How much do you know about the Mission's rich history?

The Mission is packed to the gills with history.

It has been almost 250 years since Mission Dolores — our neighborhood’s namesake and the oldest surviving building in San Francisco — was erected by Spanish colonists. Since then, we have seen earthquakes, protests, movies, commerce, artworks, fires and festivals all become part of the great tapestry of the Mission’s story.

But how much Mission history do you actually know? We’re starting a new weekly series of mini-quizzes to test the limits of your antiquary expertise.

As you’re making your way through the seven-question quiz, click the pictures to open up articles that may shed light on the answers. It’s not cheating; it’s research.

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DATA REPORTER. Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

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  1. Urban myth: The heroic fire hydrant just happened to be working at the crucial but seldom noted hour when strong Diablo winds from the east changed to the usual spring breezes from the northwest, allowing fire fighters and volunteers to quench the Ham-and-Eggs Fire more-or-less along 20th Street.

  2. How did we in the Mission get so lucky as to have such a highly educated journalist? Welcome, Will.

  3. Here’s a giveaway that this quiz was actually not written by longtime locals: Question #7 says “an historic”, as if the “h” in “historic” were silent. But Californianos don’t talk that way, y’all! We say “HHHuman”, not “yuman”! And we say “HHHistoric” and “HHerbal”, not “istoric” or “erbal”.

    1. Busted! You are totally right, I grew up in England and am new to the West Coast. Thank you for pointing this out – I will keep it in mind for future articles.

        1. 1970, as 1970 was the first year the term hispanic appeared on the census. The term hispanic was designed to capture the idea of non-white people, and includes people from all countries where Spanish is the primary language. Politicians got themselves into an identity pickle because they legally made Mexicans white in order to pass on citizenship after we “bought” California from Mexico following the Mexican War. The Nixon administration came up with hispanic as a catch-all.

          1542 is when Spanish people first came to what is now California.

          1776 is when Mission Dolores, aka La Misión San Francisco de Asís, was founded. San Francisco was built around the mission.

    2. 5th generation Californian here to say I don’t pronounce the H in herbal. Historic and human yes, but for whatever reason “herbal” is ” ‘erbal.”