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California

California, also known as the Golden State, is located on the west coast in the Southwestern corner of the continental United States. California is the third largest state in terms of land mass and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Oregon to the north, and Nevada and Arizona to the east. California also has an international border with Baja California in Mexico.

Population

California has the largest population at 36,553,215 (as of 2007) and is the thirteenth fastest growing state. Its population is larger than all but 34 countries of the world. The population of California makes up 12 percent of the population of the United States. The most populous city in California is Los Angeles which is also the second most populous in the United States. Los Angeles (2), San Diego (8), San Jose (10), San Francisco (14), Fresno (35), Long Beach (36), Sacramento (37), and Oakland (44) are among the top 50 most populous cities in the United States. Los Angeles County has a higher population than 42 states in the United States.

Brief History

“California” originally referred to the region composed of the state of California, plus all or parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming, and Baja California. This area was colonized by the Spanish in the 18th century. In 1821, California and Mexico became an independent republic. In 1846, California left the Mexican republic and was given to the United States after the Mexican-American War. California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850. California’s population and economy significantly increased during the California Gold Rush between 1848 and 1855. During the early 20th century, Los Angeles became the center of the entertainment industry. California also saw a growth in tourism and migration with the completion of the transcontinental highways, the Lincoln Highway and Route 66. The major industries in California include agriculture, aerospace, petroleum, information technology and engineering, and entertainment and music.

State Flag and State Seal

California’s state flag displays a grizzly bear on a white background, a red star, a red stripe at the bottom with the words “California Republic” above the stripe. The flag was first raised in 1846 at Sonoma, California by American settlers when they revolted against Mexico. The grizzly bear, symbolizes strength, the star represents sovereignty, the red color symbolizes courage, and the white background purity.

The state seal of California depicts a scene of the Sacramento River with commercial traffic with the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background. A miner works near the river. The Greek word, Eureka, means I have found it probably refers to the discover of gold. A grizzly bear and grape cluster signifies the abundant wildlife and agriculture. The Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva, overlooks the scene. Near the upper edge of the seal are 31 stars that signify California being the 31st state admitted into the union. The words “The Great Seal of the State of California” are written on the outside edge of the seal.

California Facts

Here are some quick facts on California. If you have any additional facts that you would like to see listed here, feel free to contact us.

 Capital City: Sacramento
 Population: 36,553,215 (Est. 2007)
 Motto: Eureka "I have found it"
 Nickname: Golden State
 Statehood: September 9, 1850 (31st)
 State Bird: California Valley Quail
 State Tree: California Redwood
 State Flower: Golden Poppy
 Land Area: 163,696 sq.mi., 3rd largest
 State Song: I Love You, California
 Origin of State's Name: Probably derived from a popular 1510 Spanish novel which described a fictional island paradise named California
 Largest Cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco

California Weather

California’s weather varies from cool, rainy winters and dry summers to cold winters and hot summers. The weather is influenced by the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and the mountain ranges.

The Pacific Ocean provides the Californian coast with a temperate climate. Temperatures on the coast rarely go below 55 °F or above 85 °F. The coastal region of California has dry summers and very little rain. Some people consider the California coast to have the best climate in the United States.

The mountain ranges of California have more extreme weather. The higher mountains, such as those in the Sierra Nevada, will have snow in the winter and summers will be fairly warm. The western slopes of the mountains have wetter climates while the eastern sides of the mountains are dryer and warmer.

The desert regions east of the southern mountains have hot summers and mild winters. Death Valley has temperatures in summer of 115 °F and winter of 65 °F. The record high in Death Valley was 134 °F recorded on July 10, 1913.

California rarely experiences tornadoes. However, flooding and fires are more frequent. The flooding and fires are often combined to create mudslides.

Typical High and Low Temperatures For Various California Cities

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Bakersfield 56/39 64/43 68/46 76/50 84/57 92/64 97/69 95/68 89/64 80/55 65/44 56/38
Bishop 54/22 58/26 64/31 72/36 81/44 92/51 98/56 96/54 88/47 76/37 62/27 54/22
Eureka 55/41 56/42 56/42 57/44 60/48 62/51 63/53 64/53 64/51 61/48 58/44 55/41
Fresno 54/38 61/41 66/45 74/48 83/55 91/61 97/66 95/65 89/60 78/52 63/42 53/37
Long Beach 68/46 68/48 69/50 73/53 74/58 78/61 83/65 85/66 83/64 79/58 73/50 69/45
Los Angeles 66/49 66/50 65/51 68/54 69/57 73/60 75/63 77/64 76/64 74/59 70/53 67/48
Mount Shasta 44/26 48/29 52/30 59/33 67/39 76/45 83/49 83/48 76/43 64/37 50/30 44/26
Redding 55/36 60/38 64/41 71/45 81/52 91/60 98/64 97/61 90/56 78/48 62/40 56/35
Sacramento 54/39 60/42 65/44 71/46 80/51 87/56 92/58 91/58 88/56 78/51 64/43 54/38
San Diego 66/50 66/52 66/54 69/56 69/60 72/63 76/66 78/67 77/66 74/61 70/54 66/49
San Francisco 56/43 59/46 61/47 64/48 67/50 70/53 71/54 72/56 73/55 70/52 62/48 56/43
Santa Barbara 65/41 66/44 67/46 70/48 71/50 74/54 77/57 79/58 78/57 75/52 71/44 66/40
Santa Maria 64/39 65/41 65/43 68/43 69/47 71/50 74/54 74/54 75/53 74/48 69/42 65/38
Stockton 54/38 61/41 66/44 73/47 81/52 89/58 94/61 93/60 88/57 79/50 64/42 54/37
Temperatures listed are in Fahrenheit
Source: US Travel Weather and The Weather Channel

California Attractions

There are currently no attractions listed. If you would like to list an attraction such as an amusement park, museum, zoo, state park, etc you will soon be able to submit your information here.

User Submitted Articles for California

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