Orange County, California


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Orange County


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.



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