Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.
view all 23

Profiles

  • Nicole Richie
    Nicole Camille Richie is an American actress, author, socialite, celebutante, singer, and television personality. The adopted daughter of soul singer Lionel Richie, she is perhaps best known for her ro...
  • Thornton Niven Wilder (1897 - 1975)
    Thornton Niven Wilder (April 17, 1897 — December 7, 1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays ...
  • Dr. Charles Louis Seeger, Jr. (1886 - 1979)
    Charles Louis Seeger, Jr. (December 14, 1886 – February 7, 1979) was a musicologist, composer, and teacher. From Charles Seeger by Jim Capaldi. "Folk Scene," April 1979 Charles Louis Seeger was bor...
  • Ben Affleck
    Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt (born August 15, 1972), better known as Ben Affleck , is an American actor, film director, writer, and producer. He became known with his performances in such Kevin Smith fi...
  • Timothy Leary (1920 - 1996)
    He was an American writer, psychologist, futurist, and advocate of psychedelic drug research. An icon of 1960s counterculture, Leary is most famous as a proponent of the therapeutic, spiritual and emot...

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in the city of Berkeley County, California.

Overview

Official Website

Berkeley (/ˈbɜːrkli/ BURK-lee) is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California. It is named after the 18th-century Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley.

Berkeley is home to the oldest campus in the University of California system, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is managed and operated by the University. It also has the Graduate Theological Union, one of the largest religious studies institutions in the world. Berkeley is considered one of the most socially liberal cities in the United States.

The area that became Berkeley was initially part of a vast Contra Costa County. On March 25, 1853, Alameda County was created from a division of Contra Costa County, as well as from a small portion of Santa Clara County. The area that became Berkeley was then the northern part of the "Oakland Township" subdivision of Alameda County. During this period, "Berkeley" was mostly a mix of open land, farms, and ranches, with a small, though busy, wharf by the bay.

According to the Centennial Record of the University of California, "In 1866…at Founders' Rock, a group of College of California men watched two ships standing out to sea through the Golden Gate. One of them, Frederick Billings, thought of the lines of the Anglo-Irish Anglican Bishop George Berkeley, 'westward the course of empire takes its way,' and suggested that the town and college site be named for the eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish philosopher." The philosopher's name is pronounced BARK-lee, but the city's name, to accommodate American English, is pronounced BERK-lee.

The post World War II years brought moderate growth to the city, as events on the U.C. campus began to build up to the recognizable activism of the sixties. In the 1950s, McCarthyism induced the university to demand a loyalty oath from its professors, many of whom refused to sign the oath on the principle of freedom of thought. In 1960, a U.S. House committee (HUAC) came to San Francisco to investigate the influence of communists in the Bay Area. Their presence was met by protesters, including many from the university. Meanwhile, a number of U.C. students became active in the civil rights movement. Finally, in 1964, the university provoked a massive student protest by banning distribution of political literature on campus. This protest became the Free Speech Movement. As the Vietnam War rapidly escalated in the ensuing years, so did student activism at the university, particularly that organized by the Vietnam Day Committee.

Berkeley is strongly identified with the rapid social changes, civic unrest, and political upheaval that characterized the late 1960s. In that period, Berkeley—especially Telegraph Avenue—became a focal point for the hippie movement, which spilled over the Bay from San Francisco. Many hippies were apolitical drop-outs, rather than students, but in the heady atmosphere of Berkeley in 1967–1969 there was considerable overlap between the hippie movement and the radical left. An iconic event in the Berkeley Sixties scene was a conflict over a parcel of university property south of the contiguous campus site that came to be called "People's Park."

The battle over the disposition of People's Park resulted in a month-long occupation of Berkeley by the National Guard on orders of then-Governor Ronald Reagan. In the end, the park remained undeveloped, and remains so today. A spin-off, People's Park Annex, was established at the same time by activist citizens of Berkeley on a strip of land above the Bay Area Rapid Transit subway construction along Hearst Avenue northwest of the U.C. campus. The land had also been intended for development, but was turned over to the city by BART and is now Ohlone Park.

The era of large public protest in Berkeley waned considerably with the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. While the 1960s were the heyday of liberal activism in Berkeley, it remains one of the most overwhelmingly Democratic cities in the United States.

During the 1970s and 1980s, activists increased their power in local government. This era also saw major developments in Berkeley's environmental and food culture. Berkeley's last Republican mayor, Wallace J.S. Johnson, left office in 1971. Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971. The first curbside recycling program in the U.S. was started by the Ecology Center in 1973. Styrofoam was banned in 1988.

As the city leaned more and more Democratic, local politics became divided between "Progressives" and "Moderates". 1984 saw the Progressives take the majority for the first time. Nancy Skinner became the first UC Berkeley student elected to City Council. In 1986, in reaction to the 1984 election, a ballot measure switched Berkeley from at-large to district-based elections for city council.

In 1983, Berkeley's Domestic Partner Task Force was established, which in 1984 made policy recommendation to the school board, which passed domestic partner legislation. The legislation became a model for similar measures nationwide.

During the fall of 2010, the Berkeley Student Food Collective opened after many protests on the UC Berkeley campus due to the proposed opening of the fast food chain Panda Express. Students and community members worked together to open a collectively run grocery store right off of the UC Berkeley campus, where the community can buy local, seasonal, humane, and organic foods. The Berkeley Student Food Collective still operates at 2440 Bancroft Way.

On September 18, 2012, Berkeley became what may be the first city in the U.S. to officially proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals September 23, which is known as Celebrate Bisexuality Day.

On September 2, 2014, the city council approved a measure to provide free medical marijuana to low-income patients.

The Measure D soda tax was approved by Berkeley voters on November 4, 2014, the first such tax in the United States.

In the Fall of 2011, the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement came to two Berkeley locations: on the campus of the University of California and as an encampment in Civic Center Park.

During a Black Lives Matter protest on December 6, 2014, police use of tear gas and batons to clear protesters from Telegraph Avenue led to a riot and five consecutive days and nights of protests, marches, and freeway occupations in Berkeley and Oakland. Afterwards, changes were implemented by the Police Department to avoid escalation of violence and to protect bystanders during protests.

During a protest against bigotry and President Trump in August 2017, anti-fascist protesters grew violent against Trump supporters in attendance. Police intervened, arresting 14 people. Sometimes called "antifa", these anti-fascist activists were clad in all black, while some carried shields and others had masks or bandanas hiding their faces. These protests spanned February to September 2017.

In 2019, protesters took up residence in People's Park against tree-chopping and were arrested by police in riot gear. Many activists saw this as the university preparing to develop the park.

The city of Berkeley has historically been a central location for homeless communities in the Bay Area. Since the 1930s, the city of Berkeley has fostered a tradition of political activism. However, though the city has been perceived as a hub for liberal thought and action, it has passed ordinances to oust homeless individuals from Berkeley on multiple occasions. Despite efforts to remove unhoused individuals from the streets and projects to improve social service provision for this demographic, homelessness has continued to be a significant problem in Berkeley.

Links

Wikipedia

Founder's Rock

Berkeley Branch Railroad

Camp Ashby

McCarthyism

Free Speech Movement

Vietnam Day Committee

Telegraph Avenue

Thorsen House

Berkeley Neighborhoods

Berkeley Marina

Berkeley Free Clinic