90 Years - Past to Present
February 12, 1927
The Port of Oakland is born. The first Oakland Board of Port Commissioners is sworn in, with Roscoe D. Jones serving as the first Board President. The Port’s first Executive Director is Gustave Hegardt.
September 17, 1927
Official dedication of the Oakland Municipal Airport, which at the time was a field and one long runway on Bay Farm Island. The first scheduled airline at Oakland Airport was Boeing Air Transport.
January 11, 1935
American aviator Amelia Earhart successfully pilots the first solo crossing between Hawaii to North America, touching down at Oakland Municipal Airport. Earhart already held the distinction of being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Ireland.
December 8, 1941
Oakland Army Base commissioned during WWII and thousands of soldiers and 25 million tons of supplies flow through the Port. The Oakland Naval Supply Depot located in the Port’s Middle Harbor area is a major source of supplies and materials for ships operating in the Pacific.
May 1, 1951
Formal dedication of Jack London Square by the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners to coincide with the 99th birthday of the City of Oakland. The oldest building at Jack London Square is Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, which opened in the 1880s. This tavern still stands today.
September 5, 1962
Container shipping operations are inaugurated at the Port of Oakland by Sea-Land Service. The Port of Oakland is the first major seaport on the West Coast to build marine terminals, invest in container cranes, and ship containers. This event marked the birth of the containerization era.
September 15, 1962
Formal dedication of Oakland International Airport which includes a new commercial runway and passenger terminal to welcome the jet age. Pan Am cargo plane delivers an elephant destined for the Oakland Zoo.
Charles W. Foster became the first African-American Executive Director of the Port of Oakland. He began his career as a Naval aviator and eventually became the Port’s Director of Aviation prior to being promoted to Executive Director.
May 4, 1999
The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners authorizes negotiation on a historic Maritime Project Labor Agreement (MAPLA) that revolutionized local hiring and created a national model for union agreements. MAPLA supports local and small companies to do business with the Port. MAPLA also increases local hiring for airport and seaport capital projects.
Port and City officials formally dedicate Bessie Coleman Drive at Oakland International Airport. In 1921, Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman became the first African-American woman to earn an international aviation license.
December 31, 2015
The largest cargo ship to ever visit the United States, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, successfully berths in the Outer Harbor. This vessel is longer than the Empire State Building, wider than a football field, and can carry more than 18,000 containers.
December 20, 2016
Jack London Square draws 3 million visitors. This number includes the 1.75 million visitors attending 55 free events including the popular autumn food festival, Eat Real. Nearly 590,000 ferry riders come to Jack London Square and thousands work at the Square’s office buildings and restaurants.
January 9, 2017
Port of Oakland sets all-time record with 1.83 million loaded 20-foot containers. Exports account for 52 percent of Oakland’s loaded container volumes. Imports account for the rest. 53 percent of total export tonnage is comprised of agricultural commodities.
January 30, 2017
Oakland International Airport’s air service roster lists over 60 destinations on 13 different airlines. This year, Oakland is set to become California’s third busiest gateway to Europe as British Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle initiate new routes this spring and summer.