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CALIFORNIA California logo NOTES

4 STAR FACTS ABOUT CALIFORNIA

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CALIFORNIA STATE MAP

California  Map


HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CALIFORNIA? HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

Q: When did California become a state? A. California became the 31st state on the day of September 9, 1850.

Q: How did California get its name? A. The name California probably comes from the name of a treasure island described in a Spanish tale of the early 1500's. (The World Book Encyclopedia, 1963, Volumne 3, page 32).

The following is from the book listed below.

Most accounts give credit to Gracia Montalvo's myth titled "Las Sergas de Esplandian" written in about 1510 to be the inspiration for the Spanish explorers giving California it's name.

THE ISLAND

Know ye that on the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California, very near the Terrestial Paradise and inhabited by black women without a single man among them and living in the manner of Amazons. They are robust of body, strong and passionate in heart, and of great valor. Their island is one of the most rugged in the world with bold rocks and crags. Their arms are all of gold, as is the harness of the wild beasts which, after taming, they ride. In all the island there is no other metal. In this Island called California, which the great roughness of the land and multitude of wild animals, are griffins the like of which are not found in any part of the world...Any male who comes to the island is killed and eaten by the griffins.

History sources: "Pioneers of California: true stories of early settlers in the Golden State" by Donovan Lewis, "California: an illustrated history" by T.H. Watkins

Q: What is the population of California? In 2007, more than 37 million people live in the state of California, with projections for 38 million in the near future. One in eight Americans now live in California.

Q: What is the capital city? A: Sacramento.

Q: What is the largest city in California? A: Los Angeles area with an estimated population of 9.9 million. San Diego is second with 1,250,700, and San Jose is third with 973,000.

Grizzly BearQ: What are the state colors? A: Blue and gold.

Q: What is the state animal? A: The California Grizzly Bear.

California QuailQ: What is the state bird? A: The California quail.

Q: What is the state fish? A: The golden trout.

Q. What is the state marine fish? A. The Garibaldi.

Q: What is the state marine mammal? A. The state marine mammal is the California Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) and was adopted by the Legislature in 1975. Measuring 35 to 50 feet in length and around 20 to 40 tons in weight, it is identified by its mottled gray color and low hump in place of a dorsal fin.

Q: What is the state tree? A: The California giant redwood.

PoppiesQ: What is the state flower? A: The golden poppy.

Q: What is the state mineral and rock? A. Native gold is the state mineral, and serpentine is the state rock.

Q: What is the state gem? A. On October 1, 1985, benitoite (pronounced beh-nee-tow-ite) was designated as the official state gem by the California legislature. Benitoite, a barium titanium silicate, can occur in rich blue crystals that are as striking and flawless as the finest sapphires. Gem quality benitoite is found only in a small area of San Benito County, California. Benitoite has never been found in quantity or as crystals much larger than 5cm across. The scarcity of this beautiful gem makes it primarily a collector’s item. However, a minor amount of high quality benitoite is used to help align and adjust electron microprobe beams.

Q: What is the state reptile? A. The state reptile is the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), indigenous to the southeastern desert areas of California. The color of the tortoise ranges from a yellowish brown to dark brown; they are of a robust build and have a high, arched upper shell. The average adult attains a shell size of about 10 to 12 inches in length.

Q: What is the state insect? A. The state insect is the California Dog-face Butterfly (Zerene eurydice) officially designated as the State Insect in 1972, and strictly a native California butterfly. It inhabits the lower mountain area from the Mexican border north to the San Francisco Bay region. It is particularly common in the San Bernardino Mountains. The male is orange and black in color with a striking design on the upper wing; the female is yellow-orange in color with a small black dot on the upper wing.

Q: What is the state fossil? A. The Sabre-tooth Cat was adopted by the Legislature in 1973 as the Official State Fossil. Fossil bones of this large cat have been found in abundance preserved in the tar pits of Rancho La Brea in Los Angeles.

Q: What is the state motto? A: Eureka! which means "I found it (meaning gold)."

Golden StateQ: What is the state nickname? A: The golden state.

Q: What is the highest and lowest points in California? A. The highest point is Mt Whitney at 14,494 feet, and the lowest point is Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level.

Q. What is the dance of California? A. The West Coast Swing.

Q. What is the folk dance of the state? A. The square dance.

Q: What is the Fife and Drum Band of the state? A. The California Consolidated Drum Band.

Q: What is the state song? A: No, it's not "I left my heart in San Francisco" or "California Here I Come." It's "I love you California," written by F.B. Silverwood, a Los Angeles merchant.

I love You California
Written by F. B. Silverwood
Composed by A. F. Frankenstein
I love you, California, you're the greatest state of all
I love you in the winter, summer, spring, and in the fall.
I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore,
I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore.
chorus
I love your redwood forests - love your fields of yellow grain,
I love your summer breezes, and I love your winter rain,
I love you, land of flowers; land of honey, fruit and wine,
I love you, California; you have won this heart of mine.
chorus
I love your old gray Missions - love your vineyards streteching far,
I love you, California, with your Golden Gate ajar,
I love your purple sunsets, love your skies of azure blue,
I love you, California; I just can't help loving you.
chorus
I love you, Catalina - you are very dear to me,
I love you, Tamalpais, and I love Yosemite,
I love you, Land of Sunshine, half your beauties are untold,
I loved you in my childhood, and I'll love you when I'm old.
chorus
When the snow crowned Golden Sierras
Keep their watch o'er the valleys bloom.
It is there I would be in our land by the sea,
Ev'ry breeze bearing rich perfume,
It is here nature gives of her rarest,
It is Home Sweet Home to me.
And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh
For my sunny California.

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STATE FLAG

California Flag

The state flag is based on the original banner of the Bear Flag Revolt designed by William C. Todd, and first raised at Sonoma on June 14, 1846. The modern official flag, approved by the legislature (1911), depicts, on a white background, a single red star in the upper left field, a brown grizzly bear moving toward the star across green earth, the words "California Republic" in black below it, and, across the base, a broad red stripe.

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OLD SACRAMENTO

Old Sacramento

Today, with 53 historic buildings, Old Sacramento probably has more buildings of historic value condensed into its 28 acres than any area of similar size in the west. Old Sacramento is a National Landmark and a portion is designated as a State Historic Park.

Mostly held by private owners, with individual businesses leasing shops and offices, the area has flourished. It is once again a thriving commercial trade center. The waterfront is enjoying a resurgence with a Public Market, new public docks, excursion cruises, a water taxi, a waterfront hotel and two new restaurants. Some of Sacramento's best restaurants are offered, as are its museums.

Old Sacramento attracts over 5 million visitors annually. For locals, it is a favorite getaway and has been voted the best place for a first date. Old Sacramento proudly offers a full year-round event calendar and is home of one of the largest jazz festivals in the world.

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TULES

Tules

TULE is a term for cattail, bullrush, and similar reeds, derived from an Aztec word, used commonly in California from the era of Spanish settlement. Indians (e.g. the Modoc) used the reeds to make raftlike boats. They also ate its potato-like root, as did Chinese settlers. The reeds were used by the Spanish to support roof tiles in mission construction.

Since they grow in marshland, places of this sort often bear such names as Tule Slough and Tule Lake (the Siskiyou County site of the Modoc War). Stockton was originally called Tuleburg. Tulare County takes its name from a derivative of the word. (Tularemia, a disease transmitted by infected rabbits and squirrels, is so called only because it was first identified in Tulare County.) Heavy fog in marshy country is often called tule fog. In the picture, the white blooms are Pampas Grass, and the surrounding green plants are Tules.

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CALIFORNIA LIGHTHOUSES

Lighthouse

The lighthouses in California were first developed after the gold rush brought great numbers of ships to California. Between 1852 and 1854, seven structures were built in California with congressional funds. They were located at Alcatraz and Fort Point in San Francisco Bay, on the Farallon Islands, at Point Pinos, in the harbor of Humboldt Bay, at Point Concepcion, and Point Loma in San Diego County.

LighthouseOthers soon followed (e.g. one in 1855 at Point Bonita, the northeast extremity of the Golden Gate.) They were once administered by the U.S. Lighthouse Service but later came under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard. Modern stations have radio beacons as well as lights and foghorns. In 1970 there were 24 stations stretching from St. George Reef, north of Crescent City to Point Loma, south of San Diego.

To find out more about California lighthouses, here is a web site you might like to visit. Click Here.

If you would like to find a bulletin board about lighthouses these fine folks in Michigan have one. Click Here.

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TEJON PASS

Tejon Pass

Tejon Pass, on the Los Angeles County border just below Kern County, was discovered by Pedro Fages (1772) while pursuing deserters from the army, but was given its name (Spanish for "badger") by the expedition of Lt. Francisco Ruiz (1806).

This pass through the Tehachapi Mountains into Grapevine Canyon in Kern County and north into San Joaquin Valley was long guarded by Fort Tejon. It was on the route used by the Butterfield Statecoach Line (1858 ff.) between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The region was hit by one of the state's worst earthquakes in 1857.

Another gap to its east was once called Tejon Pass, when the present one was called Canada de las Uvas.

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THE SALINAS VALLEY

Valley

The Salinas Valley extends 90 miles northwest from the mountains near San Luis Obispo between the Gabilan and Santa Lucia ranges to the Pacific Ocean at a point about 15 miles north of Monterey.The fertile valley, named for the salt deposits near the Salinas River mouth, has a Mediterranean climate.

Inhabited by Costanoan and Salinan Indians, the long, narrow valley had Portola as its first white visitor (1769) on a route later followed by El Camino Real.

ValleyThe Spanish founded the missions of San Antonio de Padua and Soledad, and nearby the fathers planted corn and wheat and raised sheep, swine, and poultry, engineering some irrigation for their fields. Settlement was slight until after Mexican independence (1821), when most of the valley was carved into 32 generous grants for ranchos.

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COIT TOWER

Coittower

Coit Tower, an edifice on the summit of Telegraph Hill (itself 274 ft. high) in San Francisco, was erected in 1933 as a memorial to the city's volunteer firemen. Lillie Hitchcock Coit bequeathed $100,000 to pay for its construction. The 210-foot-tall cylindrical tower was designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., and its interior is decorated with murals of local subjects by local artists.

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HOLLISTER

SheepRanch

Hollister, is a town in northern San Benito County, and was founded (1868) and named for Col. William W. Hollister, who was the owner of the ranch on which it was established and the first man to drive sheep across the country to California.

OctopusMotorcycleIt remains a ranching center and is the county seat. Frank Norris gathered background for The Octopus in the area. Hollister was also the site of an invasion (1947) by hordes of motorcyclists, which incident inspired the film The Wild One in (1953), featuring Marlon Brando.

It is also famous as the center of numerous small and not-so-small earthquakes since the San Andreas, Calaveras, Hayward, and Tres Pinos faults meet there. Appropriately enough, Don Tocher, a leading seismologist, was born in Hollister in 1926.

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THE FIRST MISSION IN CALIFORIA

San Diego Mission

On July 16, 1769, Father Junipero Serra founded the San Diego de Alcala Mission, which is now located 6 miles from San Diego on Presidio Hill overlooking Mission Valley. To find out more about the mission click here.

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HERE ARE SOME LINKS TO CALIFORNIA SITES

CALIFORNIA IN GENERAL

California State Government Home Page
REDBALL Want To Travel In California?
REDBALL California Attractions.
REDBALL Beautiful Photos Of California By Randy Wang.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

REDBALL Oakland Bay Area.
REDBALL San Francisco's Home Page.
REDBALL Sacramento Links: Home Page, Recreation, Etc.
REDBALL Welcome To Old Sacramento.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

REDBALL Monterey Bay Attractions.
REDBALL Fresno.
REDBALL Modesto.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

REDBALL National Park Service:Yosemite National Park.
REDBALL Yosemite National Park Traveling Information.
REDBALL Robin Ingraham's Wilderness Images/Fine Art Nature Photography.
REDBALL Yosemite Rental Homes, Lodging, Road Info.
REDBALL Yosemite Vacation Rentals.
REDBALL Yosemite Fun.Com, Lots of Good Stuff.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

REDBALL Catalina Island Guide.
REDBALL City Of Los Angeles Home Page.
REDBALL San Diego - Virtual Resources: Home Page, Etc.

redball

MOST OF THE GRAPHICS ON THIS PAGE ARE COPYRIGHT BY ARTTODAY.

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