Interesting FirstFest’s on San Jose

note: I moved the blurb on Google and Mt. View from Historical to Business & Tech as I thought it was more appropriate there – but it can go either way.

Business & Tech

First Radio Station: KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM
nominated by Connie Kim
As the world’s first broadcasting station, KCBS is celebrating 100 years of news, information and innovation. The Bay Area’s only all news radio station, KCBS started out as the hobby of scientist and inventor Charles “Doc” Herrold. Giving birth to the world’s first radio station, Herrold and his engineering students began broadcasting regularly-scheduled programming in 1909 on a 14-watt transmitter in San Jose.

City of Mountain View and Google – Public Private Partnership for Community-Wide FREE WiFi
nominator: Nadine Levin

The City of Mountain View (pop. 75,000) and Google, Inc., began in 2005, to establish the first Silicon Valley, Citywide-FREE-WiFi network to meet the goal of expanding the availability of information over the Internet to the entire community. Google installed over 400 transmitters and related equipment to provide the largest outdoor WiFi network in the United States. In August 2006, installation was complete and the project was officially launched. The innovative partnership has contributed to enhanced economic development, and to help provide for expanded access and inclusion for the community. It was truly a successful, Silicon Valley first!


George Haines
nominator: Kathryn Mathewson
George Haines began the Santa Clara Swim Club in 1950 and was its first coach until 1988. His team produced a total of 53 Olympic swimmers who won 44 gold medals, 14 silver and 10 bronze medals. Enshrined with Haines in the International Swimming Hall of Fame are fifteen Santa Clara Club swimmers, more than from any other club. George Haines was three times Head Coach of the United States Olympic swimming team, and served on the support staff of four other Olympic squads. He was Head Coach of the United States team to the 1978 World Championships in West Berlin, a team considered the most successful in United States Swimming history in terms of medals won. In 2000 Haines was voted Swimming Coach of the Century. “Never before was such an array of great stars assembled in one club.  He was the pioneer of the large super-swim club.”  (Swimming World Magazine, May 2006)

Arts & Entertainment

Jon Nakamatsu
nominator: Alma Taylor
Born in San Jose, he won the 1997 Van Cliburn piano competition, being the first American to win since 1981, and had only one teacher, Mrs. Derryberry, who died this year. Mr. Nakamatsu never attended a music school, college or university as other winners have in the past. He is a favorite of local audiences, playing with Symphony Silicon Valley, San Jose Chamber Orchestra and is doing duo concerts with Jon Manasse, clarinetist. His reviews are glowing. He is a favorite with Bay Area audiences and plays all over the U.S. and Asia. We are very proud of him.


Mt. Hamilton’s Lick Observatory
nominator: Alma Taylor
Lick Observatory was the first mountain top permanently occupied observatory in the world, completed in 1887 from a bequest from James Lick, whose body is buried under the site. The 91-cm refracting telescope was Earth’s largest when it became operational On January 3, 1888. At Lick observatory the following astronomical objects were discovered: Several moons of Jupiter and several extra solar planets.

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