The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: Local History and Description >> Pacific States


Facts and Figures
Origin of Name Spanish explorers who first sailed along the coast in the 1500's called this region California, probably after the name of a treasure island in a popular Spanish tale. Area (Rank) 163,707 sq mi (3rd). Population (Rank) 33,871,648 (1st). Capital Sacramento. Admitted to Union (Rank) September 9, 1850 (31st).
Governors of California
Official Symbols of CaliforniaOfficial Symbols
The "Bear Flag" of the California Republic was first raised at Sonoma on June 14, 1846, by a group of American settlers in revolt against Mexican rule. The flag was designed by William Todd. The star imitated the "Lone Star" of Texas, while the grizzly bear represented the many bears seen in the area. The flag only flew until July 9, when it was learned that Mexico and the United States were already at war. Soon after, the Bear Flag was replaced with the American flag. The "Bear Flag" was adopted as the official state flag by the 1911 State Legislature.
Important Dates in CaliforniaImportant Dates in California
California's Franciscan MissionsCalifornia's Franciscan Missions
Gaspar de PortolaDon Gaspar de Portolá
led an expedition in 1768 that established the first Presidio (military fort) at San Diego and "discovered" San Francisco Bay. He also established the first Presidio at Monterey, in 1770.
Juan Bautista de AnzaJuan Bautista de Anza
led two exploratory missions into northern California. The first made it to Mission San Gabriel near present-day Los Angeles in 1774. The second expedition resulted in the founding of what is now San Francisco, in 1776. In 1778 he helped create the longest-lasting peace treaty ever signed by the Comanches and any of the governments of Spain, Mexico or the United States.
The California Gold RushCalifornia Gold Rush
On January 24, 1848, James Marshall was inspecting work on a sawmill being built for John Sutter on the American River near the present town of Coloma when he saw gold flakes on the ground. By the spring of 1849, the non-native population of California had grown to almost 100,000 people, the vast majority of whom were looking for gold.
1958 Candidates1958 Candidates
Catalina IslandCatalina Island
(also known as Santa Catalina Island) lies about 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles, in the Channel Islands archipelago. Los Angeles County has governmental jurisdiction over the island and is responsible for providing law enforcement, fire, and other public services, while the Catalina Island Conservancy maintains the island's natural beauty.
Death ValleyDeath Valley
is a deep trough about 130 miles long and 6-14 miles wide near the California-Nevada border. The lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere, 282 feet below sea level, is located in Death Valley. The highest temperature ever recorded in the United States, 134°F, was reported from a ranch in the valley on July 10, 1913.
Yosemite National ParkYosemite National Park
is located in the Sierra Mountains, about 200 miles east of San Francisco. It is home to 67 species of mammals, 22 birds, 18 reptiles, 10 amphibians, and 11 fish, as well as three groves of giant sequoia trees.
Los AngelesLos Angeles
San FranciscoSan Francisco

The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: Local History and Description >> Pacific States