City of the Dream, 1940-1970
1940 Census gives San Diego City a population of 203,321 and the County, 289,348.
1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt re-elected President of the United States, for the third time.
1941 President Roosevelt sets production goal of 60,000 airplanes for 1941 and 125,000 for the following year.
1941 Naval bases in San Diego in swift expansion, with rise of war in Europe.
1941 Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor on December 7.
1941 Blackouts ordered in City. Enemy submarines attack coastal shipping and appear off San Diego.
1942 Western Defense Command begins removal of Japanese from California areas, including almost 2,000 from San Diego.
1942 Percy J. Benbough dies in office; succeeded temporarily by Dr. Howard B. Bard.
1942 Navy Department purchases Santa Margarita y Las Flores Rancho for huge new Marine Base, Camp Pendleton.
1942 Vessels of San Diego’s tuna fleet volunteered by owners for wartime duty in Pacific.
1942 Earl Warren, Republican, defeats Democrat Governor Culbert L. Olson.
1943 San Diego City’s population set at 390,000, not including military personnel, and in the County, 500,000.
1943 Consolidated Aircraft formally merged with Vultee Aircraft Corporation, to become Convair.
1943 Harley E. Knox, a Southwest San Diego dairy operator, and City Councilman, elected Mayor.
1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt re-elected President, for his fourth term, defeating Governor Thomas Dewey of New York.
1944 City Manager Walter Cooper killed in airplane accident; Mayor Harley E. Knox injured. Cooper succeeded by Fred A. Rhodes.
1944 Water shortage threatens San Diego. Navy, with Presidential approval, be gins emergency construction of aqueduct to bring Colorado River water to San Diego.
1944 San Diego County Water Authority formed.
1945 President Roosevelt dies in office and is succeeded by Vice President Harry S Truman.
1945 United States Senate ratifies treaty giving portion of Colorado River water to Mexico and casts shadow over City’s future.
1945 San Diego voters approve bond issue of $2,000,000 to begin development of Mission Bay.
1945 War in Europe ends and then war in Pacific following dropping of atomic bombs on Japan.
1945 San Diego experiences a recession though not as severe as had been feared.
1946 San Diego City assumes responsibility of financing completion of San Diego Aqueduct.
1946 Governor Earl Warren re-elected.
1946 Voters approve annexation of County Water Authority to Metropolitan Water District, and transfer of City-Navy aqueduct contract to Authority.
1946 George White Marston, who stood second only to “Father” Alonzo Horton in the history of modern San Diego, dies at age 95.
1947 People given choice of grouping public buildings along Cedar Street, or in Balboa Park. Both propositions defeated.
1947 San Diego Aqueduct completed; first Colorado River water arrives.
1948 Harry S. Truman elected President in his own right, defeating Thomas H. Dewey.
1948 City Manager Fred Rhodes fired by City Council. 0. W. Campbell of San Jose becomes Manager.
1949 The last electric street car begins its run from Union Depot.
1949 Mission Bay aquatic park formally dedicated.
1950 North Korean troops cross a dividing line in Korea and U.S. troops ordered into action.
1951 Passenger service discontinued by San Diego & Arizona Railway.
1951 John D. Butler first native son to be elected mayor of San Diego
1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower elected President of the United States.
1952 Construction of second pipeline of San Diego Aqueduct initiated.
1953 Goodwin J. Knight becomes governor of California when Earl Warren appointed Chief justice of the United States.
1954 Public buildings scattered; new Library opens and bonds for new Courthouse approved.
1955 Bonds voted for construction of new Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
1955 Councilman Charles C. Dail elected Mayor of San Diego.
1955 The tuna boat Anthony M. revolutionizes tuna industry by using a nylon purse seine and power block.
1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower re-elected President.
1956 Convair taken over by General Dynamics and John Jay Hopkins leads San Diego’s successful appeal for branch of the University of California on Torrey Pines.
1956 Fiesta del Pacifico staged as tourist attraction; runs four summers.
1957 George Bean of Peoria, Ill., selected to succeed O. W. Campbell as San Diego’s City Manager.
1957 First Atlas missile built at San Diego successfully test-fired.
1958 City Council approves zone change to allow May Department Stores Company to build shopping center in Mission Valley.
1958 Construction begins on second San Diego Aqueduct.
1959 San Diego’s City’s population estimated to be 554,000.
1960 State proposition to deliver northern California water as far south as San Diego approved.
1960 John F. Kennedy elected President though Richard M. Nixon wins majority in San Diego.
1961 City Council moves to acquire downtown land to centralize public buildings without voter approval.
1962 Voters of five communities surrounding Bay of San Diego approve formation of a Unified Port District.
1962 Incumbent Edmund G. Brown defeats Richard M. Nixon for Governor.
1962 Voters approve $12,600,000 in bonds for Mission Bay.
1963 President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Lyndon B. Johnson assumes Presidency.
1963 Frank Curran elected Mayor in civic political struggle over city planning.
1964 Downtown Community Concourse dedicated.
1964 Lyndon B. Johnson elected President though Republican Barry Goldwater leads in San Diego voting.
1964 Bonds approved for improvement of Lindbergh Field as major jet airport.
1965 San Diego becomes the sixteenth largest city in the United States.
1966 Voters approve City acquisition of local transit system, with expected Federal financial assistance.
1966 Voters of County Water Authority approve financing for distribution of Feather River water in San Diego County.
1966 Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California over Edmund G. Brown.
1966 Voters approve $30,000,000 to construct second pipeline of second San Diego Aqueduct.
1966 Construction of a $27,000,000 sports stadium in Mission Valley approved by voters.
1967 Frank Curran re-elected Mayor.
1967 A modified General Plan as a guide for the growth of San Diego approved after it had been defeated two years before.
1968 Richard M. Nixon elected President.
1969 San Diego begins year-long fiesta to celebrate 200th anniversary of the founding of California on Presidio Hill.
1970 San Diego becomes the fourteenth largest city in the United States with a population of 696,769. County population reaches 1,357,854.
Return to Books.
CITY OF THE DREAM
Ch. 1 War – And the Shape of Things to Come
Ch. 2 Water – The Real Key to a City’s Survival
Ch. 3 Peace – The Shock of a Transformation
Ch. 4 The City – The End of One Civic Dream
Ch. 5 A Fiesta – Re-Living the Days of the Dons
Ch. 6 Cotton – The Promise of the Ships to Come
Ch. 7 The Price – Changes in the Land and the Sea
Ch. 8 The Auto – The Rise of Shopping Centers
Ch. 9 The Hopes – Tourists, a Bay, and the Park
Ch. 10 Downtown – The Tall Buildings Rise Again
Ch. 11 200 Years – What Kind of a City Was It Now?
Ch. 12 The Future – Renewing the ‘City Beautiful’