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History, memories re-emerge on moving day

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Sam Matthews the day before Tracy Press' moving day last Thursday.

We’re moving today at the Tracy Press — not far, from the ground floor to the second floor of the two-story building at 95 W. 11th St., across from the Tracy Inn.

Despite the short distance, getting ready for the move has required all of us going through files, notes and past-editions, keeping what we’ve felt are important ones and tossing out those that are duplicates or non-essential.

Since I have any number of clippings, photos and copies of the Press with historical value, my job of weeding out the files has been indeed challenging.

Anyway, in the selection process, I have run across a number of unbound copies of past issues of the Press containing stories that I thought readers may find informative, possibly even interesting. Here are the opening paragraphs:

April 13, 1942 — The dream of a few men became a reality for thousands Wednesday when formal dedicatory services were held at the new Lincoln Park site. Work has already started in the tree planting, landscaping and general improvements.

June 16, 1961 — Tracy sweltered under what might turn out to be the record temperature of 1961 yesterday when the thermometer in at the city’s weather-recording station shot up to 112.

July 2, 1975 — The largest air show in California along with displays, refreshments and fireworks await Tracyites celebrating the Fourth of July at the Tracy Airport on Friday. “Our air show will be the largest in the state this year,” said air show chairman Joe Tiago. “We have some top people performing for six hours”

Sept. 6, 1978 — A flag bearing the Tracy Centennial Emblem will be raised to the top of the flagpole in Dr. Powers Park at 7 o’clock Thursday evening, and the Tracy Centennial Celebration will be off and running. The four-day community event celebrating the founding of Tracy on Sept. 8, 1878, will include a variety of activities ranging from a street dance to a children’s parade.

March 28, 1979 — Shawna Montgomery was honored at the annual father-daughter dinner of Camp Fire Girls and Blue Birds at Monte Vista Middle School as top Camp Fire candy salesperson, selling 528 boxes.

Dec. 6, 1982 — With Bulldogmania at a feverish pitch, Tracy High School relied on a big-play offense and swarming defense to record the biggest football victory in the history of the school Friday night as a crowd of more than 8,000 looked on at Modesto Junior College Stadium. The 14-12 victory over Rancho Cordova High School gave the Bulldogs the 1982 Sac Joaquin Section AAA Football Championship.

April 18, 1990 — Tracy Police Cpl. Les Garcia was putting his department’s new crime dog, Cora, through the paces a bit last week in a little exhibition for guests. “Shtay, shtay,” Garcia said to Cora as she waited for the signal to jump out the window of a specially modified “Canine Unit” patrol car.

May 3, 2013 — Tracy’s population has climbed to 83,562, but growth is not at a rapid rate because of a city moratorium on issuing building permits.

Aug. 28, 2014 — Any earthquake faults in the Tracy area? It’s a timely and appropriate question following the magnitude 6.0 earthquake centered in the Napa and American Canyon areas. The answer is yes, but what potential the local faults have for shaking us in any serious way is difficult to determine.

Dec. 4, 2020 — Transit-oriented development around a new Valley Link commuter-rail station will continue to be on the city’s agenda, regardless of voter reaction to Measure Y on Nov. 3. The (rejected) measure would have created an exemption to the city’s growth-management ordinance, allowing for development of up to 2,200 housing units, either apartments or houses, within a half-mile of the Tracy Transit Center at Sixth Street and Central Avenue.

• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at

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