter M. George (receives Posthumous Navy Cross for her son), Navy Captain J.Y. Dannenberg (Commander, Los Angeles Navy Base), and Police Officer Jack E. Hensely (awarded Bronze Star for World War II action) (USCDL, examiner-m8708)

1955: 17th Psychological Operations Battalion activated at San Pedro (reorganized and re-designated 306th Psychological Operations Battalion and moved to Los Alamitos on 11/30/1982)


1956: Groundbreaking ceremonies for new $54,661 port pilot station at entrance to Main Channel in San Pedro; station to be 2-story, stucco structure with total floor space of 2,415 square feet; new building will include observation room, pilots' and boatmen's ready rooms, and radar room; contract includes construction of two 4-car garages and the relocation of an existing 6-car garage (USCDL, examiner-m22137)

02 February:


1848: Mexican-American War ends with signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (ratified by U.S. Senate on 03/10/1848 and by the Mexican Congress on 05/25/1848); California (and a lot more land—including large portions of today’s Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, and Texas) is ceded to the United States; residents of territory, excepting Native Americans, are granted U.S. citizenship; territory ceded in return for $15 million and relief from debt; U.S. Senate’s ratification of the treaty deleted the guaranteed land rights and citizenship

1885: Ex-Governor (see January 10) and Senator-elect Leland Stanford visits Los Angeles; favors very extensive harbor improvements at San Pedro—sees no conflict with San Francisco in that San Pedro serves as a harbor of refuge for ships bound for San Francisco (XXXX and Los Angeles Times, 02/20/1885)

1886: Ship Belvedere advertises discharge of 2,000 tons of coal at San Pedro direct from the Wellington mines (Los Angeles Times, 02/02/1886)

1886: Drunken San Pedro sailor, Robert H. West (of the American schooner Serona Thayer), drowned Tuesday night; floating body recovered the following Monday, 02/08/1886 (Los Angeles Times, 02/10/1886)

1911: Racing freighters from San Pedro (German steamer Itauri of the Kosmos line and Norwegian tramp Mathilda) reach San Francisco in 38 hours (the Harvard completed the same run in 18 hours); the Mathilda wins when port Pilot Scott delays Itauri anchorage by trying to tell Capt. Vierth in German that San Francisco had won the fair; the Mathilda left San Pedro 1½ hours ahead of the Itauri and Vierth is confident they would have won by several lengths if the distance had been longer (San Francisco Call, 02/02/1911, p15)

1911: Harbor News: Work begun closing the 1,900’ gap between breakwater and shoreline (extends total length of seawall to 11,150’; filled gap is now Cabrillo Beach); Yale steamer completes San Pedro-San Francisco run in 16 hours, 53 minutes with 101 passengers and 76 tons of freight and leaves the next day on return with over 100 passengers; new steamer Fort Bragg completes 6-day maiden voyage to San Pedro from Astoria (via San Francisco) with full cargo of lumber (San Francisco Call, 02/03/1911, p15)

1939: John R. Willedsen, early manager of Abie’s Irish Rose—the sentimental record-setting Broadway hit (1922-1927) by Ann Nichols (about the forbidden marriage of a good Irish girl and a nice Jewish boy) became a successful movie in 1928, a Broadway revival in 1937, a radio series in 1942-1944 (download free episodes), another movie (1946), and was revived again in 1954—dies in San Pedro, California (New York Times, 02/02/1939)

1941: Delores Del Mar, the 29-year-old Hollywood night club dancer, drowns at San Pedro when she dives naked into harbor after a party on the 65’ yacht, El Commamdee

03 February:

1824: Francis Mellus (brother of Henry Mellus) born in Salem, Massachusetts (see January, Also in)

1873: Recent rain storm worst to hit San Pedro in 10 years; ships weigh anchor and go to sea for safety

1906: Articles of incorporation filed for the Marine Hardware Company headquartered in San Pedro, California (No. 45,253; $25,000 capital stock)

1911: Harbor News: Western Marine Dredging Company’s $100,000 electric dredger (20” suction type; 7,000 yards/day capacity; built by Craig in 1909) sprang a leak and sank in 20’ feet of water while dredging the inner harbor near Long Beach; Bates & Cheesebrough’s steamer George W. Fenwick arrived in San Pedro from Ancon, Panama after 14 days; steamer Yale arrived from San Francisco (and Harvard departed) and will take large excursion party tomorrow (see February 04) around Catalina as guests of Captain Harry Goodall and R.E. Wells, general manager of the Salt Lake railroad; temporary repairs completed on the old freighter Coos Bay and it leaves tomorrow for San Francisco under tow by the steamer Chehalia (San Francisco Call, 02/04/1911, p20)

1938: Harry Bridges (see February 24) threatens to shut down Pacific coast shipping if the Superior Court interferes with the monopoly of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU) over longshoring at Los Angeles harbor (New York Times, 02103/1938)


1946: Fleet repair ship USS Hector (AR-7) returns to San Pedro (see November 11, 17 and February 07) after service at Pearl, the Marshall Islands, Ulithi Atoll, the Philippines, and the Marianas (having made repairs to the USS Saranac (AO-74), USS California (BB-44), USS Tennessee (BB-43), USS Hornet (CV-12), USS Houston (CA-30), USS Jacinto (CVL-30), USS Langley (CV-1), and salvaged landing craft tank LCT-1052)

04 February:


1911: The American Globe (vol. 8, no. 4, pg. 3, February 1911) reports SS Yale (407’ long; 63’ wide) breaks the Pacific coast record on a speed run across Santa Monica Bay from Point Dume, Malibu to the Palos Verdes Peninsula as part of day long excursion (a special train left the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Depot in LA at 10 am with 400 LA business and newspaper men; the Yale returned to the Pacific Navigation Company dock in San Pedro at 4 pm); ship reaches top speed of 22 knots; the guests of Pacific Navigation (Captain Goodall, principal owner; T.B. McGovern, general traffic manager; R.F. Cullen, city passenger agent) and the Salt Lake Route (T.C. Peck, general passenger agent) enjoyed free food and drinks, listened to the Long Beach band, toured the ship, and posed for pictures

1911: Harbor News: Seven U.S. torpedo boat destroyers (the Paul Jones, Preble, Whipple, Goldsborough, Rowan, Fox, and Dauns) arrived in San Pedro from San Diego to take coal and supplies from collier Justin anchored in the outer harbor (San Francisco Call, 02/05/1911, p43)

1922: Seaman 2nd Class Johnie Burns Robinson drowns in San Pedro Bay during torpedo firing practice; Robinson fell overboard when a practice torpedo accidentally strikes the motorboat on which he was the bowman



1932: Universal Newspaper Newsreel (2nd location; download page) of 61-ship battle fleet (including the Tennessee, Colorado, Lexington, California, and West Virginia) in San Pedro preparing for the Hawaiian war games (see February 22);


The efootage (preview Clip ID: 55573) description says “Nine enormous dreadnoughts and 59 submarines and destroyers arrive at San Pedro, California” while army units board a transporter in San Francisco (see February 08 and 16 for the 1933 war games)

05 February:

1859: New San Pedro (Wilmington) now has a grocery, hotel and blacksmith shop (in addition to Banning’s stores, offices, warehouses, workshops, etc.); difficult work is progressing on building the county road to the “city”; “the Governor of the city is pushing forward the completion of the wharf, for the landing of passengers”; the “up country” area is now being called the “city of Newport” (Los Angeles Star, 02/12/1859)

1864: Catalina mining boom ended by military order (and a military occupation) due to fears of Confederate plots

1883: 1st through passenger trains between Los Angeles and New Orleans leave their respective terminals

1899: Peter Neu dies of a crushed skull while riding a tally-ho in LA; king bolt broke while crossing Grand Avenue—throwing party of 5 onto the street; Mr. Neu (partner in the Chicago firm of Heldmair & Neu) and his manager, George Anderson (who broke a leg in the accident), were in LA to organize construction of the San Pedro breakwater (New York Times, 02/06/1899; Los Angeles Times, 02/05/1899)

1911: Harbor News: Dredger Oakland arrives from San Francisco via Monterey (towed, along with the launch Wink, by the tug Dauntless) to dredge channels in east and west basins of the inner harbor for the Standard American Dredging Company; steamer Coos Bay arrived safely in San Francisco under tow from San Pedro and now drydocked at Union Iron Works’ for repairs (San Francisco Call, 02/07/1911, p9)


1927: Myrtle Huddlestone completes the 3rd successful Channel Swim (from Avalon beach on Santa Catalina Island to the San Pedro mainland in 20 hours: 42 minutes) and becomes the 1st woman to swim our channel only a year after her 1st swimming lesson; she goes on to be a minor celebrity and the world’s champion female endurance swimmer by 1931 (won the 1928 ocean championship at Del Ray Beach, Florida in 31:18; her 1929 English Channel attempt lasted 21 hours; her marathon swim in a Coney Island pool lasted 60:02; she set the women’s world endurance record by staying afloat for 83.5 hours; she became the 1st person to successfully swim Lake Tahoe on 08/24/1931 in 22:53)

06 February:

1871: Canadian-born Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad conductor, Norman A. McDonald, marries Catherine Redman (born in County Wexford, Ireland, in circa 1851 when her future husband was already a Forty-niner in the California gold fields; piano teacher at LA’s Sisters of Charity since she arrived in Los Angeles in 1869 with her parents at age 18 from Queensland, Australia); as the LA&SP line superintendent of construction, McDonald laid the 1st piece of steel for LA’s 1st railroad and became its 1st conductor and general overseer in 1868; McDonald remained in this position until the line was taken over by the Southern Pacific railroad (becoming the Southern California road master for the SP system until his retirement in 1888 (Guinn, 1915, vol. 2, pgs. 178-180)


1928: 1st classes held at San Pedro’s 1st junior high school, the new Richard Henry Dana Junior High (now Dana Middle School); opens at 1501 Cabrillo Ave. with 625 students and 23 teachers; formal opening not celebrated until 3 months later on 05/04/1928 (dedication by the Native Sons of the Golden West was on 04/27/1928); original 3-story building had 30 classrooms (2-story wings, bungalows and gymnasium added later); two 8x42’ WPA murals by Adrien Machefert (entitled “Life and Travels of Richard Henry Dana”) added to the cafeteria in 1938 (or 1934?)

07 February:

1855: Lt. E.O.C. Ord (see also December 21 and January 11) writes from San Pedro to his bride (see February 14): “If these misty mornings and hazy afternoons continue—I may be kept here a month”; he also tells her that he had surveyed the Pueblo and its lands, “the new town of San Pedro” (New San Pedro or Wilmington), and had been asked to do surveys by the Sepulvedas, Domingues and Diegos

1889: U.S. Senator George Hearst visits San Pedro harbor (Los Angeles Times, 02/08/1889)

1889: Los Angeles Times (02/07/1889) reports that the San Pedro Lumber Company (see January 12 and February 08) has been bought out by L.W. Blinn of Arizona

1890: “There is a lawless element at San Pedro, which now and then distinguishes itself by a display of violence, and it has once more furnished material for a sensation”; the “Mystic League” of San Pedro declares itself by sending threatening cards through the mail (Los Angeles Times, 02/07/1890)

1911: Harbor News: Steamer Coos Bay arrived safely in San Francisco under tow from San Pedro and is now drydocked at Union Iron Works for repairs; steamer Jim Butler arrives in San Pedro with 1,800 telephone poles for the Western Electric Company; Crescent Wharf Company in San Pedro fills barge with 100 tons of Asian coal bound for Redondo Beach from the British steamer M.S. Dollar (San Francisco Call, 02/07/1911, p15; 02/08/1911, p15)

1941: Federal agents raid Japanese farmers at White Point, San Pedro (see 40 Families Project photostream for images from the Japanese farming families of the Palos Verdes Peninsula)


1942: President FDR signs Executive Order 9054 establishing the War Shipping Administration (WSA) to bring the control and operation of all U.S. merchant shipping under a single head (Rear Admiral Emory S. Land, Chief of the Maritime Commission, is appointed Director of the WSA on 02/09/1942—as director, he is responsible only to the President); WSA mobilizes the shipping capacity of the U.S (most of which was still privately controlled at the end of 1941) and brings it under a single command so vessels can be more readily allocated based on the wartime shipping needs of the U.S. and the Allies (see U.S. Merchant Marine at War)

1942: Carol Landis hosts beach party in Long Beach for 1,500 children of sailors assigned to ships from the “Long Beach Naval Air Station” on Terminal Island


1944: Fleet repair ship USS Hector (AR-7; 529’5” long; 73’4” beam; 4 repair divisions; see November 11, 17 and February 03) commissioned at San Pedro (built at Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., San Pedro); served in 3 wars (WWII, Korea and Vietnam); decommissioned on 4/20/1987; leased to Pakistan and recommissioned on 01/20/1990 as PNS Moawin (A-20); returned to U.S., struck from registry on 07/01/1994, and sold for scrap on 10/17/1994

1958: Newly formed 40-member San Pedro Field Archery Club raise sign announcing new archery range at Peck Park, San Pedro and holds 1st annual invitational "shoot" (USCDL, examiner-m14480)

08 February:


1847: General Stephen Watts Kearny (aka, Kearney) proclaims the annexation of California by the United States (less than 5 months earlier, he proclaimed the annexation of New Mexico and on 09/22/1846 he announced the Kearney Code for the governance of New Mexico before leaving on his difficult march to California)

1890: San Pedro Lumber Company (see January 12 and February 07) shortage revealed to be at least $53,000 (almost $6.6 million in 2009 dollars using the unskilled wage index); bookkeeper and cashier, C.K. Drane, had absconded the funds and skipped the country several months (4 or 5) earlier (Los Angeles Times, 02/08/1890; 02/11/1890)

1891: Pleasure party on the sloop Fawn lost on trip from San Pedro to Catalina; Alexander Urquhart (of Banning & Co., Wilmington) and Andrew Rule of Rattlesnake Island drowned (Los Angeles Times, 02/12/1891; 02/13/1891)

1911: 5-man crew of fishing launch Camiguin kills 35’ California gray whale off Long Beach after a several mile chase from the San Pedro breakwater (San Francisco Call, 02/09/1911, p17); whale succumbs only after being shot with 3 exploding harpoons; large number of small craft loaded with sightseers join chase and witness violent death throes (a century later, whale watching in San Pedro is still a popular sport—but the shooting is limited to cameras)

1911: Harbor News: Harriman system San Francisco and Portland Steamship Company announces they will adopt the reduced San Francisco-San Pedro flat fare and a la carte meal system on the Bear and Beaver steamers of its Portland-San Pedro run introduced by the Pacific Navigation Company on its Yale and Harvard steamers; Captain Harry Goodall, head of Pacific Navigation, announced they will extend the Yale and Harvard runs to San Diego; lumber schooner Philippine (with mixed cargo of poles, piles and lumber for the San Pedro Lumber Company and others) arrives after difficult 23-day journey from Eagle Harbor—hit by a terrific gale 3 days out, the cargo shifted badly and the ship was driven toward the beach, Captain Frederickson had to dump 5,000’ of lumber to right the ship and steer to safety (San Francisco Call, 02/09/1911, p17)

1933: “Enemy” force carrying 175 fighter, bomber, and observation planes are in mid Pacific (New York Times, 02/08/1933) on way to raiding San Pedro (see New York Times, 02/07/1933) and San Francisco (see February 16; see also February 04 and 22 for the 1932 war games)

09 February:

1873: New York Times correspondent arrives in New San Pedro (Wilmington) after a “dreary, comfortless voyage” on the “rickety old Senator” and immediately takes the train to LA

1911: Harbor News: North Pacific Steamship Company cuts 2nd class fare on the San Francisco-San Pedro runs of the Roanake and George W. Elder steamers from $10.50 to $8.50 (undercutting the Harriman steamers by a dollar)—a general rate war on the runs to San Pedro is now expected; collier USS Justin left San Pedro for San Diego, to be followed by 7 destroyers tomorrow (San Francisco Call, 02/10/1911, p17)

1932: Auxiliary yacht Invader, chartered by motion picture star Douglas Fairbanks (Sr.), sails from San Pedro for Papeete, Tahiti (New York Times, 02/10/1932); Fairbanks to sail from San Francisco for Papeete on 02/17/1937 and will shoot at least 100,000 feet of film while cruising the South Seas for a movie with the working title of "Tropical Night”; the subsequent film, Mr. Robinson Crusoe, is released on 08/19/1932


1943: Secretary of the Navy establishes the US Naval Dry Docks, Roosevelt Base, Terminal Island, Long Beach, California (immediately adjacent to the Naval Air Station on the San Pedro side of the island); the privately-held Moreell Dry Dock facility worked on ships at the location since 04/07/1940 (see ELSS); recreation, personnel and administration buildings (see Allied Engineers, Inc. article), and several shop buildings were ordered in February 1942; facilities were completed in 1945 (while under construction, from February 1943 to August 1945, the base docked 406 ships, performed 303 major repairs and overhauls including work on 9 battleships, 14 heavy and light cruisers, 46 destroyers, 31 destroyer escorts and 30 oilers); name changed to Terminal Island Naval Shipyard on 11/30/1945 and Long Beach Naval Shipyard in March 1948; the operating base closed in 1997; the historic buildings were demolished (Port of LB built recreation facilities at Ceaser E. Chavez Park to mitigate destruction) to create Pier T (see KPFF fact sheet)

1971: Sylmar earthquake

10 February:

1807: Coast Survey is established in the Department of the Treasury; oldest scientific organization in the Federal Government (see An Act to Provide for Surveying the Coasts of the United States)

1862: Little steamer Comet launched after overhaul at New San Pedro shipyard; joins the Ada Hancock in lighterage from the San Pedro Bay anchorage to Banning’s wharf; a larger steamer will be laid down as soon as the government depot (see below) is completed (Los Angeles Star, 02/15/1862)


1862: Construction begun on large warehouse at New San Pedro to be used as a depot for federal government supplies; a large number of workmen are employed for a rush job (Los Angeles Star, 02/15/1862)

1884: August Sederlund (born August Anderson on 01/03/1860 in Skaraborg Laen, Sweden) moves to San Pedro, California after working on the Canadian Pacific Railroad in the Northwest Territory; opens a grocery store (2nd location was on Beacon Street between 4th and 5th) after a decade of working for various San Pedro lumber yards and running his own teaming and transfer business for 3 years; in the spring of 1906 he moved the store to the newly completed “Sederlund block” (a 28x54’, 2-story building with a pressed brick front); Sederland also owned the “Sederlund hotel” on the corner of 2nd and Palos Verdes [the small 2-story structure labeled “flats” on the 1908 Sanborn map was a mere block from the heart of San Pedro’s redlight district] (Guinn, 1907, vol. 2, pgs. 1,900-1,901)

1889: Senator Stanford introduces a bill appropriating $5,000 to establish a lighthouse at the entrance to San Pedro harbor (off Deadman’s Island?)

1947: Treaties of Peace signed with Bulgaria (Armistice Agreement signed on 10/28/1944) and Rumania (Armistice Agreement signed on 10/12/1944)

1992: Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, abandons 50 gallons of hazardous waste (photographic chemicals, cleaning solvents, oil and paint) on Berth 93 in San Pedro—reported by the LA Fire Department’s Hazardous Waste Control Program enforcement supervisor, Richard Gillaspy (San Pedro Newspilot, 02/25/1992 cited in Arnold and Gottlieb, 1994)

11 February:

1855: Juan Jose Chapman, son of Jose Juan Chapman and grandson of Joseph Chapman (see December 31) is born in Santa Barbara, California (Guinn, 1907, vol. 2, pgs. 1,644-1,647)

1859: Capt. Johnson, of the U.S. Coast Survey, arrived in San Pedro on the latest trip of the steamer Senator with instructions from Washington to survey the harbor (see February 12)

1912: Agents of the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific report San Pedro “Shipping dull, prospects uncertain” (San Francisco Call, 02/11/1912, p47)

1929: August John Felando, future president of the American Tuna Boat Association, is born in San Pedro, California (see his 07/09/1996 oral history interview for the San Diego Historical Society)

12 February:

1822: Francis Pliny Fisk (F.P.F.) Temple born in Reading, Massachusetts; younger brother of Jonathon “Don Juan” Temple; moved to Los Angeles in 1841 to join his brother; married Antonia Margarita Workman (the only daughter of William Workman); cofounded the Temple and Workman Bank in LA; dies 04/27/1880


1859: Los Angeles Star (02/12/1859, pg 2) reports Superintendent Bache of the U.S. Coast Survey has instructed W.M. Johnston to survey San Pedro harbor; Letter to the editor suggests the San Gabriel River could be diverted so that all of it empties into the slough to San Pedro, where the flow would help deepen the “channel” (San Pedro Creek) to New San Pedro (Wilmington) from the bay and transform the shoals to islands


1892: Sensational libel suit between 2 San Pedro notables begins under Judge Shaw; druggist J.W. Davis accused by banker G.H. Peck (see February 22) of publishing and distributing libelous circulars; on 02/13/1892 Peck causes sensation by making a “hostile demonstration” and vigorously protesting the revelation of private family matters, while defendant continues testimony reciting his troubles with Peck; on 3rd day witnesses corroborate defendant’s testimony and evidence of the his mental condition is ruled out; on the final day jury takes only 35’ to acquit Davis (Los Angeles Times, 02/13/1892; 02/14/1892; 02/16/1892; 02/17/1892)

1905: Bark Holliswood seeks refuge in San Pedro for 2nd time after fore rigging is carried away by storm; bark left San Francisco on 01/20/1905 with the 1st cargo of asphalt (6,504 barrels) ever shipped from San Francisco; 9 months earlier, the Holliswood lost spars, sails and rigging on trip from Newcastle, Australia to San Francisco and had to be towed from San Pedro to San Francisco; current voyage is the 1st after being repaired in San Francisco

1911: Steamship rate war begins when the 1st class fares to San Francisco from San Pedro on the Harriman steamer Rose City is cut to $7.35 ($171 in 2009 dollars using the Consumer Price Index) and berth rates to $1.00 and $.50—add another 50 cents for lunch ($11.60 in 2009) and 75 cents for dinner (San Francisco Call, 02/13/1911, p1)


2001: $78 million contract awarded for Phase I backland construction of Pier 400 (construction of the 590 acres of landfill in the outer harbor at the southern end of Terminal Island began in September 1994) to Sully-Miller Contracting Co.; Maersk Seaton to sift all container operations from Long Beach to Pier 400 at conclusion of Phase I (the 480-acre facility will be the largest proprietary container terminal in the world); the completed Pier 400 opened in August 2002 (see Business Wire, 02/12/2001)

13 February:

1888: “San Pedro has been gaining quite an unsavory reputation” due to several recent stabbings (Los Angeles Times, 02/13/1888)


1909: Panorama of a prosperous San Pedro on a quiet day taken from the roof of the Carnegie library on Beacon Street 6 months before consolidation with Los Angeles; Shows: Beacon Street from Vinegar Hill at 8th Street, pass the remnant of the 7th Street bluff, down to Stingaree Gulch, pass Bank of San Pedro, across Happy Valley, and up to Knob Hill; street excavations in front of city hall; Plaza Park on the bluff overlooking the harbor (before it was cut in half to build Harbor Blvd.); old Front Street rising to the top of Knob Hill (later removed for fill in expanding the harbor) with the Clarence Hotel near its point; Wilmington and the future inner harbor on the horizon; Main Channel (with Southern Pacific railway depot, tracks and docks—including a small Dollar steamship), and Terminal Island (showing the SPLA&SL docks, East San Pedro spreading southward on the jetty, and the future landfill and Fish Harbor area) with Long Beach on horizon; Dead Man’s Island; the main channel landfill (with the new EK Wood lumber yard) and the old jetty over the shoal at Timms landing on either side of the new Southern Pacific slip

1910: Port officially named Los Angeles Harbor; encompasses the combined facilities of the San Pedro Harbor (which includes East San Pedro on Terminal Island), Wilmington Harbor and the Los Angeles Harbor Commission (originally in Harbor City)

1919: 4 U.S. submarines arrive in San Pedro on 02/13-14/1919 and remain until 1922: L-5 (SS-44), L-6 (SS-46), L-7 (SS-46; launched by Craig in Long Beach on 09/28/1916), and L-8 (SS-48)

14 February:

1853: New York Times reports Joseph Smart of New Hampshire and Joseph Ragwell of London, England died when caught in a gale trying to get to San Pedro from Catalina

1855: Lt. E.O.C. Ord (see December 21 and January 11) writes his bride (see February 07): “Three days gone and I have done observing the island & San Pedro from this singularly lonesome old hill—after an unusually hard days [sic] work”

1870: Phineas Banning marries Mary Hollister (his 1st wife, Rebecca Sanford, died on 01/07/1868)

1887: Storm wrecks the 2,000-ton Kennebee and the barkentine St. Louis in San Pedro (see February 16)

1911: Los Angeles Herald objects to state constitutional amendment proposed by Assemblyman Sutherland; claims it would deprive LA of “local control” over the San Pedro harbor (San Francisco Call, 02/14/1911, p6)—about 90 years later San Pedro (and Wilmington) voters consider seceding from LA to gain “local control” of the harbor

1942: Fort MacArthur Battery G activated

15 February:

1854: “An Act Constituting San Pedro, in the State of California, a port of entry and delivery” passed the US Senate: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the counties of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Bernardino, in the State of California, be, and they are hereby, made a collection district, to be called the district of San Pedro; and San Pedro, in said district, shall be, and is hereby, made the port of entry for said district... And be it further enacted, That a collector shall be appointed for said district, who shall reside at San Pedro.  The 'said collector shall be allowed three thousand dollars per annum, with additional maximum compensation of two thousand dollars per annum, should his emoluments and fees provided by law amount to that sum... And be it further enacted, That Santa Barbara, in said district, shall remain a port of delivery therein in the same manner as it now constitutes a port of delivery in the district of San Diego.”

1862: Announcement in the Los Angeles Star (02/15/1862) that the co-partnership of Banning & Hinchman was dissolved on 02/12/1862; Banning takes over the business with Hinchman as his Los Angeles agent

1862: Soap works at New San Pedro sold to John Temple (see January, Also in; February 12); buildings will be relocated and facilities expanded; candle factory will be added to the tallow and soap factory (Los Angeles Star, 02/15/1862)

1912: Schooner Azalea arrives in San Pedro with Captain Lingren and 7 crewmen of the sunken 32-year-old schooner Ida McKay (3 masts; 188 tons); men were marooned for 2 days without food or water on the roof of the afterhouse before the schooner turned over; they were picked up only an hour after escaping the resulting whirlpool by floating a lifeboat (San Francisco Call, 02/18/1912, p1)

16 February:

1887: Recent storm (The Storm; The Railroads) and a letter from an “Old Salt” to the Los Angeles Times (The Marine Disasters at San Pedro) about Two Shipwrecks (and Another Schooner Beached at Wilmington) trigger a lively correspondence (Letters From the People, 02/22/1887 and  02/26/1887; Harbors)

1901: California legislative Committee on Commerce and Navigation inspects the San Pedro Harbor; on 02/18/1901 the committee submits bills totally $312 ($8,120 in 2009 dollars using the Consumer Price Index—$198,000 using the relative share of GDP index) for the junket; Senator Savage of San Pedro, who accompanied the committee as a substitute for Chairman Brady, will draw down more than $100 in mileage (see February 20)

1911: Six Chinese drown in gale off San Pedro Harbor when set adrift by pursued smugglers; helpless craft capsizes; federal authorities could not reach the swamped “contraband”—Customs officers believe smugglers now purposely limit runs to rough weather when it’s easy to dispose of “incriminating evidence” if pursued (San Francisco Call, 02/18/1911, p9)

1933: The U.S. Senate votes to repeal the 18th Amendment of the Constitution and end Prohibition

1933: Planes “bomb” San Pedro during U.S. war games (see February 08); raid defeated by defense fleet (New York Times, 02/17/1933);


After the games (efootage Clip ID: 57177), the “greatest U.S. naval parade of ships and planes ever witnessed by civilians passes through the waters of San Pedro, California” (see February 04 and 22 for the 1932 war games)

1949: Value of the 1948 United States commercial fishery catch reported to reach a record $1 billion ($52.5 trillion in 2009 dollars using the relative share of GDP index)

1956: 15-year-old Patti Chater, San Pedro ballet protégé, accepts invitation to join the Sadler Wells Academy Ballet Company in London (USCDL, examiner-m22020)


1977: The site of Timms Landing (defined as the landscaped park of the Fishermen’s Co-op) in San Pedro is declared a Historic-Cultural Monument by the city of LA (see January 03, 07 and February 12)

17 February:

1871: Charles E. Fulton (lineal descendent of the steamboat inventor Robert Fulton) is born at Port Ludlow, Washington; at age 20 (after being a wage-earner for a full decade) he starts learning the shipbuilding trade which brings him to live in San Pedro in 1905—working at the shipyard of the Wilmington Transportation Company; a few months later he quits to team with Peter Iverson and form the Fulton & Iverson Ship and Boat Building Company (known for building the steamship Empress—the largest glass-bottomed boat in the world) (Guinn, 1907, vol. 2, pg. 1,871)


1913: Federal public buildings bill passed; includes $60,000 ($21.6 million in 2009 dollars using the Relative Share of GDP index) in appropriations for a new San Pedro post office (San Francisco Call, 02/17/1913, p5; 02/18/1913, p5); 6 years later, in the 01/30/1919 House Buildings and Grounds Committee hearings, Representative H.Z. Osborne of California testified that the $60,000 had not been spent because it was insufficient and an additional $90,000 was now needed to buy the land and construct a building; he also testifies that San Pedro is the largest lumber port in the world, the 2nd largest port in California, has a resident population of 20-25,000 (with a laboring population increase of 15-20,000 since 1913), steel shipyards constructing $125 million in ships annually, and shipped tonnage valued at $81 million in 1917; a table from the House subcommittee on appropriations hearings of 02/11/1919 (for the 1920 Sundry Civil Appropriation Bill) lists the “San Pedro post office and courthouse” project as still authorized but short the additional funds needed for completion (now reduced to $80,000—making the total cost of the project worth $22.4 million in 2009 dollars); in the end, San Pedro did not get its new (and current) main post office until 1936 (built by the WPA in 1935)—23 years after it was initially authorized by congress (Sanborn maps show the post office only occupied a quarter of the building at Wall and Beacon pictured above in 1902 and by 1908 it had moved directly across the street to a space twice as large on the west side of Beacon between 6th and 7th)

18 February:

1899: Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Free Harbor Jubilee decides on a program for the celebration of San Pedro winning the contest for $3 million of federal funds ($2.17 billion in 2009 dollars using the relative share of GDP index) for harbor improvements (Los Angeles Times, 02/19/1899)


1850: LA County established (embracing the current LA and Orange Counties, plus parts of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties)

1858: California Senate Bill No. 129: “An Act to authorize Augustus W. Timms, James Thomson, Francis J. Carpenter, and others, to build a Wharf in the Creek or Bay of [San] Pedro, in the County of Los Angeles. Thom, 222” is reported


1875: Frank Karr, future San Pedro lawyer and City Attorney (1902-1906), is born in Heyworth, Illinois; Karr taught school in Illinois for 5 years before entering the law department at Stanford in 1898; admitted to the California bar in June 1901, he set up practice in San Pedro, California the following November and was appointed the San Pedro City Attorney 6 months later; opening a 2nd office in LA in 1907 he continued to live in San Pedro for another 3 years (serving as a member of the San Pedro School Board until the 2 cities were consolidated); in 1910 he moved to LA to work with Judge J.W. McKinley, chief counsel for the Pacific Electric Railway and attorney for the Southern Pacific; 4 years later he succeeded Judge McKinley (on 03/01/1914) as chief counsel for the Pacific Electric (Guinn, 1907, vol. 2, pg. 1,906; McGroaty, 1921, vol. 2, pg. 429)


1904: San Pedro booster, Daniel Randal Clay, dies at age 54 (outliving his mother, who died in San Pedro in 1898, by only 6 years); Clay was born in Gorham, Maine on 11/13/1849; before coming to San Pedro in 1884 to work for the Southern Pacific Railway Company, Clay worked in Wyoming as telegraph operator and station agent for the Union Pacific Railroad for 8 years and in Colorado as a real estate and insurance agent; shortly after arriving in San Pedro he quit his telegraph operator job to start D.R. Clay & Co.—the 1st general real estate and insurance business in the city; Clay was also chief of San Pedro’s 1st volunteer fire department, served on the city board of trustees for several years and was a member of both the LA and San Pedro chambers of commerce; after his death his company was purchased by his son-in-law, J.W. Walton, and the name changed to D.R. Clay Co.; the Clay family residence was on Vinegar Hill at 10th and Beacon (the Clay office building was only 3 blocks away at 7th and Beacon)  (Guinn, 1907, vol. 2, pgs. 1,216-1,218)

1936: Famous New York millionaire, (William) Vincent Astor, leaves San Pedro on his yacht Nourmahal for a Mexican waters fishing trip (New York Times, 02/18/1936)


1937: The USS Wyoming (BB-32; reclassified AG-17; 16,000, 26,000 or 27,243-ton displacement; 561’x93’3”x29’7” or 662’x93’2”x28’6”; 20.5 knots) pulls into San Pedro, California (newsreel video) seeking medical attention for wounded Marines after a shrapnel shell explodes prematurely as it is being loaded into one of the ship's broadside guns during gunnery drills at San Clemente Island; wounded are transferred to the hospital ship Relief (AH-1); the 5-inch gun mount explosion killed 6 and wounded 11 Marines—later revised to 7 dead, 13 injured (see also New York Times, 02/19/1937; 02/20/1937; 02/21/1937)


1990: The Camphor Trees of Wilmington (1200-1268 Lakme Ave.) are declared Historic-Cultural Monuments by the city of LA

19 February:

1914: Record rain of 6-8” cause severe floods in LA; “The entire country between the city and the harbor at San Pedro was under water yesterday and today.” (New York Times, 02/20/1917)

1939: Oven odor leads to arrest of San Pedro fisherman for stealing chickens (New York Times, 02/19/1939)

1940: San Pedro is surprised by the arrival from Chile aboard a Japanese liner of 30 German sailors (from the Standard Oil tanker Harry G. Seidal) (New York Times, 02/19/1940)

1941: Coast Guard Reserve is established

1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 which authorized a commanding general to exclude individuals or groups of individuals, regardless of their citizenship, from any region he might designate

1944: Troop ship West Point (AP-23) leaves San Francisco for Noumea via San Pedro, California where 2,887 disembark; sails alone to Noumea (arrives 03/06/1944) with 7,960 troops

20 February:

1899: California Assembly Committee on Commerce and Navigation returns to Sacramento after visiting San Pedro and meeting with the factions supportive and opposed to establishing a state harbor commission in San Pedro (see February 16)

1912: Southern Pacific lawyers request delay in enforcing the new order of the state railroad commission to comply with the long and short haul clause in the San Pedro case by May 1st; claim some legal questions are unsettled pending litigation in the supreme court; compliance with the long and short haul clause will reduce 1,000s of fares and railroad rate experts need a lot of time to adjust the tariffs (San Francisco Call, 02/20/1912, p6)


1954: 46-year-old San Pedro divorcee, Mrs. Vera Rideout, leaves harbor aboard 25.5’ ketch Chelan on solo around-the-world trip (USCDL, examiner-m22768)




2010: The 1st album (1979; free authorized downloads site) of the defunct San Pedro punk band, The Reactionaries (1978-1979 predecessor to the Minutemen) is released by the San Pedro-based independent label Water Under The Bridge Records


21 February:

1880: A.B. 271 to refund debt of Los Angeles incurred by the 02/01/1868 act authorizing city to subscribe $75,000 to capital stock of the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad Company ordered read for the 3rd time


1901: Senator Stephen Mallory White (LA District Attorney, 1883-1885, State Senator, 1887-1889, California Lieutenant Governor, 1887-1891, and U.S. Senator, 1893-1899) dies in Los Angeles at the age of 48; on 11/04/1902 LA voters approve the erection of a privately funded statue of Senator White on county property and on 12/11/1908 the completed statue by Douglas Tilden is dedicated at Broadway and Temple (see February 23); Senator White, arguably LA’s most distinguished DA (see the biographical sketch by Leroy E. Mosher and White’s principle public addresses compiled by Robert Gates in 1903 Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), can rightfully be called the father of the modern Port of Los Angeles due to his success as a U.S. Senator in combating the forces of Collis P. Huntington in getting federal appropriations for port development at the “Free Harbor” of San Pedro (instead of at Huntington’s Santa Monica monopoly); the modern port was born with the construction of the federal breakwater funded by those appropriations at what’s now Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro

1906: Articles of incorporation filed for The Chamber of Commerce of San Pedro headquartered in San Pedro, California (No. 45,424)


1907: Wiley V. Ambrose (born 03/02/1880 in Urbana, Ohio), salesman for the Union Hardware & Metal Co., marries Annie Louisa Wade—only daughter of Robert David Wade of the Southern California Fish Company (Blue Sea brand) in San Pedro; Southern California Fish was formed in 1911 to refinance and purchase the properties of the California Fish Company established in 1893 with the equipment of the failed Golden Gate Packing Company of San Francisco;


California Fish, co-owned by R.D. Wade and Albert Halfhill, was the 1st cannery in San Pedro harbor, the 1st successful west coast sardine cannery, the originator of albacore tuna canning (method developed by Halfhill in 1903; refined in experiments by Wilbur F. Woods and James McMann in 1905-1907; 1st successfully marketed in 1909 when 11,000 cases were sold to Seeman Brothers in New York), and owner of the 1st purse seine fishing boat in California (the Alpha); Ambrose becomes president of Southern California Fish after the death of his father-in-law in 1909 (he also became president of the Santa Maria Crude Oil Co. and the Keystone Loan Co.) (Guinn, 1915, vol. 3, pgs. 797-798; Dennis Piotrowski, 02/13/2010; University of Washington Special Collection; Fishing Industry Timeline; Love, 2006; Jarvis, 1988)

1928: USS Saratoga arrives at San Pedro and joins the Pacific Battle Fleet

1931: Harbor Day Fiesta celebration closes LA Foreign Trade Week; includes Fort MacArthur gun salute, beauty pageant, parade, yacht racing and regatta (5th Annual National Midwinter), music, and swimming exhibition (Los Angeles Times, 02/09/1931; 02/15/1931; 02/19/1931; 02/20/1931; 02/21/1931; 02/22/1931)

22 February:

1845: After being defeated by a rebellion, Alto California Governor Manuel Micheltorena (see January 19 and 27; February 23) signs treaty at San Fernando; agrees to march to San Pedro with his men, take a ship to Monterey to pack his belongings, and sail to Mexico without delay (Micheltorena embarks on the Don Quixote on 03/12/1845 for Mexico)


1859: John A. Anderson is born in Christiana, Norway; Anderson moves to San Pedro, California (in circa 1885) after working as a sailor in the Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes—and in a Flagstaff, Arizona lumberyard; works in the San Pedro lumberyards for a decade (first for the San Pedro Lumber Company as an outside man, then for the Kerckhoff & Cuzner Lumber Company); in 1895 Anderson enters the real estate business as a partner of George H. Peck (see February 12) in the George H. Peck & Co. (firm becomes Peck & Anderson when George Peck sells out his interests to John H.F. Peck) (Guinn, 1907, vol. 1, pgs. 995-996)

1912: $9.39 million of LA bonds ($3.55 billion in 2009 dollars using the relative share of GDP index) were recently purchased by Speyer & Company; $3 million will go to building docks and other harbor improvements at San Pedro, the rest will be used to build a new water works and a municipal electric system (San Francisco Call, 02/22/1912, p14)



1932: Universal newsreel (YouTube page; download page) of blue force battle fleet on way to Hawaii from San Pedro for invasion of Oahu (occupied and defended by the black force) in “the greatest peace time maneuver in the history of the country”; both sides claimed victory in the exercise (see February 04)

1942: The Anglo-American Mutual Aid Agreement is signed in Washington, D.C. by Sumner Welles, Acting Secretary of State, and Viscount Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States


2006: 1st visit of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 to the U.S. Pacific west coast; the giant cruise ship berthed at the San Pedro terminal and cruised over to Long Beach to salute the original Queen Mary (see December 09, see also videos by pinvuiini, justinrudd, and FlyingFoxOne the meeting and salutes)

23 February:

1845: Deported Governor Micheltorena and his defeated army march from LA to San Pedro (see January 17 and 19; February 22)

1913: Sailors’ Union of the Pacific members report shipping at San Pedro is “fairly good” despite other ports being “slack” (San Francisco), “quiet” (Victoria; Eureka), “slow” (Vancouver), “dull” (Tacoma; Aberdeen), “poor” (Portland; Port Townsend; Seattle) and “uncertain” (Honolulu) (San Francisco Call, 02/23/1911, p93)

1913: Pacific states’ chambers of commerce announce joint excursion to Panama prior to opening of the canal; delegations will board the chartered steamship Alameda on March 15 (Tacoma and Seattle), 19 (San Francisco) and 20 (San Pedro) (San Francisco Call, 02/23/1911, p56)


1989: San Pedro receives the Stephen M. White statue (see February 21) after a half century effort: on 12/11/1908 a statue of the late Senator is dedicated at the red sandstone courthouse at Broadway and Temple; the courthouse is demolished in 1936 due to damage from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake and LA’s City Hall became the statue’s new backdrop; in 1937 a bill to move the statue to San Pedro was vetoed by Governor Frank Merriam; on 07/14/1958 the statue is moved to the new county courthouse at the corner of 1st and Hill Street (rededicated on 10/31/1958); in the 1980s a group from San Pedro tried to get the statue moved to the harbor but the MTA dumped it in a storage yard (claiming the Metro Rail workers would damage it); on 02/02/1988 a motion by Supervisor Kenneth Hahn moved the statue back to the civic center at 1st and Grand in March 1988 but a few months later the site was allocated for construction of handicap access ramps; in September 1988 the LA Board of Supervisors authorized relocating the statue to San Pedro; on 02/23/1989 the statue was rededicated at its current location in the entrance of Cabrillo Beach on Stephen M. White Drive where White (looking like a retired statesman in front of his vacation home) gazes out toward the breakwater and his upraised arm greets visitors leaving the beach it created (see the Metropolitan News-Enterprise 10/23/2006, 10/30/2006, and 12/31/2008 columns by Roger M. Grace)

1990: Harbor main channel in San Pedro is shut down by the Coast Guard due to an “odor problem” at the Evergreen marine terminal while unloading the 882’ container ship Ever Group; AQMD tentatively identifies the chemical fumes as that of the highly flammable 3,3,3-trifluoropropene; air samples and investigations prove it to be trimethyl phosphite fumes from 2 punctured drums which had emptied most their contents deep in hold number 3; the leak area is neutralized with a vinegar and water solution (NOAA Incident Reports)

24 February:

1861: Charles Manveg is born in French Alsace-Lorraine; 10 years later he becomes a seaman and visits New York and San Pedro; after 11 more years he quits the open sea to work on the San Pedro wharfs (with seal-fishing trips to Alaska and the Arctic in 1890-1892); in 1901 he moves to Wilmington to run a saloon and on 04/01/1905 goes into the real estate business (while speculating in Baja California mines) (Guinn, 1907, vol. 2, 1,328-1,331)

1903: Articles of incorporation filed for the San Pedro Pastime Association (No. 37,131) and the San Pedro Society of Friends (No. 37,130), both headquartered in San Pedro, California

1912: 80-mile-per-hour wind from the north stirred up a mountainous sea and delayed southern steamers on run from San Pedro to San Francisco; the Hanalet makes trip in 73 hours (usual is 46), the Queen takes 33 hours (usually 25), the Katherine 56 hours—even the speedy Harvard had to slow to 8 knots and arrived several hours late; the Hanalet’s Captain Hammer slowed engines and rode the waves like a cork—constantly climbing up one side of each water mountain then coasting down the other like he was shooting the chutes at an amusement park; the weeklong northwester gale continued to batter and delay ships throughout the weekend (San Francisco Call, 02/25/1912, p51; 02/26/1912, p11)

1913: Deadman’s Island breakwater light destroyed (San Francisco Call, 02/28/1911, p13)

1929: 300 tons of sardines swamps craft off San Pedro; boat sinks, crew saved

1936: Navy holds 2 women for distributing “Red” literature aboard ship at San Pedro (New York Times, 02/24/1937)

1940: Harry Bridges (see February 03) asks Supreme Court to set aside his contempt of court conviction by the Los Angeles Superior Court; claims telegram to Secretary Perkins was just a petition for redress of grievances (New York Times, 02/24/1940)

1954: San Pedro woman, 35-year-old Mary Little, shot by 5 men at 21st and Alameda in LA; lucky woman shows newspaper photographer where bullet only creased her calf (USCDL, examiner-m22801)


2000: Groundbreaking for the Port of Los Angeles Distribution Center off Gaffey Street overlooking the Harbor Freeway and West Basin; the light industrial warehouse and distribution center was the largest private project in the port’s history; the 1.8 million square foot (81-acre) site was formerly a petroleum tank facility

25 February:

1873: Federal government restores all Drum Barracks property titles to Phineas Banning and Benjamin D. Wilson

1889: Second reading of A.B. 217 (introduced by J.R. Brierly on 01/16/1889) “to provide for the appointment of pilots, and defining their duties and compensation, at the port of Wilmington and bay of San Pedro”

1898: $400,000 appropriation for San Pedro inner harbor passed by Senate after surviving intact the $4,882,464 in cuts (30% of appropriations) in the river and harbor works bill previously made by the House; Senator Cooper of Wisconsin reviewed the history of the San Pedro-Santa Monica contest (characterizing it as “the most astounding chapter in our legislative history”)—stating that if there was anything in the bill that ought to pass, it was this; the San Pedro appropriations are passed by an embarrassed Senate without amendments (New York Times, 02/22/1898; 02/26/1898)

1911: A.F. Chesebrough of Bates & Chesebrough leaves New Orleans for Washington, D.C. for meeting called by President Taft to discuss rate war started by the Pacific Mail and American-Hawaiian steamship lines to eliminate independent competition (San Francisco Call, 02/26/1911, p48)

1942: Coast Guard assumes responsibility for U.S. port security.


1942: The Great Los Angeles Air Raid or Battle of Los Angeles: At approximately 3:10 am war tensions in Los Angeles explode when LA area anti aircraft batteries, including Fort MacArthur (see Cities of the Underworld episode)  opened fire for 50 minutes during a blackout—firing over 1,400 explosive charges; shrapnel and unexploded ordinance rained down over a 40-mile arc from Santa Monica to Long Beach (listen to the original CBS radio newscast); a coastal radar station reported an incoming blip on their screens and despite eyewitness reports of up to 25 aircraft (Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall reported “as many as 15” to President Roosevelt) no confirming evidence of any enemy activity was ever uncovered; theories of what, if anything, passed through the sky range from weather balloons to UFOs (see photo analysis by Warren and Maccabee, plus videos from NBC Report, planet-flipside, mysticfields, and GhostsofEarth); afterwards, Navy Secretary Frank Knox stated "as far as I know the whole raid was a false alarm and could be attributed to jittery nerves"; incident inspired Steven Spielberg’s 1941 (released 1979; starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd) and Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles (2011)





Since 2003, Fort MacArthur’s annual reenactment of the “battle” with vintage carbon arc searchlights (see the History Channel’s Mail Call episode and January 12), fireworks, sirens, restored vehicles and armaments, USO dance (with period music and entertainment—see Satin Dollz performance), and authentic costumes (military and civilian) has been a popular commemoration of the event (see additional videos from 2010: DemoCast News, DirtyBob72, SanPedroAirRaid2010; and 2009: DanCamFXPro)



1942: Federal authorities exploit LA’s war hysteria from the air raid to immediately expel Japanese Americans from Terminal Island; residents are given 48 hours to vacate their homes and the East San Pedro community; 1st action under the new Executive Order 9066 (see February 19); 1st forced expulsion and relocation of Japanese Americans





The U.S. Office of War Information propaganda film (download page), made to defend and whitewash the actions of the War Relocation Authority and the Western Defense Command, shows the priority given to San Pedro residents of Terminal Island (see also Higashi San Pedro, Furusato, Japantowns, Nikkei Heritage, and Lost Village of Terminal Island) 

26 February:

1890: Harry Kemp and Louis Busch (2 non-union sailors) are abducted from the schooner Nettie Lundborg (or Nettie Sundborg) while it was lying at San Pedro harbor; crew men are found missing after members of the Sailor’s Union of San Pedro boarded the ship (which was due to sail the in the morning with a nonunion crew); 7 unionists are arrested and charged with kidnapping when the missing men are found at Catalina on 03/07/1890; charges are reduced to false imprisonment and trial moved to LA due to San Pedro’s strong pro union sentiments (6 are acquitted and the 1 found guilty is given a small fine)

1897: Los Angeles Terminal Railway Company brings suit against the San Pedro and Utah Railroad Company to quit title to Rattlesnake Island; Judge Shaw declares the case by default to the plaintiff (see February 28)

27 February:

1890: William L. Banning (son of Phineas Banning) died


1905: New giant federal dredger (US dredge San Pedro) starts working in the inner harbor

1910: The Boilermaker, retired boxer James J. “Jim” Jeffries (undefeated World’s Heavyweight Champion, 1899-1905), takes a day off from training for his upcoming "Battle of the Century" comeback fight with Jack Johnson to visit his close friend Luke Kelly, a prominent San Pedro saloon keeper (see Dennis Piotrowski, 09/30/2010)
  
28 February:

1849: 1st steamship to arrive in San Francisco Bay is the Pacific Mail Steam Ship Co.’s California

1856: William Whitman Beach (a founding partner in the San Pedro Canning Company) is born in Hartford, Connecticut; when his father, Captain Walter P. Beach, retires from whaling, the family moves to Michigan; after 6 years as a steward on Great Lakes steamers, William works 7 years for his father in the Michigan lumber regions and works in various Wisconsin hotels before moving to California in 1888; after running the Hotel Metropole on Catalina for 2 years, Beach manages hotels in San Bernardino and Kern counties before building a canning factory for clams and lobsters in Long Beach; in 1902 he moves the business to a new factory in East San Pedro (incorporating in 1903 as the San Pedro Canning Company) where Beach uses his own new process for canning clams, lobsters and abalones (Guinn, 1907, vol. 2, pgs. 2,191-2,192)

1888: San Pedro and Utah Railroad Company purchases the Altadena Railway (the Altadena-Pasadena line) and its title to Rattlesnake Island and its railway right-of-way (see February 26)

1888: Reports of examination and surveys of San Pedro Bay, California by the War Department published (in Report of Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army, 1888, pg. 2,122)

1902: Articles of incorporation filed for the San Pedro Land Company headquartered in San Pedro, California (No. 34,931; $25,000 capital stock)


1912: General Pipeline Company of California incorporated; builds an 8”, 156 mile long, oil pipeline from the Midway fields in Kern County, south over the Tehachapi mountains to San Pedro; capacity of 25-30,000 barrels per day; capital stock of $7.5 million divided into 75,000 shares; company intends to transport petroleum to, build wharfs at, and operate ships out of San Pedro; enterprise is connected with the Esperanza Consolidated Oil Company (John Barneson, E.J. de Sabla, and associates) which controls producing wells in all major California fields and intends to market its own output (San Francisco Call, 02/29/1912, p14, and others)

1933: George Bernard Shaw is in San Pedro after being forced down from a plane trip to the movie colony in Culver City; he completes the trip by auto, expresses distain for the movie colony, insults an actress, then returns to San Pedro

1982: Outer Harbor collision: Container vessel Axel Maersh and the breakwater

29 February:

1888: Southern Pacific railway hauled 60 million feet of lumber from ships unloaded at San Pedro during January and February (New York Times, 04/07/1888)

1932: 202 ships from the Atlantic Fleet transferred to the Pacific ports of San Pedro and San Diego


1952: Fort MacArthur firing squad salutes fallen G.I. Donald Dana at Green Hills Memorial Park, San Pedro; soldier survived by widow, Betty Dana, mother Arlve Dana (father died when informed of son’s death in Korea), and grandmother, Mrs. Charles Dana (USCDL, examiner-m9436)


1952: 39-year-old San Pedro woman fails sobriety test—charged with felony drunk driving and manslaughter for traffic death of female pedestrian at Junipero Avenue and E. Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach (USCDL, examiner-m9455)

Also in February:

1791: Jose Romeu replaces Pedro de Fages as Governor of Alto California

1847: Civil revolt in Mexico City

1863: 319 known cases of smallpox in the Los Angeles area (see Dennis Piotrowski, 01/17/2011)

1888: Only one case of smallpox reported in San Pedro

1944: USS Dehamons commissioned in San Pedro

1948: Socony-Vacuum tanker Mobilube leaves San Pedro with 4,936,974 gallons of fuel oil to help offset critical fuel shortage in New York (repaired tanker had been badly damaged by a Japanese torpedo in 1943)

1950: Union Oil Company Tank Farm Fire, Berth 129

1965: Malcolm X assassinated in New York

1974: Closure of Fort MacArthur announced