The sad day Fresno lost its mayor

~
Add a favorite hang-out or special memory of a time long since gone, but not forgotten. This is our catch all forum for topics not listed elsewhere. The moderator may move your topic to a specific forum category later, to assist other members in finding fun information. If you are in doubt, post here!
~
Post Reply
shirleyken
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:25 pm
Contact:

The sad day Fresno lost its mayor

Post by shirleyken » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:16 pm

On Dec. 5, 1963, only thirteen days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Fresno’s mayor, Art Selland, was killed in a car crash south of town. He and three other community leaders were returning from an official business trip to Los Angeles. In a time before seat belt laws, Selland, who was seated in the back seat, was thrown through the windshield by the force of the collision. Local chamber of commerce president, Herbert Ferguson, also was killed. Fresno attorney, Richard Worrel, and chamber executive vice president, Lloyd Weber, the car's driver, were injured.

Although I didn’t know her well, I went to school with his daughter, Marie Selland. We both graduated from Fresno High School in 1945. Marie went on to become a Hollywood actress (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). She married the famous director, Sam Peckinpah. They had three children and later divorced.

I wasn’t living in Fresno at the time, but my parents did, and called me with the shocking news. Selland was a popular mayor and much beloved. At the time of his death, he was serving in his second term and was the presiding head of the United States Conference of Mayors. He was one of 16 mayors selected by President Kennedy in 1962 to make a goodwill tour of West Berlin. He was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in June 1963.

Fresno suffered a tragic loss that day.
Attachments
selland.jpg
Click to Enlarge / Fresno Bee - December 6, 1963

Scott-o-Rama

Re: The sad day Fresno lost its mayor

Post by Scott-o-Rama » Wed May 08, 2019 1:17 pm

Although I was only 10, I remember this tragic news story pretty well. I understood that the car they were in had seat belts but that they were not in use at the time of the accident. Is that correct? After that the seat belt aspect of the story turned into sort of an 'urban legend' and my folks went from encouraging us to buckle up to insisting that we do. By the way, Shirleyken, I love all of your posts, especially the ones that document Fresno history from before my time. Thank you for all you've shared!

shirleyken
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:25 pm
Contact:

Re: The sad day Fresno lost its mayor

Post by shirleyken » Fri May 10, 2019 3:30 pm

Thanks for the kind words. You've made my day. I don't get many replies to my posts but realize that's because nobody remembers that far back except me! That's what happens when you're nearly 92 years old. Now I'm inspired to write another post soon.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests