Balboa Park History 1931

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:4 Eight thousand greet Albert Einstein at Organ Pavilion.

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Special Section, 3:1-2. San Diego Zoo ranks with best in United States, by Belle J. Benchley, Manager.

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Special Section, 3:7-8. Daily recitals at Spreckels Organ, by Dr. Humphrey J. Stewart.

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Special Section, 4:7-8. Works of famous artists displayed by institution in park, by Reginald Poland, Director, Fine Arts Gallery.

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Special Section, 8:1-2. Natural History Museum magnet for visitors, by Clinton G. Abbott, Director.

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Special Section, 9:6-7. Scientific collection in San Diego Museum shows history of man’s early existence.

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Special Section, 10:6. W. W. Whitney library offers wide variety of scientific data.

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Special Section, 10:1-2. Natural History Museum carries message to 82 rural schools.

January 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Special Section, 10:7-8. Balboa Park famed throughout world for its scenic beauty.

January 6, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:3, 2:4-5. City Council may use surplus Otay pipe funds for building park golf links; ordinance to appropriate $100,000 authorized; other projects planned for unemployment relief.

January 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:2-5. Timkens present two paintings to Fine Arts Gallery; masterpieces by Dierick Bouts and Jean Chardin on display, by Reginald Poland (illus.).

January 8, 1931, San Diego Union, Classified, 8:5. Council to act on golf project next Monday; Councilman Dowell sees benefit to San Diegans in proposed expenditure of $100,000.

January 10, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:3. New shuffleboard courts in Balboa Park at 6th and Redwood to be dedicated today.

January 11, 1931, San Diego Union, 14:5. $100,000 lacking for golf course; Otay Pipe Line Reserve unavailable; probably $25,000 will be appropriated on unemployment relief plan; $151,000 in City Reserve Fund at present.

January 13, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:2, 3:1. Council fails to vote funds for golf course; members to meet Park Board tomorrow; relief of jobless urged.

January 13, 1931, San Diego Union, 8:4. Mayor Clark appointed Samuel I. Fox member of Park Commission yesterday.

January 15, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:3, 3:5. Council agrees to develop park golf course as job aid; nine-hole grassed course long desired, favored for unemployment relief.

January 20, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:5. Action on Golf Course Delayed; problem of later enlargement to 18-hole project engages Council.

Action on the projected new nine-hole golf course in the park was delayed by the council yesterday pending information on whether it would be possible to later put in a standard 18-hole golf course without extending it across Pershing Drive. The projected nine-hole course is what is termed standard size and might not hook in later with a standard course without material changes which the council feared would mean throwing away money.

Park Superintendent Morley estimated that the nine-hole course could be put in from $30,000, of which $16,127 would go for labor and the rest for materials. The labor figure proved a disappointment to Councilman Maire. Questioned by Maire, Manager Lockwood told the council that on new road projects in the park probably 78 percent of the cost would be labor charges. The council will hear more on the golf course matter tomorrow afternoon at a special meeting.

January 22, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:3. Council allots $30,000 to build park golf course; project will provide work for 40 men three days a week; may be enlarged.

January 22, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 10:1. Marston thanks city officials for resolution voicing appreciation for park services; he recently resigned from Park Commission.

January 25, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:5, 3:2. $730,000 causeway across Mission Bay opened at formal ceremony.

January 27, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:6, 3:3-6. Timkens present works of Rubens, Murillo and Ribera to Fine Arts Gallery, by Reginald Poland

February 1, 1931, San Diego Union, Sports, 1:3-7. Work of grassing San Diego’s first all-grass municipal golf course will start tomorrow (drawing).

February 15, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 3:5. New bear’s den at Zoo clever in imitations; bruins feel at liberty in modern double grotto for polars and grizzlies.

When you catch your first glimpse of the new double bear grotto at the San Diego Zoo, you feel for a second as if a bit of the Painted Desert or the Grand Canyon of the Colorado had shifted its position, bringing some of the colorful red sandstone cliffs with their caves and washes into the heart of Balboa Park. So cleverly indeed is the stage concealed that even the bears themselves still believe they are at liberty and continue to explore the hidden recesses of the caverns and the depths of the pools perfectly happy in the complete freedom of their pretentious new home.

This is the home of the polar bears and the grizzly bears, long contemplated and just completed. For six long years the great polar bears have been forced to share the only open bear grotto in rotation with the “happy family” of bears from all over the world. They have not been unhappy; in fact, they have been very comfortable in their downstairs quarters, where they have had plenty of running water, plenty of light and room, and plenty of food. But the public was disappointed in not seeing them, and the only things the bears truly lacked was a bathing pool.

In the new grotto there is a pool built well out into the center so that it can be seen from every angle. It is deep and long and wide, built with a high diving wall across the back, and in the big pool the bears spend most of their time. One of them plays with an old casing just as a small boy uses an inflated tube in the plunge. The other two splash and duck each other and have a wonderful time. But they can always be coaxed out for a bit of food tossed by a visitor.

Shipped to the southland from their home when they were very young cubs, these polar bears know nothing of ice and snow, of cold weather or the terrible struggle for existence that goes on among their kind in the arctic regions. Here they are fed fruit and vegetables in the summer; bread and cooked meat and mash in the winter to thicken their blood. This balanced feed keeps them physically fit for every sort of weather.

In the northern section of the grotto, the grizzly bear cubs are just as much at home as their distant cousins on the other side of the high dividing wall. They were three years old at least when they left their home in Yellowstone National Park to live in San Diego and they know all about red clay and sandstone caves and canyon walls. They know all about tourists who leave bacon rinds, sandwiches and wonderfully smelling tips around campfires and they know that when man appears there is sure to be food, so they stand erect on the very edge of their deep dry moat and motion the people to throw them a sugar lump, looking like a catcher signaling to his pitcher.

February 20, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:5-6. William Von Mueller defends Park Superintendent in Plaza palm death case.

February 22, 1931, San Diego Union, 6:1. Arthur Marston succeeds father as company head (photo).

February 22, 1931, San Diego Union, Classified, 6:4-5. San Diego Zoo exhibits four new specimens received from Los Angeles; trees, shrubs also donated for gardens.


March 1, 1931, San Diego Union, 8:1-2. John Forward, Jr. explains stand against state park bonds.

March 1, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 5:8. Scale model of Aztec calendar on display in San Diego Museum.

March 2, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:4. Scouts will dedicate merit badge museum at Indian Village, Friday night.

March 3, 1931, San Diego Union, 11:1. More than 200 attended Girl Scout rite at O’Rourke Institute Saturday.

March 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 11:1. Barcelona finds big exposition costly affair; city saddled with huge debt.

March 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 6:2-3. Writers give both sides of state park bond issue.

March 9, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Tomorrow’s Bonds . . . We strongly favor the bonds.

March 11, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:2. Park bond issue of $435,000 is rejected by County vote of more than 2 to 1.

March 23, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:4-5. Zoo gets harmless-looking snakes, the they are deadly.


April 8, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1. Iris big feature of spring Flower Show in park this weekend.

April 11, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:3. San Diego Zoo python will get first square meal since January 1; public invited.

April 12, 1931, San Diego Union, 14:1. Floral Society offers display (illus.).

April 13, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:4-5. Python at San Diego Zoo eats with aid of 18 men and sausage machine.

April 15, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:4. San Diego Museum, organized 1911, by Dr. Edgar L. Hewett; Clinton G. Abbott, director; Miss Alice Lee, president.

April 25, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:3. Park Department asked yesterday for fund transfer aggregating $3,004.72.

The Board seeks to transfer $3,004.72 to the golf course account. Transfer needed because of

diminished revenues of the links. The public prefers grassed courses elsewhere.


May 1, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:2. 2:3-4. Natural History Museum offered new park site; will build $200,000 unit of fireproof structure by popular subscription.

Official designation of a new Natural History museum site in Balboa Park was made by the board of park commissioners at its meeting yesterday afternoon when Joseph W. Sefton, Jr., president, and Clinton G. Abbott, director, representing the San Diego Society of Natural History. Appeared before the board with preliminary plans for a proposed new building.

The area selected is the site of the former civic auditorium, which lies diagonally across the street from the building at present occupied by the museum. The decision announced yesterday was the result of a thorough survey of available park territory which previously has been made by members of the park board, officers of the Society of Natural History, and William Templeton Johnson, who has been retained by the society as architect.

It was brought out at the meeting that in attempting to look as far as possible into the future, consideration in selecting the site was given to accessibility, both for the public and for service purposes, ample space for the parking of automobiles, room for future growth, and preservation of park areas which are now horticulturally developed.

The matter of providing fireproof protection for the continually growing collections in the Natural History museum has been a foremost objective of the San Diego Society of Natural History, according to its representatives at the meeting yesterday, ever since the civic auditorium burned down in 1925 when the present museum building narrowly escaped destruction in the same conflagration.

Since then the building (designed for temporary purposes as an exposition structure, has been disintegrating until a move to a permanent home has become imperative. It was announced that Miss Ellen B. Scripps, though whose generosity the present Natural History museum was established and who has shown much interest in its progress, has offered to meet the expensive of a comprehensive architectural plan for a new museum, units of which might be built as money became available. In this way haphazard construction, which later might prove to have been a mistake, would be avoided.

Such an ultimate plan would include ample exhibition halls with room for the anticipated increase of the exhibits, research laboratories, children’s museum, library, auditorium, etc.

Designs submitted by Mr. Johnson contemplate the eventual use of an area west of the civic auditorium site, the intervening roadway being bridged by connecting arches. The park board agreed to tentative reservation of this area for the museum’s expansion, if needed. Such area would be definitely required should the proposed consolidation of the San Diego Museum and the Natural History Museum be effected in future years.

“The fact that we are asking the park board to designate an area and having plans for a fireproof museum prepared,” said director Abbott, in commenting upon the situation, “doe not mean that we are in a position to start immediate construction. The matter is so urgent, however, that we are at least taking these first necessary steps. It really lies with the citizens of San Diego whether they care enough about the Natural History Museum to see its possessions properly protected.

“Miss Scripps indicated that she will contribute to the building fund, but she will not meet the entire expense alone, and even her tentative offer is contingent upon substantial contributions by others. We are, therefore, earnestly appealing to San Diegans to make possible construction of the first essential unit, costing about $200,000, soon.

“The collections, number hundreds of thousands of specimens now contained in the tinder-like Natural History Museum are beyond value, because they are irreplaceable. The San Diego Society of Natural History, which operated the museum, is the oldest scientific organization in southern California, having been established in 1874 and some of its possessions are animals which are now totally extinct. Definite counts show that an average of 1,000 persons daily enter the museum for recreation and education. We have before us the example of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, which was completely destroyed by fire in 1906. Losses to science, as a result of that fire, can never be overcome.

May 4, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:1-5, 7:1-5. Hazel Bradshaw, 20, found stabbed to death in Indian Village.

May 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:6. Chamber of Commerce votes against 1935 fair plan; leaders say banks and industry will not support such an undertaking now.

May 17, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. Army Reserves plan horse show in part May 31; proceeds will be donated to equipment fund of City Child Hygiene Bureau

Jumping will play a big part in the events of the second annual Army Reserve Officers’ Charity Horse Show, according to announcement yesterday by the general manager of arrangements, Captain Fenton S. Jacobs, commanding officer of the 11th Cavalry Detachment at Fort Rosecrans.

The horse show will be held Sunday afternoon, May 31, at the county fair grounds in Balboa Park and the net proceeds will be donated to the equipment fund of the Child Hygiene Bureau of the Department of Health of San Diego.

May 17, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:1. Students to exhibit work in building at southwest corner of Plaza de Panama, June 5, 6 and 7.

May 25, 1931, San Diego Union, 6:2-4. Memorial Day ceremonies in Balboa Park next Sunday.

May 25, 1931, San Diego Union, 6:2-4. Mountain Indians of San Diego County reservations will be guests at Indian Day celebration in Balboa Park next Sunday, sponsored by County Federation of Women’s Clubs.

May 26, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:1-2. The City Council and Board of Supervisors made a new move yesterday to build city county building in Balboa Park.

May 31, 1931, San Diego Union, Classified , 6:1. Memorial Day ceremonies; Admiral Senn reviews line at Organ Pavilion; music, oratory feature program.

May 31, 1931, San Diego Union, Classified, 6:5-6. Cactus garden of John W. Snyder at 6th and Laurel, by Ada Perry..



June 1, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:1. La Jolla Beach Children’s Pool dedicated; citizens attend ceremony at which $65,000 gift of Miss Scripps is accepted.

June 5, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:1. Shuffleboard park tournament gets underway.

June 7, 1931, San Diego Union, 6:1. Children’s Fair opened last Thursday in Visual Education Room of old Indian Arts Building at southwest corner of Plaza de Panama.

June 13, 1931, San Diego Sun, II, 1:2. Plan drawn for $50,000 Civic Theater; Community Play proceeds will go for building; Governors named; structure will be located on Park Boulevard just north of the old Yorick Theater, which is soon to be razed; Spanish-type theater designed by Wayne F. McAllister, architect of Agua Caliente; will seat between 400 and 500.

June 14, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:7, 3:1-2. Community Theater in park expected early next spring.

June 15, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: A Theater Promised . . . As a sign of civic growth, this new theater is immeasurably bigger than its building permit would indicate.

June 16, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:5. Park Board asks for development of small parks for San Diego; wants $1,000 for Mountain View area; would sidetrack Balboa Park.

June 28, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:1-7, 3:5-6. Plans made for Civic Center in Balboa Park. W. P. Lodge, local architect, advances Laurel Street entrance as best location; will present specifications for City and County buildings to Committee; bridge is feature.

June 28, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 6:1. Frank Kimball backs Warburton on park program; criticizes Dr. Stewart’s choice of organ music.

Editor: I think Mr. Warburton’s stand in favor of the development of small neighborhood parks is well taken. The northeast section of San Diego certainly is in great need of small parks, its distance from Balboa Park and from the beaches, combined with the rapid development and increased population of this section, calls for some serious consideration on this subject by members of Park Board.

Captain Crandall says that “it has never been the policy of the Board to discourage small parks,” but it is evident also that it has not been the policy of the Board to encourage small parks. I am glad to see that Mr. Warburton is interested in this matter, which is of the utmost importance to the approximately 50,000 people who live northeast of Balboa Park, and this number is constantly increasing.

In regards to a newspaper poll on the curtailment of the organ recitals, as suggested by Mr. Fox, I am of the opinion that a poll on a change of selections used in the programs would be better received. There are a great many thousands of San Diegans, including myself, whose musical education has been neglected to such an extent that it is impossible for them to enjoy the present programs; nevertheless, we

are music lovers also and we should be considered. A glance at the organ recital programs published in The Union conveys nothing to most of use. “Scherzo by Capocci” or “Il Barbiere di Siriglia” might mean a new brand of macaroni or some new kind of facial cream as far as most of us are concerned.

Surely it should be possible to arrange a program once in a while that we ordinary people could enjoy, some real American music, both old and new numbers, some popular music, even a little jazz once in a while would help some.

Seventy-five percent of the people of San Diego would enjoy that kind of music. I have often wondered what percent enjoys the other kind. If the organ is just to be used for a chosen few I suppose that we will just have to “grin and bear it,” but, in all seriousness, I firmly believe that the great majority would welcome a change in the selections played by the present official organist, whose aversion to anything that could be likened to popular music is so well known.



July 4, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:5, 5:1. Fiesta San Diego opens first day program with throng of visitors; activities centered at the Embarcadero.

July 5, 1931, San Diego Union, 8:1-3. Mission Indians describe suffering of reservation.

July 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Balboa Park

Nothing could be more illogical than the demand that the council cut expenses on the public park features already developed in order to have money to spend on the development of public park projects not yet begun. It is a demand that the city reduce upkeep in order to undertake expansion. The development of a park system cannot begin simultaneously all over the city. It has to begin somewhere. No intelligent citizen or visitor will deny that the beginning — the western area of Balboa Park — has been well made. It would be the height of folly to curtail its usefulness and beauty now, in order to make half-hearted beginnings elsewhere.

There is no economy in any proposal to impair one of the city’s most widely noted assets.

July 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:1. Marston lauds state offer on Silver Strand; says San Diegans can get 173-acre park site for $50,000 at two cents tax on $100.

July 14, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:6. Assure comfort for audience at concert tonight; new lighting, seating and parking facilities added to San Diego concert series.

July 15, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:6. Civic Orchestra opens here with splendid concert; audience of 3,500 fills Organ Pavilion for first program of series, by Wallace Moody.

July 15, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:2. Winifred Heath objects to City Council’s attempt to dictate organ program.

July 16, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: The Park Organ

Despite the criticism that arises from time to time against Dr. Humphrey J. Stewart, official organist at the Spreckels outdoor organ in Balboa Park, one incontrovertible fact remains. Dr. Stewart’s programs are not cheap. They may be “too heavy,” as the critics allege, but they embody always the judgment of a distinguished and thoroughly musicianly organist. We believe that they often fail to please many listeners who are sincere, intelligent and reasonably well educated musically. That is to be regretted — but it is perhaps unavoidable where any one musician is compelled to arrange daily programs over a long period of time. But it is a fact — and we believe it to be tremendously important — that there is no cheap, shoddy or vulgar strain in Dr. Stewart’s musical taste.

The great organ should not cater, we believe, to the tastes of those whose musical needs could be better satisfied by dropping a coin into a nickelodeon.

July 17, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:3-4. Students of O’Rourke Zoological Institute write of field trips.

July 19, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:3-4, 10:4-5. City Council suggests Bach, Brahms and “Pale Moon” for organ program variety.

July 19, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. Cadman praises work of San Diego Civic Orchestra; suggests “shell” to improve Organ Pavilion acoustics.

July 19, 1931, San Diego Union, Ii, 2:1. Charles Remondino raps Councilmen on organ stand.

July 30, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:1. Nearly 400 young musicians gave recital at Organ Pavilion yesterday afternoon under auspices of Institute of Musical Education.

July 31, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:5. R. E. Dodge favors Dr. Stewart’s organ programs.


July 14, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:6. New lighting, seating and parking facilities added for concert tonight.

July 15, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:6. Three thousand five hundred filled Organ Pavilion for first program of series, by Wallace Moody.

July 15, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:1. Winifred Heath objects to City Council’s attempt to dictate organ programs.

July 16, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: The Park Organ

July 19, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:3-4, 10:4-5. City Council suggestions for organ program variety.

July 19, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. Cadman praises work of San Diego Civic Orchestra; suggests “shell” to improve acoustics.

July 19, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 2:1. Charles Remondino raps Councilmen on organ stand.

July 20, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:1. Nearly 400 young musicians gave recital at Organ Pavilion yesterday afternoon.

July 21, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:5. R. E. Dodge favors Dr. Stewart’s park program


August 4, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:1 Fourth midsummer night concert at Organ Pavilion tonight.

August 4, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:5. Clinton G. Abbott exhibited perspectives of proposed new park Natural History Museum yesterday; cost set at $1,000,000.

August 4, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:1. New symphonies of park program for fourth midsummer night concert at Organ Pavilion tonight.

August 9, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:1-8. Natural History fireproof plant to be started within 90 days; Miss Ellen B. Scripps gives $100,000 toward first unit; sponsors ask public to help raise funds; ultimate plant estimated to cost about $1,000,000; will create a total frontage of 520 feet facing the Prado and separated from it by broad lawns 110 feet wide (drawing).

The eastern, or right-hand frontage, designed to stand upon the civic auditorium site, represents the south facade of what eventually will be a building 384 feet deep, totally devoted to public exhibits and displays. West of this building and connected with it by an archway is the frontage of a building designed to house the scientific library, laboratories, work shops, children’s museum, school department and similar activities other than exhibits. Still further to the west is the entrance to an auditorium accommodating about 750 persons. The arrangement of the buildings is such that north of the archway will be created a large new plaza with ample parking facilities for many cars.

Start of building operations at this time is made possible through the generous offer of Miss Ellen B. Scripps of La Jolla to contribute $100,000 toward erection of a first unit or $125,000 toward a first unit and wing. Builders’ estimate of the total cost of these projects are $137,000 or the first unit and $182,000 for the first unit and wing.

It has been decided by the museum officials that the first construction will be the front part of the eastern building, the area now containing the foundations of the old civic auditorium. Here, at least for the next few years, accommodations will be provided both for exhibits and laboratories, the side of the project whether merely the first unit or the first unit and wing, being dependent upon the amount of public subscriptions to supplement Miss Scripps’ munificent offer.

. . . The terms of Miss Scripps’ offer are that contracts be signed within 90 days.

“San Diegans,” said Sefton, “have many times demonstrated the place which Balboa Park, its institutions and its buildings, occupies in their affections, when they have subscribed for the rehabilitation of the old buildings and have taken a stand against the many park encroachments of various kinds. Many of the exposition buildings are now beyond repair and the idea solution is their gradual replacement with permanent structures.”

August 10, 1931, San Diego Union. Seventh concert at Balboa Park may be last symphony, by Wallace Moody.

August 12, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:1. All water items lose in light vote.

August 12, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:3. John Doane, organist, concert at Organ Pavilion, by Wallace Moody.

August 16, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 2:1. 25th annual Flower Show Saturday and Sunday with new classifications.

August 16, 1931, San Diego Union, Society-Club, 1:1, 7:3-4. Smart Set ladies backing Community Theater in park.

August 17, 1932, San Diego Union, 1:7, 2:6. William L. Moore, 65, leaps to death off part tower; body drops 220 feet to plaza as pedestrians watch.

August 18, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Our Summer Concerts . . . A quiet, friendly and businesslike appeal might obviate the necessity for some of next year’s campaigning.

August 23, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:1. Miss Kate O. Sessions is inspiration of prospective garden, by Ada Perry.

August 13, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:1-2. Novelties mark San Diego’s annual Flower Show.

August 25, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:1. Ordinance sets aside $5,000 for golf buildings; amount taken from Park Department, to be returned ; later; other appropriations.

August 27, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 2:1. Half-Minute Interviews.

  1. M. Andrews, Attorney: I suggest that the Park Board use a couple of sacks of plaster and have those eyesore places at Balboa Park entrance fixed. Visitors to the park and street car passengers say everyday that the city keeps the front door of the wonderful park — that is loved by countless thousands — looking like the side of a barn after a kicking mule has knocked holes in its side.

August 28, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: “”Shabby Portals”

We commend the suggestion made by Mr. P. M. Andrews yesterday in the “Half-Minute Interview” column anent the sorry condition of the eastern portals of Balboa Park. One of the defects of temporary construction, like that in the park’s arcades, is that it does not wear the antique air at all graciously. Stucco, unlike stone or concrete, loses dignity with age. It becomes cracked and querulous and run down at the heels. The advantage, however, is that when repairs are needed, they can be made inexpensively. It would cost comparatively little to make the arcade as good as new, and it ought to be done. The approach to the park is important.

Everyday several hundred visitors get a first impression of Balboa Park from a gateway that fails to do it justice.


September 1, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. Old Town golf links well underway on Marston land.

September 5, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:3. Band organized to play in Balboa Park each Tuesday evening.

September 9, 1931, San Diego Union, 3:3. Miss Paquita Cantu to give dancing exhibition at Mission San Diego dedication festivities to be held in Balboa Park next Saturday night.

September 9, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 3:3. Municipal Band in park debut; Collier, Warburton and J. W. Fox speak before enthusiastic audience, by Wallace Moody.

September 12, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:3-4, 3:4. Spanish Fiesta at park feature of Mission San Diego celebration; will open at 8 o’clock tonight and continue to midnight; brilliant lighting.

September 13, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:5, 2:1-2. Thousands view Mission pageant and attend fiesta in park.

September 13, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 2:3. Restoration of Mission San Diego ends 20 year’s dreaming; Albert V. Mayrhofer motivating force behind rehabilitation movement.

September 23, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 8:6. Park band stirs enthusiasm with excellent work, by Wallace Moody.

September 28, 1931, San Diego Union, 8:2. Indian Village popular as Boy Scouts’ camp.


October 4, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. Plan City Hall in Spreckels Theater; park center idea is abandoned.

October 9, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:8. San Diego may lose Naval Training Station; General Board said ready to recommend abandonment as economy move.

October 10, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:7. Representative Swing gets assurances from Washington, D. C., that no curtailment of Naval Training Station is contemplated.

October 14, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:7, 2:3. City Council speeds action for city’s jobless; projects for park slated.

October 14, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:3. Sees Harbor Tax for Exposition; asks amendment to new charter to pay interest on $2,250,000 in 1935.

A request that the council put on the ballot a proposition to amend the new city charter by making the $150,000 a year harbor tax available for bond interest on an exposition bond issue of $2,250,000 was made to the council yesterday by Carl Heilbron, Ed L. Head and D. C. Collier. They are directors of the proposed centennial exposition here in 1935.

The exposition bond issue would be asked for then, the councilmen were given to understand. The buildings of such an exposition would be on the waterfront.

The $150,000 harbor tax provided in the new charter is for capital expenditure only under the present charter setup. It will run for a limited time, far less than the length of an ordinary bond issue.

The council submitted the request to the legal department for an opinion on whether the new charter could be amended before it went into effect.

October 15, 1931, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Present: Commissioners Fox and Warburton. Absent: Crandall.

Plan for rehabilitation of Plaza Fountain accepted, work to be done under supervision of John

Morley and Wm. P. Benson, park electrician.

City Ministerial Association to hold Thanksgiving service at the Organ Pavilion; instructed to make arrangements for use of the organ with Royal A. Brown, acting as organist during the absence of Dr. Stewart.

The opening of the golf course was talked over again. It was the decision of the Board that the official opening should be on Saturday, October 31. Mr. Crandall, as president of the Board, to meet with the mayor to plan the program.

October 16, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:3. W. P. Reynolds wants City Hall in Balboa Park.

October 16, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:1. Rear Admiral Farenholt promises veterans additional beds in Naval Hospital; 400 beds now allocated, only 300 occupied.

October 16, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:4. Griffing Bancroft presents 570 bird specimens to Natural History Museum; found on Mexican coast cruise.

October 16, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:3. San Diego Zoo ranks first in rare outside animal exhibits and third in size of all zoos in United States, Mrs. Belle Benchley told Lions’ Club yesterday afternoon; cost of operating Zoo between $80,000 and $85,000 a year; admissions charge of 25 cents for grownups brings about $30,000 at gate; last year’s attendance was 222,000 with 20 percent from home folks.

October 17, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 10:1. Urge recreation center in northeast part of Balboa Park to aid jobless.

October 18, 1931, San Diego Union, Classified, 5:6-7. Letter, Harry Warburton, city park commissioner, regarding exposition proposal.

Editor: The proposition made to the city council by D. C. Collier, Carl H. Heilbron and Ed Head last Monday, “that the council put on the ballot at the coming special election a proposition that $150,000 set aside in the new city charter for harbor work, be diverted to an interest and sinking fund for $2,250,000 bonds to be issued in behalf of Collier’s proposed exposition on the tide lands in 1934” is too preposterous for us any longer to treat it as a joke, which is the attitude of most people toward the proposed exposition.

Every department of the city administration recently worked long hours together with the city council, sitting as a budget committee, to cut to the bone the 1931-32 budgets. They were forced in many instances to eliminate absolute essentials and necessities, such as additional fire halls, arc-lights, electric traffic signals, police radio system, prowl cars and even small items, costing but a few hundred dollars. All this was done with determination on the part of the present city administration to cut the city tax rate as low as possible and yet permit the departments to function.

The result was a cut in the tax rate from $2.19 to $2.17, this lower rate on this year’s low assessed valuation is the equivalent of $1.89, as compared with last year’s $2.19. The many essentials that were cut from the city budget of this year will be needed more next year and each succeeding year as the city grows, and if the city is to issue bonds for $2,250,000 then let us use the money for these essentials necessary for public service and utility and of permanent benefit.

The special election will ask the taxpayers to authorize the expenditure of a sum of money for the much-needed development of water at the El Capitan site. It also will ask for the issuance of $300,000 bonds to create an unemployment fund, also to be spent on essentials. This will be enough to ask of the taxpayers at this time. Should any such proposition as this exposition bond be put on the ballot, there would be a great danger of the taxpayers turning everything down.

When this proposition of an exposition in 1934 was brought up by Collier some time ago before the Chamber of Commerce it was turned down by a vote of about 40 to 4. If the citizens of San Diego decided in the future that they want another exposition, then let us place it in Balboa Park, where it was before. We have there at the present time a number of units, such as the Zoo, the Fine Arts Gallery, The Museum and other exhibitions, also the organ and the Geographic Building (which is to be built in the near future), together with its exhibits. There are many paved streets and many acres of well developed trees, shrubs and gardens, several of the buildings are permanent structures. There is your exposition site already two-thirds complete. It is possible that by reinforcing and strengthening, some of the old exposition buildings can be made permanent, but should a survey show this remodeling not practical owing to the condition of the buildings, then they could be razed and the salvaged materials used in the construction of permanent buildings in the same locations.

We are all proud of Balboa Park as developed at present, and if we follow this plan and complete these permanent buildings we could stage expositions and conventions in these buildings for many years to come, and not have to raze them at a later date to make way for warehouses or factories.

This letter and opinion is purely personal, and I do not know how the other two park commissioners feel about my plan, but I sincerely hope that the city council will not permit this impractical proposition to be placed on the coming special election ballot and cause embarrassment to the taxpayers and other bond issues.


City Park Commissioner.

October 22, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:3-4. D. L. Roscoe favors putting post office in Balboa Park Civic Center.

October 23, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:1. Harold Taylor, member of Coronado Rotary Club, showed San Diego Rotarians colored stereopticon slides of 1915-1916 Exposition yesterday.

October 25, 1932, San Diego Union, II, 4:1. San Diego Naval Hospital is one of finest in the world, by Charlie Noble.

October 31, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:1. Park links to be dedicated today; Austin to speak; civic leaders will play’ public opening set for 1 p.m.

Announcement that all arrangements have been completed for the formal opening of the new nine-hole golf course in Balboa Park at 10 o’clock this morning was made yesterday by David n. Millan, president of the San Diegans hospitality and recreational bureau of the chamber of commerce.

S I Fox of the park board will be chairman of the dedication program. Speakers will include Mayor Walter Austin, Sam Fox, George W. Marston, Councilman Louis Maire and Joseph Russo, Supervisor Hastings, John Morley, and Millan.

The course was constructed at a cost of $35,000 from unemployment funds. The project was conceived by the San Diegans as part of its comprehensive program for creating additional facilities for the tourist and visitor and for citizens of San Diego.

An invitation for citizens and visitors to attend the dedication ceremonies is extended by Millan. The course will be open to the public at 1 p.m. today.


November 1, 1931, San Diego Union. Captor of Zoo Gorillas to Lecture in San Diego

When Martin Johnson, famous big game hunter and photographer, who will speak here November 9, brought the two African gorillas, Congo and Ingagi, to this country two months ago, he determined to find the most ideal climate and surroundings before deciding where their future home would be.

Though many zoos and several circuses were eager to buy them Johnson finally sold them to the San Diego Zoo, selecting that as the most idea spot for the home of the five-year old gorillas. Congo and Ingagi arrived here less than a month ago. They are feeling very much at home in their cage at the zoo and are looking forward to a visit with Johnson when he comes to San Diego.

When Johnson and his wife started on their greatest safari into the wilds of the Belgian Congo two years ago, one of their main objectives was to capture gorillas alive and bring them to this country. There were at that time only seven gorillas in the United States.

After many weeks of tracking, Johnson later wrote “through jungle and across mountain ridges, our chance to make a capture came one day when two young gorillas, each weighing 100 pounds, climbed a tree while we were trailing them.

Working frantically, the 40 natives, porters of the expedition, cleared the space around the tree while Johnson tried to keep the young gorillas in the limbs by meeting the advances of a huge old gorillas who seemed bent on saving the two young ones. Finally, after hours of preparation, the tree was chopped down and the gorillas caught and covered with cloths and tarpaulins. “Every boy,” Johnson said, describing his great event, “closed in with his heavy cloths, shouting and yelling in a whirling frenzy of gorillas and men.”

Congo and Ingagi were taken care of in their trip to this country by two natives whom Johnson brought for that purpose. Arriving in New York in fine condition, they traveled to San Diego by railway express, accompanied by R. J. Virden, foreman of the San Diego Zoo. Virden, who stayed in the car with them day and night not removing his clothes during the entire trip, states they are the oldest gorillas in the United States and that they may live to be 40 or 50 years old

The lecture will be given at Russ Auditorium.

November 1, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:3, 8:6. Grassed course opened with ceremony; Mayor Austin drives first ball off tee in City’s new recreational project.

With Mayor Walter Austin driving the first ball off No. 1 tee, San Diego’s nine-hole golf course in Balboa Park was thrown open to public play yesterday afternoon. Special dedicatory ceremonies were held in the morning. Besides the mayor, members of the city council, park commission, other city and county officials and citizens participated in the opening program. Genial Dave Smith will be in charge of the course as pro.

San Diego has had a municipal golf course in the park for several years, but it was not grassed. Several months ago the council voted funds to rebuild it into an all grass links as part of a move to relieve unemployment.

F W Gordon purchased the first greens fee ticket and Ernie Parrott and Jim Borders, San Diego golfers, turned in two 34’s, two stroke over par. Chet Keller got a 35.

In a brief talk, Mayor Austin said he looked back eight or ten years to the time when he tried to have a city-owned grassed golf course. “Although conditions were excellent, nothing ever was done,” the mayor said. “It took the depression to bring about the improvement.” Mayor Austin was warm in his praise of former Mayor Harry Clark, under whose administration the work was started.

Sam Fox, chairman of the park commission, said: “The Park Board is extremely proud of the new improvement to the park, through the building of this course. It is an ill wind that blows no good. Through the depression the city gained a recreational asset at a time when least expected.” Fox then introduced the mayor.

Former Mayor Clark reviewed the numerous attempts before money for the work was finally voted. He also said much credit was due the San Diegans for making the course possible. Louis Maire, councilman, said the council was glad to have constructed the course and that an effort is being made to make the park one of the outstanding recreational areas in the country.

What is called “the outside nine” of the full 18-hole course also may be grassed soon, it was intimated by Edgar Hastings, supervisor.

“Through the county welfare commission the county had an opportunity to help build this course,” Hastings said. “We were glad of the chance and are ready to provide both men and machinery for continuing the work.”

David N. Millan, president of the San Diegans, said his organization played only a small part in making the course possible, and thanked the mayor and the council for their efforts. John Morley, park superintendent, said he hoped the people of San Diego would enjoy the course. George W. Marston, former park commissioner, expressed confidence the course would be popular and worth the effort and money invested in it.

Some of the problems encountered in building the course were recited by William Bell, golf architect. Bell, however, said he was satisfied with the results. The course, he said, would be an interesting one and should provide much enjoyment for the player.

The first foursome to play the course was composed of Mayor Austin, with Tommy Getz substituting; Sam Fox, George Marston and David Millan. Their respective scores were 47, 61, 44 and 46. In the second foursome were Louis Maire, 48; J. Morley, 46; Harry Warburton, 16; and W. A. Kearns, 49.

November 1, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 15:1-5. New Carmelite monastery on rim of Mission Valley at end of Hawley Boulevard to be finished in six months; Frank J. Hope, Jr., architect (drawing).

November 6, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:1. Maya collection in San Diego Museum.

November 6, 1931, San Diego Union, 12:4. Civic Center site in park subject of mass meeting tonight.

November 8, 1931, San Diego Union. “Ingagi” and “Congo” from Alumbongo happy they quit Africa for San Diego; but Zoo pair may get even with captors.

Editors Note: The two newest and most famous members of the San Diego Zoo family are “Ingagi” and “Congo,” a pair of mountain gorillas and the only ones of their kind in captivity. Through a system of careful eavesdropping and with the aid of Mrs. Belle Benchley, the 8-year old couple talked yesterday for publication and their conversation was followed pictorially by Frank ______ of The Union. The remarks of “Ingagi” and “Congo” were translated as follows by Myron Lustig (illus.):

“Indeed, this is a regrettable predicament in which to find ourselves, is it not? It is extremely difficult for me to comprehend this turn of events. I have been lolling about here for a month now, trying to figure it out.”

“Say, kid, are you dumb or sompin? It’s simple as a banana peel. Don’t know but what I like it here better than back home in Africa. What don’t you savvy, kid?”

“Lissen, sap, I’ll tell you once again. We were a couple of fools for climbing that tree. This mug Martin Johnson and his mate comes along, spots us, starts their safari cutting down all the trees around us. We can’t jump to no other tree because there ain’t no tree near enough pretty soon. Then our tree is the only one left. They cut that down and we fell with it. We battle, but there’s too many of ‘em. They tie us up to poles and we swing out of the jungle. They ship us across the big water hole to N’Yawk, simple isn’t it?”

“Oh, Congo, your gorilla language is just as uncouth as ever. I wish you wouldn’t be so crude in speech.”

“Lissen, baby, it ain’t how ya say it, it’s what ya say. Take my tip, Ingagi, and stop worryin. Everything will be hoke.”

“Please, Congo, please stop calling me Ingagi. Just because Mr. Johnson named me Ingagi and just because the word happens to be the African way of referring to us gorillas, is no reason for you to continue using it. Anyway, I heard Mrs. Benchley say that in this part of the world the word Ingagi has gathered about it an odious meaning. So I would just as soon be called something else.”

“Congo, Congo, did you hear what they must told us. Mr. Johnson — Martin Johnson — will be here tomorrow. Oh, joy! Won’t it be fine to see somebody from home?

“Hey, hey, he’d love that one. Well, anyway he’ll be tickled pink to see how well we’re fixed here. He won’t have cause to regret that he chose to send us out here to San Diego. They sure are treating up with a gorillavish hospitality.”

“Yes, and he’ll be here to see us go into our new home — they call it a “cage” — tomorrow. Say, he’ll think we’re a couple of swelled heads, as you say. Just why is he coming here, did they say?”

“Sure, it seems they took some moving pitchers of us when they was catchin’ us. And a lot of other pitchers, too. Well, the Johnsons are goin’ to tell all about us and our kind tomorrow night at the Russian editorial.”

“Russ auditorium, Congo.”

“Yeah, at the Russ auditorium, an’ show the pitchers and everything. An’ I guess he’ll come up to watch and help us move into our new cage Monday. Hot stuff — that’ll be great stuff. We’ll be the whole show.”

“Oh, Congo, Mr. Johnson was the one that named me before. Do you think he’ll consider renaming me? You know, give me a more dignified title?”

“Dignity be damned. You don’t hear me squawking about a moniker like Congo do ya? But, gee, wouldn’t it be the nuts if . . .

“Not nuts, Congo, nertz. I heard them say that in New York those few months we were there.”

“Awright, awright, but wouldn’t it be the nertz if we could get outta here Monday night and go down and make a personal appearance with the pitcher?”

“Oh, Congo, they wouldn’t let us. You know that. But everybody in San Diego knows that we can be seen here any day, and that our picture will be shown tomorrow night, and that Mr. Johnson will tell all about us then>”

“Come on, kid, let’s scramble up to the high chair and see if we can’t spot Johnson and his safari coming? . . . There, do you see him? Neither do I. Maybe he won’t come around until tomorrow. I wonder if we’ll know him. Let’s go over and sit down up here where we can keep a lookout for him.”

November 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 11:5. Tribute to war dead today at Organ Pavilion.

November 16, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:1. New York State Society to hold Exposition rally tomorrow night in Chamber of Commerce building; Colonel D. C. Collier and Carl Heilbron speakers.

November 19, 1931, Minutes of Board of Park Commissioners.

Present: Commissioners Crandall, Fox and Warburton.

San Diego Museum relinquishes use and control of Indian Arts Building; exhibits moves to fireproof protection of California Quadrangle.

Matter of reducing rates for playing at tennis courts referred to Superintendent of Parks for report.

Matter of putting park employee who handle money under bond referred to Park Superintendent and Executive Secretary for recommendation.

Mr. Fox moved that the department build 6 additional shuffle board courts at Horse Shoe Pitch and 6 additional shuffle board courts and toilet at Rogue Courts as soon as funds are available; approximate amount $3,000; motion seconded and carried.

Copy of letter to Common Council relative to making road through Switzer Canyon when design of new 18-hole golf course is being considered was received.

Mr. Morley submitted plan of proposed course, showing location of boulevard through Switzer Canyon which will not interfere with construction of golf course. Upon motion, seconded and carried, the plan was adopted, subject to the approval of the Manager of Operations.

Upon motion of Mr. Fix, seconded by Mr. Warburton, the secretary was instructed to send letter to the Common Council stating that provision has been made in design of new 18-hole golf course for location of a boulevard through Switzer Canyon which will adequately serve the northeast section of the city and not interfere with the construction of golf course, plan being on file in office of City Manager.

The Park Superintendent was authorized to provide shelter for ticket checker stationed at No. 4 hole on the golf course.

November 21, 1932, San Diego Union, 7:2. Six exposition trustees added.

November 22, 1931, II, 1:1. Repair downtown fountain and entrance to park.

The entire entrance to the park has been replastered. The street railway company will be asked to spread a little paint on the old wooden fence that now presents a dingy and unattractive appearance.

November 22, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1, 2. Class for seals opened at San Diego Zoo with eight pupils enrolled; Jerry Smart, Charlie Stubborn, Harry Genius, Belle Bright, but Crank earns his fish by mere whisker, by Myron Lustig (illus.).

This story is an accident. The news in it was supposed to remain a secret until the act was ready for formal presentation to San Diego audiences, but well — here goes, with no apologies. Eight young seals are being trained at the San Diego Zoo for an entertainment routine, including ball and stick-balancing, flipper-clapping and rolling over.

There are scores of interesting feature stories in the zoo, and in ferreting some of them out the writer learned that in a certain obscure building within the zoo grounds, S. C. Charles, famous lion, tiger and seal trainer, was at work daily, playing patient teacher to an octet of two-and-a-half-year old seals brought here from the Cerros and Coronado Islands last August.

With the aid of the accompanying photographs taken by Harry T. Bishop, Union photographer, who is my zoo-wandering companion on this intriguing weekly assignment, I’ll try to explain how Charles trains his seals for public performance, but first it must be explained that the public won’t see the act until it is perfected — which may be six months or a year from now. And, as absolute privacy and concentration is the secret of seal-training, visitors to the zoo will have no opportunity to see the act in preparation.

There are eight seals working with Charles, and each has an entirely distinctive personality, he says. And he proved it to us.

Jerry is a very smart seal — in less than four months he has learned his routine, is very quick to understand what is wanted of him, and he never complains.

Charlie, on the other hand, is a stubborn little fellow. He has learned his tricks well, but he’s inclined to want things his own way. When he misses a trick, he talks crossly and puts the blame on Charles; when he is ordered to roll over several times in succession, he insists upon walking six circles around Charles and choosing his own rolling space between rolls.

Sunny Boy is also a smart seal — too smart for Charles, sometimes. In the ball-balancing act the seal is asked to please thrust the ball from the tip of his nose into Charles’ hands. But Sunny Boy refuses to thrust. He balances the ball beautifully, but when he is told that the trick is “all right,” instead of pushing the ball to Charles, Sunny Boy just lets the ball roll lazily off his nose, and takes his scolding quietly.

Harry is the most attractive of the troupe. No move of his teacher escapes his alert eye, and from his attention he has absorbed much knowledge quickly. Everything Harry does is erect and accurate.

Crank, however, is a blusterer. He fights and talks and misbehaves continually. Bosco is a fighter, too, but one of those quiet, brooding sort of pugnacious fellows. Belle, one of the youngest of the group, is a most anxious student, and will learn easily and quickly, Charles predicts. The eight is Baby, only one and a half years old, who has proved herself a smart one by already learning to clap her flippers.

These seals are “almost human,” they react to stimuli much in the same way that humans do, and seem to express themselves more like humans do than other animals. They show their delight, disgust or indifference in ways that humans can comprehend and, likewise, they understand the human who is patient enough to win their confidence.

Trainer Charles is such a one. He had that infinite store of tolerance and patience necessary to win their confidence. He is careful not to make one false move with them; he treats them kindly, even when scolding them; he works with nothing to protect him or to harass the seals; he talks to them continually and praises them profusely.

As a result, the seals like him, they obey him and do their best. Every time Charles requests something of the seal, the seal’s reward for the trick or the attempt, is a piece of fish. He never missed giving them this reward, so naturally they never miss trying to please him.

The first job on a seal to be trained is to gain his confidence and respect. This is done by constant companionship, feeding and “doing favors” for them. Then comes the job of teaching the tricks themselves. And in describing this job briefly, the photographs accompanying the beginning of this story will aid.

Charles gets the seal onto the training stand, and, by a process of careful exercises, loosens each fore flipper by working it from side to side. He is loosening one of the flippers in Photo 1. Soon both flippers are pliable and he works them together, slowly bringing them together in the front. Soon, the seal gets the idea by bringing them together on signal from Charles. In rapid succession several times he produces the effect of “clapping hands.” The trick once learned, the seal uses it on his own volition to express his joy.

Next, the seal is shown a ball, as in Photo 2. He is given to understand that the ball is something to be acquainted with. Then, as in Photo 3, Charles rests the ball on the seal’s upturned nose. The seal at first turns his nose upwards not to hold the ball, but to keep it in view. But constant “feel” of the ball on the nose teaches the seal that he is holding it.

The bristles of a seal’s “mustache” are stiff and strong. The seal learns that he can ease the weight of the ball on his nose by drawing his mustache up and clipping the bristles underneath the ball. I really can’t understand how it is done, but soon the seal gets the idea of balancing the ball himself, and then to catch the ball on his nose when it is thrown at him. The seal is thus balancing the ball himself in Photo 4.

The next trick is the stick-and-ball balancing trick. A stick is placed perpendicularly on the seal’s nose, and a ball is placed atop the stick. The “tower” is then balanced by the seal, as Charles is explaining to one of his pupils in Photo 5. The completion of the trick is this: When the tower is balances, the stick is knocked away and the seal catches the falling ball on his nose and balances it.

These tricks take months to teach — each separate step, each infinitesimal motion required of the performer is explained and taught separately. The first ball the seal works with is two feet in diameter, as seen in Photo 3. When he can balance that, the seal is then taught to balance a ball half as big, as shown in Photo 4, and finally he learns to balance a small ball of the size seen in Photos 2 and 5.

The final trick is that by which the seal, on orders, rolls over, a stunt which is not natural to seals. And, after all the tricks are done, the troupe is rewarded with a plunge and the coveted fish. Fittingly, Photo 6 shows this happy ending much more graphically than I could tell.

And as soon as all of them — Jerry, Charlie, Sunny Boy, Harry, Crank, Bosco, Belle and Baby — have learned their tricks perfectly, then San Diego will be able to see this splendid seal act, trained in their own zoo, thanks to Mr. Charles, his patience and ability, and to Mrs. Belle Benchley, manager of the zoo, who got the trainer to come here and do the work.

November 25, 1931, San Diego Union, 11:1. Thanksgiving services at Organ Pavilion

November 27, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:6. “Being thoughtful” topic of sermon in Organ Pavilion; all denominations participate; Dr. Fagan speaker.

November 28, 1931, San Diego Union, 2:2-3. Citizens’ Committee to urge voting of $300,000 employment issue; Mayor Austin outlines construction program, main feature of which is $100,000 regulation 18-hole golf course in park; election to be held December 15.


December 3, 1931. Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Present: Commissioners Crandall, Fox and Warburton.

Request was received from Recreation Committee of Parent Teachers Association and Schools and Museum Committee for permission to continue use of Indian Arts Building, recently relinquished by San Diego Museum.

Upon motion by Mr. Fox, seconded by Mr. Warburton, use of the Indian Arts Building by the above committee was granted, with the understanding that the Park Commission shall not be called upon for repairs or other expenses, as the Board has no funds for the purpose.

Mr. Forrest Hieatt and committee, interesting in having a new Rose Garden in Balboa Park appeared before the Board.

Mr. Hieatt stated that four plans of the proposed garden has been received; he submitted plan prepared by Mr. Walter Merrill, which was the unanimous choice of the committee, and recommended its adoption by the Park Commission.

Mr. Warburton moved that the plan recommended by the committee be adopted, subject to approval of the Park Superintendent and with reservation of 10 feet or so for double parking along the west front of the garden. The motion was seconded by Mr. Fox and carried.

In the absence of the Park Superintendent, the secretary reported that his, the Park Superintendent’s recommendation in the matter of fees at Municipal Tennis Courts would be as follows:

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 25 cents per person per day

All other days 10 cents per person per day

Upon motion, seconded and carried, report of the Park Superintendent’s was approved

The chairman reported the recommendation of the Park Superintendent and himself, as

committee on green fees for 9-hole Municipal Golf Course was as follows:

1st round of 9-holes 50 cents – blue ticket

2nd round of 9-holes 25 cents – blue ticket to be exchanged

for yellow ticket

Full round of 18-holes 75 cents – blue and yellow tickets

Upon motion by Mr. Fox, seconded by Mr. Warburton, recommendation of the Committee was approved.


December 4, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 1:4. Ernest W. Dort, secretary, said last night that three U. S. Senators have joined number of prominent men who have pledged support to San Diego’s Centennial Exposition.

December 6, 1931, San Diego Union, 22:5. 18-hole golf course urged as money maker to city; eleven items on $300,000 unemployment bond issue expected to be paid by revenues; cost of nine-hole golf course opened last month was around $40,000 and revenue has averaged $58.60 a day, netting about $30 a day above operating costs; bond issue to be voted on December 15.

December 7, 1931, San Diego Union, 3:4-5. John Connell, South African organist, gave recital yesterday afternoon at Organ Pavilion.

December 7, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:3. Park trees safe in recreational areas projected; Committee says there is plenty of room for play courts on barren acres.

There is no intention of the part of the city government to root out beautiful trees in the immediate northeast corner of Balboa Park when constructing a recreational area in that section of the park with unemployment bond funds, it was emphasized to the San Diego $300,000 unemployment bond committee by the city manager’s office in response to query.

Several persons have asked the committee if item seven of the proposed 11 municipal improvements meant that the game courts and fields would come right up to 28th and Upas Streets. The answer is “no,” that there are 45 acres to work on which are in the area bounded by projections of Alabama and Palm Streets that the improvements will be principally in that port formerly used as a cavalry camp.

This project applies particularly to the mesa lying westward from the dirt road that wings from Pershing Drive around to Arizona Street, according to the City Hall statement. The plantings bordering Pershing Drive are not to be disturbed and there is no intention to crowd any play courts into the narrow strip between 28th Street and Pershing Drive when there are so many open and barren areas to be improved on the mesa south of the eucalyptus grove along Upas Street.

Mayor Austin has been called upon to tell where is the Alameda near which item 11 in the proposed improvements is to create an automobile parking area.

“For your information,” says a statement from the mayor, “it is the area in front of the zoo, it now being the custom to park along the narrow street in front of the zoo office building, thereby creating a serious hazard.”

December 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:3. Park recreation courts thronged; play scenes give strong argument for bond item increasing facilities.

If any argument is required in support of Item No. 7 in the public improvements to be made with the $300,000 unemployment bond issue on the ballot, December 15, a visit to the roque, shuffleboard, horseshoe pitching and other recreational grounds on the western border of Balboa Park ought to be sufficient, it was declared at the unemployment bond headquarters.

Many thousands of players use these facilities, crowded conditions are the rule rather than the exception; and inquiries disclosed that a large percentage of the players are tourists who have been made sojourners and, in many cases, permanent residents by reason of these recreations that are open to all. Old and young enjoy them alike, apparently; and wealthy people are mingled with those of small income in a spirit of comradeship and play.

The proposed creation of similar additional facilities on the barren lands near the northeast corner of the park will be equally as popular and as useful to home population and to the development of San Diego as a year-around playground for travelers and vacationists, it is declared. The area for such improvements under Item 7 is 45 acres, mostly barren mesa land which in exposition days was used as a cavalry camp.

As a park improvement the work will border onto the plantings in the uneven ground adjacent to 28th Street. The parking there along Pershing Drive will not be disturbed. On the Upas Street, or northern side, the recreational area, likewise, will be screened from residences by the long, narrow eucalyptus grove along the edge of the park. The expanse of area for use in locating and correlating the varied play courts, swimming pool, field houses and baseball grounds constitutes 21 city blocks. The southern and western boundaries, as specified in the ballot, are as of Palm Street extended and Alabama Street extended.

December 8, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:1. D. C. Collier and Carl H. Heilbron, president and director-general, respectively of the exposition, presented plans for San Diego Centennial Exposition to 100 members of the Executives’ Association at its meeting yesterday afternoon at the U. S. Grant Hotel.

December 11, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: “Prosperity Bonds”

It is very possible — it is even very likely — that a clear-cut and enthusiastic vote for progress will return San Diego to its old place as the whitest white spot on the business chart of the Pacific coast.

December 13, 1931, San Diego Union, 16:2-4. Drawing of Our Lady of Guadalupe, new Catholic church, designed by Frank L. Hope, Jr.

December 13, 1931, San Diego Union, II, 2:6-7. How recreational facilities on unemployment bond issue help the city.

December 14, 1931, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Tomorrow’s Prosperity Ballot. . . . This is one of the city’s great moments of opportunity.

December 14, 1931, San Diego Union, 5:2-6. Work to start on new Natural History Museum; $185,000 to be spent on first units in park; $150,000 pledged.

The San Diego Society of Natural History and the Jarboe Construction Company will start immediately on the construction of the new Natural History Museum on the site of the old Civic Auditorium.

December 14, 1931, San Diego Union, 8:6-7. Boy Scouts hold final 1931 meeting at Indian Village.

Scout leaders of San Diego County will hold their last monthly meeting of the year Wednesday evening in the Indian Village mess hall. A special Christmas program has been prepared aside from the regular training program. A dinner prepared and served by the mothers’ auxiliary of troop 32, National City, will open the evening activities.

. . . Saturday will see a large group of scouts busily engaged in the making of Christmas wreaths in the Indian Village. This is just one of the many good turns the scouts perform each year for their community, this one being directed toward the patients at the naval hospital.

December 16, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:1, 2:3-4. All election issues carry; El Capitan assured by big margin; $300,000 employment bonds command smallest majority; voters retain referendum power over San Diego Consolidated Gas & Electric Company; park projects given.

December 17, 1931, San Diego Union, 8:6. Carl H. Heilbron talked on San Diego Centennial Exposition at luncheon in Oceanside.

December 24, 1931, San Diego Union, 1:5-7. Photograph of postal workers at Balboa Park emergency station routing Christmas packages.

December 30, 1931, San Diego Union, 10:1. Belle J. Benchley, Manager Zoological Society, writes explaining distribution of carcass of bull elk by Community Chest to needy families.

December 31, 1931, San Diego Union, 7:4. B. R. McLean, County Agricultural Commissioner, announced yesterday that cherry trees, presented to the City last month by the Japanese Association of San Diego, will be allowed to remain in Balboa Park; no danger of Oriental fruit moth as trees originated in Seattle.

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