Sunday, January 13, 2008

Did you know? Pop quiz on San Francisco

Lots of the streets in San Fran are named after famous people, such as Geary street, Junipero Serra Blvd, and Montgomery Street.
  • John White Geary was the mayor of SF in 1856. He had a lot to deal with: over six years there were 1400 murders and only 3 convictions. That wouldn't make me feel safe.
  • Father Junipero Serra established the famous Mission Dolores which is next to Dolores Park.
  • Captain Montgomery, of the United States, sailed here on his ship the Portsmouth (recognize that name? Think Chinatown.) The USA told Capt. Montgomery to claim Yerba Buena from the Mexicans and rename the city San Francisco. I don't feel particularly sad about stealing the land from the Mexicans because they took it from the Indians in the first place. Where else have you seen the name Yerba Buena in San Francisco? What do you think it means?
On September 17th of 1859, Joshua Norton crowned Himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. He was San Francisco's first Emperor (I am not making this up). He was the mayor of SF, but preferred to be called Emperor. It was his idea to set up a giant Christmas tree in Union Square and to build the Golden Gate bridge. The locals loved him and his idiosyncrasies.

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