2004 Anchorman Ron Burgandy brings America’s Finest City to world attention.
1999 The first Legoland in the USA opens in Carlsbad.
1988 San Diego hosts its first Super Bowl, in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. Washington Redskins beat Denver Broncos 42-10.
1980 The San Diego Trolley is dedicated. The tram system remains the best way to get around the city.
1974 "Swim-suit optional" zone at Black's Beach introduced, but removed 3 years later. Parts of the beach remain popular with nudists to this day.
1964 University of California at San Diego opens huge La Jolla campus to first class of undergraduate students. Sea World opens.
1959 Billy Wilder's film Some Like it Hot is filmed at the Hotel Del Coronado. Wilder describes working with Marilyn Monroe as being “in mid-flight, and there was a nut on the plane.”
1957 La Jolla resident Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) publishes The Cat in the Hat after being asked to develop a book to improve children's literacy.
1927 The Fine Arts Gallery in Balboa Park opens to the public. It is now the San Diego Museum of Art.
1919 Prohibition makes Tijuana a boom town as thousands of Americans cross the border to drink and gamble at the race tracks.
1915 Panama-California Exposition leaves a lasting legacy in the form of Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo.
1902 Native American inhabitants of Cupa, San Felipe and Warner Springs are evicted and removed to lands near the Pala Reservation, by decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.
1888 San Diego's 1880s real estate boom ends. By the end of the decade the population drops from 40,000 to 16,000.
1885 A transcontinental railroad arrives in San Diego, linking the city to the East Coast.
1870 Prospector Fred Coleman discovers gold near present-day Julian, sparking local "gold fever".
1867 "I have been nearly all over the world and it seemed to me to be the best spot for building a city I ever saw," says local legend Alonzo Horton about his arrival. San Diego experiences its first real estate boom.
1853 First known vigilantism occurs after tailor John Warren is found clubbed to death by the jawbone of an ox.
1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed. San Diego becomes part of the USA.
1821 Mexico ousts the Spanish in the Mexican War of Independence and creates the Province of Alta California. California swears allegiance to Mexico one year later.
1774 The first colonists arrive in San Diego. A year later, Indians surround Mission San Diego de Alcala, set fire to its fragile wooden structures and chase the colonizers out.
1769 Gaspar de Portolà and his expedition start the Presidio of San Diego.
1602 Sebastián Vizcaíno arrives with his flagship "San Diego", sent north by Spain from Navidad in Mexico.
1542 Explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo charts San Diego Bay.
10,000BC First signs of Native Americans living in the area