Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mount Soledad Cross history, in outline

The cross atop Mount Soleded is under scrutiny with a court ruling that it is unconstitutional.  But there have been similar rulings before.  Here, for brevity, is a timeline of the cross gleaned from internet sources.  You may supply your own narrative.

*  1913:  Citizens place first cross placed at pinnacle of Mount Soledad, made of wood
*  1923:  Cross stolen, returned, burned down by Ku Klux Klan
*  1934:  Group places second cross, stucco over wooden frame
*  1952:  Wind blows down cross
*  1954:  Concrete cross placed, dedicated Easter Sunday
*  1950’s to 1980’s:  “The Mount Soledad Easter Cross” is the scene of annual Easter services
*  1989:  Philip Paulson begins lawsuit against city over the cross
*  1989:  Plaque placed indicating the cross is a War Memorial
*  1991:  Judge Gordon Thompson rules the cross violates the California State Constitution
*  1992:  Voters approve Prop. F, to transfer the land to a non-profit corporation
*  1993:  City appeals 1991 ruling, City asks for ruling from all 28 judges, judges unanimously vote to uphold ruling
*  1994:  City sells 24 square feet at base of cross for $24,000 to association, no bids
*  1994:  City appeals previous rulings to Supreme Court, which declines to hear case
*  1997:  Judge Thompson rules the land sale violated California Constitution, gives City 30 days to remove cross
*  1998:  City accepts bids for the land, sells to highest bidder for $106,000
*  2000:  Judge Thompson approves sale, but Court of Appeals rules that the sale violated the California Constitution
*  2003:  Supreme Court declines to hear City’s petition
*  2004:  Plaintiffs and Association reach agreement to remove cross, City Council approves motion that if upcoming Prop. K loses, the agreement will go forward
*  2004:  Voters reject Prop. K, which would have approved sale of land
*  2004:  Congressional law allows the Department of the Interior to accept the land and the cross
*  2005:  City Council declines to give the land to the Federal Government
*  2006:  Federal Government takes cross using eminent domain law
*  2006:  Philip Paulson, who began the suits nearly twenty years earlier, dies
*  2008:  Federal judge rules that the cross can stay because a cross is a general symbol, not specifically Christain
*  2011:  Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit)  rules that cross violates constitution

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