tv Mayors Press Availability SFGTV April 25, 2022 9:30am-10:01am PDT
>> good morning, san francisco. give yourselves a hand for being out here at 4:45. i am a native san franciscan and once again, you hearty, crazy folks have come together to honor the memories of san franciscans who survived being tossed from their beds 116 years ago this morning at 5:12 or 5:11 or 5:13 depending on which native tells the tale. and 116 years ago, powerful seismic waves roared across a prosperous city of san francisco. and experts today estimate the colossal earthquake was around 7.9 on the modern magnitude scale. by the end of the first day, there were 26 aftershocks and
would succumb to a raging inferno that showed no mercy to the bewildered citizens for 74 hours. the following year is a brief timeline events that they faced and i would like to give you a moment by moment description of what happened to the city and the citizens on this morning 116 years ago. later, i will introduce to you some of the fellow san franciscans who work every day to be survivors of the inevitable next big one. wednesday, april 18, 1906, 5:12 a.m. a great fore shock is felt throughout the san francisco bay area. some 20 to 25 second later, san francisco residents are awakened by a tremor 45 to 60 seconds long measuring 7.9 on that modern magnitude scale. the first casualties from the massive quake occur when low
rent tenements in the south of market district collapse. hundreds are killed as the liquefied ground swallows the homes and added the death toll as collapsed structures immediately catch fire and prevent rescue attempts and fire chief is fatally wounded during the earthquake and would die four days later on a spire tower of the california hotel collapsed onto the fire station home. and due to severe earthquake damage, telephone and telegraph communication within the city is impossible. a few messages are sent around the world via the pacific cable before that line, too, fails. 6:00 a.m., san francisco mayor eugene schmitz is unaware of the severity of the quake and he leaves the safety of his home and heads downtown and sees the
enormous scale of that disaster and are available to report to the mayor at the hall of justice and some 1700 soldiers come to the aid of both residents and firefighters. 8:14 a.m., a mayor aftershock strikes and causes many of the damaged buildings still standing to collapse. throughout the day, the city suffers 26 aftershocks. each one slowing the already overstretched rescue effort. fires rage and spread through the city and are not stopped until 74 hours later. many of san francisco's finest buildings collapse under the fire storms. firefighters begin dynamiting buildings to create fire breaks. it is now the afternoon and is 1:00 p.m. that day. the temporary hospital setup outside city hall is abandoned due to the impending fire break. the sick and injured are forced to evacuate to temporary camps throughout the city and in parks on the edge of town. 3:00 p.m., mayor appoints a city
of 350 comprised of the citizens businessmen and hearing reports of looting, the mayor orders a shoot to kill and the evening is now 8:00 p.m., hopes of saving downtown are dashed as a new blaze breaks out and shifting winds push the fires toward the heart of the city. 9:00 p.m., firefighters make a stand at union square on powell street, but the fire breaches the line and continues relentlessly up knob hill. the california governor arrives to assess the damage and declares the day a bank holiday. the three main newspapers of san francisco borrow the presses of an oakland paper to print a special joint edition. 6:00 p.m., responding to wireless telegraph message, the u.s.s. chicago arrives to help in the relief efforts. the great fire reached van ness avenue which is 125 feet wide.
mayor finally agrees to let the army create a massive fire break in the hopes it can stop the raging inferno. this decision means abandoning dozen of city blocks, many filled with mansions, to the fire. the rich spectators who spent the day watching the fire finally realize their homes won't be saved an will soon burn. friday, april 20, 1906 at 5:00 a.m., the fire break ativan ness finally holds and the westward progression is halted. mayor schmitz makes a battle and rescue 20,000 refugees, an unprecedented evacuation by sea. saturday, april 21, 1906, and 7:15 a.m. and after all flames were extinguished, the mayor declares the fire over. sunday, april 22, 1906, cable cars begin running on market street. and now april 18, 2022.
present day. today, no one knows when the next great quake will come. but san francisco is doomed to relive the horrific events of 1906 because the san andreaa fault never rests. it may strike tomorrow or not for 100 year, but it might just strike as the city sleeps tonight. all right. kind of scary. it really is, but good morning once again, everybody. we gather today on the 116th anniversary of the great earthquake and fire to remember those who were lost. every year since the 20s, the hearty san franciscans survived and just as we were doing so today. several years ago once all of the actual survivors had passed, we pledged to be here and as carl nolte summed it up
specifically and with the applause for that and in a few moments we will hear from esteemed san franciscans including london breed, and mayor willie brown and the sheriff and deputy department of emergency management executive director mary ellen harrell. as you know, covid kept us from commemorating officially in the last few years. and we were caught up with the honorary survivors for the last three years. dave eberly, give dave a nice hand. he is a terrific guy that does so much work on this. lieutenant jonathan baxter, atomic pio of the san francisco fire department. and former chief, fire chief, joann hayes white is probably here. give her a nice hand. besides the 3,000 lives lost in
1906, we like to dedicate today's ceremony to the friend and colleague ron ross. ron was founder of the san francisco history association who passed away on february 2. he was a moving force and continuing the traditions of never forgetting our rich history here in his adopted san francisco. although ron is gone, i can feel the new yorker spirit with us on this stage this morning. we are also dedicating today to charlotte schultz, the city of san francisco and state of california, chief of property coal. charlotte was better known as the ambassador of san francisco. let's give her a hand in ab stensia. and she was responsible for putting them on the map. charlotte, you, too, are missed but your spirit lives on during so many great civic events like this one. and lastly we like to acknowledge a little known group
of commemoration events over the past i don't know how many years but the guardians of the city and give the guardians of the city a nice hand, folks. they are a nonprofit organization charged with the preservation of stewardship and all emergency service history and includes the fire department and the sheriff's department and e.m.s. for the city and county of san francisco. and all this on and gather the last 12 years. give dave a hand. great guy. we would be remiss if we forgot to mention and the housekeeper doing this even longer and told me 34 years and so long you can't remember when he started. and thank you for decades of maintaining this important position of housekeeper, everybody. how we doing?
we have a few great local celebrities and dignitaries to bring up the first, one of my favorites, and i love spro deucing him and is always fun because he says, san francisco, which i enjoy and love introducing him. known as the mayor from 1996 to 2004 and personified and please welcome former mayor, the honorable mayor willie lewis brown jr. you can take it off if you want. >> i will. i i am not that tall. >> 34 years ago, roaming around late nights as i usually do and still do, i ran this guy lee housekeeper. i thought that was a phony name
or descriptive. however, he said to me, you are looking for votes, and i said, yes, i am looking for votes. if you can put water in a fountain on third, kearney and market, you will get my vote and my support. first of all, i didn't think he was a voter anyway, but i wanted to amuse him and there is no question of whatever you said about that fountain, it will be fixed. and lo and behold, our own public works department along with the emergency service people actually made it work and it still worked. this is a symbol, literally a symbol of how san francisco can really recover. and i'm going to tell you that i have been here year in and year out since being elected mayor of the city. no longer mayor of the city, but i have been here all 34 years.
i will continue to come back as often as i can because this is really the spirit of the city. and what i love is this early in the morning, to show up to commemorate how the resurrection of the city occurred and how you represent literally the blood linkage to the people who caused the city to come back. when they talked about -- who would have been able to direct everything during the quake, and then fire chief sullivan is just amazing how quickly everybody else came together without his great leadership for the purpose of trying to save our city and save our city did. i would urge every one of you to
read the column on sunday. it is a very good one because for the first time, you now know that san francisco had some of everybody then as it does today and making the city what it is. and i am just delighted that at some point you asked me to be your mayor. you didn't pay me much. but then i may not be worth much. all right. thank you very much. and welcome. >> thank you. it is always an event when willie is here, isn't it? >> one more time for willie brown now. come on now. i love this. i get to say this just handed to me and you know who is here today? the grand nephew of mayor eugene schimtz is here today. right here? here he is. a nice hand for joe right here. grand nephew of eugene schmitz.
wow. i feel like ed sullivan, for crying out loud. anybody else out there? great. and now it is time to introduce someone i have never been able to introduce and an honor for me, he is our fire chief. she hasn't even been in office that long and active in the street crisis response team and worked on firefighter safety, disaster preparedness and is really well equipped to talk about what we're talking about today. would you welcome the fire chief janine nicholson. >> nice to see you. >> and greetings and salutations to everyone. so fies nice to see you and the fabulous outfits. i wear the same thing every year. we are resilient and the san francisco fire department is ready for anything that comes our way whether it be fires, whether it be medical calls, whether it be earthquakes.
we are here for you and it is just a pleasure to be here, to celebrate our 1906 rising from the ashes. and if need be, we will do it again because we are resilient san francisco. thank you. >> thank you, chief. pleasure to meet you here. gosh, we got lots of dignitaries. the next gentleman, five years and counting after 27 years in los angeles selected to lead us after a national search and i am glad we have him. welcome our police chief bill scott, everybody. i am a fan. >> thank you. >> good morning, everybody. good morning, everybody! all right. thank you, thank you. this is great to be back. to be back here. no rain, great weather, and i want to echo what i call the fire chief my pilot because i am
her wingman. i wanted to echo what she said about the resiliency of the city and it goes back years and every time we have a challenge, we show the world what the city is made of. i want to say thank you to my public safety partners, fire department, and the sheriff and his team. we have deputy chief here and this is a great city and we show the world how we do it. resilience is san francisco. thank you and good morning. >> thank you, chief. a professional model there. okay, good. this is good. we have more folks here that are really in part of what we are talking about this morning. the next gentleman at 37 and first asian american sheriff in california history and a lowell high school grad and a calguy. wow. can you play offensive tackle, choef? we need a couple of those guys.
would you welcome sheriff paul miamoto. right here? >> good morning, everybody. just really quick note. i wouldn't want to dismiss my past other than saying i am not actually a cal graduate. i am a davis graduate like our mayor who is about to come up, too. i want to say and echo what the chiefs have all said. we are here for your and will always been and always will be. one thing i want to point out is we can use your help. all of us in public safety have a need to fill the ranks and get more people interested in serving the community in the capacity as a firefighter, police officer, or deputy sheriff. i would ask for all of you to ask all of your friend, family, loved ones and continue the service in public safety and ask the family and friends to consider a career in public service as well. and we are here now to celebrate and i know there is other people
coming up. thank you very much for being here and thank you for celebrating what resilience san francisco is. >> terrific, all right. thank you very much, sheriff. now, this is really where the rubber meets the road. this lady has been here since only 2018 and she has 25 years experience in emergency management, which is what we're talking about. my pleasure to welcome from the department of emergency management, the director mary ellen carol. >> take your time, too. >> all right. good morning, everyone. every year we come here and i have been here since 2018, but only in this job since then. and every year we come here to honor what happened in the city, to remember our resilience and also remember that we live in earthquake country.
and we have to be prepared for whatever is going to happen again. and one of -- we have emerged or are emerging from the pandemic and the pandemic proved that san francisco is a global leader in emergency response under the leadership of the mayor. we took the right actions early and at the right time. and here we are again rising from the different kind of ashes. it is an incredible honor of my life to be in the city and work for the mayor and to lead all of us through what was unimaginable probably in our lifetime. and no matter what happens next in san francisco, we know we can get through and we now have hundreds, actually thousands of city employees who worked as the disaster service workers who now
understand what it is to stand up and respond to an emergency. i am more confident than ever that no matter what befalls us in the city, we will be okay and we will rise. >> thank you very much. >> coup of quick introductions and now give emperor norton a hand. where is he hanging out? and lily is making an appearance and lola. i don't know where she is from and nice hearing from those three. >> good morning. lotta crabtree is here. i knew you were counting on that one, too. and my pleasure to introduce the current mayor and the pride of high school and also in the
sorority called delta theta sigma. i wanted a few more things to say. mayor london breed. >> thank you. and thank you to everyone who is joining us very early in the morning. in san francisco we take having seriously. i want to acknowledge all the people who came dressed about 1906 including the ladies and gentlemen of decades of fashion who dressed me and we take money having seriously. san francisco is an amazing city and the challenges they have faced and this global pandemic,
something none of us could have ever anticipated and i am grateful to represent the extraordinary and resilient city. we made that to shut down the city and it was unimaginable to take the serious steps, but guess what? it paid off. san francisco was really the envy of the pandemic because our first responders, and the emergency management and police and fire departments and others and city employees stepped up as disaster service workers, but more importantly, just like in the 1906 earthquake, we came together. we came together to look out for one another and to support one another. we got tired every now and then and tired of zoom and the different meetings and ultimately what we saw is one of the lowest death rates in the
country, although we are one of the densest cities. one of the highest vaccination rates. we are seeing our city re-open and come alive again and we are stepping up and putting back the pieces just like we did during 1906. this city, 80% of it burned. over 3,000 people lost their lives. and i know there were probably people who were discouraged and felt, what do we do now? i also know there were more people who stepped up and said let's rebuild. let's make san francisco better than it's ever been before and as a result, we came back. earthquake safety buildings and other changes. we learn from that earthquake what to do to make san francisco more strong and resilient than ever before. and those same lessons continue to carry us to this very day.
i want to thank the first responders of the city and all the extraordinary work they do and chief nicholson, chief scott, mary ellen carol and the cardians of the city and thank you to many of the historians and the people who continue to come here tom and time again to keep this alive and to make sure that although we may not have anyone still alive from the 1906 earthquake, this is a city that will still remember. remember the path and what makes san francisco so extraordinary and so amazing and as probably everyone is thinking today, a reminder of how when we are down, we are not out. and we continue to rise stronger than ever before. thank you, all, so much for being here this morning. >> nice job. mayor london nicole breed. that is her middle name. give her a nice hand. she is the mayor, for crying out loud. yes, yes. i got it.
thank you. i know what i am doing. okay, good. this year's fountain wreath is dedicated to ron ross and charlotte shut schultz and the memories of san franciscans who died 116 years ago and those who lived to rebuild san francisco from the ashes. now it is awfully close. i have another minute. let's talk among ourselves. i am just kidding. even though maybe we are a minute or two, maybe less than two minutes, it is time for a moment of silence to remember those who perished and those who survived to rebuild san francisco. a moment of silence starting now.
[siren] they figured it out perfectly. a nice hand for the fire department here today. they do a great job. so i want to thank you, ladies and gentlemen. and now it has been the tradition that i am told dates back to the earliest of commemorations to sing one of two official songs for the 1936mgm motion picture san francisco. and forever associated with both our fair city and the 1906 great earthquake and fire. here so lead us is lily hitchcock. and the executive director of the human rights commission. come on up. time far little singing.
>> it is a pleasure. >> you got the words? everybody remembers this is my 48th year of coming. and carl nolte and thank you for the beautiful column, carl. mayor, you look extraordinary. really, beautiful job. everybody ready? let's do it. it only takes a tiny corner of this great big world to find a place we love. my home upon the hill. i still love you still. i've been away but now i'm back
to tell you. san francisco, open your golden gate. we'll let no stranger wait outside your door. san francisco, here is your wondering one. saying i'll wonder no more. other places only make me love you best. tell me you're the heart of all the golden west. san francisco, i'm coming home again. i'm coming home to go wandering no more. here is to ron, ross, and charlotte. >> thank you. a nice hand of applause for lily
and cheryl. that wrap it up for the commemoration of the 1906 great earthquake and fire. give yourself a nice round of applause, please. it was nice having you here. and if you are so inclined, make your way to the golden hydrant at 28th street and church street with the annual guilding of the fire hydrant that saved the mission district take place here. thanks for being here. thanks very much. we will see you next year.