In 1974, on this day President Gerald Ford visited San Francisco for a first-hand look at the damage inflicted on Duncan Tower's upper floors by the fire which had devastated much of the huge skyscraper four days earlier.
En Fuego, Part 2 by Chris OakleyBecause of safety concerns Ford was unable to enter the tower's top floors himself, but he did accompany local police and fire officials on a helicopter flight around the tower; following the inspection flight the President attended a memorial service at Saint Mary of the Assumption Cathedral to honor the San Francisco firefighters killed in the tower blaze; on his return to Washington, Ford declared Duncan Tower a federal disaster area.
The same day Ford made his inspection flight around the tower, SFPD homicide detectives found evidence suggesting the seemingly mysterious death of a business associate of James Duncan's son-in-law Roger Simmons two weeks before the fire had in fact been murder. The investigation into the suspected homicide would be led by veteran SFPD inspector Harry Callahan (pictured), one of San Francisco's most dedicated -- and controversial --police officers. Nicknamed "Dirty Harry" by the city's press because of his rough-and-ready approach to law enforcement, Callahan had first risen to public prominence in 1971 after capturing the infamous so-called "Scorpio" killer.