Concord ( ; formerly Todos Santos) is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California, USA. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067. Founded in 1869 as the community of Todos Santos by Salvio Pacheco, the name was changed to Concord within months. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area, and is east of San Francisco.
The valleys north of Mount Diablo were inhabited by the Miwok people, who hunted elk and fished in the numerous streams flowing from the mountain into the San Francisco Bay. In 1772, Spanish explorers began to cross the area, but did not settle there. In 1834 the Mexican land grant Rancho Monte del Diablo at the base of Mount Diablo was granted to Salvio Pacheco (for whom the nearby town of Pacheco is named).
Concord was founded under the name of Todos Santos ("all saints"; a name still borne by the central city plaza and park between Willow Pass Road and Salvio Street), on the initiative of Pacheco in 1869. It achieved prominence in the 19th century as a result of most residents of Pacheco relocating to Concord to avoid the devastation of fire and flood which crippled Pacheco's formerly booming economy. Concord was incorporated on February 5, 1905.
The area around Concord in the surrounding Ygnacio and Clayton Valleys was a large agricultural area. Crops that were grown included grapes, walnuts, wheat, hay, and even tomatoes. The area to the east (site of the Concord Naval Weapons Station) was the site of a few enormous wheat ranches over , and was almost a sea of wheat all the way to the marshes bordering Suisun Bay. During Prohibition, many vineyards were removed and replaced with walnut orchards. The town of Cowell now incorporated into Concord, produced cement.
The first Concord post office opened in 1872.
Port Chicago disaster
The munitions on board a Navy cargo ship exploded while being loaded during World War II, resulting in the largest number of casualties among African Americans in any one incident during that war. On the evening of July 17, 1944 a massive explosion instantly killed 320 sailors, merchant seamen and civilians working at the pier. The blast was felt 30 miles away. A subsequent refusal by 258 black sailors to load any more ammunition was the beginning of the Navy's largest-ever mutiny trial in which 50 men were found guilty. Future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall sat in on most of the proceedings and declared that he saw a prejudiced court.
Sunvalley Mall plane crash
On the evening of December 23, 1985, two days before Christmas, a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, executed a missed instrument approach procedure from an approach to runway 19R of Buchanan Airport. The airport had been closed a few hours earlier due to thick fog. F.A.A. regulations require a "missed approach" be declared if the pilot cannot visually see the runway from .25 miles (about .40 kilometers) from the end of the runway in instrument conditions (when the pilot cannot see the ground). The pilot, a student flying with an instructor, continued the approach a few hundred feet over the runway in the hope of finding a hole in the fog (it is common to find the fog a little thinner farther from the water). After failing to see the runway, he began the missed approach, which included a left turn over what would have been empty ground had it been done at the proper place. However he was about a mile farther down the runway and the turn now carried him into the Sunvalley Mall. The plane struck the roof of the building, killing the pilot and two passengers and seriously injuring 84 Christmas shoppers in the crowded mall below, mainly by spraying them with burning fuel. Four of the victims on the ground later died from their injuries. The accident brought increased local opposition to the airport, and caused Pacific Southwest Airlines to delay scheduled passenger service that had been planned for the new year.