John C. Ralston 

Thursday, January 26, 7:00 p.m.

This Date in San Francisco: 366 Days in the History of Our Fascinating Beloved City    


This Date in San Francisco has 12 chapters, one for each month, and 366 entries, one for each calendar date of the year, plus nine more entries under “Some Other Dates.” Many entries are memorable and highly significant – April 18, 1906, for example, the great Earthquake and Fire. Some are less significant, but all are diverting and/or amusing. A reader might flip through This Date daily just to see what happened in San Francisco on a given date. This Date in San Francisco also takes a place as a reference work alongside the many other books on San Francisco; this small, young, rowdy city that captured the world’s imagination and is still a center of innovation, unconventionality, and beauty.

John C. Ralston is a third-generation San Franciscan whose great-grandfather arrived in The City from Scotland in the early 1860’s. As a youngster in the inner Sunset District, John was fascinated with his city’s history. After taking a degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley, with emphasis on Russia and the Soviet Union, he studied for a teaching credential at San Francisco State University. Assigned the late Professor Walton Bean’s Boss Ruef’s San Francisco for a course on California, John’s fascination with his city’s history was rekindled. Since then, John has collected articles, books, ephemera, and photos of his city. After This Date in San Francisco, John is completing a biography of San Francisco editor Fremont Older.

"Here is the ideal San Francisco calendar--a day by day listing of important events in the city's history. Those great days when the bridges opened--The Golden Gate (May 27) the Bay Bridge (November 12). The day when the first cable car ran (August 1). The moment when television first flickered into life (September 3) and when an audience in San Francisco's Civic Center saw a demonstration of something that would change the world -- the computer mouse (December 9). This book of dates lists fires, riots, celebrations, births, deaths, and disasters in the life of one of the most interesting cities anywhere."

-Carl Nolte, columnist, San Francisco Chronicle

This Date in San Francisco HistoryThomas GladyszWriter / cultural archeologist 

January 4, 2012


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Event date: 
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
1010 El Camino Real
94025-4349 Menlo Park