History

Escondido’s Grape Day Festival stomped through history

Despite the intense heat in Southern California the last few weeks, and the sudden hurricane and rain just one day before, The Grape Day Festival held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 was a complete success. We had perfect weather, comparatively, as the community of Escondido, California came together with our San Diego friends and Southern California visitors. Dating back to the…


Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at Ground Zero following Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2001: Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at “Ground Zero” following the terrorist attack. His major complaint in the years following concerned his inability to get correct, and affordable, treatment due to the costs involved, costs that Congress finally agreed to add funding to the 9/11 First Responders fund almost 18 years later. “Ironworkers worked every day,” Pursley said. “We went on 12-hour shifts…


They threw me out of Bill Clinton’s office

“Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back,  Let me get it back, baby, where I come from It’s been a long time, been a long time,  Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time. Yes it has” — Led Zeppelin Yes, it’s been a real trip — and way too much Linda Tripp although Sarah Paulson’s got to get numerous…


Sending in the llamas and clowns on 9/11

Sept. 10, 2001 was pretty much like any other day. That is to say honored only in its passing, don’t remember what happened. Sept. 11, 2001, as we all know, was a day seared in our personal and national memories like few others. Don’t know when the carnage began, but at my Del Dios home phones started ringing way too early in the morning and…


Charles Manson and the ‘American Dream’

When Charles Manson died in November 2017, his name carried weight even among those who weren’t alive when he committed his crimes. For decades, Manson was the symbol of evil, a real-life boogeyman who loomed as the American conception of wickedness incarnate. His death ended 48 years of imprisonment for a series of murders in August 1969, some of which he committed, most of which…


Blast from the past at Cal State San Marcos

One eyewitness said the blast “looked like an asteroid attack out of Star Wars.” The witness was referring to rocks from a regular quarry blast above Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) raining down on campus about 3:15 p.m. Monday, July 30, 2001, damaging cars and buildings, but causing no injuries. For Robert Stakes, who had just begun his tenure as dean of extended studies, the rocks…


San Diego’s most endangered historic sites

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), San Diego’s only countywide historic preservation advocacy group wraps up this year with its 22nd annual Most Endangered List of 12 historic buildings, sites, and landscapes. The pandemic’s stressors of uncertainty, inequity, and loss underscore the unifying power of our shared multicultural heritage and venerated historic places. The pandemic also threatens historic buildings and places that are not now regularly…


Escondido, San Marcos news briefly speaking

Legendary North County Times photographer turns calendar pin-up Photographer Dan Rios was a mentor to many of North County’s fellow shooters for two decades. Now, he hits the calendar pin-up trade as featured in the Escondido History Center’s annual fund-raising calendar. Rios worked as a photojournalist from 1968 to 2001 for the former Escondido Times Advocate newspaper, which merged with the North County Blade-Citizen in…


Who invented the Electoral College?

The delegates in Philadelphia agreed, in the summer of 1787, that the new country they were creating would not have a king but rather an elected executive. But they did not agree on how to choose that president. Pennsylvania delegate James Wilson called the problem of picking a president “in truth, one of the most difficult of all we have to decide.” Other delegates, when…


Old-time Valley Center newspaper founder Marge Quackenbush dies at age 101

Marge Quackenbush, died December 7 at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, three days after she turned 101 years. Along with husband Derek “Van” Quackenbush, who died in February 2015, Marge Quackenbush came to Valley Center and started The Valley Center Roadrunner in March 1974 with Van as publisher and editor and Marge in charge of the business and advertising. Marge Quackenbush attended Grandview Church, Valley Center…