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Monday, January 12, 2009

Hail Norton! San Francisco's Original Lunatic Honored By Band of Drunken Lunatics

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 5:59 AM

If you're of sunny disposition, Joshua Norton (aka Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico) was the first man to establish San Francisco's tradition of tolerance to those who don't exactly fit in with society.

If you're not so sunny, you could say the onetime speculator turned madman was the first fellow to establish San Francisco's tradition of turning a blind eye to the loud, disruptive, and mentally ill.

Either way, celebrating the man's memory is a great excuse to drink and smoke stogies at 10:30 in the morning. On Saturday, the loyal members of E Clampus Vitus -- a San Francisco-founded fraternal order of men with a fondness for drink, Western history, and peculiar attire -- gathered at Norton's final resting place in Colma to honor the City's original lunatic.

Click here for a slideshow of the 30th annual Norton Day.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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