The Sacramento Bee is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. This story is part of our ongoing coverage.
March 24, 1968: U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy declared the California presidential primary race is the key to what happens across the county as he opened his campaign bid for the state’s 174 convention votes.
The New York senator was greeted by a large and enthusiastic crowds as he made a fast jet plane tour of Northern California yesterday.
An estimated 12,000 to 14,000 cheering admirers greeted him at the new Florin Center Mall, the high point of a busy afternoon of campaigning. About 4,000 were on hand at the Sacramento Municipal Airport, where he received a noisy welcome. He spoke earlier in Stockton, addressing about 1,000 at the airport and 5,000 at a downtown rally.
“What happens in California is the key to what happens across the county,” Kennedy told his Sacramento crowds. “I come here to ask for your help.”
The candidate hit hard on such issues as the war in Vietnam, poverty and racial tensions.
He was accompanied on the tour by his wife, Ethel, and his sisters, Mrs. Steven E. Smith, wife of his campaign manager, and Mrs. Patricia Lawford, former wife of actor Peter Lawford.
Speaker Jesse M. Unruh of the State Assembly was on hand to introduce the senator for each speech. Unruh is chairman of the Kennedy delegation that will be on the June 4 Democratic primary ballot, along with that of U.S. Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota, and Atty. Gen. Thomas C. Lynch.
The crowds responded with cheers, chants and applause as Kennedy, almost as if in midseason campaign form, appealed for votes from young and old.
Memorial Auditorium dedicated in ’27
Feb. 23, 1927: The Sacramento Memorial Auditorium today took its place among the the institutions that mark the way of progress of a great city.
In the presence of a vast throng the beautiful building was last night dedicated to the memory of the city’s solider dead.
More than 6,000 persons formed a colorful, good-natured crowd that jostles its way into the big horseshoe-shaped arena and balconies. Thousands were turned away.
As early as 5:30 o’clock the crowd began to gather on the broad steps at the J Street entrance. The management opened the doors at 6:15 and there was a grand rush for seats. By 7:15 there was standing room only. The crowd become so dense that it was necessary for a squad of policemen to clear the aisles and passageways.
Later the great crowd was treated to a beautiful and inspiring sight when a clack curtain went up revealing nearly a thousand singers and members of the symphony orchestra seated on bleachers at the rear of the stage.
Sacramento Bee file
1892 charter divides the city into nine wards
March 1892: A commission elected by voters in 1891 completes its work on a new Sacramento city charter.
The charter divides the city into nine wards, each with its own member on the Board of Education and the Board of Trustees (later the City Council).
It calls for the independent election of the mayor, who has the power to appoint various city officials, including the police and fire chiefs.
Sunday paper includes Parade, color comics
Feb. 1, 1959: The Sacramento Bee debuts a Sunday paper, a 174-page edition that includes Parade Magazine and 12 pages of color comics.
Robert F. Kennedy, brother of the slain president, was a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968. In Los Angeles on June 6, 1968 he was assassinated after winning the California primary. Editorial cartoon by Newton Pratt / Sacramento Bee