The whole #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT hashtag phenomenon has truly resisted being cast off into the graveyard of tired and trite Internet fads like Doppelganger week on Facebook or planking.
And as much as we enjoy seeing the baby pictures and nostalgic memories of times past, here we decided to drop some knowledge and history. Now presenting SF Weekly's new series: Throwback Thursday: S.F. Headline Edition.
Week after we week, we will present headlines throughout the decades chronicling the serious, joyous, and just plain odd reported for various publications of that particular week.This week's inaugural post will be a news flash of Sept. 23-30.
So let's take that stroll through San Francisco's memory lane.
The 1930s: New Decade, New Scandal
In 1930, Sept. 24 to be exact, California Governor Young made a public statement in San Francisco to open up the new legislative year: "If girls smoke, they must do it like gentlemen." His quote was the headline. According to the front page article, there was new data showing that "women tobacco users were the cause of increased careless fires." His comment sparked a national debate if women should be allowed to smoke or not. So much drama.
Headline: "Row Starts as Artist Rivera wins S.F. Job"
That same day, Diego Rivera was revealed as the artist selected to paint a mural in the Pacific Stock Exchange and local painters and sculptors attack the selection of a Mexican. "Earnest American crusaders for American Murals by American Painters in the American manner" is one of the quotes used. I guess acceptance wasn't associated with San Francisco yet?
The 1950s: Stopping Traffic
Headline: "Freeway Nude Halts 500 Cars," September 28, 1959; The Examiner
This one is too good and must be read in the original:
"A latter day 'September morn' appeared on the freeway yesterday afternoon -- to the astonished delight of Sunday drivers. For a pedestal the willowy blonde chose the four-foot concrete dividing strip in the middle of six lanes near the Silver lane turnoff. For clothing, she wore not a stitch."
When the police arrive, she gets nasty.
"But the unidentified damsel, who spoke not a word resisted any attempt to clothe her. She bit Officer Flynn on the right arm and Officer Miles on the right hand"
The description of the woman by the officers is what seals the deal:
"Officer Miles said the woman was about 33 years old, five feet, six inches tall, 125 pounds, with shoulder-length dark blonde hair and exceptionally white skin. The two patrolmen, who were treated at the hospital for bite wounds, failed to notice the color of her eyes."
1970s: Licence Plate Freedom of Speech
Headline: "Homosexual Loses Suit on License Plate," Sept. 22, 1973; The Chronicle
A gay law student named Dick Gayer (what a name!) was denied in Superior Court the right to have a personalized license plate with the words "GAY LIB"
According to Judge Ira Brown, "The license plate is not a public forum. The plate in question carried connotations offensive to good taste and decency."
If "GAY LIB" was too offensive, what would be the reaction be to "ANUSTART?"
The 1990s: Comedy Gets the Last Laugh
Headline: "Fishing for Laughter," Sept. 26, 1991; The Examiner
Robin Williams was everywhere! In this article, he talks about his new film at the time: The Fisher King and gives the Examiner an exclusive sneak peak of Hook. He was also in negotiations to portray Harvey Milk in an new biopic.
But the bigger news?
Robin Williams was moving to San Francisco.
Now that was breaking news!