The Berkeley Daily Gazette reported on June 13, 1939, 75 years ago, that "Dr. Leonore Ginno, a prominent and active civic worker since Berkeley's early days, has announced her decision to retire from practice at the Berkeley Health Center where she had been engaged for many years in caring for the teeth of the children of Berkeley."

She grew up in Berkeley and "at the turn of the century" she and her husband graduated from what is now UC San Francisco, "and set up practice in Berkeley."

Ginno "was one of the first women dentists in the days when women were frowned upon in professional circles. In those days her first offices were at Walnut and Vine, then a rising business center." In 1910 she became "city health nurse and dentist" and got to know hundreds of Berkeley families through home visits. Her husband died in 1912.

Alameda accident

"Two Berkeleyans were among nine injured in a head-on automobile collision in which two were killed near the Alameda entrance to the Posey tube," it was reported June 11, 1939. "Ian Coffin, 30, 2611 Grant Street, driver of one of the automobiles involved in the terrific crash, is reportedly near death at Alameda County Hospital with a fractured skull, internal injuries and a broken leg and arm." His passenger, William Chamberlain, 22, of 2712 Derby St., was also injured.

Coffin was driving toward Berkeley around 4 a.m. when his car collided head on with an Oakland car containing seven people. Two died. Police said they hadn't yet determined blame.

Fertility spring

The June 12 Gazette reported that historian J.N. Bowman, who had worked at UC, was researching old maps and had discovered the exact location of "El Polin" or the "Spring of Fertility" in the San Francisco Presidio.

If "maidens" went to the spring and drank from it during the full moon, they would supposedly have children.

"The spring was once on the property of the Miramontes, who had 20 children," the paper added. The discovery had come just in time to publicize the location to visitors to the Golden Gate International Exposition.

Nonintervention

As tensions rose in Europe, particularly between Germany and Poland, the Gazette editorialized on June 13, "Keep America Out of War."

"Inspired by American principles, ideals and traditions, and fearful of the outcome of war hysteria resulting from the wholesale dissemination of war propaganda, a group of Congressmen recently set about to combat any attempt to involve the United States in the threatened European controversies by the formation of a National Committee to keep America out of foreign wars.

"The committee upholds adequate national defense and the Monroe Doctrine, and will seek to check the propaganda and activities of all foreign nations in this country which seek to entangle us in old world quarrels. It will combat the spread of Nazism, Fascism and Communism in America; will oppose racial and religious persecution; and will devise ways to resist the activities of internationalists, interventionists and other groups which would have the United States use force and compulsion in international disputes, and will exert its influence to prevent the Congress from delegating its warmaking powers to the President.

"This effort ... to keep America out of foreign wars should receive the wholehearted support of the majority of our citizens in this time of continued crises and threat of major war," the editorial concluded.

Bicycle misdeeds

"How long are the people of Berkeley going to tolerate the riding of bicycles on the sidewalks?" an indignant letter writer asked in the June 14, 1939 Gazette. To which we answer, at least 75 years, and still counting.