In 1869, Ulysses S. Grant became the nation's 18th president. The Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads connected their lines at Promontory Point, Utah, forming the transcontinental railroad. Gold speculation created Wall Street's first financial panic.
And the San Luis Obispo Tribune got its start on Aug. 7 of that year.
When Walter Murray introduced the newspaper, he did so to bolster his campaign for district judge. Although he lost that election, the four-page newspaper that Murray launched endured. It outlasted out-tors, several competitors, merged with others, switched from weekly publication to six days a week, from afternoon publication to morning and added a Sunday edition in 1999.
Through the years, The Tribune has covered two world wars and countless other conflicts; the Great Depression and numerous other booms and busts; earthquakes, fires, floods and epidemics; and social and political upheavals.
On its 140th anniversary, The Tribune is the oldest continuously operating business in the city of San Luis Obispo and one of the oldest enterprises in the county.
Our mission remains the same as it has always been -- to be the county's primary source of news and information, to cover the news aggressively, fairly and accurately, to share in your joys and sorrows and, as Murray put it long ago, "to not be afraid to touch any subject of public interest." It is our privilege and our responsibility to carry out that mission.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIBUNE'S HISTORY
1869: Founded by District Attorney Walter Murray in what is now Mission Plaza.
1883: Myron Angel becomes The Tribune's editor. Angel had a pet project: the establishment of a vocational college in San Luis Obispo. Today, Cal Poly is a nationally respected university.
1905: Members of the Anti-Saloon League start their own newspaper, The Telegram.
1912: Owners of The Telegram sell the paper to C. L. Day, who gives the paper a "shot in the arm."
1922: The Telegram's circulation reaches 2,000 compared to 600 for The Tribune. A third newspaper, the Obispan, is started, taken over, and re-named the Morning Herald.
1924: R. C. Hoyt buys the Telegram and Herald and establishes The Herald-Telegram.
1925: Hoyt purchases The Tribune and sells all three newspapers to the Scripps-Canfield organization.
1939: The Scripps League buys the newspapers and merges them into one afternoon newspaper, The Telegram-Tribune.
1940: John P. Scripps Newspaper Group buys The Telegram-Tribune.
1997: Knight Ridder buys The Telegram-Tribune from Scripps.
1999: The Telegram-Tribune returns to its original name, The Tribune.
1999: The Tribune launches its first Sunday edition.
2006: The McClatchy Co. buys Knight Ridder, including The Tribune.