History timeline of the Inland Empire, California
Many people have asked me to do a Historical Timeline of the Inland Empire so after a couple of days using online dictionaries and a couple of sources, I decided to put down a timeline after the arrival of White Men in the area. I will do an earlier timeline on the Spanish era in the near future. Perhaps backwards but I have already writen a lot about the early Indians and the Spanish. Their history goes back some 10,000 years.
Nov. 26 - Jedediah Strong Smith and his party arrives at San Gabriel Mission via the Inland Valley, completing the first overland trek from the then-United States to Southern California.
May 19 - Ygnacio Palomares and Ricardo Vejar are given Rancho San Jose taking in 22,000 acres which is now much of today's far eastern Los Angeles County.
Tiburcio Tapia was awarded Rancho Cucamonga by Gov. Juan Alvarado.
Nov. 9 - Arguably the first community in the Inland Valley, Agua Mansa, was founded by Mexicans from Abiquiu in northern New Mexico on the banks of the Santa Ana River in southern Rialto. The party came overland on the Spanish Trail and set up a farming community. Most of it was washed away in the floods of 1862. Its cemetery, founded in 1852, remains on a rise along Agua Mansa Road and is now a county museum.
Sept. 26-27 - At Isaac Williams' Chino ranch, a group of Americans fought the only local battle of the Mexican War. They eventually surrendered to Mexican forces but since most of them were married to Mexican women, most were released soon after.
Tiburcio Tapia, owner of Rancho Cucamonga, dies and his heirs sell the rancho, which included his adobe atop Red Hill. Rumors persist even today that he buried his fortune somewhere near his adobe, but it has never been found.
Raimundo Yorba built the California ranch adobe known as the Yorba-Slaughter Adobe on a hill above Chino Creek through 1853. It served as a Butterfield Stage stop from 1859-1863. It was sold to Fenton M. Slaughter in 1868.
June -- A column of wagons with Mormons from Utah comes out of Cajon Pass. The settlers would ultimately found the city of San Bernardino after buying land from the Lugos.
April 26 - San Bernardino County was formed. It included what is today most of Riverside County. First meeting of the Board of Supervisors was not until May 19, 1855.
Oct 13 - Isaac Slover, a mountain man who settled in western Colton, was killed by a bear he was trying to kill in Cajon Pass. A mountain along Interstate 10 being torn down for limestone and a Fontana street is named for him.
July 4 - Competing Independence Day celebrations went on in San Bernardino. One was a traditional event put on by Louis Rubidoux and his supporters, the other was the Mormon celebration with many anti-federal government themes, a reflection of the threats against the Mormon home of Utah by the federal government.
Jan. 22 - A flood struck that was probably the greatest in the Inland Valley in recorded history. In the East Fork of the San Gabriel River just west of today's Mt. Baldy Village, the flood wiped out the thriving gold camp of Eldoradoville. Flood control experts estimate the Santa Ana River was carrying 100,000 cubic feet of water per second at its height. The Missouri River by contrast carries 76,000 cubic feet on average. The first real community in the Inland Valley, Agua Mansa, was wiped out by the flood.
Nov. 17 - John Rains was murdered near Mud Springs (San Dimas). He owned Rancho Cucamonga. He was married to Maria Merced Williams, daughter of the former owner of Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, Isaac Williams. Rains' killers were never found though his radical pro-Southern friends believed his wife was somehow to blame.
Nicholas Earp brought his family from Iowa to Redlands. Sons Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan later went east to become lawmen. Virgil would later become the first marshal of Colton.
Billy Rubottom opens a hotel and inn at what is Spadra in west Pomona, which served the Butterfield stage route.
May 9 - Debt-ridden Rancho Cucamonga was foreclosed on by Isaias Hellman.
The first seedling orange trees were planted in the Pomona Valley. About 440 seedlings were set out south of Ganesha Park west of White Avenue by Cyrus and Amanda Burdick.
July 3 - Isaias Hellman forms the Cucamonga Homestead Association to sell land north of Base Line Road and west of Hermosa in Alta Loma.
Also in 1874 - Former ship captain Joseph S. Garcia built a house northeast of Highland and Etiwanda avenues in Etiwanda.
A tract map was filed for the new community of Pomona.
Feb. 22 - First sale of land in Pomona as part of a huge promotion, though it was largely unsuccessful.
Thanksgiving Day - Joseph S. Garcia sells his Etiwanda ranch to the Chaffey brothers, their first acquisition in the Inland Valley.
Also in 1874 - Richard Gird, using money he got for selling his successful gold claim in Tombstone, Ariz., buys Rancho de Chino and set out to lay out the future city of Chino.
Oct. 7 - The weekly Pomona Times is founded.
Nov. 23 - George Chaffey and his brother William formed their land company and began selling land in what would become Ontario.
December - George Chaffey, at his Etiwanda ranch, ignited the first electric light in the Inland Valley, and in fact all of California. It was the first electric light powered by hydroelectric power west of the Rockies.
Dec. 11 - Grading began on the wide Euclid Avenue in Ontario.
Also in 1882 - Chaffey installed the first telephone line in the Inland Valley, extending from Etiwanda to San Bernardino.
March 17 - Cornerstone laid for the new Chaffey College of Agriculture in Ontario.
Dec. 16 - The Pomona Courier is founded by John H. Lee.
Apr. 4 - The Pomona Times merges with the Courier, but the latter name is later dropped from the masthead. The Times occasionally was operated as a daily.
Jan. 31 - Edward W. Stowell, a 20-year-old, published the first edition of the Pomona Progress from a small shack on West Second Street.
Aug. 11 - The first telephone was installed in Pomona, at Hamner's Drug Store, near Second and Thomas Streets.
Feb. 17 - The Semi-Tropic Land and Water Co. was founded and bought 28,500 acres of land west of Lytle Creek in today's Rialto for the purpose of the development.
Apr. 7 - First sale of lots in Claremont.
May 25 - Isaac Lord holds the first sale for what would become Lordsburg (La Verne). Land sales were reportedly more than $200,000.
May - The first sale of land of the boomtown of Magnolia was held in what would become Upland. Sales were bad and one year later, the project was foreclosed.
May - Arrival of the first trains through the Inland Valley from the east. Development boomed: by fall there were 25 "cities" between Los Angeles and San Bernardino.
June - Lots were being sold in Marquette, a soon-to-fail community in what is now north Ontario just off Baker Avenue and south of today's Metrolink tracks.
October - Two small communities -- Hermosa and the Iowa Tract -- merge in Alta Loma to create the name Ioamosa, though it gradually disappeared in favor of Alta Loma.
Dec. 13 - A strong Santa Ana wind blew down the Cucamonga Methodist Church at Base Line and Archibald.
Jan. 6 - Pomona becomes the fifth incorporated city in Los Angeles County.
Sept. 12 - Pomona College was opened in Pomona though by 1892 had permanently moved to its present site in Claremont.
Also in 1888 - A Pomona man, George Osgoodby, may have changed the 1888 presidential election when he wrote the British ambassador in Washington and asked, as a British immigrant to the U.S., who he should vote for to benefit Britain. The response letter was leaked to many newspapers, encouraging anti-British voters to support Benjamin Harrison, who won in the electorial college.
April 17 - Ceremony marks the founding of the community Rochester, a short-lived development along Rochester Avenue south of Arrow Route in Rancho Cucamonga. The place failed for lack of water source.
April 22 - President Benjamin Harrison speaks from a train to residents of Ontario and Pomona during a whistlestop tour of Southern California.
Dec. 10 - Ontario was incorporated as a city. Residents voted 40-31 in favor of incorporation on Nov. 21.
March 1 - The Assembly passes a bill, 54-14, for a new county -- San Antonio County, with Pomona as its seat. However, Los Angeles interests in the Senate rejected the concept.
Aug. 14 - Riverside County formally created out of land previously in San Bernardino and San Diego counties.
Dec. 11 - Chaffey College of Agriculture defeated University of Southern California, 32-6, in a football game played in Ontario.
Jan. 4 - Robbers hold up the Ontario State Bank on Euclid Avenue and steal $4,875. Channing B. Barnes was later caught and tried for the theft. An audience of young women watched the proceedings of the trial involving the handsome, dashing Barnes. He was sentenced to a relatively light sentence of six years at San Quentin.
Also in 1895 - Earl H. Richardson came to Ontario and began working for Charles Frankish's electrical plant. He later invented the first practical household iron and created the brand name, "Hotpoint." He later sold his firm to General Electric which made the irons in Ontario for many years.
May 5 - Members of Company D of the 7th Regiment of the National Guard departed Pomona for service in the Spanish American War. The local soldiers got as far as the Presidio in San Francisco, but never made it to the Philippines as scheduled. After several months in the Bay Area, they were discharged and sent back home.
Dec. 24 - A train turned over in downtown Pomona killing five people, including the engineer. The lack of proper medical facilities during this emergency prompted city officials to create what has become Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.
Dec. 25 - An estimated 6.6 earthquake struck in Riverside causing little damage in the Inland Valley.
April - Battle of First Street. Pomona resident mobilized to take on Southern Pacific Railroad workers in downtown. SP wanted to build another track along First Street but Pomona officials said no. About 1,000 Pomonans battled with the SP workers and drove them away. Pomona later won the dispute in court.
Mar. 22 - The first meeting of the Pomona Ebell Club, a women's service club in the Pomona Valley. It was formed with 133 charter members.
Jan. 3 - Former slave and famed educator Booker T. Washington spoke to a packed house at the Methodist Church in Ontario. Later he addressed an audience at Pomona College in Claremont.
May 8 - President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at Pomona College to an estimated 10,000 residents.
December - The first reported appearance of an automobile in the Inland Valley. A.W. Wedderburn drove through Pomona.
The first hospital in Pomona was opened at Garey and Piedmont (Kingsley) avenues. This later became Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.
Feb. 20 - Reporter A.T. Richardson and plant foreman W.E. Stevens scrape together enough back pay and borrowed money for $16,500 to buy the daily Pomona Progress.
Also in 1905 - Ontario Republican founded as a weekly newspaper.
May 5 - Upland residents vote, 182-19, to incorporate as a city, which became official on May 15.
July 15 - In a race between a steam-powered automobile and a blimp from Los Angeles to Pomona, the automobile won easily. The blimp finally landed in South Pasadena.
Sept. 11 - Lordsburg was formally incorporated as the 18th city in Los Angeles County.
Sept. 23 - Claremont voters approved incorporation by a 73-49 vote. It took effect Oct. 3. Claremont was the 21st incorporated city in Los Angeles County.
Oct. 10 - The Ontario town council fired Marshal Edward McMannis because he failed to fill out his official oath bond, which office holders were required to complete. Actually, the council wanted to get rid of McMannis, which had annoyed many in the community, and found a loophole in which to kick him out of office.
May 30 - The Women's Relief Corps dedicated a monument to Union Civil War veterans at Bellevue Cemetery in Ontario. The base of the monument is still there, but the copper statue is in storage after being vandalized many times.
The WRC was a women's organization supporting the Grand Army of the Republic, an American Legion-type organization of Union war veterans.
July 4 - A drinking fountain on Euclid Avenue in Ontario was dedicated by the local chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. It has moved several times and is now in the central median of Euclid in downtown.
Aug. 15 - Perhaps the first "flight" in the Inland Valley was by Harry F. Wright, who rode a balloon, pushed by hot air from a bonfire on the ground in Ontario. He went up about 3,000 feet and then jumped out with a parachute. It was as part of a promotion for Ontario merchants.
Nov. 15 - A two-balloon transcontinental race began from Los Angeles, with the goal of reaching New York. One balloon went 15 miles, the wrong way, while the second, the "American," reached Ontario, and then tied up for the night.
The "race" ended the second day when it could go no farther than Corona.
December - Ontario was visited by Leon Livingston, then the most famous tramp in America. He was known as A-No. 1 and wrote numerous books about his adventures. He spent some time traveling with famed author Jack London.
Oct. 12 - President William Howard Taft spoke to residents during a whistle stop at the Claremont train station on his way to Riverside.
Feb. 28 - Chino formally becomes an incorporated city.
Sept. 12 - Ontario Republican became a daily.
Jan. 7 - Many of the orchard trees in the area were destroyed due to well-below-freezing temperatures. Farmers burned straw or hay in a futile attempt to warm the air around their trees.
Jan. 11 - Didier Masson flies copies of a Los Angeles newspaper to San Bernardino despite crashing once in Cucamonga. He was supposed to stop in Pomona on the way out but got lost. He was on his way back to Pomona to perform in front of a large group when he crashed again.
May - Claremont votes its first speed limit -- 10 mph -- for automobiles. It was increased to 12 mph the next year.
Oct. 11 - California women won the right to vote in a special election which also added the recall, referendum and initiative to the state Constitution. All Inland Valley cities and communities voted to give women the vote except for Spadra (west Pomona) and Cucamonga.
Oct. 13 - Famed composer John Phillip Sousa brought his band to Pomona for a concert at the city's opera house.
Oct. 31 - Rialto voters approved incorporation of the city by a 135-72 margin. It became official on Nov. 17.
Nov. 5 - Calbraith Perry Rodgers landed in Phillips Ranch area of Pomona on his next-to-last stop on the first transcontinental airplane trip. It took him 49 days and 19 crashes for him to complete the trip from New York to Pasadena.
Also in 1911 - Pomona votes "dry," banning alcohol sales nine years before Prohibition. Legal sales would not return to the city until 1933 at Prohibition's end.
Also in 1911 - Crombie and H.L. Allen buy the Ontario Republican.
Jan. 1 - The Republican becomes the Daily Report.
April 11 - At a meeting of residents of Ioamosa area of Alta Loma met, a committee was selected to raise money to encourage the Pacific Electric rail line to alter its rail route to run north through Alta Loma and Etiwanda.
March 9 - Helen Keller spoke to a large crowd at Pomona College. She made another appearance at Chaffey High, March 17, 1915.
April 4 - Glenn L. Martin broke the American altitude record when he reached 14,200 above Mt. Baldy after taking off at what is now the Fairplex during a two-day air show.
April 13 - Pool halls could remain open in Ontario. A ballot measure to bar such establishments was defeated, 622-612.
July 11 - The Pacific Electric trolley line was completed from Claremont to San Bernardino. Through the efforts of Russian immigrant Peter Demens, Alta Loma interests raised enough money to have the line bend north across today's Rancho Cucamonga providing rail access for farmers there. The rails have been pulled up along the route but plans are under way for a series of walking trails throughout the area.
Jan. 26 - The Pomona Weekly Times is purchased by Edward Ellis King, his son Nelson J. King, his brother W.M. King, and Roy L. Driscoll, and becomes the daily Pomona Bulletin.
Nov. 14 - The Liberty Bell, being hauled to the world's fair in San Francisco, made brief appearances in Ontario and Pomona. Throngs turned out to see the bell during the five-minute stops in each town. It was the only time the bell has been moved west of Chicago.
January - Flooding destroyed several homes along Cucamonga Creek on the Upland-Alta Loma border. A fight was only narrowly averted after Alta Loma residents thought Upland had blocked the creek's flow pushing it east of Red Hill, flooding their area. Mother Nature had actually done the blocking.
July 28 - Perhaps the first aircraft fatality in the Inland Valley occurred in a freak accident in Alta Loma. Residents watched a military flyer, who landed the day before because of engine trouble, take off. The plane stalled upon take off and slammed into a car killing a mother and her 4-year-old boy.
Also in 1916 - Chaffey College becomes a publicly supported junior college in Ontario. It claims to be the oldest community college in California.
Aug. 14 - Lordsburg residents vote to rename their city La Verne by a 239-81 margin. Movement began following the March 17 death of Isaac Lord for which the city was originally named.
During the great so-called Spanish influenza epidemic, more Americans died from the flu in 1918 and 1919 than all the combat deaths of the 20th century, about 500,000. First Ontario city death came Oct. 21, 1918: Joseph Morgon, a 28-year-old telephone employee.
April 11 - Members of Pomona's Co. D of the National Guard returned from World War I to a thunderous welcome in Pomona. As members of the 160th Regiment, the group arrived in time for the last several weeks of the fighting in Europe.
May 7 - Led by Police Chief Jedd Sawyer, Upland police captured five criminals. Their crime was playing poker in the second story of the Colborn building.
Jan. 14 - A film crew came to Pomona to film "Skirts." The tried to shoot a stunt in which a damsel in distress -- actually a dummy -- would be plucked from a moving train by a man on the wing of an airplane. After three days of trying, the crew picked up and left town without accomplishing the stunt.
November - Ontario residents vote, 1,093-729, to bar motion pictures on Sundays. Vote came after a city-wide uproar over showing movies on the Sabbath.
A successful merchants' exposition held along the Southern Pacific Railway in downtown Pomona set the stage for things to come. Presented by Harry LaBreque, a promoter of community celebrations for Foley & Burke Shows, a railroad carnival, and Clinton B. "Jack" Afflerbaugh, a Pomona druggist and councilman, the show consisted of exhibits in a tent and a carnival. The success of the show spurred Afflerbaugh and other local businessmen to look toward bigger things, like a county fair.
A fair board was formed in Pomona. The city agreed to purchase a 43-acre beet and barley field from the Ricardo Vejar estate for use as a fairground. A half-mile race track and a grandstand seating 4,000 were constructed. The inaugural L.A. County Fair opened on Oct. 17, 1922, and ran for five days through Oct. 21.
Dec. 31 - Pomona Police Chief A.W. Lyter orders a raid on an encampment of hobos near the railyards. It was part of a campaign to rid the area of the vagrants who arrived each winter.
Following the success and public acceptance of the first fair in Pomona, a $75,000 bond issue was approved for the construction of permanent buildings and a grandstand for horse racing.
March 1 - San Bernardino County was poised to hire controversial "Rainmaker" Charles M. Hatfield to break the drought that plagued the Inland Valley. Just before he could be hired, the belated winter rains arrived.
June 21 - The first trip of an airline out of what is today's Ontario airport was flown by Waldo Waterman from Ontario to Big Bear Lake. On the return trip, he crashed into the lake, killing one passenger and injuring Ontario Mayor W.D. Ball.
Sept. 8 - A massive parade and cross burning at Chaffey High School by the Ontario Order of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was held in which 150 new members were initiated.
Also in 1924 - Floyd Young of Pomona became the voice of the weather for the first time when he gave his fruit frost warnings to Southern California farmers via Los Angeles radio station KHJ. He continued the radio frost warnings through his retirement in 1956.
Nov. 11 - Route 66 (and other federal highways) came into existence by the federal government. The number was originally supposed to be 60, but a Kentucky governor demanded that for a highway in its state. As a compromise, the Chicago-Los Angeles road became the distinctive 66.
November - The brand name "Sunkist" was first introduced by the California Fruit Growers Exchange, which grew out of co-ops in the Inland Valley.
April 4 - Merger of the Pomona Progress and Bulletin.
May - Land on what is now Brackett Field was auctioned off after a plan to build a big automobile plant and planned community in La Verne fell through.
Mutual City was the plan of Los Angeles car dealer Nat Cordish, who later was arrested for fraud.
Sept. 21 - Trans-Atlantic pilot Charles Lindbergh flew the "Spirit of St. Louis" over the Kellogg Ranch in Pomona as part of his tour of the country.
He also made several passes over the L.A. County Fair.
Also in 1911 - What is now Lanterman Development Center in west Pomona opened at a state hospital as the Pacific Colony, and later Pacific State Hospital.
March - The U.S. Rabbit Experiment Station was opened in Fontana to research breeding and raising of rabbits for food. It operated until 1962.
July 14 - The Kellogg Airport, on the future site of Cal Poly Pomona, was dedicated before 1,500 people, including famed actor Wallace Beery.
August - The Burnley Airport was dedicated in southern Pomona on 20 acres near Garey Avenue. It would later be called Pomona Airport.
Oct. 6 - The Euclid Avenue trolley line was closed between the mountains and Ontario. It was originally powered by mules (which rode at the back of the trolleys on the way down). Closure of the line also allowed placement of Madonna of the Trail statue to be built in the railbed.
February - Canadian Gordon S. Northcott was convicted for killing numerous young boys at his ranch in Wineville (today's Mira Loma). His mother Louise was convicted as an accessory and spent several years at San Quentin where she was on Oct. 2, 1930, when her son was hanged nearby.
Feb. 1 - The Madonna of the Trail statue dedicated at Euclid and Foothill in Upland by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Aug. 18 - The first women's cross-country air race flew over the Inland Valley from Santa Monica, ending its first day in San Bernardino. More than 5,000 people lined the landing strip in San Bernardino to greet the 18 fliers.
Oct. 29 - Stock market crash. On that day, Ontario banker Oscar Arnold gave a talk and said that the crash of the stock market was good for this area as it would free up more money for real estate.
Nov. 25 - Frank Baumgarteker, a wealthy Los Angeles businessman and Cucamonga vineyard owner, disappeared without a trace in Los Angeles. Rumors said he was killed because he refused a demand from Chicago mobsters to sell them his vineyard.
Dec. 22 - The state dedicated a state game farm in the Los Serranos area of what is now Chino Hills. It would raise turkeys, pheasants, quail, partridge and chukar to be "planted" in Southern California areas for hunters.
Dec. 29 - Ontario buys 30 acres for an airport east of town on what would became Ontario International Airport.
Nov. 1 - The community of Wineville officially changed its name to Mira Loma. The change was made to create a "drier" name in those Prohibition days.
April 24 - Opening night of the Fox Theater in Pomona. The $300,000 theater showed "The Minute Man," starring Spencer Tracy.
Also in 1931 - The county fair was held in combination with the Southern California Fair, held for many years at Riverside, due to the Great Depression.
Jan. 23 - Death of the only police chief Pomona had had since its 1887 incorporation, Frank O. Slanker. A tenacious lawman, his first day off in 32 years was such a shock in 1922 that the Progress wrote a story about it.
May 2 - John Clum, a former mayor and newspaper owner in Tombstone, Ariz., dies in Los Angeles. A friend and supporter of Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, he lived for a number of years in San Dimas.
Oct. 11 - R.W. Agnew faced a 6-month sentence for stealing walnuts in Ontario. He told a deputy he actually wouldn't mind being jailed where it's warm and the food is free. The deputy told Judge Jim Sharp, who gave him a suspended 30-day sentence and kicked him out of town.
Also in 1932 - The county fair was presented as a tri-county fair, as the Orange County Fair joined Riverside County at the Los Angeles County Fair. The event remained a tri-county harvest festival through 1937.
Mar. 10 - The Inland Valley was rocked by the Long Beach earthquake. Damage locally was minimal but the area sent many truckloads of relief goods to assist the victims along the coast.
Dec. 5 - Prohibition ends with the 21st Amendment. The Cucamonga Valley Wine Co. celebrates by sending President Franklin Roosevelt a case of Inland Valley wine.
February - Harold Vermilyea of Ontario was found guilty of murder in Ontario, Canada. He used an elaborate scheme to pretend to take a motor trip when instead he took 2 planes and a train to return to his hometown and murder his mother. An alert Ontario detective found the clues that resulted in his hanging. The case received national attention because transcontinental plane rides, especially for criminal intent, were still rare.
August - Jedd Sawyer, Upland's only police chief, dies at 57 after 29 years of service. He was remarkable because he had only one arm.
January - The area was hit with three weeks of sub-freezing cold that damaged trees and resulted in heavy smudging, in which oil was ignited in hopes the smoke would hold in the heat and keep the tree safe from frost. In one night alone, 770,000 gallons of oil was burned in Southern California.
Early March - Tremendous flooding left the Inland Valley and Orange County (where the Santa Ana River flows out) under water. It was the largest flood of the 20th century and possibly only surpassed in recorded history by the floods of 1862. About 32 inches of rain fell March 1 and 2 at Kelly's Camp near Cucamonga Peak. Camp Baldy (where Mt. Baldy Village is today) was destroyed.
May 20 - The first All-States Picnic in the median of Euclid Avenue in Ontario draws 30,000 people. The "mile-long picnic table" was packed with people at a time when most people were not native Californians.
Mar. 22 - The Cal-Aero Academy started its first class of pilots on what today is Chino Airport. It was a privately operated facility under contract with the military.
Prado Dam is completed to provide flood control of the Santa Ana River south of Chino.
World War II brought a halt to the county fair for six years.
March - With two minutes of discussion, San Bernardino County supervisors approve plans for the new Kaiser steel mill to be built west of the little town of Fontana. On Nov. 30, the first blast furnace at the facility was completed.
May 8-Aug. 24 - A community of 5,428 Japanese-Americans were housed in 420 pre-fabricated temporary buildings at the Los Angeles County fairgrounds before being relocated to Heart Mountain, near Cody, Wyo.
May - The first steel was produced at the Kaiser Steel Mill. At its height, it would employ 7,700 people. Air pollution problems and the low cost of foreign steel would eventually doom the facility by the 1980s.
Jan. 29 - First group of 499 Italian POWs arrive to work in agricultural fields. They are housed at the former CCC camp west of Vineyard Avenue and south of Foothill. Many of the POWs chose to remain in the U.S. after the war.
Oct. 16 - Cal-Aero Academy was closed at today's Chino Airport after training 10,365 fighter and bomber pilots for World War II.
Dec. 10 - Downtown Pomona is bombed. Apparently Army Air Corps planes flying over the town accidentally dropped 3-pound projectiles used in bombing practice along the coast. No one was hurt but at least one house was damaged when the "bomb" crashed and landed on a dining room table.
The fairgrounds in Pomona were used as a camp for German and Italian prisoners of war.
The prisoner of war camp was closed in March.
Sept. 16 - First classes at the new Mt. San Antonio College began. Its roots go back to 1916 when the Pomona School District added a junior college curriculum at Pomona High School.
Jan. 26 - The first FM broadcast in the area went out over KEDO-FM, a station owned by the Daily Report in Ontario and operated in the newspaper building. For the inaugural broadcast, celebrities Alan Young, Barbara Hale and Bill Williams were on hand.
Feb. 4 - George W. Hunter of Claremont died. He wrote the book "A Civic Biology" that ignited the Scopes "Monkey Trial" of July 1925. Hunter, who did not participate in the trial, came to Claremont in 1926 and lectured for many years at Pomona College and Claremont Graduate School.
Jan. 11 - A heavy snowfall struck most of the Inland Valley, exciting school kids everywhere. The principal at Rialto Junior High, so angry over the lack of attention to books, turned on the sprinklers in order to melt the snow on school grounds.
May 15 - Delia Haskett died in San Gabriel. A former resident of San Dimas, she was the first woman in California to drive a stagecoach carrying mail. She did it as a 14-year-old in Northern California's Mendocino County about 1876.
Oct. 27 - First regularly scheduled airline service from Ontario International Airport began for Western Airlines.
June 25 -- Fontana becomes an incorporated city.
April 11-12 - The National Hot Rod Association held its first sanctioned event, the Southern California Championship Drag Races, at Pomona Raceway, at a far corner of the grounds. Over the weekend, 375 cars ran 850 timed runs.
Also in 1953 - The Wigwam Motel opened on Foothill Boulevard on the Rialto-San Bernardino border. Rooms are in the shape of teepees. Motel, which became an adult motel, is trying to cater to Route 66 fans.
Freeways come to the Inland Valley. The Ramona Freeway, later the San Bernardino Freeway and then Interstate 10, was completed to Archibald Avenue.
April - Famed Pomona photographer Burton Frasher died at his desk at age 66. He shot tens of thousands of photos in the West, many of them for use as postcards. Much of his collection is in the Pomona library.
April 25 - The future city of Montclair was incorporated as the city of Monte Vista. It had no post office because there already was a Monte Vista community in Northern California.
Also in 1956 - First classes on the Kellogg campus of what would be come Cal Poly Pomona.
April 17 - Monte Vista officially became Montclair following a vote by residents on April 8. The vote was 1,403 to 213.
May 15 - Pomona High School's 32-year-old building was gutted by fire.
June 28 - San Dimas voters approve incorporation by a vote of 807-699. Cityhood formally took effect Aug. 4 as the 70th city in Los Angeles County.
February - The NHRA held its inaugural Winternationals at Pomona Raceway before the largest single-day audience in the brief history of drag racing.
Oct. 15 - The nine-block downtown mall in Pomona was dedicated in an attempt to end the deterioration of the downtown area.
Oct. 26 - Chino Airport officials blew up concrete revetments left over from World War II's Cal-Aero Academy. Since it came only 4 days after the U.S.-Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis, the blast unsettled a few residents.
Dec. 28 - Norco is incorporated as a city.
Mar. 26 - Future leader of the Mothers of Distinction Frank Zappa and "his buxom, red-haired companion" were arrested in Cucamonga at Zappa's Studio Z on suspicion of conspiracy to manufacture pornographic materials and suspicion of sex perversion.
May - The highest point of the Jurupa Mountains in south Fontana was dedicated as Mt. Jurupa, 2,217 feet, in a ceremony attended by 130 people atop the peak. The peak was actually higher but it was flattened for use as a radar site that was never built there.
Sept. 6 - First California 500 held at the Ontario Motor Speedway. The facility operated only 10 years before it was sold and torn down.
Also in 1970 - The Rains House, a county historic landmark in Rancho Cucamonga, is saved when Alta Loma teacher Maxine Strane takes a class to view the 143-year-old house and finds it being destroyed. She asked the workers to stop, called the developer and started a movement to save the house.
Nov. 30 - Rancho Cucamonga is incorporated as a city.
Apr. 18 - Diamond Bar formally becomes the 86th city of Los Angeles County.
Apr. 30 - First edition of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
Dec. 1 - Chino Hills is incorporated as a city.
October - San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies arrest Joseph Lauricella on suspicion of stealing computer equipment. Lauricella, a consultant for Waste Management Inc., tells investigators that county officials were paid bribes to approve the firm's Rail Cycle trash-by-train and Mojave Desert landfill project.
September - FBI agents instruct San Bernardino County Auditor/Controller-Recorder Errol Mackzum to stop looking into questionable expense claims filed by County Administrative Officer James Hlawek because he might jeopardize their investigation.
December - Former County Administrative Officer Harry Mays tells Hlawek that someone is reviewing Hlawek's expenses. Hlawek later pays back $5,000 for duplicate expense receipts he had submitted and discloses unreported income from Arrowhead Credit Union for travel expenses.
May - SB Co. District Attorney's Office forms a special task force to pursue Rail Cycle case and other claims of political corruption.
Aug. 10 - A special grand jury begins hearing testimony about Lauricella and the Rail Cycle project. During the following year, the secret panel seated in West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga also investigates corruption in county government.
Aug. 17 - The Board of Supervisors places Hlawek on leave. Sheriff's Department begins its own investigation of Hlawek, which it later merges with FBI's probe.
Aug. 25 - Hlawek tells the Board of Supervisors he will retire moments before the board announces publicly that the FBI is investigating him.
Sept. 25 - Hlawek signs plea and immunity agreements with U.S. Attorney's Office and county District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors agree to charge Hlawek with only one federal count of conspiracy to commit bribery in exchange for his cooperation.
Oct. 1 - Special grand jury indicts Waste Management, four of its employees and an ex-planning worker for the county, accusing them of conspiring to destroy a company that opposed the Rail Cycle project.
The NHRA Motorsports Museum opened in what was formerly used as the home arts building of the LA County fairgrounds. The Fairplex Recreational Vehicle Park changed operation to a KOA campground affiliate.
Oct. 27 - U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI and county Sheriff's Department announce that Hlawek, Mays, and five others have agreed to plead guilty to federal bribery charges. Prison sentences have ranged from three months to two years. Hlawek's sentencing hearing has been postponed numerous times as he continues to cooperate with investigation.
June 8 - County lawyers sue Hlawek, Mays and 20 other individuals and businesses, seeking to recover tens of millions of dollars allegedly lost in county contracts tainted by bribery or improper gifts. Ten defendants have paid more than $7 million combined to settle with the county.
Aug. 10 - County lawyers sue investment firm Salomon Smith Barney, one of its brokers and five others, alleging kickbacks tainted billions of dollars in investment transactions.
Oct. 23 - Waste Management agrees to pay the county $5 million plus another $2.7 million in investigative costs to settle the criminal corporate espionage case. All charges are dismissed.
Dec. 7 - San Bernardino grand jury indicts Supervisor Jerry Eaves, charging him with two felony counts of perjury and 17 misdemeanor counts of accepting illegal gifts, failing to disclose gifts and influencing a decision in which he had a financial interest.
June 25 - Eaves pleads no contest to three counts of failing to disclose gifts and four counts of influencing a decision in which he had a financial interest, all misdemeanors.
Aug. 23 - Federal authorities indict or charge Eaves, four current and former elected Colton officials and three businessmen on suspicion of bribery. Two Colton officials and two businessmen agree to plead guilty.
Nov. 24 - The long-awaited extension of the 210 Freeway connecting La Verne with Interstate 15 opens, at least initially easing traffic on Interstate 10, Foothill Boulevard and Base Line Road.
Oct, 23 - The most damaging fire in the history of the area is set by an arsonist near the Hunter's Ridge area of northern Fontana. It burned 59,448 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains slopes from Devore to La Verne. More than 54,000 people were evacuated and 135 homes destroyed.