This Week in Sacramento History Jan. 22-28

Jan. 22, 1948: The California Highway Patrol and local authorities complete plans for managing the crowds coming to Coloma to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill. Some 30,000 visitors are expected to pour into the area over the weekend.

Quote: “It probably would be as difficult to enforce a program of peacetime meat rationing as it was to enforce the prohibition laws back in the gone but unlamented days of the ‘20s. If national peril during wartime was not enough to stop a flourishing black market in meat, how much less chance is there of enforcement without the emotional stimuli of war?” -- Bee editorial

Jan. 23, 1917: The production of California sweet wines during the 1916 season was almost five times the amount produced in 1915, reports the State Board of Viticultural Commissioners. The large increase is attributed to a reduction in the federal fortifying tax from 55 cents to 10 cents per gallon.

Quote: “New York recently had a three days’ campaign against spitters, resulting in numerous arrests of persons defiling sidewalks. This vulgar and unsanitary practice is not infrequent in Sacramento, although a misdemeanor by city ordinance.” -- Bee editorial

Jan. 24, 1899: F.W. Woodson of the Capital City Wheelmen asks the Sacramento Board of City trustees to repair the bicycle path in the east side of town. He estimates this will cost between $75-90. The Trustees instruct the City Superintendent of Streets to make the repairs at an expense not to exceed $90.

Quote: “The way the Golden Gate Saloon is being conducted is most disgraceful. It is the rendezvous for some of the most notorious characters in the city, and depraved women are continually accosting men at the corner of Fourth and K Streets and inviting them to accompany them into the back rooms of the saloon.” -- Sacramento Police Chief Dwyer, who is on a campaign to drive the dive keepers out of business

Jan. 25, 1975: Presidential hopefuls Congressman Morris Udall and Gov. Jimmy Carter woo delegates at the state democratic convention in Sacramento. Both agreed that California would be a major battleground for the 1976 nomination. And both expressed skepticism that Pres. Gerald Ford’s economic policies will halt inflation and boost employment.

Quote: “Gov. [Jerry] Brown should take a hard look at California’s ruthless walled prisons before he authorizes dumping more of the taxpayers’ dollars into a penal system that has proven to be 100 percent ineffective in every form of rehabilitation.” -- Albert Christenson, in a letter to the editor

Jan. 26, 1923: Assemblyman Elmer P. Bromley introduces the first of Gov. Friend Richardson’s bills intended to reorganize state government. The legislation would create a state department of professional standards, which would allow the elimination of many existing boards and commissions, including those regulating accountants, architects, embalmers, medical examiners, optometrists and pharmacists.

Quote: “To properly govern themselves for themselves, the people must vote, and vote thoughtfully. Nevertheless, too many citizens regard voting as a tiresome negligible matter and those who do vote let some demagogue or worthless mountebank, with an ounce of brains adhering to the base of his skull, do the thinking for them.” -- Judge James F. Smith, in an essay calling for more education to combat non-voting

Jan. 27, 1940: Frank Iusi, manager of the new Yuba City migratory camp, says stars of the movie version of The Grapes of Wrath (including Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell and John Carradine) have been invited to attend the formal dedication of the facility in March. The camp will house both single people and families and will feature an assembly hall, nursery, laundry, clinic, showers and other amenities.

Quote: “The United States is using up her oil resources more rapidly than any country in the world. The production is about 2 billion barrels per year. A California geological expert told a congressional committee last year that the existing known oil reserves in this country amount to only 17 billion barrels. Unless new and unexplored fields are discovered, a child can figure out that this know reserve will be exhausted within a decade. What then?” -- Bee editorial

Jan. 28, 1938: Rusty, the 16-year-old cat who lived all his life in Folsom Prison, has died. The feline was famous for his “nosey” ability to detect food in a convict’s cell. A favorite among the guards, Rusty will be given a burial with full honors and a tombstone in a bed of flowers on the hillside above the prison.

Quote: “The department of motor vehicles is concerned over whether it can call highway officers sergeant or captain. This will make little difference to the public since the officers all look impressive as generals when they hand out tickets.” -- Bee editorial