Sacramento Stories: Armed Black Panther members enter Capitol (May 2, 1967)
The Sacramento Bee is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. This story is part of our ongoing coverage.
May 2, 1967: Two dozen armed Negroes entered the state Capitol at noon today and 10 made their way to the back of the Assembly Chamber before they were disarmed and marched away by the state police.
The Assembly was in session at the time and Speaker Pro Tem Carlos Bee ordered the men removed from the chamber.
Outside the chamber, the police took away the weapons. The men argued they could carry the weapons as long as they were not concealed.
Apparently the fact the weapons were not concealed was the reason the men were able to get as far as the Assembly Chamber before they were disarmed.
After the state police questioned the men, they returned the weapons to them because the intruders had broken no law.
Following their release by the state police, the men left the Capitol and rejoined some companions who remained outside during the incident. They then drove off.
Four or five carloads of the Black Panther group later drove into a service station at 15th and L Streets. Several police officers took the demonstrators to the city jail.
An officer said they had not been charged with any offense, but added: “We’re going to take them all down and check them all out and we’re going to check out all these weapons.”
Outside of the police office ... one man who identified himself as Bobby Seale of Oakland read a page-long statement of the Black Panther Party. It declared: “The Black Panther party for self-defense calls upon the American people in general and the black people in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature which is considering legislation aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless at the very same time that racist police agencies throughout the country are intensifying the terror, brutality, murder and repression of black people.”
He apparently was referring to a bill by Assemblyman Don Mulford, R-Piedmont, which forbids carrying a loaded weapon within an incorporated area.
The Sacramento Bee file
Republican presidential hopefuls George Romney of Michigan and Richard Nixon, who had taken up residence in New York, found a new GOP power structure in California. It was not friendly to “outsiders.”
Grand causeway debut opens vistas for travelers
1916: The two-lane Yolo Causeway is opened. The $40,000 project drastically cuts the commute between Sacramento and San Francisco during the rainy season. Motorists still have to take ferries at the Carquinez Strait and Oakland.
A four-day celebration, including a large parade, was held to herald the causeway’s opening. Here’s an excerpt from a story in The Sacramento Bee on May 13, 1916:
Cheering thousands, extending along miles of Sacramento streets today watched, enthralled at the passing of the great Causeway parade.
Miles upon miles of beauty, consisting of hundreds of beautifully decorated floats and autos, moved through the streets, while the entire Sacramento Valley, the Capital City and the State applauded and gave a tremendous ovation and blessing to the joining of the East Side and the West Side, the union of two great component parts of the inland empire – the Sacramento Valley and Superior California.
It was a wonderful demonstration, significant of the new order of things, Miss Side blushingly casting her approving eyes on Mr. East Side, when the West Side cavalcade crossed the M Street bridge and was joined by the Sacramento contingent with a blare of horns, trumpets and the resounding drums, the cheers of the thousands waiting and flashing of brilliant colors.