Orange County Breeze local almanac for northwest Orange County, California.

Almanac: May » Almanac: May 18

Almanac: May
17 19


Future novelist, poet, critic, and playwright Mary Hunter marries Stafford Wallace Austin in Bakersfield. An early feminist and defender of Native American and Spanish-American rights, she is best known now for her celebration of California deserts in books like The Land of Little Rain. She was born on September 9, 1868 in Carlinville, Illinois, and died on August 13, 1934 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She and her husband fought the efforts of Los Angeles to acquire water rights in the Owens Valley. An Eastern Sierra Penstemon, Austin’s Beardtongue, Penstemon floridus var. austinii, is named after Wallace. Following the couple’s separation and divorce, Wallace would go on to figure prominently in the history of Trona by saving the Trona chemical plant from bankruptcy after being appointed receiver. [Sources: Westways magazine, Larry Blakely at Cal Poly Pomona, Trona on the Web, and Wikipedia.]


Jacqueline Cochran, named Bessie Lee Pittman, became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet over Rogers Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert. She was born May 11, 1906, in Muscogee, Florida, and died August 9, 1980, in Indio, California. [Sources: the Orange County Register, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Wikipedia.]


Students from Oxford Academy take first place in the annual Solar Boat competition. [Source: Anaheim Union High School Distrct and personal communication.]


Gum Grove Park and that portion of the San Gabriel River Bicycle path within the city limits are re-opened for active use by Seal Beach.

Enforcement of no-parking hours during street sweeping returns after nine weeks for some Southern California cities, such as Long Beach.

County of Orange partially re-opens parking for County-operated beaches. Beaches open for restricted use.