This Week in Sacramento History July 30-Aug. 5

July 30, 1986: The Sacramento City Council refuses to approve a contract for a $15.2 million senior housing project because the low bidder, Campbell Construction Co., failed to meet guidelines for subcontracting work to minority firms. The city Housing and Redevelopment Agency is told to negotiate the issue.

Quote: "I cannot believe the federal building on Capitol Mall has absolutely no disabled parking for the public. Why do other government bodies respect and obey the law for the disabled, and the federal government closes its eyes to such a real problem?" -- Marsha Griswold, in a letter to the editor

July 31, 1923: In San Francisco, attending physicians report that President Warren G. Harding, 57, appears to be gaining ground in his fight against bronchial pneumonia and other complications contracted during a 40-day trip through Alaska, British Columbia and Washington state.

Quote: "Because a man is president, must he go on and on when it is apparent to his advisers that in so doing he is risking his health and even his life?" -- Bee editorial, questioning the wisdom of President Harding continuing his tour of North America despite indications of serious illness [Harding died Aug. 2, 1923]

Aug. 1, 1878: Last evening, two freight trains collided about 14 miles east of Truckee on the Central Pacific route. Three locomotives were so disabled they won't be fit for service until they are overhauled at the Sacramento railroad shops. Since the track was blocked, the express train from Virginia City -- due here at 6 a.m. -- had to be abandoned.

Quote: "It is desirable, indeed it is necessary, to protect the California levees from the incursions of gophers. These little rodents ... work day and night to honeycomb, tear down and destroy the earthen bulwarks raised against the water. They must be destroyed or banished before there can be entire safety." -- Bee editorial

Aug. 2, 1956: Blair Geddes, traffic engineer for the state Highways Division, predicts traffic on Highway 50 between the Brighton Underpass and the Nimbus junction will triple in the next 20 years. He reports that 19,000 vehicles travel that stretch daily. After the freeway is built, he estimates that number will rise to 50,000.

Quote: "Civil defense might more accurately be called civil offense. Operation Alert is little more than an annual insult to the intelligence of the people. But too few are courageous enough to ... point out the only sane answer, the abolition of war itself." -- R.F. Burlingame, in a letter denouncing a drill to test response to a nuclear attack

Aug. 3, 1917: The Sacramento Consolidated Chamber of Commerce decides to construct its own headquarters on a lot next to The Bee building on Seventh Street between I and J streets. It's not clear how tall the building will be, but the chamber wants it to be architecturally striking and large enough to accommodate the group for years to come.

Quote: "Patience has ceased to be a virtue insofar as the delays of the company in performing work on thoroughfares at the crossings, which in some cases have grown beyond a glaring unsightliness and an inconvenience to the public and into a constant menace to safety." -- Bee editorial, saying that railroads should be forced to pay for repairs to railway-street crossings

Aug. 4, 1945: Congressman Leroy Johnson of Stockton tells the Chamber of Commerce he favors expanding McClellan Field as a permanent military base in the postwar period. He also wants a veterans' facility built in the region. Johnson reports that the proposed Sacramento Deep Water Channel Project has advanced.

Quote: "Our state is again faced with a serious labor problem in connection with the harvesting and processing of farm crops. A concerted effort on the part of all citizens able to contribute some of their spare time to harvesting and processing activity is required." -- California Gov. Earl Warren

Aug. 5, 1869: Adm. David Farragut, celebrated Union officer of the Civil War, gets a warm welcome from the people of Vallejo, where he formerly lived and worked as Captain of the Navy Yard from 1854 to 1858. Farragut owns property there and plans to visit Vallejo Springs, a beautiful source of sulfur mineral water three miles away.

Quote: "The Democratic Regents of the California University propose to charge as much as Harvard or Yale ... (They) should be turned out of place to make room for practical people, who will fix such rates that poor people's children can have a show in that establishment. It was not endowed by the people for the rich alone -- but for all ... " -- Bee editorial