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Ed. Note: Our Science, Snakes, and Septuagenarian Spectacular

Executive editor Mateo Hoke on October's edition full of creepy crawlers, local technology breakthroughs, and a bit of Halloween spice
San Diego Magazine's First Cover from October 1949 Editor's Featuring an Illustration of a classic SD buidling on a red background
San Diego Magazine's First Cover October 1949 Editor's Note 2023

Turning 75 is fun. All year, we’ve been celebrating San Diego Magazine’s birthday at events and in the magazine. Each month, we’ve asked a local artist to help us recreate a classic SDM cover with a contemporary twist, and, in August, we dedicated our Best of San Diego issue to looking back at SD over the last three-quarters of a century. But this month is extra special. This month is our real 75th birthday. Time to don our tiaras, whack a piñata, and pop some expensive Champagne.

The first issue of San Diego Magazine hit newsstands exactly 75 years ago in October 1948. We still have a copy in our archives. I love looking through it. Love seeing how far we’ve come. From the cover to the articles to the ads, it’s a time machine.

Truly, all 800-plus of our issues over the years serve as historical artifacts. From the black-and-white pages of the ’40s and cigarette-soaked ads of the ’60s to the glossy, big- haired fashion failures of the ’80s, looking back at San Diego Magazine through the years shows us how much San Diego has changed and what has stuck around. But that first issue will always be extra special. It’s a cornerstone for all that this magazine has done and continues to do.

San Diego is no longer the small coastal city it was when San Diego Magazine debuted, and SDM is no longer simply a monthly mag. We’re a vibrant, multi-platform media company, award-winning social media (a must-follow), and an expanding repertoire of not-to-be-missed events (Best of San Diego, Best of North County, and the Del Mar Wine + Food Festival, to name a few). We’re covering San Diego in ways that the editors could never have imagined back in 1948. And we’re proud to be doing it. It’s an honor to continue this legacy and to tell the stories of our city.

This month, we bring you our annual issue exploring medicine and technology in San Diego. As a hub of cutting-edge research and tech, San Diego is helping fuel advancements in everything from new, ecologically minded foods to our knowledge of the human brain. In this issue, we’re talking to San Diego scientists sending cancer research into space, the UCSD-based researchers leading the charge to better understand how medications affect breast milk, and a local company growing tuna steaks in tanks. It’s fascinating stuff.

On top of all that, October is one of my favorite months of the year. The weather is good, the veil is thin, and the holidays are top-notch. So along with science, we’re sprinkling some Halloween flavor into the cauldron. While heading to Oaxaca to get crafty, to Temecula for surprisingly diverse wines, and to a remote highway in California to fill up on sugar at a peculiar gas station, we’re also stirring in a pinch of native snakes, spiders, and bats. If you’re into science or travel or simply enjoy the creepy-crawly ambience of October, you’re going to love this issue.

So put on your party hat. It’s our real-deal 75th birthday. And we are really excited to have you along for this ride.

By Mateo Hoke

Mateo Hoke is San Diego Magazine’s executive editor. His books include Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary, and Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation.

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