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10,000 to 20,000 years prior to European discovery and exploration of the San Francisco Bay Area and its islands in 1542, over 10,000 indigenous Native Americans called the San Francisco Bay area home.

In 1776 the first European colonizing party arrived and founded the Presidio of San Francisco and Mission Dolores which is now a registered landmark.

San Francisco entered a period of rapid growth with the start of the California gold rush in 1848, and the Comstock Lode and silver mines in 1859. With the population growing from 800 people to more than 25,000 a construction boom ensued. San Francisco incorporated as a city in 1850.

Disaster struck in 1906 when the San Francisco Bay area was hit by a massive earthquake resulting in a fire that devastated the heart of the city. With spirits bruised but not broken, the people of San Francisco quickly rebuilt what is today one of the most recognizable cities in the United States.

The Golden Gate Bridge was built to span the "Golden Gate" between San Francisco an Marin County in 1933-1937. This amazing structure is over 1.7 miles long, including its approaches. Towering 746 feet high with a deck that arches 220 feet above the bay. It is now one of the most recognizable suspension bridges in the world.

Historic Figures

Joe DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio Joe DiMaggio
Major League Baseball player Joseph Paul DiMaggio (Nicknamed Joltin' Joe and The Yankee Clipper) was born November 25, 1914 and his family moved to San Francisco, California when Joe was one year old.

As were generations of DiMaggios before him, Joe's father Giuseppe was a fisherman who wanted all five of his sons to fish the Bay with him. However, Joe would do anything to get out of cleaning his dad's boat. His father called him "lazy" and "good for nothing". But after Joe became the star of the Pacific Coast League his father was finally won over.

Joe was only playing semi-pro ball when his brother Vince, then playing with the San Francisco Seals, talked his manager into letting his kid brother fill in at shortstop for the last three games of the 1932 season. It was soon apparent that Joe could not play shortstop, but boy could he hit. He hit in 61 consecutive games between May and July of 1933.

He tore the ligaments in his left knee when he stepped out of a jitney in 1934 on his way to his sister's house. This almost ended his career. He hit a homer the next day but had to walk around the bases because of the pain. The Seals had hoped to sell Joe for $100,000 but now they couldn't even give him away as the Chicago Cubs even turned down a no-risk tryout.

A scout for the Yankees, Bill Essick, fought hard to have the team give the 19 year old Joe another look. Once he passed a test on his knee, he was bought on November 21 for the sum of $25,000 .

Joe's started his major league debut on May 3, 1936, batting ahead of Lou Gehrig. Until now, the Yankees hadn't been to the World Series since 1932. Due to Joe, their sensational rookie, they won the next four. DiMaggio is the only player in North American pro sports history to be on four championship teams in his first four seasons. To add to this feat, he led the Yankees to nine titles in thirteen years.

Joe was a three-time MVP winner and thirteen-time All-Star who was widely hailed for his accomplishment on both offense and defense, as well as for the grace with which he played the game. At the time of he retired at age 36 he had the fifth-most career home runs (361) and sixth-highest slugging percentage (.579) in the history of Baseball.

DiMaggio fell into an 18-hour coma on December 11, 1998 following lung cancer surgery on October 14. Shortly thereafter he died on March 8, 1999.

July 19, 2024

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