The U.S. Census puts the population of OC at 2,846,289. Rancho Santa
Margarita (population 47,200) incorporates as a city. OC High School of the Arts opens
in downtown Santa Ana. U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez draws a storm of
criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for scheduling a fundraiser for
presidential candidate Al Gore at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. Although
she is Vice-Chair at the Democratic Convention, she finds herself without a
speaking slot at the event.
Disney’s new California Adventure theme park, the Downtown Disney shopping,
dining and entertainment complex and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel open.
Aliso Viejo (population 40,200) incorporates as a city. Opponents of the El Toro Marine Corps Air
Station commercial airport reuse plan adopted by the OC Board of Supervisors
gather enough voter signatures to place a measure on the ballot to overture the
plan and replace it with a park.
Little Samantha Runyon, age 5, is kidnapped from a gated condominium complex
in Stanton in front a playmate and found dead the following day along the Ortega
Highway. OC Sheriff Michael Corona vows to apprehend her killer and indeed does
so Despite the support of a majority of OC Supervisors, voters in an OC
initiative reject plans to turn the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into
a new commercial airport and opt instead to turn it into a park. Voters also
agree to vote to turn over the property to the City of Irvine. The property is
rezoned for park, recreation, open space and other uses. Edison International
Field hosts the World Series baseball championships games. The Anaheim Angels
win their first World Series pennant against the San Francisco Giants.
Irvine receives approval from the Local Agency Formation Commission to annex
the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. At a Laguna Niguel shooting range
and gun shop, authorities make the largest seizure of illegal assault weapons
ever made in California since such weapons were banned in 1989. The O.C.
drama/soap opera series debuts on television. The new Katie Wheeler Branch
Library in Irvine of the OC Public Library is commissioned. The library is
designed to be a replica of the original Irvine Mansion, built in 1876 and
destroyed by fire in 1965. Construction, scheduled for early 2004, is expected
to be completed by the end of 2004.