Seventy-five years ago Alameda County Supervisor and former Berkeley Mayor Thomas Caldecott went to Sacramento to urge the State Highway Commission to help fund "a new direct highway connecting the East Oakland area with Berkeley and Richmond."

The Berkeley Daily Gazette reported that the proposal was that Alameda County, the state, and the City of Oakland would each assume one third of the cost of the new divided road, four lanes wide, which would start near Broadway and Tunnel Road and head south.

Already, land was being acquired and a joint Highway District had been formed.

Was this the embryo of what we now know as Highway 13?

Ickes speech

Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes spoke in Harmon Gymnasium to UC students that same day, urging them "to show the same loyalty to their government as they do to the university."

He also told them "my advice is that you take no advice whatever from people older than yourselves."

"What have we done, we wise people of the older generation, that warrants us in setting ourselves up as guides and mentors of the young ... we hand you worldwide chaos ... domestic chaos based on the stubborn refusal of the human mind to bring new ideas to the solution of new economic problems.

"Mechanical invention has given man free will to go and to live where he pleases," Ickes said. "So, he comes to live in California.

"The youth of a past generation created this nation," he concluded. "The youth of a coming generation must re-create it."

Measures pondered

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce stated its opposition Oct. 17 to two measures intended for the state ballot.

"Proposition 13 would bring ruin to California municipalities", the Gazette reported. No, not that Prop. 13. The 1938, not the 1978, measure would have allowed cities to create their own public utility commissions and lowered the threshold for approving bonds from two thirds to a majority of voters.

Meanwhile, "Proposition No. 2 prohibits the sale or use of unwanted or unclaimed animals in pounds for scientific, medical experimental purposes. It was pointed out that all scientific work at the University of California and at the Cutter Laboratory would be stopped if such legislation were adopted. One of the speakers stated this anti-vivisection legislation is designed to throttle medical research into the causes and cures of disease ..."

Maybeck fire

"Starting from a pan of grease left over an open stove flame while Bernard R. Maybeck, prominent architect, and his wife went shopping, a two-alarm fire shortly after noon today gutted and partially destroyed their hillside home at 2751 Buena Vista Way," the Gazette reported Oct. 15. "Intending to cook French fried potatoes for lunch, Mrs. Maybeck left the grease simmering over a flame on the kitchen stove while she and her husband went on a quick shopping trip."

Maybeck reported he had been able to save from his studio original drawings of several important projects, including the Palace of Fine Arts.

Mrs. Maybeck philosophically told a reporter, "Well, at least this saves me a disagreeable job I had planned for tomorrow. I had intended to clean out the black widow spiders that have been over-running the place. It won't be necessary now."

The Maybecks had already lost their home once, in the 1923 Berkeley fire. This 1938 fire ruined a house built in 1931.

Ament announces

On Oct. 20, 1938, Berkeley's Mayor Edward Ament told the Lions Club that he would "somewhat reluctantly" seek re-election as mayor. He said he wanted to continue Berkeley's "pay as you go policy" for funding schools and municipal "reputation for clean, wholesome government."