SNGF: Headline News, 7 March 1927

Oakland Tribune 7 Mar 1927 Headlines

Randy Seaver has his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge posted.  This week it’s headline news the day my Dad was born.

My Dad was born 7 March 1927 in Oakland, California.  The Oakland Tribune was the main newspaper for the city of Oakland during that time.

Oakland Tribune 7 Mar 1927 Headlines

There wasn’t any one big headline, but it was a big day for news.  Terrorists were killed and captured, there was a major earthquake in Japan, a woman was sentenced for beating her husband, the US sent troops to Nicaragua…busy day!

I think I’ll note them all.  These are all the headlines on the front page of the Oakland Tribune for that day.

  • Bomber at Church Slain in S.F. Trap:  Fifth Attempt to Dynamite SS Peter and Paul Ends in Killing of Man Who Lit Fuse; Lookout is Shot:  Nabbing of Terrorist at Work May Aid in Solving Mystery of Plot to Blow Up Blake Building Here
  • Jailed for Beating Husband: Her Husband Insulted Her Gentleman Caller (she left him with a black eye, she got 30 days in jail)
  • Suit Bares Geo. Sterling Suicide Clue:  Error in Realty Deal Seen as Possible Motive Back of Poet’s Death by Own Hand in S.F. Recently
  • U.S. Lands Army at Nicaragua: 1200 Marines Put Ashore; Force at Matagalpa to Defend City
  • Colbourn to Enter Race for Mayor (Frank Colbourn, Commissioner of Public Health and Safety of Oakland)
  • British Prince is Busiest Man: Wales Holds World Record But Finds Time Also to be “Good Fellow”
  • Japan Quake Takes Heavy Death Toll: Richardson Periled: Ex-Governor, Family Caught at Kobe in Panic of U.S. Tourists on World Cruise, Woman Killed, Theater Collapse Traps 80 (the woman was killed in a panic on the dock)

If I read these headlines without knowing the date, I might mistake them for last week’s news.  I always hear people talk about how times are different, there wasn’t much crime, and people behaved.  I sometimes wonder if the lack of a 24 hour news cycle and television news allowed them to shut out most of what was happening outside their own community.  It’s worth a thought.

Thanks to Randy for this interesting challenge!  Newspapers are vital to genealogy.  We learn about our ancestors, their communities, and the world they lived in when look at old newspapers.  They can be very important to areas that have lost records as they may be the only place to find marriages, births, deaths, and other events that affected our relatives.





The Answer was Right in Front of Me


Sometimes the answer to the problem is right in front of your face.  I was pretty sure the Jean Lassalle on this WWI draft registration card was my grandfather.  The birthday matches.


I was reluctant to say this was my grandfather since the physical characteristics were off.  My grandpa was not medium height (unless their was a different gauge for this pre-1920).  His eyes were hazel not blue.  It also said that he was supporting his father and brother.  His mother was alive and well at the time.  Her admission made me think twice.

Today, I had his WWII draft registration card sitting along side the WWI card.  Then, it hit me!  His employer’s address on the WWI draft card was exactly the same as his employer’s address on the WWII draft card.  In fact, at the time the WWI draft card was written out, he was living there as well!


WWII draft card Jean Lassalle

In both cases, he was a baker for a French bakery.

This puts some things into perspective.  Now that I know that he was employed by the same business from WWI to WWII, I can put some of his other places of employment in order.  My Dad told me that grandpa worked for a winery cleaning out the vats before he married my grandmother.  I can narrow it down to 1918-1917.

This is important.  My grandfather came over in 1907.  I’ve yet to find him in the 1910 census or early city directories.  I can work backwards from the Clay Street address to see when he lived/worked at that address.  Then, I can see which Jean Lassalle’s worked at a winery.  The problem will be if he was not in the San Francisco Bay Area.  There is nothing that says he stayed in the area as a new immigrant to the country.

Another reminder of the importance of reviewing old documents from time to time.  Sometimes it helps to sit them side by side, too.


52 Ancestors, Week 12: We’re All Short

my Dad 1955

The theme for week 12 in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series is “Same”.  I had a rough time finding something that I shared with an ancestor.  Then, it hit me. It was so obvious!  We’re all short.

By “all”, I mean my Dad’s side of the family.  My Mom’s side was not short.  But, my Dad’s side?  Definitely height challenged.

We used to get a kick out my Dad.  He swore up and down that he was Five Five and a Half.  That half of an inch being very important.  The funny thing was he was shorter than my brother who was 5′-5″.  When we’d say something, my Dad would get mad and claim we were measuring wrong.


This is my Dad (on the left) and his best friend, Don “Koty” Kotis, ca 1949.  When my Dad first tried to join the army about this time, the recruiting officer told him he was too small.  His advice?  Go home and eat some bananas.  They drafted him in 1951 for the Korean Conflict.  I guess they weren’t as picky then.

My Dad’s siblings were all short as well.  They ranged from 5 feet to about 5 ‘ 6″.

The lack of height came from both sides of his tree.  My grandma, Anna (Mazeres) Lassalle, was only 4′ 8″ and I believe my grandpa, Jean Lassalle, was only 5′ 4″.  There was a story passed down that my grandpa used to love to take my grandma places, especially the circus, when they were dating.  She got in for the child’s price which saved him money.

The shortness slipped into my generation.  Only one of us broke the 5′ 5″ marker.  That’s my oldest brother.  He got some of the height genes from my Mom’s side of the family and made it to 5′ 9″.  The rest of range from 4′ 9″ to 5′ 5″. I come in at 4′ 10″.  I am two inches taller than my grandma.  Just wait until shrinking sets in.

When I went to kindergarten, I was the same height as the other children.  When we came back from summer vacation after kindergarten, I was in the middle.  By the end of 1st grade, forget it, I was one of the two shortest with a boy named Johnnie Taylor my competition.

My sister’s husband’s is 6″ 1″.  She is 4″ 8″.  They never had kids.  It would have been interesting to see whose genes won out.  Before they were dating, he would drive by our house and refer to as the house where the little people lived.  Hey, buster!  There was a Portuguese family down the street that was even shorter than us!  Little did he know he’d be stuck with us later on.

I’ve always been curious about our height, how much is determined by genes, and how much is determined by other factors such as nutrition during the growing years.

I am fascinating how the height genes were divvied up between my nieces and nephew.  My tallest brother married a woman with tall genes in her family.  Their daughter and son are 5′ 9″ and 5′ 8″respectively.

On the other side, my brother who was 5′ 5″ married someone with short to average height family members.  They have two short daughters.  They’ve got Lassalle written all over them.  The oldest has stopped growing at 4′ 8″.  The youngest is 4′ 9″ and may have an inch or two left in her.  Though, the odds of her reaching 5 feet are slim to none.

Jean and Anna Lassalle

This is a photo of my grandparents ca 1960.  It was taken in Oakland, California.   We used to joke about how short they were and call them the Little French people.  As if we were any taller!

Without a doubt, we have Grandma and Grandpa Lassalle to thank (blame?) for our diminutive stature.  I bet if I delved into their trees, I would find a whole host of short people coming from Ogeu les bains–all of them about 5 feet all.  And, I would know they were my people. LOL