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This Week in History: Jan. 29 – Feb. 4

Martinez Tribune

‘Slippery’ nudist takes morning jog through downtown
Martinez 1973: Forty-three years ago this week in Martinez, police were led on a wild chase through the downtown streets as a young man in his 20s was completely nude and “expressing” himself to the public.

The one-man nudist parade was first reported at 8:30 in the morning at Ward and Berrellesa streets and ended in capture at Green and Alhambra. The young man did not go silently as his captors described him as elusive and “slippery.” He was taken to the county hospital for observation and treatment as he appeared to be deranged. (Morning News-Gazette 1973)

Former president perishes
Stonewall, Texas, 1973: Former President Lyndon B. Johnson was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Brooke Army General Hospital due to a heart attack. Johnson had previously suffered from heart problems. His body was laid to rest at his family cemetery next to the home where he was born in Stonewall, Texas. Eulogies were given by former Texas governor John Connally and Rev. Billy Graham.

Picketing begins at refinery
Martinez 1973: After negotiations between Shell and Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union leaders failed, the union members at the Martinez refinery went on strike. The main disagreement was over a health and safety responsibility pension review that was to be included into a two year pact between the union members and Shell. The strike of union members went beyond Martinez to the Shell works in Wilmington-Dominguez in southern California as well as Shell plants at Pasadena, Texas, and Norco, Louisiana.

Gold Rush begins
Jan. 24, 1848 in Coloma, California: James W. Marshall, an employee at Sutter’s Mill, found several flakes of gold and told his boss, pioneer John Sutter, of the find. This discovery – which Sutter initially tried to keep secret – became the drawing point for approximately 300,000 people within seven years to come to California and find gold for themselves. This was the dawn of the “Gold Rush” era.

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