California History, Geography, Population, State Facts

The Golden State

Great Seal of the State of California

Adopted in 1849;1937

The Seal of California was adopted at the California state Constitutional Convention of 1849 and redesigned in 1937.

The original design of the seal was by Robert S. Garnett. However, Garnett was unwilling to introduce the design to the 1849 state constitutional convention, so Caleb Lyon introduced it as his own design, with Garnett's approval.

Although California was sighted by Spanish navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo in 1542, its first Spanish mission (at San Diego) was not established until 1769. California became a U.S. territory in 1847 when Mexico surrendered it to John C. Frémont. On Jan. 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill, starting the California Gold Rush and bringing settlers to the state in large numbers. By1964, California had surpassed New York to become the most populous state. One reason for this may be that more immigrants settle in California than any other state—more than one-third of the nation's total in 1994. Asians and Pacific Islanders led the influx.
California Photos
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Capital City: Sacramento

Capitol Tour

California: State of California Official Web site

Admission to Statehood: Click for Date & List

Airports:   Airport Links

Amtrak: California •  California Amtrak History

Area: 163707 sq.mi, 3rd   Land 155973 sq. mi., 3rd   Water 7734 sq.mi., 6th   Coastline 840 mi., 3rd   Shoreline 3,427 mi., 5th

Area Codes: California

Beaches: California Beaches

Biographies: Famous People from California

Bird: California Quail

Border States: Regional List ArizonaNevadaOregon

Cam World: Live Web Cams

Chambers of Commerce: California

Climate: Climate: California

Community Pages: California Cities, Towns, Communities List

Constitution: 31st State

County Profile: County Map   California's 58 Counties  

Courts: Judicial System

Current Events: California News Headlines

Department of Education: EducationCertification  •  California Institute of Technology - California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
California State University System
California State University - CSU -  Monterey Bay.
Stanford University- Stanford, CA.
University of California System - UC Berkeley
The University of California at Berkeley, founded 1868.
University of California - The University of California at Los Angeles, CA.
University of California - The University of California at San Diego, CA.

Driving: DMV

Earthquakes: California Earthquake Facts and  History

Economy: Agriculture: Vegetables, fruits and nuts, dairy products, cattle, nursery stock, grapes. Industry: Electronic components and equipment, aerospace, film production, food processing, petroleum, computers and computer software, tourism.

Environment: Clickable Map

Flag: California (CA)

Flower: Poppy

Cyndi's List   Historical Societies

Geographic Center: 38 miles east of Madera

Geology Maps: California

Ghost Towns: California Ghost Towns

Government: California has several different and overlapping forms of local government. Cities, counties, and the one city and county can make ordinances (local laws), including the establishment and enforcement of civil and criminal penalties.

The entire state is subdivided into 58 counties (e.g. Merced County). The most important municipal entity is the city (e.g. Los Angeles). California cities are granted broad plenary powers under the California Constitution to assert jurisdiction over just about anything, and they cannot be abolished or merged without the consent of a majority of their inhabitants. For example, Los Angeles runs its own water and power utilities and its own elevator inspection department, while practically all other cities rely upon private utilities and the state elevator inspectors. San Francisco is unique in that it is the only consolidated city-county in the state.

The city of Lakewood, California pioneered the Lakewood Plan, a contract under which a city reimburses a county for performing services which are more efficiently performed on a countywide basis. Such contracts have become very popular throughout California and many other states, as they enable city governments to concentrate on particular local concerns like zoning. A city which contracts out most of its services, particularly law enforcement, is known as a contract city.

There are also thousands of "special districts", which are areas with a defined territory in which a specific service is provided, such as schools or fire stations. These entities lack plenary power to enact laws, but do have the power to promulgate administrative regulations that often carry the force of law within land directly controlled by such districts. Many special districts, particularly those created to provide public transportation or education, have their own police departments (e.g. Bay Area Rapid Transit District/BART Police and University of California/UC Police Department).

Governor: Governor: Office of Governor •  List of Governors of California

Governors of California: Past and present Governors

Highest Point: Mt. Whitney; 14,494 feet, 2nd

Highways: Lincoln Highway Association Historic Route 66California Highways Historic Highways


California Timeline History
California Geology, topography, biogeographic and history of California.
California Trail
Pacific Crest Trail
Civil War
Glass Lantern Slide Show
History and Culture of California

Kids Corner: State of California Kids Site

Hotels, Motels & Inns:

Library: California 

License Plates: California

Lighthouses: California

Lottery: California Lottery

Lowest Point: Death Valley; 282 feet below sea level, 1st


Missions: California Mission Studies Association

Motto:The Greek word "Eureka" has appeared on the state seal since 1849 and means "I have found it". The words were probably intended to refer to the discovery of gold in California. Archimedes, the famed Greek mathematician, is said to have exclaimed "Eureka!" when, after long study, he discovered a method of determining the purity of gold. In 1957, attempts were made to establish "In God We Trust" as the state motto, but "Eureka" was made the official state motto in 1963.

Museums: The Virtual Library  •  California State Military Museum

Name: California named by Spanish after Califia, amythical paradise in a Spanish romance, written by Montalvo in 1510.

National Forest: California

Native: Native American Heritage Commission  •  Government agency responsible for identifying and cataloging Native American cultural resources. •  A Short Overview of California Indian History

• California National Parks

Parks: California State Parks  •  National Parks

Population: Quick facts   33,871,648; 1st, 12/00

Presidential Birthplace: Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974 {37th}

Property Taxes: California Real Estate Tax Questions and Information

Real Estate: Every California City, Town & Community

Representatives: California House: Members •  California Senate: Members  • US House:   110th Congress  • US Senate:   110th Congress

Road Side America: California

School Directory: California

Scenic Highways: California Scenic Highways

Soil: California - San Joaquin

Song: California  • 

Sports: California Teams

Symbols: California Insignia  


Travel: California Travel Greyhound

Tree: California Redwood  Giant Redwood

Veteran Affairs: California VA

Visitor Guides: California - California's official travel and tourism website. Railroad tour

Weather:  Sacramento, Sacramento Metropolitan Airport

Wildlife Refuge: State Areas

White Pages: Over 90 million people listings, businesses, emails, & reverse telephone listings.

Yellow Pages: Yellow

Yellow Pages: Beverly Hills Yellow Pages

Zoos: Los Angeles Zoo •  San Diego Zoo Sacramento Zoo The Sacramento Zoo: A magnificent collection of rare and endangered animals set among majestic, hundred -year-old oaks and unique gardens - a wonderful place to spend an afternoon!