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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


50th Anniversary

April 16, 2015

This post is part of an ongoing series dedicated to EDC’s 50th Anniversary. Please follow along at #EDCTurns50.

Along came the 1970s. Former Mayor Frank Curran and EDC's first CEO Dallas Clark saw their vision of a diversified San Diego economy come to fruition under the aegis of then CEO Richard "Dick" Davis.

San Diego (and EDC) were in good hands, as Malin Burnham stepped up to chair EDC in 1972 and Pete Wilson took over as Mayor.

We combed through the archives- here are a few of our favorite below:

Our innovation economy was beginning to take shape
New business is flowing to the region. From Sony, to the Wickes Corporation to Beckman Instruments, San Diego was booming in many industries, including the emerging field of “health sciences electronics.” We now know this industry as medical devices.

(Correctly) Predicting our future
At the same time, UC San Diego was beginning to establish itself as the research based institute that it is today. In 1971, National Science Foundation Director William McElroy became chancellor of UC San Diego, attracting world-class faculty. An article in the San Diego Union  from 1974 asks UC San Diego researchers to predict what San Diego would be like in the year 2000. Professor William Neirenberg got it right, “between 1974 and the year 2000, San Diego will become one of the top three or four research and development areas in the world…

Shipbuilding diversifies to include oil tankers and ferries

Kearny Mesa booms along Convoy St.


The close of the decade saw the birth of two iconic downtown San Diego landmarks: our beloved Convention Center and the idyllic Seaport Village.
From an edc newsletter



Telling the world our story
As the economy diversified, EDC began to share San Diego’s story with the world.

An advertisement in Businessweek (late 1970s- early 1980s)

Advertisement, unknown publication, 1976

We’ll be celebrating all through 2015, but we’ll be paying homage to our past – as well as celebrating our future – at EDC’s 50th annual dinner event on June 4, 2015, at SeaWorld San Diego.  Until then, join us here online every month as recount our top moments, starting with the decades that have defined us.