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Thirty Years Ago
San Ysidro embraces the new branch of the Main Attraction, a strip joint boasting more than $100,000 worth of lights and sound paraphernalia, whose owners figure there are fortunes to be made from Tijuana customers deprived of such flashy lewdness in their own city. The residents of San Ysidro are the poorest and most unemployed in the county, and yet there are six bank branches in the community situated within a mile of each other.
“WELCOME TO SAN YSIDRO,” Neal Matthews, September 3, 1981

Twenty-Five Years Ago
Fun in the sun, fun in the bushes. Surf, sand, and sex. The state lifeguards abandoned Torrey Pines State Beach this summer, and human nature is having quite a holiday at the bottom of the 200-foot bluffs there. Lifeguards from the City of San Diego, who watch over a stretch of city beach that adjoins state-owned coastline, are having to break up re-enactments from Sodom and Gomorrah that are not in their jurisdiction. They also can’t ignore the people who are drowning and falling down the cliffs on state land.
CITY LIGHTS: “LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND,” Brae Canlen, September 4, 1986

Twenty Years Ago
I was fool enough to say yes when some fiend at a national magazine had the idea of assigning me the task of doing what nobody on Earth had ever done before: watch MTV for 24 hours. Straight. No stopping, no taping.

[I]n a 24-hour period, out of 205 videos, MTV played exactly 32 videos starring women, 7 of which were Paul Abdul and her boobs. The others were by Madonna, Martika, Cher, Mariah Carey, Amy Grant, Siouxsie Sioux, and Bonnie Raitt. There were only four black women (five if you count Salt and Pepa; five and a half if you count C+C Music Factory’s Zelma Davis).
“HOW MTV HAS SCORCHED OUR EARTH,” Gina Arnold, September 5, 1991

Fifteen Years Ago
Clinton told reporters he had achieved a lifelong goal; he broke 80 for a round of golf. It happened at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course, a public course beautifully situated along the shores of San Diego Bay. A clearly elated Clinton said he shot 78 on the par-72 layout; the Washington Post reported that the president was “nearly bouncing off the bulkhead of Air Force One as he bragged to reporters about his game.”

And one more thing, Clinton made what was for him an arresting claim: he didn’t cheat.
CITY LIGHTS: “BAD LIE,” Byron York, September 5, 1996

Ten Years Ago
At that time there were a lot of Indians down here and they made them work building those churches. And they farmed all that land around the mission there. Corn and beans, some of that is still there. Those missions were built by the Indians and the timber was brought from Volcan [north of Julian] on their shoulders. It took about fifty men to bring one down, and those timbers were about a hundred feet long; and they brought them down.

Syphilis, measles, and other contagious diseases ran rampant in the missions, leaving most Indian people who went there dead. Slowly, the Spanish found that the missions could not produce the wealth hoped for by the Crown because they could not establish a stable Indian labor population.
— “THEY WILL ALL BE DEAD AND WE SHALL BE FREE,” Deborah Dozier, August 30, 2001

Five Years Ago
Ah, the good old days. When people were illiterate and filthy. Take me back, History Channel. Take me back to when cowboys were king. Just don’t make me black because people could own me. And don’t give me polio or dysentery. Ah, yes, the good old days. Put me on horseback in the wide-open plains. Only speed up that toothbrush and toilet paper thing. Sing to me, History Channel. Sing me the song of the lone cowboy and the beauty of the wild outdoors. But don’t let me get killed by an animal or Indian, and could I have a tent and some Gore-Tex gloves? Sweet. Ah, the good old days.
REMOTE CONTROL KING, Ollie, August 31, 2006

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