Balboa Park History 1941

January 11, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. New refrigerators at San Diego Zoo to keep food fresh for animals; new entrances planned.

January 19, 1941, San Diego Union, A-14:1-8. San Diego Zoo to rank as one of the best on earth after $480,000 modernization program sponsored by WPA.

Fine as it already is, San Diego’s far-famed zoo is going to be made finer, and work to reach that end will start in just a few days. That announcement was made yesterday and was accompanied by the prediction of zoo authorities that when the current program is carried out to its end and the blueprints are filed away, this city’s zoo will be one of the very best on earth.

Completion of the program will be accomplished with the aid of a work projects administration fund of $480,000, authorized last November.

Much of the money that will be made available will be spent on places to house the rapidly increasing number of animals and birds which come to the zoo; but a lot will be spent on lifting the face of the zoo’s home in Balboa Park. All of the old exposition buildings, which have been remodeled by the zoo and made over from time to time, will be torn down and in their places will be three fine structures designed by architects assisting in the big task.

The work of improving the quarters for animals and birds will begin at once. Work on the new buildings will have to wait at last a few months until cantonment and allied construction throughout the country slows down. The big reason for this delay, of course, is that carpenters and other workers on building projects have about all they can do just now getting ready for the nation’s new army and its housing problems, also the big airplane and munitions plants which are being rushed to completion.

The zoo authorities have been able to control about all the animals and birds which have been sent to them, but they have not been able to handle the insect problems which face them. In fact, they have not been able to stop the devastating work of termites in the old exposition buildings which the zoo is now using.

As a result, it is declared, most of the buildings are in bad shape and almost beyond successful repair

“When we are through with the new program<” said Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth, the zoo’s head, “we shall have three fine new fireproof buildings, they also will be termite-proof, being made mostly of concrete and steel.

“First of the new buildings in importance will be a fine auditorium seating 640 persons. That, of course, we be used mainly by the thousands of city and county school children who are brought here each year to get their natural history lessons first-hand. We shall continue to provide lunches or parts of lunches for these children, but we shall be able to serve the food in a modern café building. Our café is a big feature of the zoo now, as thousands of tourists visit it each year. As a matter of fact, we figure that nearly 70 percent of our adult visitors come from out of town. That shows what an attraction the zoo really is.

“A building for small mammals is also to be built before we complete our big task. That will fill a real want in our zoo.

“We have been planning in past years to provide a zoo layout for a city of !50,000 population. But recently we have lagged behind, the city having grown so fast that we could not keep pace. This WPA project ought to see us in front again.

“We already have one of the finest commissaries in the west, and we hope to keep up that good record. We store immense quantities of meat, vegetables and other food for our animals and birds and by the most modern refrigeration methods we keep all that food ready for use at any time, months ahead, if necessary. And thus we are able to buy stuff when it’s cheap ad save a lot of money.”

January 19, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:8, B-2:1. Golf Course row put before City Council; municipal golf course in park is not competing with private golf courses in San Diego County; course grossed $40,853 in the 1939-40 year for a net profit of $8,826.97, excluding the use of water, which, if included, would put the course $791.49 in the red.

January 21, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:1-4. Proposed inland highway realignment mapped; state and city officials plan park freeway.

January 24, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Water limit on golf courses seen likely at summer peak.

January 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:4-7. Model Farm House “goes to sea” on wheels; house being moved to Navy Field.

When a bark-rigged, five-room house comes to port — strong men decide that it’s time to sign the pledge.

Viewed from the foot of Columbia Street yesterday, it seemed that just such a maritime cataclysm had taken place. For there, in the gray light of early morning, was a five-room house, from above which sprouted three masts, two of them square-rigged.

A closer view, however, showed that it was all in order. The house, on movers’ “dollies,” merely had paused a moment along the south embarcardero, just in line with the towering spars of the old bark Star of India.

The house was built at the model farm in the 1915 Exposition. Later it became the home of the late John Morley, park superintendent, and was occupied by him until his death last year. Now in the way of proposed expansion of the zoo, it had to be disposed of.

About that time, along came Joe Brennan, port director, perennially on the lookout for anything which might be of use along the waterfront — from palm trees to buildings. They needed just such another building to be used as an officers’ clubhouse at Navy field, where the enlisted man already have been fitted out in a similar fashion. So two small wings of the house were sawed off to facilitate moving and the rest of the building, cobblestone chimney and all, has been towed to the waterfront to start life anew.

January 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:1-2. San Diego Zoo seals, bears rehearse acts soon to be presented in show.

January 29, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Special election March 25 for park highway plan; $1,000,000 ready for work on new city gateway.

January 31, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:6. Chamber of Commerce endorsed park freeway.

February 2, 1941, San Diego Union, C-3:6-8. House of Pacific Relations group holds spirit of goodwill, by W. B. France.

February 5, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:8. Federal Government requests 22 acres of Balboa Park land for Naval Hospital expansion; proposition will be voted on April 22.

February 8, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:3. Resolution to be placed on ballot April 22, general municipal election, to withdraw 21-32 acres from Balboa Park and deed to the government for enlargement of Naval Hospital.

March 8, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:2-4. Landscaped center area to divide parkway (drawing).

March 8, 1941, San Diego Union, B-2. EDITORIAL: The Park Road

The only proposition on the ballot at the city primary this month will be the one providing for the transfer of sufficient park land to the city to enable the construction of a traffic artery, beginning at Ash Street, following the general lines of Eleventh Avenue, connecting with Sixth Street extension and out over Camp Kearny mesa. No money is involved; no bonds are to be issued.

The proposition should be approved because the city needs the highway now and the need will continue to grow. It follows a park canyon, and, regardless of the volume of traffic that would flow over it, there would be nothing in the construction of the roadway to detract from the beauty, the utility or the safety of the park. In fact, the site is being used as a road now. The proposed new highway would be wider, better surfaced, and much safer.

San Diego lacks sufficient arterial highways, and the congestion on main highways will continue to grow worse until a remedy is provided. The park road is the logical immediate remedy. It can and will be a tremendous benefit. The proposition should, by all means, be approved.

March 12, 1941, Christian Science Monitor. City Reflects Nation’s Stern Resolve, by Virgil Wyatt.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — This once serene California city of quiet residential streets flanked by the

ever-present palm tree, and the quaint Mexican-style patios — has awakened to find itself one of American’s “boom towns.”

Heralded far and wide — in newspapers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere, in magazines and news reels as the Pacific Coast’s No. 1 “boom town,” San Diego today is a study in contrasts.

“Well, it’s her. I suppose now’s the time to make the most of it,” observes the old-timer who has lived here 10 years or more (the native is a pioneer).

Traffic Problem Rises

“Yes, I guess you’re right, but somehow I miss the middle-sized city we had before the grown-up small town, where you could meet your friends along Broadway, or on the streetcar or bus, and where you could fake ‘time out’ for a leisurely chat. Too bad, in a way, that we’ve become a big city, don’t you think?”

For the San Diego of March 1941 is a far cry from even the San Diego of a year ago.

The streets are jammed with out-of-town automobiles. A serious traffic problem has developed overnight, as traffic police strive vainly to untangle the snarl of cars on the main downtown streets. The line of tooting automobiles often extends through two or more traffic signals. As a result, the city is banning left-hand turns in the congested district in order to speed up traffic — and still automobiles pour into the town hourly.

The city of 1941 is a picture of contrasts because of the clash between the Nation’s desire for peace and its determination to prepare to defend that freedom of thought, assembly and worship.

Haven of Quietude Left

No where else in the West is this so forcible depicted as in San Diego where huge aircraft plants are working day and night to turn out giant bombers, fleet pursuit and observation ships for the armed forces — yet within a few blocks the representatives of the nations of the world are laughing and singing together in the famous House of Pacific Relations.

This unique institution, established in the peaceful days of the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, is still bravely carrying on in Balboa Park.

Situated in a group of graceful cottages around the corner from the Spreckels outdoor organ, this organization of Americans with various national heritages still maintains the sentiment that would beat swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks.

Over these peaceful cottages fly the flags of the world — many of which “over there” are temporarily at half-mast.

Here the nationals of China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Yugoslavia, Lain America, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland and the United States are displaying to the world that a league of nations is still feasible.

Striking the keynote of the House of Pacific Relations, John Johnson, President, says:

“The general attitude of the House of Pacific Relations and its member groups is that the situation in Europe is not instigated by the people, but by their leaders. We sincerely believe — and have proved — that the various people can live together in amity, as we do here.”

The 15 cottages are operated under articles of association which declare, in part, the following purpose, “to bring into closer acquaintance the people of the various nationalities and groups represented in its membership, in order to foster and cultivate a spirit of understanding, tolerance and good will to the end that we will all be better Americans.”

Carrying out this high purpose, these groups hold open house each Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. and on the first Sunday of each month from April to November, these organizations take turns in giving a public program in keeping with national customs. Actually, the various Houses join in presenting the Fiesta of the Nations.

A Plunge Into Activity

Propagandists and “fifth columnists” are kept out of the groups through a constant check of the various memberships, according to Mr. Johnson. If any problems arise, they are solved at the monthly meeting of the House, attended by the officers of each of the participating groups. Truly, San Diego has a workable “League of Nations,” based on good will and cooperation.

But as soon as one leaves the quiet greensward and rock-bordered ponds of the House of Pacific Relations, he finds ample evidence of the “new San Diego” — a city that is rapidly outgrowing its winter clothes.

Not only are the streets crowed with 24-hour holiday spirit, but the merchants are wearing broad smiles each day, as defense workers, soldiers, marines, sailors and civilians are spending at the rate of $155,000,000 annually — up near 30 percent as compared with a year ago.

Of this payroll, the civilian workers, exclusive of aircraft employees, are spending $57,500,004, with the 20,000 aircraft men and women pouring $34,000,000 each year into the trade channels. This amount is up $24,000,000 since a year ago, and there will be more than 15,000 additional plane craftsmen in San Diego by midsummer.

March 13, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1-4. Voters’ approval necessary for park highway.

March 14, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:1. Tideland site for housing may be altered.

March 14, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:5. Plans for making Balboa Park the center of picnic conventions for all state societies to be discussed.

March 14, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:2-3. Amusement Center proposed for foot of Market Street.

March 18, 1941, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

President Sessions brought up the matter of removal of the Food and Beverage Building and the Federal Housing Building in Balboa Park. He suggested that the Commission recommend to the City Manager a study of the feasibility of such removals, inasmuch as they demand costly maintenance of staff, plaster walls, skylights, etc.; inasmuch as floor arrangement is such that they are not readily adaptable to general use; inasmuch as the fire hazard is of material consequence and that the heating problem in the Food and Beverage Building is such that the expense is considered prohibitive; moved and carried that feasibility study be made.

March 19, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:5. Parkway seen as $1,000,000 gift to city.

March 20, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:1. Two-thirds majority needed on parkway.

March 21, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Board of Harbor Commissioners voted tideland sites for dormitories.

March 21, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:3-4. San Diego Rose Society urges park rose garden.

March 23, 1941, San Diego Union. Admiral C. A. Blakely, Naval Commandant, indorsed proposed Cabrillo Parkway; George W. Marston said he considers the Cabrillo Freeway the answer to “the extreme necessity of another broad modern thoroughfare from north to south.”

March 23, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:2. Park Director W. Allen Perry, in letter to City Manager, recommends demolition of Food and Beverage Building, 54,000 sq. ft., and Federal Housing Building (Electric Building), 43,800 sq. ft.; cites maintenance cost and fire hazard.

March 25, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:6. Hammer Club backs Cabrillo parkway plan.

March 26, 1941, San Diego Union. Park freeway wins in light voting; parcel one equals 37.54 acres, parcel two equals 0.84 acre.

Yes 24,661 No 3,110

March 27, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:1. Freeway through park via 11th Avenue canyon road won in primary election Tuesday; 8 to 1 vote tallied.

March 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-14:4. Half-Minute Interviews: G. Aubrey Davidson upset over proposed removal of two buildings in Balboa Park.

March 31, 1941, San Diego Union, B-10:3 Two Kansas communities represented at park picnic yesterday.

April 1, 1941, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners

The Director read a copy of a letter addressed to the Executive Committee of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce by Mr. Richard S. Requa, A.I.A., relative to the preservation of the buildings in Balboa Park.

April 4, 1941, San Diego Union, 1:5. Chamber of Commerce directors unanimously opposed to current moves to raze two park buildings; urge City to put sum for repairs in annual budget.

April 6, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:1. San Diego Museum group to mark 25th anniversary.

April 7, 1941, San Diego Union, 7:6. Park Commission favors razing Food and Beverage and Federal Housing Buildings.

April 19, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:1-2. Military leaders approval local vocational training

Larry Boeing, in charge of aviation industry training and superintendent at the Ford building, said that only 800 have enrolled, and that all men desiring to take the free vocational work should apply at once.

The school, in which $200,000 worth of equipment is being installed, was officially opened Monday.

April 23, 1941, ELECTION – Vote for ceding land to Naval Hospital

Yes 9,363 No 2,297 (4 to 1)

May 11, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Program set for opening of municipal pool; throng expected to view in varied games next Sunday.

May 12, 1941, San Diego Union, 4:7. Permanent committee to stage annual anniversary celebration formed at luncheon yesterday; will consist of chairman of Park Commission, president of Federation of State Societies and the Heaven-on-Earth Club.

May 25, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:1. Five-hour program to mark park’s 73rd birthday; dedication twice attacked in courts.

May 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:1-2. Park founding date marked at a program at 6th Avenue and Laurel Streets; Milton P. Sessions, president of the Board of Park Commissioners, told the story of the park.

June 1, 1941, San Diego Union, C-3:7-8. San Diego’s amateur actors, actresses keep traditional “stage show” alive, by W. B. France.

June 7, 1941, San Diego Union, A:1-3. Fine Arts Gallery unveils portrait by Velazquez.

June 7, 1941, San Diego Union, A:2-3. Infanta Margareta favorite subject of old master, by Reginald Poland.

June 10, 1941, San Diego Union. City Council dedicates right-of-way for Cabrillo Freeway.

June 11, 1941, San Diego Union, 10:1. Richard S. Requa succumbs; architect for Civic Center.

June 13, 1941, San Diego Union, 17:2. Chamber of Commerce pays tribute to Richard S. Requa.

June 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:3-4. H. M. Wegeforth, Zoo founder, physician, dies.

Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth, ___, founder and president of the San Diego Zoological Society, died yesterday of a heart attack, in his home, ___ Cypress Way. Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Benbough’s mortuary announced.

Dr. Wegeforth as a member of one of San Diego’s most prominent families. He was a native of Baltimore, where his childhood interest in circus activities later developed into a tireless effort to develop one of the world’s largest zoos.

In 1910 Dr. Wegeforth opened practice in San Diego as a physician and surgeon. His brother, Paul, became associated with him in 1915, and they worked together until the World War, when each was commissioned a captain in the army medical corps.

The zoo had its beginnings in a few animal exhibits used in the 1916 Exposition. Wegeforth Bowl, located in the zoo, was named after Dr. Wegeforth.

In 1936 a plaque was erected in his honor. On it is inscribed: “The San Diego Zoological gardens is a living monument to his ideals, faith and courage.” It was dedicated to “Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth, whose wise vision and untiring labor secured this zoological collection and planted this garden for the instruction and enjoyment of the people.”

“From earth’s far reaches,” the plaque is prefaced, “he brought the beasts of the soil, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, that all might learn the wonders of created life.”

In April, 1940, Dr. Wegeforth started a five-month tour of the Near East, India, Indo-China and Saigon in search of new specimens for the zoo. He returned the following August, after collecting 125 animals and 300 birds.

At the age of 9, Dr. Wegeforth started a circus in the yard of his Baltimore “partner’s” home. When 12, he joined a professional troupe of wire-walkers, but an elder brother, Charles, soon had him back home studying medicine. Dr. Wegeforth’s father and give of his 11 brothers were physicians.

He used few animals in his childhood circus, Dr. Wegeforth said in an interview several years ago, but “I had loved animals ever since I could remember and studied natural history.”

One rainy December day in 1916 Dr. Wegeforth came to the editor of The Union asking that an article be inserted in the paper requesting persons interested in forming a zoological society to meet with him the following day. Five men responded; all except one were doctors.

Despite his tireless efforts, Dr. Wegeforth never took credit for the tremendous development of the zoo. He attributed it to the teamwork of his associates in the Zoological society, the ability of Mrs. Belle Benchley, zoo executive secretary, the cooperation of San Diego newspapers, and the generosity of persons who donated funds and exhibits.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Harry M. Wegeforth; two sons, Lester and Milton Wegeforth; and a sister, Mrs. Emma Tyler.

June 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:5. Services for Carl Heilbron, ___, civic leader, held in Bradley-Woolman, St. Cecelia Chapel yesterday.

June 29, 1941, A-18:1. Funeral rites for Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth held yesterday.

June 29, 1941, San Diego Union, C-4:3-4. Business men indorse San Diego’s Summer Symphonies in Ford Bowl, by Sally Brown Moody.

July 3, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Griffing Bancroft gives 30,000 birds’ eggs to Natural History Museum.

July 3, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:5-6. Fred Lockwood, city purchasing agent, seeks bids of cereal for San Diego Zoo; 200 tons of mixed rations needed for beasts.

July 3, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:6. Flag ceremonies tonight at Organ Pavilion; Billy Collier, Boy Scout, will lead Pledge of Allegiance.

July 13, 1947, San Diego Union, A-9:2-3. San Diego Zoo will be converted in to a laboratory for more than 100 San Diego children for the next six weeks, Mrs. Lena P. Crouse, head of the Zoological society educational department, said yesterday.

July 16, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:1-4. Autos, pedestrians separated by new 11th Avenue branch; drawing showing Pan-American Plaza and area south of Organ Pavilion turned into parking lots and branch road leading to 11th Avenue thoroughfare.

July 17, 1941, San Diego Union, B-14:3. Patrick F. O’Rourke, San Diego attorney, dies at Hospital..

July 18, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:5. Four penguins can’t fly so are flown in to join San Diego Zoo.

July 20, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. City museum staff salaries raised.

July 21, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:3. Charles Smith, animal keeper at San Diego Zoo, dies.

July 22, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:4-7. Heaven on Earth Club to have own building at Kettner Boulevard and Kalmia Street.

July 22, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:3. San Diego oboe player to be featured at park concert.

July 23, 1941, San Diego Union, A-5:2-3. Appreciative audience at Ford Bowl heads oboe soloist with symphony, by Sally Brown Moody.

July 25, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. American pianists featured on third symphony program at Ford Bowl.

July 25, 1941, San Diego Union, A-5:3. Dahlia exhibit in Spanish Village opportunity for amateurs.

July 27, 1941, San Diego Union, A-12:3, Sherman Trease dies; active in Spanish Village Art Center; known for photography.

July 27, 1941, San Diego Union, A-13:2-6. Baby bull bison at San Diego Zoo to make debut.

July 27, 1941, San Diego Union, C-4:4-5. Hollace Shaw to be soloist on Ford Bowl program Tuesday.

July 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:3-4. Hollace Shaw, orchestra win unstinted acclaim, by Sally Brown Moody.

July 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:4. Negro artists’ concert tonight at Balboa Park.

August 4, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:8. Hollywood dog takes first in all-breed show in former Federal Building, Balboa Park.

August 8, 1941, San Diego Union, A-5:1-2. Ruth Reynolds, granddaughter of W. W. Stewart, San Diego pioneer, to sing at Ford Bowl tonight.

August 8, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Network asks park site for radio station.

August 9, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:1. Ruth Reynolds brilliant in Ford Bowl concert, by Sally Brown Moody.

August 10, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:1. San Diego Zoo to receive new animals.

August 10, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:6. City Manager Walter Cooper says U. S. Army seeks lease on former O’Rourke Institute building in Balboa Park; First Lt. Johnnie R. Dyer, assistant material office, Army Air Corps headquarters of the Fourth Interceptor Command, office of the commanding general, has submitted a proposed lease agreement..

August 10, 1941, San Diego Union, B-3:3. Fall Flower Show off main plain, Balboa Park, today.

August 11, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:4. Boy Scouts to hold aquatic meet in Balboa ark Indian Village swimming pools.

August 11, 1941, San Diego Union, A-8:4. Disabled American Veterans to honor Mme. Schumann-Heink.

August 12, 1941, San Diego Union, A-10:2-3. San Diego Zoo gets priority; Dutch ships bring living cargo from tropics.

August 12, 1941, San Diego Union, B-12:2-3. Wreath honors Mme. Schumann-Heink.

August 13, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:2-3. Ramona Gerhard and Symphony team for memorable concert in Ford Bowl, by Sally Brown Moody.

August 13, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:5. City Manager Walter Cooper informed the City Council yesterday that U. A. Army to take former O’Rourke building for raid warning office; WPA executives told the Council at a conference they have been asked to vacate the building by Friday and asked for permission to erect a temporary WPA headquarters on an adjacent park site

Local WPA headquarters formerly were in Broadway pier. This space recently was given up when the navy took over the pier.

Councilmen suggested that the WPA request permission from the harbor commission to put up an office building on the southwest corner of Ash Street and Pacific Highway.

August 13, 1941, San Diego Union, A-10:4-7. San Diego Zoo’s three new baby elephants in debut Sunday.

August 13, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Public hearing set on site for radio plant.

August 14, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. William Templeton Johnson writes letter to San Diego Union protesting granting park land for radio station.

August 16, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:1. Commercial uses of park rapped.

August 17, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:1. Mothers to meet at picnic in park.

August 17, 1941, San Diego Union, A-13:1. Residents rap park site for radio station.

August 19, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:8. Enlistments in San Diego Regiment of National Guard mount rapidly; Armory is in former Exposition building, Balboa Park.

August 19, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:6-7. Hobby Show to open today in Federal Building.

August 19, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:3. Pacific Beach property owners protest against government condemnation; hearing Friday.

August 19, 1941, San Diego Union, B:2-4. Mrs. Emily Burlingame adopts San Diego Zoo babies.

August 20, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:1. A:3. City Council seeks $281,000 WPA grant for recreation.

August 20, 1941, San Diego Union, A-10:3. City Council to hold hearing today on park radio.

August 21, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:1, A:1-3. City Council favors radio in park; people debate.

August 22, 1941, San Diego Union, A-10:1. Alec Templeton to give concert at Ford Bowl tonight.

August 24, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:2, B-3:4. More opposed to radio in park.

August 24, 1941, San Diego Union, C-7:6-8. Fine Arts Gallery shows paintings by Marchioness of Queensbury.

August 24, 1941, San Diego Union, C-8:1-4. Central California Camera Councils print exhibit receives warm commendation here.

August 24, 1941, San Diego Union, F-2:3-6. One thousand prefabricated houses to be set up in Pacific Beach.

August 25, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:4. Mrs. Richard S. Requa dies alone at home.

August 27, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:3-4. A:2. Showdown on park radio fails; City Council to respect week’s delay.

August 27, 1941, San Diego Union, A:2-5. Minutes of city fathers reveal gift of Balboa Park property to San Diego.

August 27, 1941, San Diego Union, B-11:3-4. Three guest artists score in final park symphony, by Sally Brown Moody.

August 28, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:4. Park Board may enter radio agreement.

August 28, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:3. Dancing stars Doris Niles and Serge Leslie coming to Ford Bowl.

August 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:3, A:3-5. City Park Board opposes lease for radio plant.

August 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-9:1-2. H. K. Trask writers letter regarding radio site.

August 31, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:3-5. Cissas, Japanese hunting birds, make debut at San Diego Zoo today.

August 31, 1941, San Diego Union, A-8:3-7. Defense housing opposite Naval Training Station.

August 31, 1941, San Diego Union, B-2:2-4. San Diego Police “Crime Prevention” work starts with recreation program for local youth.

September 6, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:6. Sentiment 3 to 1 against radio station in park.

September 9, 1941, San Diego Union, B-2:2. EDITORIAL: Get It Over With

It now seems to be up to the council whether the charm will be preserved or whether it will be discarded and the park thrown open to private business, which was contrary to the intentions of those who established it and to the wishes of those who enjoy it today.

September 10, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:3-4. KGB withdraws request for park broadcasting station.

September 11, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:6. City Council orders park lease request filed.

September 17, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1-3. Divided City Council grants use of Ford Bowl to America First for speech by Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana.

September 18, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:2-4, A:5. Gorillas join San Diego Zoo; chimps in dither; Mbongo, Ngagi interested.

Kenya and Kivu, the Brenda and Cobina of gorrilladom, established residence in the San Diego Zoo yesterday, two doors from Mbongo and Ngagi, whose acquaintance they are expected to cultivate at some future date. They were slightly shy in their new surroundings, but expressed relief over the end of their arduous journey from French Equatorial Africa.

Kenya (pronounced Keen-ya) is the elder of the two. She is 9, and weighs 63-1/2 pounds. Kivu is 5 and weighs 40-1/2 pounds. They are lightweights compared to Mbongo and Ngagi, who weight 618 and 587 pounds respectively, according to Belle Benchley, zoo executive secretary.

The gorillas arrived in crates aboard the streamline train from Los Angeles, after crossing the continent by rail from New York. They spent the last three months in the crates, and took advantage of their new “freedom” to stretch and take a few swings on the bars of the cage.

Kivu was released first into the small house within the cage. Kenya was released directly into the large cage, and received a warm welcome from several hundred spectators who witnessed the arrival of the newcomers.

Neighboring simians received the gorillas with mixed feelings. George Washington, notorious scamp in the chimpanzee cage which separates Kenya and Kivu from Mbongo and Ngagi, was resentful of the attention being showered on the newcomers, and momentarily stole the spotlight by reaching out and snatching off a piece of a photographer’s camera.

Kenya thrilled the spectators when she playfully scampered after two other photographers who became venturesome and entered the cage to take pictures. Keepers slammed the door shut just in time to prevent Kenya from playfully grabbing Fred Masters, chamber of commerce photographer, and tossing him over the bars.

Mbongo and Ngagi crowded close against the side of their cage and watched with mute interest. Ngagi shook his head deprecatingly as if to say, “The girls look rather young, don’t you think?”

Kivu appeared particularly shy and a little frightened. When she first emerged from the house, Kenya swung down from the bars above, and put her arm around the smaller gorilla in a protective gesture, which brought expressions of sympathy from the spectators.

The names Kenya and Kivu were chosen from more than 300 suggestions made by San Diegans. Mrs. Lena P. Crouse of the zoo education committee, who was chairman of the naming contest, announced that the name Kenya was submitted by Mrs. Frances Kenking of the Pt. Loma High School faculty. Kivu, name of an African lake, was suggested by Mrs. May Yount of Lemon Grove. Both will receive honorary membership in the Zoological society.

The two gorillas were purchased for the zoo by anonymous benefactor, from Henry Trefflich of New York. They were captured by Trefflich’s partner, Philip Carroll during an expedition which lasted one year and 12 days, and which netted more than 20 gorillas, eight of which were shipped to the United States aboard the Otto, West African liner, which remained at sea 37 days.

Carroll’s catch is recognized as a record. He discovered a large gorilla colony in territory controlled by the Free French forces of General Charles DeGaulle, according to Trefflich, who accompanied the two gorillas to San Diego..

Of the other six gorillas brought to the United States, four were sent to the St. Louis zoo an two to the Bronx zoo in New York. If the eight, three were males, and five females.

September 23, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:4. Public divided on Wheeler talk.

September 23, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:5. Tentative plans for 1942 Cabrillo Celebration told.

September 24, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:2-4. Exhibit of Salton Sea birds completed at Natural History Museum.; 58 mounted birds have gone into the groups.

September 25, 1941, San Diego Herald, 1:1. Talk by Senator Wheeler at Ford Bowl


Senator Wheeler, non-interventionist, will speak, maybe, at the Ford Bowl on the evening of October 3 in furtherance of the anti-administration policies which are the conception of himself and Charles Lindbergh, husband to Anne Morrow.

Wheeler will speak because the San Diego city council has rented the Bowl to him — or, rather, because some of the council have rented the Bowl to him. Two of the council voted against the deal {Messrs. Flowers and Simpson] — and strange as it seems, the two that voted against Wheeler were as wrong as the four that voted for him.

Because the important thing in this matter so far as San Diegans are concerned is not whether Wheeler speaks against the administration in the Ford Bowl, but whether the San Diego city council can prove itself intelligent enough to run a push card — and the noes seem to have it!

The renting of the Bowl to Wheeler, or to the America First Committee for Wheeler’s use, was an unfortunate thing to bring before the council, anyhow. The America First Committee should have the grace to leave the city administration out of their controversy, but, as long as the committee has thrown the matter into the council’s lap, the council should have used a little brains — its or somebody else’s — to avoid the trap into which it has fallen.

In other words, the council should simply have notified the America First Committee, as it was notified in Seattle and other cities where there is a modicum of intelligence in city government, that San Diego cannot take part, one way or another, in any controversial subject, or at least in on fraught with the dynamite as this non-intervention thing is — and then the American First Committee should have taken a meeting place not publicly owned.

September 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:2-4. Trudy escapes again; San Diego Zoo 700-pound tapir captured after week of hiding in storm drain opening in the 11th Street Canyon, just back of Snyder Continuation School, by Ruth Taunton.

September 28, 1941, San Diego Union, C-7:7-8. Three thousand years of history reflected in Fine Arts Gallery exhibition, by Julia G. Andrews; Bror Nordfelt’s still-life “Red Cactus,” latest addition to American collection..

September 28, 1941, San Diego Union, C-8:1-4. Camera Circle Club’s Photographic Print Display well received here., by Dr. Scott E. Watson.

September 28, 1941, San Diego Union, Society-Club, D-1:1-3, D-2:1. Third in the annual list of big horse shows given for charity in San Diego each year, will be the one mounted by the Balboa Mounted troop this afternoon in the Balboa Park show ring.

October 5, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1-8, B-3:3-4. Natural History Museum grows with city from small beginning; Clinton G. Abbott, director of Natural History Museum for 20 years; exhibits exceed half-million mark, by Ruth Taunton.

October 6, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:4. Ten thousands from schools will tour San Diego Zoo.

October 7, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:4-5. City Council frowns on car cleaning in Balboa Park.

October 8, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:2-3. City Council shouts down plan to sell Balboa Park areas.

October 9, 1941, San Diego Herald, 1:2-3. Selling Park Land

Councilman I-Forget-His-First-Name Simpson may have only been joking in a clumsy way when he proposed a couple of days ago that we should sell part of Balboa Park in order to get money to improve the rest.

If so, it was a silly joke.

And a joke that came with bad grace, because it is just a little while ago that the city council refused to give radio station KGB a lease in the north end of the park because it was afraid that the erection of a radio station would “commercialize” the park.

If Councilman Simpson and his five compadres on the worst city council that we have ever had, would devote as much time to the problem of making San Diego a fit town to live in as they do to such idiocies as selling part of the park they would justify their existence. As it is, they simple are a part of a city government that nobody wants and nobody cares about.

If the city council, for instance, wants to do something about the park and its improvement, why doesn’t it consider the advisability of selling the civic center building to the federal government and moving the headquarters of the city and county government into the park, where they belong?

Everybody realizes now that the worst possible site for a civic center is the waterfront — a site which is surrounded on four sides now by lumber piles and while will always be centered among the unsightly, because no matter what we think about it, a waterfront will always be an industrial district, and an industrial district can never be a rose garden.

Right now, and forever, the federal government needs that civic center building for its own business. It is ideally situated for the navy, for instance, and every square foot of it can be used to advance the needs of the present war emergency.

And so, The Herald suggests that Councilman Simpson sit down with some high school boy and let the boy figure out for him some way to get the government to buy the civic center, and then we won’t have to go into the real estate business with reference to Balboa Park, but we can move our city and county governments into the park and then they can improve it to their heart’s content.

October 19, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1-8, B-2:1. San Diego Zoo becomes one of world’s largest in two decades.

October 19, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:5. Dr. Wegeforth’s dream realized; Society celebrates 25th anniversary, by Ruth Taunton.

The San Diego Zoological Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week.

In those 25 years the society has grown from the desire of a few San Diegans to give better care to a few miserable animals in Balboa Park into the custodianship of one of the world’s most famous zoological gardens, with 3,000 fine exhibits housed in a $4,000,000 plant.

Because it was his idea from the beginning, the late Dr. Harry Wegeforth was the “head and heart” of the San Diego zoo from the October day in 1916 when he first discussed the project with a handful of friends until his death last summer.

Single-handedly, Dr. Wegeforth raised thousands of dollars in the early days, and after he retired from general medical practice because of ill health, he generously squandered the strength left to him by traveling to remote corners of the earth in search of many of the rare animals which one finds in the zoo today.

But the zoo was not built on magic, Dr. Wegeforth often reminded visitors.

When the thought was merely to see what could be done to relieve the unhappiness of some improperly fed, scraggly-looking deer, buffalo and bears that had been left stranded in the park after the 1915 [sic] exposition, it was a fight to get enough to de-louse and feed them.

By 1917, however, Dr. Wegeforth wanted to branch out. A few owners of “animal acts” were looking for good winter quarters for their lions and other cats, and were only to glad to lend them as exhibits in exchange for room and board.

So the physician managed to persuade public-spirited citizens to help him finance suitable wire for cages, which he strung along Park Boulevard, across the street from the Indian Village Boy Scout headquarters.

Sometimes not knowing where tomorrow’s hay for the elephants or meat for the lions was coming from, but always holding to a vision that was growing beyond recognition, Dr. Wegeforth’s enthusiasm did not abate.

The Union, which in 1916 had carried the story of a physician’s concern for neglected animals, began to publish the details of the same physician’s rather odd ambition to start a zoo.

The response to The Union’s stories was so gratifying, Dr. Wegeforth commented on the results in a carefully kept diary which the society hopes to publish. It was the first newspaper publicity that brought to the physician’s aid such kindred spirits as Dr. Fred Baker, San Diego pioneer, and Dr. J. C. Thompson, U.S.N., now retired.

Wanting nothing but the best, the new-born board of directors met 25 years ago this month in Dr. Baker’s Point Loma home, modeled its by-laws after those of the New York Zoological society, and called itself the San Diego Zoological society.

The organization had been incorporated when the park commission in 1921 set aside the grounds in Balboa Park which the zoo now occupies. The city council confirmed the commissioner’s move, and entered into an agreement with the society that it was to have jurisdiction over the zoo so long as it tried to maintain it in a manner that wouldn’t bring too much discredit on the city.

In 1922, the society’s collection moved into the new quarters. If the list of animals was pathetically small and in many ways a little weird, it was a collection, and Dr. Wegeforth had his zoo — and his vision of what it must in one day be.

One of his dreams was to purchase some elephants and other fine animals from Frank Buck. They arrived at the zoo along with a bill for $6,355. Dr. Wegeforth admired the exhibits first, and worried about the money later. When something had to be done, he went to see the late John D. Spreckels, and gave a moving depiction of his financial problems and their causes.

Mr. Spreckels wasn’t interested in the zoo, but he was the kind who joke at their own troubles. His financial worries that day concerned some “white elephants” of his own, but he laughingly assured Dr. Wegeforth that if he could show him “elephants whiter than mine, I’ll help you.”

Arriving back at the zoo with three kegs of white powder and some large bales of cotton, Dr. Wegeforth and his assistants set to work. In time they had two Snow Whites that made up in whiteness for all they lacked in daintiness.

On a fancy pretext, Mr. Spreckels was induced to go to the park at once. When he saw the elephants he first declined to believe it and finally roared with laughter. Next day Mr. Wegeforth received a check for $7,500. He could not only keep his elephants, but built a pen to keep them in.

The plans of the zoological garden were completed in 1922 when the society took over and have been developed strictly according to this plan. This included the hope of Dr. Wegeforth that he could bring back from his world jaunts rare trees, shrubs, flowers and seeds, which now make the grounds so beautiful.

Belle J. Benchley, only woman zoo curator in the world, went to the zoo as a bookkeeper in October, 1925. Soon after her arrival there were two major events in the history of the zoo. The late Miss Ellen Scripps gave the society its first generous donation and followed it by others totaling $350,000. The zoo was fenced with her money, the bear grottos were built, and many animals were purchased, including the two famous gorillas.

There was an inventory of 875 animals in the gardens when Mrs. Benchley first arrived, and already Dr. Wegeforth had a few rare animals among these exhibits.

The zoo hospital was built in 1926 and opened in 1927. Many of those on board had long been interested in the relation of human and animal diseases, and the purpose of the zoo hospital was and is not only to make the animals in Balboa Park a healthy, happy lot, but to offer an opportunity for research.

October 19, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:8, B-2:2-3. Funds totaling $141,500 available for recreation according to Wayne Neal, federal security agency field recreation representative.

In Balboa Park, it is proposed to rehabilitate and furnish the Food and Beverage Building as a USO at a cost of $45,000.

The city council Tuesday frowned on a use-and-occupy permit on the ground that the building was too far out of the path of servicemen who gather downtown.

Neal, however, voiced the belief that the park itself is a major attraction to servicemen, and said he will renew his plea for permission to use the building.

Other Balboa Park projects are:

Installation of 14 sets of bleachers with a capacity of 1,540 persons in the Federal Building, and the placing there of a boxing ring and portable basketball goals.

Installation of miscellaneous playground equipment on an undeveloped Balboa Park site south of the tennis courts, near the Indian Village.

Grading, surfacing and illuminating of the softball field south of the North Park swimming pool

October 20, 1941, San Diego Union, Consolidated Dedication Section, 20:4. Visitors lured by rare beauty of Balboa Park.

October 20, 1941, San Diego Union, Consolidated Dedication Section, 34:1. Natural History Museum houses rare specimens.

October 21, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:5-6. George W. Marston observes two anniversaries in week; 91st birthday, 71st year in San Diego.

October 21, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. City Council okays United Services Organization (USO) building in Balboa Park; City Manager Walter Cooper had opposed the site; USO will have use of one-third of the floor space in the Food and Beverage Building for five years with an option for renewal if the present emergency is still in effect; the organization plans to spend $35,000 to remodel the interior of the building to suit its requirements; at present election supplies and equipment are stored in the building..

October 22, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:2. San Diego Zoo will mark 25th birthday.

October 24, 1941, San Diego Union, B:1-5. People of 15 nations united for House of Pacific Relations Fiesta, by Ruth Taunton.

October 25, 1941, San Diego Union, A-10:7. San Diego Zoo anniversary fete set today.

October 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:2. San Diego Zoo, 25 years old, to carry on work; ceremonies held in Wegeforth Bowl with F. L. Annable, first vice president of the Zoological society, presiding; John Bacon, former mayor, summarized the development of the zoo.

October 28, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:3-5. Frank Clark, director of the state department of public works, pledges park, freeway highway 395 repairs.

October 28, 1941, San Diego Union, A-5:1. Natural History Museum plans all-day trip.

October 30, 1941, San Diego Herald, 3:4. San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is on the air.

On Saturday, October 25th, at 5:30 p.m., the Southern Title and Trust company started a series of weekly programs over radio station KGB featuring Belle Benchley, world-famous executive secretary of the San Diego Zoological Society in “Zoo Tours.”

“We are particularly grateful to our sponsors for starting these interesting and educational broadcasts,” Mrs. Benchley declared.

The San Diego Zoo, now one of the largest and most famous in the world, was started by the late Dr. Harry Wegeforth, and four associates in October, 1916. Starting with a handful of poorly fed and odd assorted animals left over from the 1916 Exposition, Dr. Wegeforth, with the held of civic-minded San Diegans, built the Zoological Gardens into the far-flung home of 3,000 animals, many of then the only ones in captivity. Mayor Benbough has issued a proclamation urging all San Diegans to become better acquainted with their world-famous zoo.

During the “Zoo Tours” programs, which will be presented each Saturday at 5:30 p.m. by the Southern Title and Trust Company, Mrs. Benchley will escort a little girl on a personally conducted tour of the zoo, and will tell some of the interesting stories about the various animals and birds. It will be a treat you can’t afford to miss, according to sponsors of the program. Mrs. Benchley, author of the best seller, “My Life In a Man-Made Jungle,” was featured over a Mutual network last year, scoring a tremendous hit.

October 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:2-4. Visiting scientists praise San Diego Zoo.

October 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-11:1. Fiesta of Nations at House of Hospitality Saturday night to be given in native costumes.

October 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-12:5-6. Scientists from the Natural History Museum has encountered a treasure trove of specimens in their expedition to Lower California with Max Miller, author.

October 31, 1941, San Diego Union, A-13. Park Board sets Cudahy Packing Plant restrictions.

November 2, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:1. Melvyn Douglas and other motion picture celebrities to appear in patriotic program at Ford Bowl next Sunday afternoon.

November 2, 1941, San Diego Union, A-8:1-4. Augustus, Mae join Lutong monkey colony at San Diego Zoo.

November 5, 1941, San Diego Union, A-9:1-2. Pan-American League votes to mark naming Pan-American Plaza at Fiesta next April, by Irene M. Clark.

November 6, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:2. Lions’ Club will honor John Johnson, president of House of Pacific Relations.

November 9, 1941, San Diego Union, A-11:1. Patriotic rally set for today at Ford Bowl.

November 9, 1941, San Diego Union, A-13:2-3. Prizes awarded at chrysanthemum show.

November 13, 1941, San Diego Union, B-12:1-2. City appropriates $250,000 for park freeway project.

November 13, 1941, San Diego Union, B-12:1. State to hasten San Diego road work.

November 20, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:2-4. ROTC officers semi-formal ball will be held in American Legion Building at 8 tomorrow night.

November 20, 1941, San Diego Union, A-8:2. More than 5,000 colored lights will blaze in Christmas “Seasons Greetings” when Christmas tree land comes to life along Laurel Street in Balboa Park.

November 22, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:1. Yugoslav dance next Saturday night in House of Hospitality to aid fight against Hitler.

November 23, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:4. Ninth annual Electric Show to open Tuesday in Palace of Better Housing.

November 23, 1941, San Diego Union, Electrical Exposition Section, 1-16.

November 24, 1941, San Diego Union, A-8:4-5. Many exhibits at Electric Show.

November 25, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:8. Consair (Consolidated Aircraft Corporation of San Diego) sold to Vultee.

November 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-2:5. Thousands see Electric Show in Balboa Park.

November 27, 1941, San Diego Union, B-1:1. City Planning Commission again recommended denial by the City Council of trailer camp permit applications in Pacific Beach.

November 30, 1941, San Diego Union, A-8:2-4. San Diego Zoo feeds 3,000 inmates; finding food is task of Dr. Frank D. McKenney, veterinary pathologist in the Zoological Society hospital.

November 30, 1941, San Diego Union, E-2:7-8. Ace golfers in Balboa Park exhibition today, by Charles Byrne.

Parking and traffic at the Balboa Park clubhouse is getting to be a serious problem and Mgr. Sydney Gaines asks the cooperation of all to alleviate the situation.

December 7, 1941, San Diego Union, C-7:6-8. Mrs. Julia Gethmann Andrews to discuss Max Brand’s art at Fine Arts Gallery; annual guild exhibition to open.

December 7, 1941, San Diego Union, C-8:1-4. Attractive photographs presented in Fort Dearborn camera show.



December 9, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:7-8. San Diego blacks out first time as street lights give signal.

December 9, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:4. Fine Arts Gallery to open exhibits tonight.

December 9, 1941, San Diego Union, A-6:5. Forty five Japanese held by FBI in county jail.

December 10, 1941, Letter from Byron McCandless, Captain, U. S. Acting Commandant, 11th Naval District to W. W. Cooper, City Manager.

Dear Sir:

In accordance with previous agreements between the Commandant’s Office and the City of San Diego, you are advised that I have this date authorized the Commanding Office of the U. S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, to take over the following buildings in Balboa Park to provide for urgent additional hospital facilities.

Nos. 11 & 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20 & 60. This is to be effective from noon, December 10, 1941.

In addition to the above buildings, you are advised that the following additional buildings will probably also be required for Naval purposes, and, accordingly, you should make no commitments on turning over any of these to the Commanding General of the U. S. Army, whose headquarters are now located in Balboa Park: Nos. 20, 34, 37 & 41.

Very truly yours,

(Signed) Byron McCandless

Captain, U. S.

Acting Commandant

11th Naval District


11 & 12 Food & Beverage Building

13 Better Housing

15 House of Hospitality

16 American Legion

19 Science & Photography

20 House of Charm

28 Palace of Education

34 Hollywood Hall of Fame

37 Electricity & Varied Industries

41 Federal Building

60 Globe Theater


December 10, 1941. Balboa Park taken over by U. S. Navy; named Camp Kidd.

December 10, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:7-8. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt brands Germany, Italy foes; United States planes blast Japanese transports.

December 10, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:3, B:2. San Diego blackout law adopted.

December 12, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:2. Balboa Park goes military.

Balboa Park, San Diego’s great 1400-acre cultural and recreational asset has gone to war along with the nation, but occupation of some facilities by the military establishment will not deny people the use of other parts of their prized park.

The statement came from government sources yesterday as the military relaxed rules which had halted traffic on Laurel Street through the park since Tuesday night.

Ironically, the famed House of Pacific Relations, is one of the park facilities that “has gone to war” and is being used in the defense effort.

“The government asks the public’s cooperation to carry out any emergency regulations that may be effective from time to time,” a spokesman for the military establishment said last night.

Institutions such as the Fine Arts Gallery, the San Diego Museum of Natural History and a number of other cultural agencies will continue to offer their facilities to the public. Recreational facilities, with some important exceptions, also will continue to be available, subject, of course, to any emergency rules that may have to be promulgated.

The park went to war as part of the government’s program to strengthen America’s seacoast lines of defense.

Thus today, as in 1917, Balboa Park has again donned a uniform for national defense.

December 14, 1941, San Diego Union, B-2:2. San Diego Zoo ready for emergency.

The 3,000 “citizens” of the San Diego Zoo are ready for any emergency, officials of the Zoological Society said yesterday.

“The shelters for most of our animals were originally designed and built to be practically earthquake proof,” said Belle Benchley, executive secretary. “That was considered to be our greatest danger. However, with the advent of war, these shelters are sturdy enough to resist anything short of a direct hit. Actually, they are excellent air raid shelters and hence the animals are well-protected.”

A comprehensive plan for protection of the public against an animal stampede in case of a bombing has been put into effect, according to Mrs. Benchley.

“We have worked out a plan whereby each of the 35 men on the zoo staff will report immediately to the grounds in case of need,” she said. “Each man will go to his post in order to supervise the animals in case of an attack. Each man is equipped with a high-powered gun, which he will use it if becomes necessary to prevent danger to the public through possible escape of dangerous

animals.” During a recent blackout, 26 men got through to their posts.

The repair and servicemen are under orders to “stand by” at the zoo warehouses in case of bomb damage. The huge glass windows of the snake house are protected by shutters at night as an additional protection.

“The zoo is remaining open, and doing business as usual, and I know that people will continue to get relaxation here at a time when they need it so much,” Mrs. Benchley said.

December 14, 1941, San Diego Union, C-7:6-8. Reginald Poland to discuss Fries exhibition; Fine Arts Gallery installs Christmas gifts.

December 14, 1941, San Diego Union, D-7:1-3. “Refugees” of park seeking quarters, by Irene M. Clark.

“Now we know how it feels to be a refugee.”

Tired club women thus sighed yesterday as they returned home from removing furniture and possessions from clubrooms in Hospitality House (House of Hospitality), which, since the fall of 1936, has housed so many women’s organizations of the city. Suddenly ousted by demands of civilian defense, the clubs now are scurrying about seeking new quarters. Some already have found haven, but now that the Hose of Hospitality is no longer theirs, its exquisite beauty and fitness for their purposes and memory of the happy hours spent in this unique women’s building, claimed to be the only one of its kind, are adding to the general nostalgia of a wartime regime.

One of the first to move, as it was the first to occupy one of the clubrooms, was San Diego Chapter, Daughters of American Revolution. This chapter now will meet in the Wednesday clubhouse and is “farming out” or storing its possessions, furniture, dishes, antiques, pictures

and historical records, which made their room so homelike and useful. The chapter, according to Mrs. Cecil W. Neff, who then was regent, moved into the lovely Spanish structure soon after the last exposition closed in the fall of 1936 from its then quarters in the O’Rourke Institute and added to its furnishings with much enthusiasm.

San Diego branch American Association of University Women, which has occupied a suite of rooms on the second floor of the loggia for more than five years, yesterday sadly puts it beautiful homey furniture, its grand piano and its pride in them away in storage “for the duration,” and threw in its lost with the San Diego Women’s Club, at least so far as use of its building is concerned.

Pan-American League, another organization which had been “living” at the House of Hospitality now is casting about for a place large enough and central enough to hold its monthly luncheons.

A meeting place at the Young Women’s Christian Association has been obtained by the Delphian Club, which has been growing in number and importance and needs a good-sized auditorium.

Other organizations which have been meeting at the House of Hospitality and had not yet fully decided on homes yesterday are the Stonewall Jackson and Hugh Gwyn chapters; United Daughters of the Confederacy; Native Daughters of the Golden West, Parlor 206; University Heights Mothers’ Club; Druggist Auxiliary; Entre Nous Club; San Diego Women’s Post 451, American Legion; Eight and Forty; the Order of the Purple Heart, San Diego Teacher’s Association; 13 state college fraternities and sororities as well as several men’s organizations.

Probably no one has a better right to feel like a refugee than Mrs. John Ward, whose business acumen, tactful management and social aplomb has made this building fulfill it function as the

heart of San Diego’s charming hospitality.

“To be a hostess in the Gold Room,” said Mrs. Ward, “is service taken over by volunteers from various clubs of the city, one being there every day.” . . . Hardly a week has gone by that did not see at least 1500 persons in the building during the week, at meetings of some sort and thousands have dropped down to rest on the comfortable lounges in the beautifully appointed Gold Room or over the tables in the Café del Rey Moro.

It was not easy to “sell” the idea of the building as a meeting place at first, Mrs. Ward recalled, and paid tribute to the valiant work done during the first six months by Mrs. J. W. Jennison who first undertook to run the establishment. Because of the illness of Dr. Jennison, she later gave up the work.

December 18, 1941, San Diego Union, A-1:1. United States requested to build 3,000 more San Diego homes for defense workers.

December 18, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:7. San Diego Chapter of American Red Cross announced immediate closing of production classes in Balboa Park; surgical dressing units will continue their work temporarily and administrative offices also will be open for home service; Major Charles H. Lyman, U. S. M. C., retired, chairman of the San Diego Chapter added that the Red Cross is seeking other quarters for its activities..

December 19, 1941, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

On December 9, 1941, under order of the City Manager and General R. E. Mitttelstadt, Commander of San Diego Sub-sector, the Playground Department vacated the Gymnasium and Federal Building, the Photographic Arts Society vacated the Photographic Arts Building, and units of the San Diego Sub-sector were established in the aforementioned buildings as well as portions of the American Legion Building and Hall of Education. On December 10, occupancy by these units was extended to all the House of Pacific Relations, the second floor of the Park Administration Building, the Indian Village, and outlying park areas including the 11th avenue canyon road and the west side lawns.

December 19, 1941, San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. Director reviews USO work in San Diego.

December 20, 1941, Mailgram, From: Public Works, Capt. J. T. Mathews; To; BUNAV, Priority.

National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region, INCOMPLETE.




December 21, 1941, San Diego Union, C-7:6-8. Reginald Poland, director Fine Arts Gallery, declares

“We need art more than ever.”

December 24, 1941, Letter, From: Walter W. Cooper, City Manager, City of San Diego, to Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego, Calif.; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.

Dear Sir:

By your letter of December 10, 1941, the City of San Diego was advised that the United States, acting through your office, had commandeered for military purposes, certain city owned buildings in Balboa Park, designated from the official plat of park buildings as Buildings Nos. 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20 and 60.

By your letter of December 13, 1941, the City was advised that the United States, acting through your office, has commandeered for military purposes additional city owned buildings in Balboa Park, being Buildings Nos. 28, 34, 37 and 41.

By your letter of December 17, 1941, you advised the City of San Diego that it would be necessary for the United States to occupy an unimproved and undeveloped area in Balboa Park located in an east and west direction between Park Boulevard and the Zoo and in a north and south direction between the Museum of Natural History and the Roosevelt High School grounds, for the purpose of temporarily expanding the Naval Hospital facilities, it being understood that only temporary structures would be erected upon this area, and that the same would be removed after the necessity for them ceased.

By your letter dated December 19, 1941, the City of San Diego was further advised that the United States, acting through your office, had commandeered for military purposes additional city owned building sin Balboa Park, being Nos. 29, 30, 35, 36 and 40.

The City has been requested to lease to the Government the buildings as well as the area required for the construction of temporary buildings and facilities.

In a recent conference with Captain Mathews, of your staff, which was attended by the Mayor, the City Attorney, and the writer, it was made clear that the city administration is powerless to lease to the Government either for a definite or an indefinite term any portion of Balboa Park or the buildings therein, since there exists no provision or authority of law to do so except pursuant to an election by the people of the City. Necessarily, therefore, the Government’s occupancy of the buildings and portions of Balboa Park required by it must be based upon such war-time powers and authority as the Government may possess.

At the conference we attempted to make clear that, while we have been advised that the City is in no position to resist the taking over by the Government of Balboa Park for military purposes for the duration of the wart, the city administration does not to any degree resent the emergency procedure. On the contrary, as I think you will agree, the civil authorities of the city have done, and are doing everything legally within their power to cooperate with the Federal Government and the military authorities thereof to the fullest extent.

Very truly yours,



/s/ Walter W. Cooper

City Manager.

December 26, 1941, San Diego Union, A-8:2-3. Natural History Museum’s bird census proceeds under Army’s wing after soldiers and police become convinced that census takers were not spies.

This year’s tabulation showed San Diego area to have 19,864 birds of 123 varieties.

December 28, 1941, San Diego Union, A-7:1. Australian brush turkey, incubator bird, denizen of San Diego Zoo.

December 28, 1941, San Diego Union, C-7:6-8. Fine Arts Gallery exhibition depicts art of games; National Defense posters shown.

December 29, 1941, San Diego Union, C-7:1. San Diego Boy Scout Council moves headquarters to Commonwealth Building, 5th Avenue and B Street.

December 31, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:1. City Council revokes all permits for use of Balboa Park.

December 31, 1941, San Diego Union, A-3:3. India, Kettner Streets become one-way traffic arteries; Pacific Highway being closed at request of military authorities to protect the Lindbergh Field-defense plant area.

Return to Amero Collection.


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