A Lot Has Changed Since Jerry Brown Was Last in Sacramento

A phrase commonly used by Governor-Elect Jerry Brown during his election campaign was that he hasn’t been in Sacramento for 28 years and the state’s current problems are not of his creation.

GOP Gov. George Deukmejian succeeded Brown in January 1983.

The 72-year-old governor-elect has said he may not name a cabinet secretary for education – he didn’t have one before, he notes – and has indicated he intends to shrink the press office and legislative unit in the governor’s office closer to their size 30-some years ago.

Not to belabor the obvious but things have changed significantly in Sacramento since Brown’s departure. Brown alluded to one major change during the campaign; The constraints placed on lawmakers and the state’s chief executive from 28 years of ballot measures. Among them 1988’s Proposition 98, which requires, under most circumstances, schools receive 40 cents of every $1 the state takes in. More recently, the League of Cities sponsored Proposition 22 on the November ballot that forbids the state from borrowing funds from local transportation and redevelopment agencies.

To say Republicans and Democrats have become more polarized and intransigent, gilds the lily.

But actually scads of changes have occurred since 1982, not just in Sacramento.

In 1983, the first year Brown left office, the first Cabbage Patch Kids were sold. The term “virtual reality” was coined and soft bifocal contact lenses were invented.

Apple’s Macintosh and the CD-ROM followed in 1984.

In 1985, it was Microsoft’s turn with Windows. There was also the advent of DNA fingerprinting.

During the rest of the decade came the invention of digital cell phones, disposable cameras, Doppler radar, high definition television and Prozac.

In 1990, two years before Brown’s third unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for president, was the advent of the World Wide Web. Three years later, the Pentium processor was invented, eBay was launched and so was GPS. Two years after that, DVDs. Plasma television in 1997. Viagra in 1998.

What in 2001 became known as the Blackberry was created in 1999. As of December 2008, there were 21 million subscribers.

Human genome sequencing – 2000.

Apple announces the iPod in 2001. Within three years there were 50 million users. It took television, invented in 1923, 13 years to reach 50 million viewers.

In 2002 came Bluetooth. In 2003,Toyota’s hybrids.

In 2004, Facebook was launched.

One year later, YouTube. In just five years, it’s become the second largest search engine in the world with more than 100 million videos posted there.

Twitter was launched in July 2006.

Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007.

This year, 3D cameras and camcorders.

In 1938, the year of Brown’s birth, Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town, premiered.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s March of Dimes campaign to stamp out polio was launched.

The House Un-American Activities Committee began its work.  The first Seeing Eye dog was used.

In Cooperstown New York, the baseball Hall of Fame opened.

Austria was taken over by Germany: Anschluss.

Lil’ Abner cartoonist Al Capp created Sadie Hawkins Day.

The Queen Elizabeth ocean liner was launched.

Groundbreaking of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C.

Elliot Gould, Ali MacGraw, Diana Rigg, Ted Turner, Rudolf Nureyev, Art Agnos, James Watt, Leon Panetta, Gordon Lightfoot, Maxine Waters and the late Boris Pickett of “Monster Mash” fame were also born in 1938.

Brown shares his April 7, 1938 birthday with Alexander von Schlippenbach, the Berlin-born improvisational pianist and bandleader.


Filed under: Venting

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