The city was discussing a new pension plan for Berkeley firefighters 75 years ago.

The Berkeley Daily Gazette for March 15, 1938, reported that the city manager was telling the City Council about "the need for a complete pension system for all employees of the city." Revised pensions for firefighters were a first step.

Unfortunately, the paper didn't describe the details of any proposed plans.

At the same meeting, the council discussed regulating cosmetology schools, in response to complaints from beauty parlor operators that the labor of students training at cosmetology schools undercut their businesses. The proposed regulatory ordinance would require a $500 annual license for cosmetology schools, and limit students from providing beauty treatments for the public.

There were not yet any cosmetology schools in Berkeley. The city manager "stated that in his opinion such schools do not tend towards the best interests of the city."

Garden ideas

The March 16, 1938, Gazette contained a large number of articles and advertisements about Berkeley gardening. "Now it is time to plant for lawn," one headline noted. "Spraying will make gardens beautiful," another advised.

Mexican marigolds (Tithonia) and African marigolds were recommended for early summer color.

George Budgen of Berkeley Horticultural Nursery recommended that gardeners "should deviate from the old idea of planting the same plants as in their neighbors' gardens."

And, of course, he had many new plants to recommend including newly introduced roses "Eclipse," "Angel's Mate," and "Mary Hart," and fuchsias "Cascade," "Halloween," and "Baby Bunting."

Bennett's Gardens nursery at 2011 University Ave. was advertising a new Thousand Oaks branch at 1847 Solano Ave. that was offering flowering Japanese cherries for sale for one dollar each. Ironically, Mrs. Bennett was also noting that her nurseries were "employing only American help," most likely a reference to Japanese-American gardeners.

The Ashby Nursery at 2906 Ellsworth St. was selling roses "that will bloom in 4 or 5 weeks," and Carl Salbach at his famous gardens at 657 Woodmont Ave. was encouraging readers to buy his gladiolus bulbs.

Barrington Hall

On March 11, 1938, the UC student cooperative association announced it would move 180-bed Barrington Hall from leased property at 2315 Dwight to the 100 bed Oxford Apartments at Allston and Oxford.

Austria ended

Nazi Germany formally absorbed Austria, making it part of "greater Germany" in early March.

This was the Anschluss, triggered by a pro-German coup in Austria on the eve of a referendum on Austrian autonomy.

"Within four brief exciting days Austria has been merged into Nazi Germany to make a nation greater in people and in area than the Germany of 1914," the Gazette reported via a United Press story on March 15.

Hitler arrived in Vienna March 14, announcing, "The Reich has been resurrected. I am speaking in the name of all German generations today."

He then reviewed a parade of Austrian soldiers wearing Nazi armbands.

As Germany took over, thousands of Austrian Jews tried to cross the border into Czechoslovakia; many were stopped by Nazi troops that had quickly moved to Austria's borders.

"The German annexation of Austria will be followed by intensification of British rearmament, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told a crowded House of Commons today in a vigorous statement on foreign affairs," the United Press reported March 14.

"Asserting that the British government had no commitment to go to Austria's aid, he said its only obligation was 'to consult with others in case of action affecting Austria's independence and integrity.'"

That had been done, with France and Italy, Chamberlain said.

"Chamberlain avoided revealing the British attitude in the event of aggression against Czechoslovakia, which he mentioned only once."