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San Francisco History Podcast – Sparkletack

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Stories unearthed from the history of San Francisco, the "city that knows how".

Stories unearthed from the history of San Francisco, the "city that knows how".
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Location:

United States

Description:

Stories unearthed from the history of San Francisco, the "city that knows how".

Language:

English


Episodes

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast 05.18.09 - Flappers in the newspapers

5/18/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: May 19, 1922 Flappers Right off the bat I have to admit the fact that -- to paraphrase Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck -- what I don't know about San Francisco in the 1920s is a lot. I did know that all sorts of great Prohibition and gangster stuff must have gone on, though, so I started leafing through a couple of 1922 editions of the Chronicle looking for stories. And was immediately distracted by the flappers. You know, flappers. Louise Brooks,...

Duration:00:10:13

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast 05.11.09 - Charles Warren Stoddard, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rincon Hill

5/11/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: Sometime in 1879: The house on Rincon Hill Last week I read to you from In the Footprints of the Padres, Charles Warren Stoddard's 1902 reminiscences about the early days of San Francisco. That piece recounted a boyhood adventure, but this book is full of California stories from the latter years of the 19th century; some deservedly obscure, but some that ring pretty loud bells. Todays' short text is a great example of the latter, one that dovetails...

Duration:00:10:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast 05.04.09 - A boyhood outing from "In the Footsteps of the Padres" by Charles Warren Stoddard

5/4/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: Spring 1854 Charles Warren Stoddard In 1854, the down-on-their-luck Stoddard family set off from New York City to try their luck in that brand new metropolis of the West: San Francisco. Charles Warren Stoddard was just 11 years old, and San Francisco -- still in the throes of the Gold Rush, a vital, chaotic, cosmopolitan stew pot -- was the most exciting place a little boy could dream of. Charles would grow up to play a crucial part in San Francisco's...

Duration:00:14:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast 04.20.09 - Hotaling's Whiskey is spared by the 1906 Great Fire and Earthquake

4/20/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: April 20th, 1906 The deliverance of Hotaling's Whiskey As of Friday the 20th, San Francisco was still on fire. The Great Earthquake had happened two days earlier, but the Fire (or fires) that devastated the city were still well underway. The eastern quarter of the city -- nearly five square miles -- would be almost completely destroyed. But after the smoke cleared, a few precious blocks would emerged unscathed. Among these survivors would be the two...

Duration:00:07:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast 04.13.09 Giants play the Dodgers, first major league baseball game on the West Coast

4/13/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: April 15, 1958 Major League Baseball in San Francisco! Exactly fifty-one years ago today, two New York City transplants faced each other for the first time on the fertile soil of the West Coast. Decades of storied rivalry already under their respective belts, these two legendary New York baseball clubs -- the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers -- were trapped in aging, unsuitable parks. Giants owner Horace Stoneham had been considering a move to...

Duration:00:09:06

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 04.06.09, Sparkletack.com

4/6/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: April 9, 1871: A hoodlum king's power is broken, and all because he hated the sound of music. Apparently. This isn't going to come as a surprise, but one of my favourite histories of this fair city is Herbert Asbury's Barbary Coast, first published in 1933. That's where I ran into the little story of Billy Smith, one of the most notorious hoodlums that San Francisco ever produced. In the early 1870s, Billy Smith was the leader of a gang known as the...

Duration:00:07:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 03.30.09, Sparkletack.com

3/30/2009
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THIS WEEK’S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT:The San Francisco “Cocktail Route” 1890-something The Cocktail Route — “Champagne Days of San Francisco” Spring is most definitely in the air right now, which has brought my thoughts back to one of the great phenomena of San Francisco’s pre-earthquake era, the “Cocktail Route”. I know I’ve mentioned the “Cocktail Route” in […]

Duration:00:12:43

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 03.23.09, Sparkletack.com

3/23/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: 1871 "A Barbary Cruise" I've been thinking about the fact that -- just like our out-of-town guests inevitably insist that we take 'em to Chinatown or Fisherman's Wharf -- in the 1870s, visitors from back in "the States" just had to go slumming in the infamous Barbary Coast. The piece I'm about to read to you was written by Mr. Albert Evans, a reporter from the good ol' Alta California. The Barbary Coast was part of his beat, and this gave him connections...

Duration:00:14:33

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 03.09.09, Sparkletack.com

3/10/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: March 15, 1915: "The Man Who Owns the Sky" It was the year of the legendary Panama-Pacific International Exposition. San Francisco had once again earned that phoenix on her flag by rising from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake and fire -- and just nine years later, the city celebrated its rebirth by winning the right to host the World's Fair. Visitors from every point on the compass swarmed towards California to visit the resurgent city. You probably know...

Duration:00:13:48

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 03.03.09, Sparkletack.com

3/2/2009
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THIS WEEK’S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: 1956: Gold medals or Gold records? An athletic crooner makes a life-changing choice 1956: “Send blank contracts” Of course you know Johnny Mathis. The velvet-voiced crooner is a fixture of the softer side of American pop culture, providing reliably romantic background music for cuddling couples for over sixty years. He’s sold […]

Duration:00:07:33

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 02.23.09, Sparkletack.com

2/23/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: 1852: A Gold Rush shaving-saloon I love personal accounts of the goings-on in our little town more than just about anything. The sights, the smells, the daily routine ... I want the nuts and bolts of what it was like to live here THEN! It's even better when the eyeballs taking it all in belong to an outsider, a visiting alien to whom everything's an oddity. For my birthday a couple of years ago my Lady Friend gave me a book that's packed to the gills...

Duration:00:07:43

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 02.16.09, Sparkletack.com

2/16/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: February 19, 1921 Ghosts of Lands End On this date the cornerstone for San Francisco's spectacular Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum was levered into place. The Museum was to be a vehicle for the cultural pretensions of the notorious Alma Spreckels. This social-climbing dynamo envisioned her Museum as a far western outpost of French art and culture. Drawing on the vast fortune of her husband -- sugar baron Adolph Spreckels -- she constructed a replica...

Duration:00:06:43

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 02.09.09, Sparkletack.com

2/9/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: February, 1869 The battle for Rincon Hill is over There aren't too many people living who remember this now, but Rincon Hill was once the fanciest neighborhood in San Francisco. You know the place, right? It's south of Market Street, an asphalt-covered lump of rock with the Bay Bridge sticking out of the north-east side and Second Street running by, out to the Giants' ballpark. That's Rincon Hill. What's left of it, anyway. Exactly 140 years ago this...

Duration:00:07:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 02.02.09, Sparkletack.com

2/2/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: February 1, 1849 The eye of the Gold Rush hurricane The spring of 1849 -- dawn of a year forever branded into the national consciousness as the era of the California Gold Rush. And so it was -- but that was back East, in the "States". In San Francisco, the Gold Rush had actually begun an entire year earlier. I'd better set the scene. The United States were at war with Mexico -- it's President Polk and "Manifest Destiny" time. San Francisco (then Yerba...

Duration:00:16:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 01.26.09, Sparkletack.com

1/26/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: January 30, 1847: Yerba Buena becomes San Francisco Yerba Buena That was the name given to the tiny bayside settlement back in 1835, a name taken from the wild mint growing on the sand dunes that surrounded it. And if it hadn't been for the lucky first name of an elegant Spanish noblewoman, that's what the city of San Francisco would still be called today. Our magnificent bay had already worn the name of San Francisco since 1769 -- but though some in...

Duration:00:07:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 01.19.09, Sparkletack.com

1/19/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: January 20, 1890 Miss Nellie Bly whizzes past San Francisco I got a hot tip that this was the anniversary of the day Miss Nellie Bly stopped by on the home stretch of her dash around the world. But as it turns out, well ... some background first, I guess. For starters, who the heck was Nellie Bly? Sixteen years old in 1880, Miss Elizabeth Jane Cochrane of Pittsburgh was a budding feminist. When a blatantly sexist column appeared in the local paper, the...

Duration:00:12:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 01.12.09, Sparkletack.com

1/12/2009
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THIS WEEK'S PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: January 17, 1861 Countess Lola Montez -- in Memorium As was undoubtedly marked on your calendar, San Francisco's patron saint Emperor Norton died last week, January 7, 1880. But his was not the only January passing worthy of note. Ten days later (and nineteen years earlier), we lost perhaps the most notorious personage ever to grace the streets of our fair city. I speak, of course, of Countess Lola Montez . Yes, that's the one -- "whatever Lola wants,...

Duration:00:08:00

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, 01.05.09, Sparkletack.com

1/5/2009
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THIS WEEK: January 7, 1898: The execution of Gilded Age San Francisco's most notorious criminal Sure, Jack the Ripper had set a certain tone for serial killing just a few years earlier, but the crimes of Theodore Durrant were even more shocking. See, Jack's victims had been prostitutes, but San Francisco's "Demon of the Belfry" had murdered a pair of girls who were respectable churchgoers. In his very own church. On the day before Easter Sunday, 1896, a group of women held a meeting at...

Duration:00:11:23

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, December 22-31, Sparkletack.com

12/22/2008
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THIS WEEK: December 25, 1894: First San Francisco Cliff House burns On Christmas Day, 1894, the first San Francisco Cliff House burned to the ground. As the Chronicle poetically reported the next morning, Ah, yes. We discussed this first incarnation of the Cliff House a few weeks ago -- its novel location at the edge of the world, its singular popularity with San Francisco's beautiful people, and its subsequent decline into a house of ill-repute. Well, before it could rise from that...

Duration:00:08:03

San Francisco history timecapsule podcast, December 5-21, Sparkletack.com

12/15/2008
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THIS WEEK: December 15, 1849: The London Times looks west As I perused the pages of an 1849-era copy of the Alta California this week, I ran across a little item reprinted from the venerable London Times. I'd been on the hunt for, you know, colorful "Gold Rush-y" stuff, but sandwiched between reports on the progress of the new Mormon Settlement at the Great Salt Lake and a cholera epidemic in Marseilles, was a piece nicely showcasing British condescension towards their American cousins,...

Duration:00:08:18