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San Francisco: A Brief History
1542 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sails
up the California coast.
1579 Sir Francis Drake lands near
San Francisco, missing the
entrance to the bay.
1769 The Spanish expedition led by
Gaspar de Portolá become the
first Europeans to see San Fran-
1775 The San Carlos is the first
European ship to sail into San
1776 Captain Juan Bautista de Anza
establishes a presidio (military
fort); San Francisco de Asis
1821 Mexico wins independence from
Spain and annexes California.
1835 The town of Yerba Buena
develops around the port; the
United States tries unsuccess-
fully to purchase San Francisco
Bay from Mexico.
1846-48 War between the United
States and Mexico.
1847 Americans annex Yerba Buena
and rename it San Francisco.
1848 Gold is discovered near Sacra-
mento. San Francisco's popula-
tion swells from about 900 to
1851 Lawlessness becomes acute
before attempts to curb it.
1869 The transcontinental railroad
reaches San Francisco.
1873 Andrew S. Hallidie invents the
1906 The Great Earthquake strikes;
the resulting fire levels the city.
1915 The Panama-Pacific Interna-
tional Exposition celebrates San
Francisco's restoration and the
completion of the Panama Canal.
1936 The Bay Bridge is completed.
1937 The Golden Gate Bridge is
1945 The United Nations Charter is
drafted in San Francisco and
adopted by the representatives
of 50 countries.
1950 The Beat Generation moves
into North Beach.
1967 A free concert in Golden Gate
Park attracts 20,000 people,
ushering in the Summer of Love
and the hippie era.
1974 BART's high-speed transit sys-
tem opens the tunnel linking San
Francisco with the East Bay.