This Week in Sacramento History March 5-11

March 5, 1951: Sacramento City Councilman Leslie E. Wood informs the Chamber of Commerce that city-owned off-street parking could be operating by the fall. Wood says a local law firm is handling legal issues related to acquiring property for the parking lots. The project will be financed with revenue bonds approved by voters.

Quote: "Only by a display of superior force can we avoid a third world war. I do not mean just military force. ... But if the three great systems of the United States with a pan-American union, Great Britain and an organized Europe would come together in a display of unity, the opponents would never dare provoke us." --Dr. Tibor Eckhardt, refugee Hungarian leader, speaking at Sacramento Town Hall

March 6, 1924: The Sacramento City Council votes to increase the annual salary of City Manager H.C. Bottoroff from $10,000 to $15,000. City Attorney Robert L. Shinn's pay will also be boosted from $4,800 to $5,400 a year. The pay hike ordinance was introduced by Mayor Albert Elkus.

Quote: "I might predict all sorts of dire things, but I don't propose to do that because bad situations with regard to water have been redeemed by the month of March before. I admit the situation just now does look pretty serious, but I have not lost hope." --Paul Bailey of the California Engineering and Irrigation Division, discussing possible water shortages for summer due to lack of rain and snowfall

March 7, 1966: The recent cold temperatures didn't deter scores of exhibitors and thousands of spectators from attending the 42nd annual Camellia Show at Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium. Nearly 7,000 blooms were shown in the horticulture competition; 1,000 more were displayed but not competing. Judges made allowances for camellias marred by the unusual weather.

Quote: "The placing of an unnecessary middleman between the citizen and his presidential choice is an antiquated system which must be updated. There is no reason the president and vice president should not be elected by a direct, popular vote." --Bee editorial, urging an end to the Electoral College

March 8, 1984: The Sacramento Transit Development Agency approves the removal of trees and concrete structures on the K Street to make way for a new trolley line. The dual track system will run from 12th to Seventh St. Demolition of the controversial structures, -- which were installed in 1969 in a move to save downtown business -- will begin April 16.

Quote: “A person’s private love life should have no bearing on one’s ability to perform a job. AB 1 would protect both straights and gays from discrimination.” -- John D. Helm, in a letter to the editor supporting a proposed state law banning discrimination of homosexuals

March 9, 1971: University of California President Charles Hitch tells an Assembly subcommittee that Gov. Ronald Reagan's proposed 1971-72 allocation for the UC system is "by far the worst budget yet." The proposed $337 million is basically the same as the previous year. Hitch says inflation makes it very hard to keep up with student enrollment.

Quote: "Felons have already lost their right to carry handguns, but they always manage to get one when they need it. Making it a felony for you and me to have one is not going to make it less legal or any more felonious for a criminal to obtain one. If he needs it, he will get it in." -- Ernest L. Trevino, a Bee letter writer, responding to another reader who urged more gun regulation

March 10, 1913: Sacramento business leaders hold a public meeting to promote the Capitol Extension bond election scheduled April 12. The city would use the $700,000 raised to buy and donate to the state the two blocks west of the Capitol, bounded by L and N streets and Ninth and 10th streets. Two state government buildings would be built there at a cost of $3 million.

Quote: "Defeat of the bond issue would be a calamity. It would mean not only a victory for San Francisco, but also a serious loss of prestige for this city." -- Bee editorial, warning that without the Capitol Extension bonds, the Legislature will decide to house the state Supreme Court and numerous state boards and commissions permanently in the Bay Area instead of in Sacramento

March 11, 1953: Clearing its first hurdle in the state Assembly, a bill increasing the old age pension moves from the Welfare Committee to the Ways and Means Committee. It would raise payments from $80 to $85 a month, and cost about $16.75 million a year, with $13 million from the state, $2.25 million from counties, and $1.5 million from the federal government.

Quote: "My family and I lived in Sacramento more than seven years. During that time we saw the havoc which can be wreaked when the American River waters get out of control. I will do my utmost to get this authorization approved." -- U.S. Sen. Thomas Kuchel, introducing a bill in Congress authorizing the construction of a north bank levee along the American River