The state of California is the most populous state in the United States with around 37.7 million inhabitants. It is the third largest state in America at 158,706 square miles. California was originally inhabited by Indian tribes until various European expeditions in the 1500s and 1600s led California to join the Union in 1850 and become the 31st state to be part of the United States. California is home to many parks and tourist attractions. as well as Hollywood California, home to celebrities and the world famous film industry.
Located in the Pacific Time Zone, the state of California observes Daylight Savings Time.
It is believed that the word California is derived from the story of Calafia, a book written in 1510 titled The Adventures of Esplandian, a sequel to a book written by a Spanish writer titled Amadis de Guala. In the book, Queen Calafia ruled a fictional paradise rich in gold.
According to the San Francisco Museum, gold was discovered in California in 1848.
California’s capital city is Sacramento.
Native people lived in California for thousands of years. In 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo led the first European expedition to what is now California.
California’s largest city is Los Angeles, with a population of approximately 9.8 million.
The state was the birthplace of Apple computers, theme parks (Disneyland), blue jeans, fortune cookies, and the Barbie doll.
The Greater Los Angeles area is the largest metro in California.
Only Alaska and Texas have more land than California, and the state is comprised of 58 counties, the most populated being Los Angeles.
In terms of area, the largest county in the state of California is San Bernardino, at 20,062 square miles (51,960 square kilometers).
California has 18 national forests and 278 state parks and beaches.
California has a land area of 155,959 square miles (403,934 square kilometers) and its water area extends 7,734 square miles (200,309 square kilometers).
There are a total of 53 counties in California.
The state of California’s coastline spans 840 miles (1,352 kilometers).
San Bernardino County in California is not only the largest county in the state, but also the country. It is three million acres in size.
Geographically, the center of the state is 38 miles northeast of Madera.
In 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, which led to the California Gold Rush.
Mt. Whitney, the highest point, is at 14,494 feet, as claimed by NetState, and the lowest point is Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level.
Kennedy Mine, located in Jackson, California, was one of the richest gold mines in the world in the late 1850s.
In 1849, the California state seal was designed by Major Robert S. Garnett of the U.S. Army and proposed by Caleb Lyon, a clerk of the California Constitutional Convention.
More immigrants choose to make California their home than any other state in the U.S.
Symbols on the state seal include 31 stars (the number of states after California was admitted); the woman Minerva (Roman goddess of wisdom); the grizzly bear, the official state animal; grapes (agricultural richness); a miner (California gold rush); and Eureka (the state motto, which means “I have found it” and probably refers to the discovery of gold).
The main industries in California include manufacturing, agriculture, aero-space defense, biotechnology and its natural resources including timber, natural gas, petroleum, and cement.
California redwood has been the official state tree since 1937.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a famous actor married to a relative of the late John F. Kennedy, also became the governor of California in 2003.
There are actually two California state fish. While the golden trout (Salmo agua-bonita) has been called the California State Fish since 1947, the garibaldi was made the State Marine Fish in 1995.
Red Bluff California is home to the largest three-day rodeo on the U.S. each year.
Issued as part of the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program, the California state quarter first appeared in 2005, the 31st to be released (in honor of being the 31st state).
Groveland California is home to the oldest bar in the state, built in 1852.
California is home to the “Avocado Capital of the World.” Every year, Fallbrook holds an avocado festival to celebrate.
Los Angeles’ first movie theater opened in 1902.
In 1964, San Francisco’s cable cars were named the first moving National Historic Landmark. The San Francisco cable cars are the only ones still operating in a U.S city.
The largest living tree believed to exist is in Sequoia National Park in California. It has a trunk with a 102 foot circumference.
The majority of California’s residents belong to a minority ethnic group; in fact, one out of every four Californians was not born in the U.S.
California experiences approximately half a million seismic tremors (earthquakes) each year.
Almonds are California’s top exports. Most of the state’s almonds are grown in the Central Valley, which is considered the world’s almond capital.
California’s state flower is the poppy.
Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose are among the top 10 biggest cities in the U.S.
The California grizzly bear is California’s state animal.
Contrasting San Bernardino, Alpine County is California’s smallest county, with 465,030 acres of land.
California is rich in cultural diversity. Its population includes those with white, Asian, African-American, Native American, Hispanic, and multi-racial heritage.
California is the first state to reach $1 trillion in GDP.
Almost 30% of California’s residents speak Spanish, which is the second most spoken language following English.
During the Great Depression, San Francisco successfully survived the worldwide recession. None of its banks went bankrupt during this time.
California uses a large amount of energy, but because of its strong environmental movement, it has some of the highest renewable energy goals in the country.
California has an incredibly diverse climate and environment. The weather varies from blazing desert heat to subarctic climates, depending on the latitude and elevation.
California is the only state in the U.S. to have been host to both the summer and winter Olympics.
The iconic zip code 90210 is one of the state’s most expensive zip codes and among L.A.’s most expensive neighborhoods, but Beverly Hills has actually humble roots.
The U.S. named a giant sequoia tree in Kings Canyon National Park the nations Christmas tree in 1925.
The gravity hills in certain spots of California are known to push your car uphill, without using any power and while the car is in neutral.