This Week in Sacramento History April 2-8

April 2, 1900: City Judge W.A. Anderson asks the chief of police to investigate the soundness of the old jail building where he holds court. The judge said the 50-year-old structure has settled over 2 inches in just two weeks and he's certain the underpinning is rotten. With walls bulging and leaning, Anderson warns that the building is unsafe and is in danger of collapsing.

Quote: "The baseball season of 1900 opened with the usual eclat yesterday afternoon -- a parade of the two teams, in which the magnates and their hired men swelled up as if they could already feel the pennant in their grasp, the music of a brass band, and the din of a lot of lusty-lunged rooters, cranks and fans." -- Bee account of game in which Stockton Pirates beat Sacramento Gilt Edges, 11-6

April 3, 1973: Gov. Ronald Reagan's campaign for a constitutional amendment limiting taxes kicks off with the filing of election documents with California's secretary of state. Among its provisions are a limit on taxes linked to a percentage of the total personal income of California residents, plus a 20 percent rebate on 1973 state income taxes.

Quote: "Deficits used to be embarrassing incidents which our government tried to avoid, but now the collectivists who rule us plan them. It is supposed to be all right, we are assured, because we owe it to ourselves. Which raises the question: why don't we pay ourselves off and forget it?" -- Paul A. Howard in a letter denouncing Keynesian economics

April 4, 1864: The Central Pacific Railroad invited members of the Legislature and their friends for a train ride 25 miles up into the foothills. It was expected that heavy rains and strong winds would keep people at home, but enough people came to fill 21/2 passenger cars. The train whirled along at 20 miles per hour, at one point scaring a flock of wild geese. Despite the storm, the ride was remarkably smooth and comfortable.

Blustery winds topple a locust tree in front of Agricultural Hall at Sixth and M streets. This was the last tree standing in front of the building. It had survived the city's last two floods, which killed off many ornamental trees that once graced the hall.

April 5, 1916: A fire of unknown origin destroys the entire business district of Clio in Plumas County. The loss is estimated at $20,000. During the fire, a man was killed when a hot-water boiler exploded at the Western Pacific Hotel, sending heavy fragments as far as 250 feet. The blaze began in a frame warehouse used by J.B. Drake. An investigation is under way.

Quote: "Now it's pretty certain there are 3,000 people in Sacramento who would like to have ground to cultivate. The only thing, therefore, is to get the people and the ground together. If we can do that ... we'll have a weedless city in the bargain." -- E.H. Carpenter, assistant city health officer, announcing a program that allows residents to grow gardens on Sacramento's 3,000 vacant lots

April 6, 1960: The Legislature approves a bill that mandates anti-smog devices on all new cars in California. Used autos would be required to have the equipment only in counties where smog is a problem. The bill also directs the state to contract with outside testing labs, instead of creating its own lab.

Quote: "California can never rest until its unpredictable rivers are finally controlled, both for the protection against ravaging floods and for conservation of water so vitally needed to sustain the state's economy and its growth." -- Gov. Edmund "Pat" Brown, appearing before Congress to plead for $151 million in federal funding for development of water resources

April 7, 1947: State Engineer Edward Hyatt said the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is studying a site for a new dam on Putah Creek in Napa County. The proposed dam would be built near the mouth of Putah Canyon three miles west of Winters. It would eliminate flooding in the Berryessa Valley and store 400,000 acre-feet of water, sufficient to meet the needs of Solano County.

Quote: "I have been connected with a service station in various capacities from attendant to operator in the last 12 years and know that when it comes to rackets, the slot machines are rank amateurs. The present day service station operator, if he ... has to lease from a company, has no chance to make a decent living." -- an attendant, complaining in a letter that station operators are squeezed financially

April 8, 1952: The California Public Utilities Commission rejects a request by the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for an interim electric rate hike. The increase is sought pending the outcome of PG&E's application for a permanent 18.5 percent rate boost that would cost customers $37.5 million annually.

Quote: "The so-called price and wage controls are a joke. The timid, vote-conscious politicians are pretending to hold prices down while letting the wage level, which governs prices, rise unchecked -- a feat of magic which is on par with sweeping back the water which already has flowed over the dam." -- Lowell Mason, in a letter warning that the power of labor is causing constant inflation and cheapening the dollar