It’s hard to believe The San Francisco Examiner is 150 years old. But indeed, the newspaper has been publishing in the City by the Bay for a century and a half. From the days of gold mining to rebuilding a city in earthquake-and-fire ruins, through two World Wars and a Summer of Love, disturbing murders, Super Bowl victories, another devastating earthquake, near extinction of the paper itself, a world-changing attack on the U.S., the birth of a baseball dynasty, and one of the hottest economic and real estate booms in modern times, The Examiner has been here, documenting every twist and turn.
It is a different animal today than when it debuted as The Daily Examiner on June 12, 1865. For one thing, we now bring you the news in color and with pictures. The pages upon which this news is conveyed might be smaller than they were 150 years ago, but they are no less important to the community we call San Francisco.
One thing we gleaned while looking back through all those pages of newsprint — aside from the fact that there’s no way to revisit it all — is that we human beings are creatures of habit prone to repeating the mistakes of the past — but hopefully the successes as well. We may learn some lessons, but more often than not we believe we can do the same thing over and over again, only better than before.
Throughout the ensuing pages you will learn about some of the big stories that The Examiner has covered. You will read about all the times the paper might have died and why that has never happened. You will discover that this town has been and remains world-class in many things, including arts, culture, politics, crime, misery, bigotry and sport. You will meet some of the folks who made The Examiner over the years. You will peer through portals into the past, sure to conjure many memories and interpretations of how it all happened.
This commemorative edition was a collaboration of the entire staff of The Examiner — not just that of today, but of all the variations through the decades and generations.
We hope you, dear reader, are enlightened and entertained, perhaps outraged and uplifted, brought to laughter or tears, but better off for having taken this path with us. That is the same hope we have as well with each day’s edition of the paper.
And we can’t wait for the next 150 years. So much so, in fact, that we’ll start at it right away, continuing to bring you all the news that we can fit on these pages. No matter what the future holds, we at The Examiner will strive to keep bringing you the most important stories of this evolving city.