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State of California

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Probably from the mythical island California in a 16th-century romance by Garci Ordónez de Montalvo.

NICKNAME: The Golden State.

CAPITAL: Sacramento.

ENTERED UNION: 9 September 1850 (31st).

SONG: "I Love You, California."

MOTTO: Eureka (I have found it).

FLAG: The flag consists of a white field with a red star at upper left and a red stripe and the words "California Republic" across the bottom; in the center, a brown grizzly bear walks on a patch of green grass.

OFFICIAL SEAL: In the foreground is the goddess Minerva; a grizzly bear stands in front of her shield. The scene also shows the Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay, a miner, a sheaf of wheat, and a cluster of grapes, all representing California's resources. The state motto and 31 stars are displayed at the top. The words "The Great Seal of the State of California" surround the whole.

BIRD: California valley quail.

FISH: South Fork golden trout.

FLOWER: Golden poppy.

TREE: California redwood.

GEM: Benitoite.

LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, 12 February; Presidents' Day, 3rd Monday in February; Cesar Chavez Day, 31 March; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December.

TIME: 4 AM PST = noon GMT.


Situated on the Pacific coast of the southwestern United States, California is the nation's third-largest state (after Alaska and Texas).

The total area of California is 158,706 sq mi (411,048 sq km), of which land takes up 156,299 sq mi (404,814 sq km) and inland water, 2,407 sq mi (6,234 sq km). California extends about 350 mi (560 km) e-w; its maximum n-s extension is 780 mi (1,260 km).

California is bordered on the n by Oregon; on the e by Nevada; on the se by Arizona (separated by the Colorado River); on the s by the Mexican state of Baja California Norte; and on the w by the Pacific Ocean.

The eight Santa Barbara islands lie from 20 to 60 mi (32-97 km) off California's southwestern coast; the small islands and islets of the Farallon group are about 30 mi (48 km) w of San Francisco Bay. The total boundary length of the state is 2,050 mi (3,299 km), including a general coastline of 840 mi (1,352 km); the tidal shoreline totals 3,427 mi (5,515 km). California's geographic center is in Madera County, 38 mi (61 km) e of the city of Madera.


California is the only state in the United States with an extensive seacoast, high mountains, and deserts. The extreme diversity of the state's landforms is best illustrated by the fact that Mt. Whitney (14,494 ft/4,419 m), the highest point in the contiguous US, is situated no more than 80 mi (129 km) from the lowest point in the entire country, Death Valley (282 ft/86 m, below sea level). The mean elevation of the state is about 2,900 ft (885 m).

California's principal geographic regions are the Sierra Nevada in the east, the Coast Ranges in the west, the Central Valley between them, and the Mojave and Colorado deserts in the southeast. The mountain-walled Central Valley, more than 400 mi (640 km) long and about 50 mi (80 km) wide, is probably the state's most unusual topographic feature. It is drained in the north by the Sacramento River, about 320 mi (515 km) long, and in the south by the San Joaquin River, about 350 mi (560 km). The main channels of the two rivers meet at and empty into the northern arm of San Francisco Bay, flowing through the only significant break in the Coast Ranges, a mountain system that extends more than 1,200 mi (1,900 km) alongside the Pacific. Lesser ranges, including the Siskiyou Mountains in the north and the Tehachapi Mountains in the south, link the two major ranges and constitute the Central Valley's upper and lower limits.

California has 41 mountains exceeding 10,000 ft (3,050 m). After Mt. Whitney, the highest peaks in the state are Mt. Williamson, in the Sierra Nevada, at 14,375 ft (4,382 m) and Mt. Shasta (14,162 ft/4,317 m), an extinct volcano in the Cascades, the northern extension of the Sierra Nevada. Lassen Peak (10,457 ft/3,187 m), also in the Cascades, is a dormant volcano.

Beautiful Yosemite Valley, a narrow gorge in the middle of the High Sierra, is the activity center of Yosemite National Park. The Coast Ranges, with numerous forested spurs and ridges enclosing dozens of longitudinal valleys, vary in height from about 2,000 to 7,000 ft (600-2,100 m).

Melted snow from the Sierra Nevada feeds the state's principal rivers, the Sacramento and San Joaquin. The Coast Ranges are drained by the Klamath, Eel, Russian, Salinas, and other rivers. In the south, most rivers are dry creek beds except during the spring flood season; they either dry up from evaporation in the hot summer sun or disappear beneath the surface, like Death Valley's Amargosa River. The Salton Sea, in the Imperial Valley of the southeast, is the state's largest lake, occupying 374 sq mi (969 sq km). This saline sink was created accidentally in the early 1900s when Colorado River water, via an irrigation canal, flooded a natural depression 235 ft (72 m) below sea level in the Imperial Valley. Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada at the angle of the California-Nevada border, covers 192 sq mi (497 sq km).

The California coast is indented by two magnificent natural harbors, San Francisco Bay and San Diego Bay, and two smaller bays, Monterey and Humboldt. Two groups of islands lie off the California shore: the Santa Barbara Islands, situated west of Los Angeles and San Diego; and the rocky Farallon Islands, off San Francisco.

The Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges were formed more than 100 million years ago by the uplifting of the earth's crust. The Central Valley and the Great Basin, including the Mojave Desert and Death Valley, were created by sinkage of the earth's crust; inland seas once filled these depressions but evaporated over eons of time. Subsequent volcanic activity, erosion of land, and movement of glaciers until the last Ice Age subsided some 10,000 years ago and gradually shaped the present topography of California. The San Andreas Fault, extending from north of San Francisco Bay for more than 600 mi (970 km) southeast to the Mojave Desert, is a major active earthquake zone and was responsible for the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Damage from that earthquake amounted to $24 million, with an additional $350-500 in fire losses (total losses would amount to about $6 billion in current dollars). More recently, the 1994 earthquake in Northridge caused damage estimated at $13-20 billion, making it the costliest earthquake in US history.

Because water is scarce in the southern part of the state and because an adequate water supply is essential both for agriculture and for industry, more than 1,000 dams and reservoirs have been built in California. By 1993, there were 1,336 reservoirs in the state. Popular reservoirs for recreation are located along the tributaries of the Sacramento and San Joaquín rivers. Clair Lake Eagle, also known as Trinity Lake, is located on the Trinity River. The reservoir has a surface area of 16,400 acres (6,640 hectares). Lake Shasta, located on the Sacramento River, has a surface area of 15,800 acres (6,397 hectares). Lake Berryessa, located on Putah Creek, has a surface area of 19,250 acres (7,794 hectares). Lake New Melones, located on the Stanislaus River, has a surface area of 12,500 acres (5,061 hectares). The San Luis Reservoir, fed by the California Aqueduct, has a surface area of 12,500 acres (5,061 hectares). Don Pedro Lake, located on the Toulumme River, has a surface area of 13,000 acres (5,263 hectares).


Like its topography, California's climate is varied and tends toward extremes. Generally there are two seasonsalong, dry summer, with low humidity and cool evenings, and a mild, rainy winterexcept in the high mountains, where four seasons prevail and snow lasts from November to April. The one climatic constant for the state is summer drought.

California has four main climatic regions. Mild summers and winters prevail in central coastal areas, where temperatures are more equable than virtually anywhere else in the United States; in the area between San Francisco and Monterey, for example, the difference between average summer and winter temperatures is seldom more than 10°f (6°c). During the summer there are heavy fogs in San Francisco and all along the coast. Mountainous regions are characterized by milder summers and colder winters, with markedly low temperatures at high elevations. The Central Valley has hot summers and cool winters, while the Imperial Valley is marked by very hot, dry summers, with temperatures frequently exceeding 100°f (38°c).

Average annual temperatures for the state range from 47°f (8°c) in the Sierra Nevada to 73°f (23°c) in the Imperial Valley. The highest temperature ever recorded in the United States was 134° (57°c), registered in Death Valley on 10 July 1913. Death Valley has the hottest average summer temperature in the Western Hemisphere, at 98°f (37°c). The state's lowest temperature was 45°f (43°c), recorded on 20 January 1937 at Boca, near the Nevada border.

Among the major population centers, Los Angeles has an average annual temperature of 65°f (18°c), with an average January minimum of 48°f (9°c) and an average July maximum of 73°f (27°c). San Francisco has an annual average of 57°f (13°c), with a January average minimum of 46°f (7°c) and a July average maximum of 66°f (18°c). The annual average in San Diego is 64°f (18°c), the January average minimum 48°f (8°c), and the July average maximum 76°f (24°c). Sacramento's annual average temperature is 61°f (16°c), with January minimums averaging 38°f (3°c) and July maximums of 93°f (34°c).

Annual precipitation varies from only 2 in (5 cm) in the Imperial Valley to 68 in (173 cm) at Blue Canyon, near Lake Tahoe. San Francisco has an average annual precipitation of 20.4 in (51 cm), Sacramento 17.4 in (44 cm), Los Angeles 14 in (35 cm), and San Diego 9.9 in (25 cm). The largest one-month snowfall ever recorded in the United States390 in (991 cm)fell in Alpine County in January 1911. Snow averages between 300 and 400 in (760 to 1,020 cm) annually in the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada, but is rare in the coastal lowlands.

Sacramento has the greatest percentage (78%) of possible annual sunshine among the state's largest cities; San Diego has 68% and San Francisco 66%. San Francisco is the windiest, with an average annual wind speed of 11 mph (18 km/hr). Topical rainstorms occur often in California during the winter. Part of California are also prone to wildfires. In 2003, wildfires burned in southern California from late October through early November causing 22 deaths. Damage included to 743,000 acres of burned brush and timber and over 3,700 destroyed homes, with a total cost of damage at over $2.5 billion.


Of the 48 conterminous states, California embraces the greatest diversity of climate and terrain. The state's six life zones are the lower Sonoran (desert); upper Sonoran (foothill regions and some coastal lands); transition (coastal areas and moist northeastern counties); and the Canadian, Hudsonian, and Arctic zones, comprising California's highest elevations.

Plant life in the arid climate of the lower Sonoran zone features a diversity of native cactus, mesquite, and paloverde. The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is found in the Mojave Desert. Flowering plants include the dwarf desert poppy and a variety of asters. Fremont cottonwood and valley oak grow in the Central Valley. The upper Sonoran zone includes the unique chaparral belt, charac-terized by forests of small shrubs, stunted trees, and herbaceous plants. Nemophila, mint, phacelia, viola, and the golden poppy (Eschscholtzia californica)the state floweralso flourish in this zone, along with the lupine, more species of which occur here than anywhere else in the world.

The transition zone includes most of the state's forests, with such magnificent specimens as the redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and "big tree" or giant sequoia (Sequoia gigantea), among the oldest living things on earth (some are said to have lived at least 4,000 years). Tanbark oak, California laurel, sugar pine, madrona, broad-leaved maple, and Douglas fir are also common. Forest floors are carpeted with swordfern, alumroot, barrenwort, and trillium, and there are thickets of huckleberry, azalea, elder, and wild currant. Characteristic wild flowers include varieties of mariposa, tulip, and tiger and leopard lilies.

The high elevations of the Canadian zone are abundant with Jeffrey pine, red fir, and lodgepole pine. Brushy areas are covered with dwarf manzanita and ceanothus; the unique Sierra puffball is also found here. Just below timberline, in the Hudsonian zone, grow the whitebark, foxtail, and silver pines. At approximately 10,500 ft (3,200 m) begins the Arctic zone, a treeless region whose flora includes a number of wild flowers, including Sierra primrose, yellow columbine, alpine buttercup, and alpine shooting star.

Common plants introduced into California include the eucalyptus, acacia, pepper tree, geranium, and Scotch broom. Among the numerous species found in California that are federally classified as endangered are the Contra Costa wallflower, Antioch Dunes evening primrose, Solano Grass, San Clemente Island larkspur, salt marsh bird's beak, McDonald's rock-cress, and Santa Barbara Island Liveforever.

Mammals found in the deserts of the lower Sonoran zone include the jackrabbit, kangaroo rat, squirrel, and opossum. The Texas night owl, roadrunner, cactus wren, and various species of hawk are common birds, and the sidewinder, desert tortoise, and horned toad represent the area's reptilian life. The upper Sonoran zone is home to such mammals as the antelope, brown-footed woodrat, and ring-tailed cat. Birds distinctive to this zone are the California thrasher, bush tit, and California condor.

Animal life is abundant amid the forests of the transition zone. Colombian black-tailed deer, black bear, gray fox, cougar, bobcat, and Roosevelt elk are found. Garter snakes and rattlesnakes are common, as are such amphibians as the water-puppy and redwood salamander. The kingfisher, chickadee, towhee, and hummingbird represent the bird life of this region.

Mammals of the Canadian zone include the mountain weasel, snowshoe hare, Sierra chickaree, and several species of chipmunk. Conspicuous birds include the blue-fronted jay, Sierra hermit thrush, water ouzel, and Townsend solitaire. Birds become scarcer as one ascends to the Hudsonian zone, and the wolverine is now regarded as rare. Only one bird is native to the high Arctic regionthe Sierra rosy finchbut others often visit, including the hummingbird and Clark nutcracker. Principal mammals of this region are also visitors from other zones; the Sierra coney and white-tailed jackrabbit make their homes here. The bighorn sheep also lives in this mountainous terrain; the bighorn sheep has been listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Among fauna found throughout several zones are the mule deer, coyote, mountain lion, red-shafted flicker, and several species of hawk and sparrow.

Aquatic life in California is abundant, from the state's mountain lakes and streams to the rocky Pacific coastline. Many trout species are found, among them rainbow, golden, and Tahoe; migratory species of salmon are also common. Deep-sea life forms include sea bass, yellowfin tuna, barracuda, and several types of whale. Native to the cliffs of northern California are seals, sea lions, and many types of shorebirds, including several migratory species.

The Resources Agency of California's Department of Fish and Game is especially active in listing and providing protection for rare, threatened, and endangered fauna. Joint efforts by state and federal wildlife agencies have established an ambitious, if somewhat controversial, recovery program to revitalize the dwindling population of the majestic condor, the largest bird native to the United States.

In April 2006, a total of 303 species occurring within the state were on the threatened and endangered species list of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These included 124 animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) and 179 plant species. Endangered animals include the San Joaquin kit fox, Point Arena mountain beaver, Pacific pocket mouse, salt marsh harvest mouse, Morro Bay kangaroo rat (and five other species of kangaroo rat), Amargosa vole, California least tern, California condor, San Clemente loggerhead shrike, San Clemente sage sparrow, San Francisco garter snake, five species of salamander, three species of chub, and two species of pupfish. Eleven butterflies listed as endangered and two as threatened on the federal list are California species. Among threatened animals are the coastal California gnatcatcher, Paiute cutthroat trout, southern sea otter, and northern spotted owl.


Efforts to preserve natural wilderness areas in California go back at least to 1890, when the US Congress created three national parks in the Sierra Nevada: Sequoia, Grant (now part of Kings Canyon), and Yosemite. Three years later, some 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) of the Sierra Nevada were set aside in national forests. In 1892, naturalist John Muir and other wilderness lovers founded the Sierra Club which, with other private groups of conservationists, has been influential in saving the Muir Woods and other stands of redwoods from the lumbermen's axes. Over the next century, numerous other natural areas were designated national parklands. Among the most recent were Death Valley National Park (1994), Joshua Tree National Park (1994), and "Rosie the Riveter" World War II Home Front National Historical Park (2000).

California is home to four Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance. Bolinas Lagoon, located at Point Reyes peninsula northwest of San Francisco, was designated in 1998, primarily for its role as a wintering habitat for migratory birds. This area is owned and managed jointly by the County of Marin and the Golden Gate National Recreational Area under the Bolinas Lagoon Resource Management Plan, which was developed in 1981 and updated in 1996. Damage and erosion to the area caused by various sport and recreation activities is a primary concern for conservation of this area, as is the threat of oil and sewage spills. Tomales Bay, adjacent to the Point Reyes National Seashore, was designated in 2002. This area supports rare eelgrass beds, a well devel-oped coastal sand dune system, and over 21,000 migratory birds per year. The site is managed by both private and public ownership through the efforts of the Point Reyes National Seashore, the Golden Gate Recreation Area, and the Marin Agricultural Land Trust. The Grassland Ecological Area in the Central Valley of the San Joaquin River basin was designated in February 2005. This is the largest single freshwater wetland in the state, but the site has been threatened through plans for urban development. Some conservation issues of this site are handled under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992. The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, located near the border of Mexico, was also designated in February 2005. This site is managed through the joint efforts of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the California State Department of Parks and Recreation.

California's primary resource problem is water: the southern two-thirds of the state account for about 75% of annual water consumption but only 30% of the supply. Water has been diverted from the Sierra Nevada snow runoff and from the Colorado River to the cities and dry areas largely by means of aqueducts, some 700 mi (1,100 km) of which have been constructed in federal and state undertakings. In 1960, California embarked on one of the largest public works programs ever undertaken in the United States when voters approved a bond issue to construct the California Water Project, designed to deliver 1.4 trillion gallons of water annually to central and southern California for residential, industrial, and agricultural use. Other purposes of the project were to provide flood control, generate electric power, and create recreation areas.

Maintaining adequate water resources continued to be a problem in the 1990s. As the result of a US Supreme Court decision, southern California lost close to 20% of its water supply in December 1985, when a portion of the water it had been permitted to draw from the Colorado River was diverted to Arizona. In 1982, California voters turned down a proposal to build a canal that would have delivered water that flows into San Francisco Bay to southern California; no other plans to cope with the impending shortage were approved at that time. In December 1994 the state and federal governments joined together to form the Bay Delta Accord, intended to restore the environmentally threatened San Francisco Bay area through a combination of better conservation efforts and public and private investment. In November 1996 voters approved a bond issue valued at nearly $1 billion to implement the Accord.

Air pollution has been a serious problem since July 1943, when heavy smog enveloped Los Angeles for the first time; smog conditions in October 1954 forced the closing of the city's airport and harbor. Smog is caused by an atmospheric inversion of cold air that traps unburned hydrocarbons at ground level; perhaps two-thirds of the smog particles are created by automobile exhaust emissions. In 1960, the state legislature passed the first automobile antismog law in the nation, requiring that all cars be equipped with antismog exhaust devices within three years. (Federal laws controlling exhaust emissions on new cars came into effect in the 1970s.) The city's smog problem has since been reduced to manageable proportions, but pollution problems from atmospheric inversions still persist there and in other California cities. Nonetheless there is reason for optimismin 1996, for example, Southern California had the best air quality ever measured in the post-World War II era. A key factor was introduction of a reformulated gasoline touted as the cleanest-burning in the world, which reduced polluting emissions by 15% when put into use in 1996. The state inspection-and-maintenance program is also being reformed and updated, focusing on the small number of cars linked to as much as 50% of vehicular pollution in the state.

In early 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a California ozone-reduction plan that ordered car manufacturers to design and produce cars that will be 50% to 84% cleaner than the ones sold in 1990. In 1998 new regulations were introduced to give tax credits to Californians who drove very low emission vehicles. In 2001 regulators proposed offering credits for use of a shared fleet of vehicles. California's plan that 10% of the 2003 cars offered for sale would be zero emission vehicles (ZEV) was not realized. In 2003, 57.9 million lb of toxic chemicals were released by the state.

State land-reclamation programs have been important in providing new agricultural land and controlling flood damage. One of the earliest such programs, begun shortly before 1900, reclaimed 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) by means of a network of dams, dikes, and canals in the swampy delta lying within the fork of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. In 1887, a state law created irrigation districts in the southeastern region; the Imperial Valley was thus transformed from a waterless, sandy basin into some of the most productive agricultural land in the United States.

Flood control was one of the main purposes of the $2.6 billion Feather River Project in the Central Valley, completed during the 1970s. Ironically, in the western portion of the Central Valley, farmland is now threatened by irrigation water tainted by concentrated salts and other soil minerals, for which current drainage systems are inadequate. One drainage system, the San Luis Drain, originally intended to carry the water to San Francisco Bay, was stopped short of completion and goes only as far as the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, where, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the tainted water has caused birth defects in birds.

In the 1980s, the state legislature enacted stringent controls on toxic waste. California has also been a leader in recycling waste products, for example, using acid waste from metal-processing plants as a soil additive in citrus orchards. In 2003, the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) database listed 903 hazardous waste sites in California, 93 of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006. National Priority List sites included 18 military sites, 4 sites in the San Fernando Valley, 4 sites in the San Gabriel Valley, 2 sites owned by Intel Corp., 1 site owned by Hewlett-Packard, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). California ranks third in the nation for the most National Priority List sites, following New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In 2005, the EPA spent over $25 million through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state. Also in 2005, federal EPA grants awarded to the state included $85 million for a safe drinking water revolving loan fund and $82 million for a water pollution control revolving loan fund.

The California Department of Water Resources is responsible for maintaining adequate groundwater levels, enforcing water-quality standards, and controlling floodwaters. The state Department of Conservation has overall responsibility for conservation and protection of the state's soil, mineral, petroleum, geothermal, and marine resources. The California Coastal Commission, created in 1972, is designated by federal law to review projects that effect California's coastline, including offshore oil leasing, which has become a source of concern in recent years.


California ranked first in population among the 50 states in 2005 with an estimated total of 36,132,147, an increase of 6.7% since 2000. California replaced New York as the decennial census leader in 1970, with a total of 19,971,069 residents, and has lengthened its lead ever since. Between 1990 and 2000, California's population grew from 29,760,021 to 33,871,648, an increase of 13.8%. The population is projected to reach 40.1 million by 2015 and 44.3 million by 2025.

In 2004 the median age was 34.2. Persons under 18 years old accounted for 26.7% of the population while only 10.7% was age 65 or older (lower than the national average of 12.4% at 65 or older).

When Europeans first arrived in California, at least 300,000 American Indians lived in the area. By 1845, the Indian population had been reduced to about 150,000. Although Spanish missions and settlements were well established in California by the late 18th century, the white population numbered only about 7,000 until the late 1840s. The Gold Rush brought at least 85,000 adventurers to the San Francisco Bay area by 1850, however, and the state's population increased rapidly thereafter. California's population grew to 379,994 by 1860 and had passed the 1 million mark within 30 years. Starting in 1890, the number of state residents just about doubled every two decades until the 1970s, when the population increased by 18.5%, down from the 27.1% increase of the 1960s. However, the total growth rate during the 1980s was 25.7%, reflecting a population increase of over 6 million.

CaliforniaCounties, County Seats, and County Areas and Populations
Alameda Oakland 735 1,448,905 Placer Auburn 1,416 317,028
Alpine Markleeville 739 1,159 Plumas Quincy 2,573 21,477
Amador Jackson 589 38,471 Riverside Riverside 7,214 1,946,419
Butte Oroville 1,646 214,185 Sacramento Sacramento 971 1,363,482
Calaveras San Andreas 1,021 46,871 San Benito Hollister 1,388 55,936
Colusa Colusa 1,153 21,095 San Bernardino San Bernardino 20,064 1,963,535
Contra Costa Martinez 730 1,017,787 San Diego San Diego 4,212 2,933,462
Del Norte Crescent City 1,007 28,705 San Francisco San Francisco* 46 739,426
El Dorado Placerville 1,715 176,841 San Joaquin Stockton 1,415 664,116
Fresno Fresno 5,978 877,584 San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo 3,308 255,478
Glenn Willows 1,319 27,759 San Mateo Redwood City 447 699,610
Humboldt Eureka 3,579 128,376 Santa Barbara Santa Barbara 2,748 400,762
Imperial El Centro 4,173 155,823 Santa Clara San Jose 1,293 1,699,052
Inyo Independence 10,223 18,156 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 446 249,666
Kern Bakersfield 8,130 756,825 Shasta Redding 3,786 179,904
Kings Hanford 1,392 143,420 Sierra Downieville 959 3,434
Lake Lakeport 1,262 65,147 Siskiyou Yreka 6,281 45,259
Lassen Susanville 4,553 34,751 Solano Fairfield 834 411,593
Los Angeles Los Angeles 4,070 9,935,475 Sonoma Santa Rosa 1,604 466,477
Madera Madera 2,145 142,788 Stanislaus Modesto 1,506 505,505
Marin San Rafael 523 246,960 Sutter Yuba City 602 88,876
Mariposa Mariposa 1,456 18,069 Tehama Red Bluff 2,953 61,197
Mendocino Ukiah 3,512 88,161 Trinity Weaverville 3,190 13,622
Merced Merced 1,944 241,706 Tulare Visalia 4,808 410,874
Modoc Alturas 4,064 9,524 Tuolumne Sonora 2,234 59,380
Mono Bridgeport 3,019 12,509 Ventura Ventura 1,862 796,106
Monterey Salinas 3,303 412,104 Yolo Woodland 1,014 184,932
Napa Napa 744 132,764 Yuba Marysville 640 67,153
Nevada Nevada City 960 98,394 TOTALS 156,296 36,132,147
Orange Santa Ana 798 2,988,072

More than 90% of California's residents live in metropolitan areas. The population density in 2004 was 230.2 persons per sq mi, up from 190.8 per sq mi in 1990. Between 1997 and 2002 the largest population growth occurred mainly in the Central Valley and foothill counties, and in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in Southern California. The five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego accounted for 55% of California's total population in 2002, and 52% of the total increase in population since 1997. The city of Los Angeles, ranking as the second-largest city in the nation, had an estimated 2004 population of 3,845,541; San Diego (seventh in the nation), 1,263,756; San Jose (10th), 904,522; San Francisco (14th), 744,230; Long Beach, 476,564; Fresno, 457,719; Sacramento, 454,330; Oakland, 397,976; Santa Ana, 342,715; and Anaheim, 333,776.

Los Angeles, which expanded irregularly and lacks a central business district, nearly quadrupled its population from 319,000 in 1910 to 1,240,000 in 1930, and then doubled it to 2,479,000 by 1960. A major component of the city's population growth was the upsurge in the number of blacks after World War II, especially between 1960 and 1970, when the number of blacks increased from 335,000 to 504,000, many of them crowded into the deteriorating Watts section.

In 1999, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana urban complex, with a total estimated population of 12,925,330, was the second most populous metropolitan area in the United States (after that of New York). Other estimates for that year include the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area, 4,153,870; metropolitan San Diego, 2,931,714; and metropolitan Sacramento, 2,016,702.


In 2000, California's foreign-born population numbered 8,864,255, or 26% of the state's total population, the largest percentage among the 50 states. Nearly one-third of all foreign-born persons in the United States live in California. Latin Americans account for about half of foreign-born Californians, while Asians account for another third. As of 2002, nearly four-fifths of foreign-born Californians lived in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles (5.1 million) and San Francisco (1.9 million).

The westward movement of American settlers in the third quarter of the 19th century, followed by German, Irish, North Italian, and Italian Swiss immigrants, overshadowed but did not obliterate California's Spanish heritage. In 2000, 10,966,556 (32.4%) of the state's residents was of Hispanic or Latino origin, up from 7,688,000 (25.8%) in 1990, and more than the total for any other state. In 2004, 34.7% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin. The census of 2000 recorded that the majority8,455,926, up from 5,322,170 in 1990were Mexican-Americans; there were also 140,570 Puerto Ricans and 72,286 Cubans. After World War II, the Hispanic communities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and other southern California cities developed strong political organizations. Increasing numbers of Mexican-Americans have won local, state, and federal elective office, though their potential remains unrealized.

In 2000 California had the largest Asian population of any state: 3,697,513 (up from 2,846,000 in 1990), or 10.9% of the state's total population (the second-highest percentage in the nation). In 2004, the Asian population was 12.1% of the total population. In 2000 there were 116,961 Pacific Islanders (including more native Hawaiians than in any state except Hawaii). In 2004, 0.4% of the population was Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Chinese workers were first brought to California between 1849 and 1882, when the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress. In 2000 the Chinese constituted the largest group among California's Asian population, numbering 980,642, or 2.9% of the population. The nation's oldest and largest Chinatown is in San Francisco. Although Chinese-Americans, as they prospered, moved to suburban areas, the seats of the powerful nationwide and worldwide merchant and clan associations are in that city. Los Angeles also has a Chinese district.

The Japanese, spread throughout the western seaboard states, were engaged mainly in agriculture, along with fishing and small business, until their removal and internment during World War II. After the war, some continued in market gardening and other family agriculture, but most, deprived of their landholdings, entered urban occupations, including the professions; many dispersed to other regions of the country. In 2000 there were 288,854 Japanese in California, down from 353,251 in 1990.

After the Chinese, the most populous Asian group in California in 2000 was the Filipino community, with 918,678, or 2.7% of the total state population. In 2000 California also had 345,882 Koreans, 447,032 Vietnamese (up from 242,946 in 1990), 314,819 Asian Indians (up from 112,560), 55,456 Laotians, 20,571 native Hawaiians (down from 43,418 in 1990), 37,498 Samoans, and 20,918 Guamanians.

American Indians and Alaska Natives numbered around 333,346 in 2000 (up from 242,000 in 1990), the greatest number of any state in the country. The figure for American Indians includes Indians native to California and many others coaxed to resettle there under a policy that sought to terminate tribal status. Along with the remaining indigenous tribes in California, there is also a large urban Indian population, especially in Los Angeles, which has more Indians than any other US city. Many of the urban Indians were unprepared for the new kind of life and unable to earn an adequate living; militant Indians have made dramatic, but on the whole unsuccessful, protests aimed at bettering their condition. In 2004, American Indians and Alaska Natives accounted for 1.2% of the population.

Black Americans constitute a smaller proportion of California's population than that of the nation as a whole: less than 7% in 2000. Nevertheless, California still had the fifth-largest black population, numbering 2,263,882. In 2004, 6.8% of the population was black. Considerable migration of blacks took place during World War II, when defense industries on the West Coast offered new opportunities.


The speakers of Russian, Spanish, and English who first came to what is now California found an amazing diversity of American Indian cultures, ranging from the Wiyot in the north to the Yokuts in the Central Valley and the Diegueño in the south, and of Indian languages, representing four great language families: Athapaskan, Penutian, Kokan-Siouan, and Aztec. Yet, except for place names such as Shasta, Napa, and Yuba, they have not lent any of their words to California speech.

As in much of the West, California English is a composite of the eastern dialects and subdialects brought by the continuing westward migration from the eastern states, first for gold and timber, then for farming, for diversified manufacture, for Hollywood, and for retirement. The interior valley is Midland-oriented, with such retained terms as piece (a between-meals lunch), quarter till, barn lot (barnyard), dog irons (andirons), and snake feder and snake doctor (dragonfly), but generally, in both northern and southern California, Northern dominates the mixture of North Midland and South Midland speech in the same communities. Northern sick to the stomach, for example, dominates Midland sick at and sick in, with a 46% frequency; Northern angleworm has 53% frequency, as compared with 21% for Midland fishworm ; and Northern string beans has 80% frequency, as compared with 17% North Midland green beans and South Midland and Southern snap beans. Northern comforter was used by 94% of the informants interviewed in a state survey; Midland comfort by only 21%. Dominant is Northern /krik/ as the pronunciation of creek, but Midland bucket has a greater frequency than Northern pail, and the Midland /greezy/ for greasy is scattered throughout the state. Similarly, the distinction between the /wh/ in wheel and the /w/ of weal is lost in the use of simple /w/ in both words, and cot and caught sound alike, as do caller and collar.

There are some regional differences. San Francisco, for instance has sody or soda water for a soft drink; there the large sandwich is a grinder, while in Sacramento it is either a poor Joe or a submarine. Notable is the appearance of chesterfield (meaning sofa or davenport), found in the Bay region and from San Jose to Sacramento; this sense is common in Canada but now found nowhere else in the United States. Boonville, a village about 100 mi (160 km) north of San Francisco, is notorious for "Boontling," a local dialect contrived in the mid-19th century by Scotch-Irish settlers who wanted privacy and freedom from obscenities in their conversation. Now declining in use, Boontling has about 1,000 vocabulary replacements of usual English words, together with some unusual pronunciations and euphemisms.

As the nation's major motion picture, radio, and television entertainment center, Los Angeles has influenced English throughout the nationeven the worldby making English speakers of many dialects audible and visible and by making known new terms and new meanings. It has thus been instrumental in reducing dialectal extremes and in developing increased language awareness.

California's large foreign-language populations have posed major educational problems. In 1974, a landmark San Francisco case, Lau v. Nichols, brought a decision from the US Supreme Court that children who do not know English should not thereby be handicapped in school, but should receive instruction in their native tongue while learning English. California's Chacon-Moscone law required native-language instruction, but the law expired in 1987. In 1997, a federal judge ruled against an injunction that had blocked English immersion classes in Orange County. The ruling ended the bilingual education program in the school district and opened the possibility for a statewide vote in June 1998 to decide if non-English-speaking students will be permitted to learn English upon entering public schools. On 2 June 1998 California voters enacted Proposition 227, which called for students to be taught English by being submerged in English-language classrooms.

In 2000, 19,014,873 Californians, or 60.5% of the population five years old or over, reported speaking only English at home, down from 68.5% in 1990.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over.

Population 5 years and over 31,416,629 100.0
  Speak only English 19,014,873 60.5
  Speak a language other than, English 12,401,756 39.5
Speak a language other than English 12,401,756 39.5
  Spanish or Spanish Creole 8,105,505 25.8
  Chinese 815,386 2.6
  Tagalog 626,399 2.0
  Vietnamese 407,119 1.3
  Korean 298,076 0.9
  Armenian 155,237 0.5
  Japanese 154,633 0.5
  Persian 154,321 0.5
  German 141,671 0.5
  French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 135,067 0.4
  Russian 118,382 0.4


The first Roman Catholics in California were Spanish friars, who established 21 Franciscan missions from San Diego to Sonoma between 1769 and 1823. After an independent Mexican government began to secularize the missions in 1833, the American Indian population at the missions declined from about 25,000 to only about 7,000 in 1840. With the American acquisition of California in 1848, the Catholic Church was reorganized to include the archdiocese of San Francisco. The Church also maintains an archdiocese in Los Angeles.

Protestant ministers accompanied migrant miners during the gold rush, founding 32 churches in San Francisco by 1855. These early Protestants included Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians; a group of Mormons had arrived by ship via Cape Horn in 1846. The Midwesterners who began arriving in large numbers in the 1880s were mostly Protestants, who settled in southern California. By 1900, the number of known Christians in the state totaled 674,000, out of a population of nearly 1,500,000.

Small Jewish communities were established throughout California by 1861, and in 1880, the Jewish population was estimated at 18,580.

The mainstream religions did not satisfy everybody's needs, however, and in the early 20th century, many dissident sects sprang up, including such organizations as Firebrands for Jesus, the Psychosomatic Institute, the Mystical Order of Melchizedek, the Infinite Science Church, and Nothing Impossible, among many others.

Perhaps the best-known founder of a new religion was Canadian-born Aimee Semple McPherson, who preached her Foursquare Gospel during the 1920s at the Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, won a large radio audience and thousands of converts, and established 240 branches of her church throughout the state before her death in 1944. She was typical of the many charismatic preachers of new doctrines who gaveand still giveCalifornia its exotic religious flavor. The Foursquare Church national office is still located in Los Angeles. Since World War II, religions such as Zen Buddhism and Scientology have won enthusiastic followings, along with various cults devoted to self-discovery and self-actualization.

Nevertheless, the majority of religious adherents in California continue to follow traditional faiths. In 2004, there were 10,496,697 Roman Catholics in 1,070 parishes. The next largest religion is Judaism, with about 994,000 adherents in 425 congregations in 2000. In 2006, the Latter-day Saints reported a statewide membership of 761,763 adherents in 1,386 congregations; new Mormon temples were built in Redlands in 2003 and in Newport Beach in 2005. The largest Protestant churches in the state, as of 2000, include Southern Baptist, 471,119; Assembly of God, 310,522; Presbyterian Church USA, 229,918, and the United Methodist Church, 228,844. In 2000, there were 489 Buddhist, 131, Hindu, and 163 Muslim congregations in the state. About 53.9% of the population did not specify a religious affiliation.

The Church of Scientology in Los Angeles, established in 1954 by the religion's founder L. Ron Hubbard, is the religion's largest facility, which also serves as a training center for leaders. The Church of Scientology reportedly sponsors about 3,200 churches worldwide in 154 countries. There were 11 congregations in the state of California in 2006.

The Crystal Cathedral, opened in 1980 in Garden Grove, California, is the home base for the international Crystal Cathedral Ministries and the internationally televised Hour of Power. Dr. Robert H. Schuller, a minister of the Reformed Church in America, presides over a congregation of over 10,000 members.

The national office of the American Druze Society is in Eagle Rock. A national headquarters for Jews for Jesus is located in San Francisco, and the national headquarters of Soka Gakkai International is in Santa Monica. The international headquarters of the Rosicrucian Fellowship is in Oceanside.


California hasand for decades has hadmore motor vehicles than any other state, and ranked second only to Texas in interstate highway mileage in 2004. An intricate 8,300-mi (13,400-km) network of urban interstate highways, expressways, and freeways is one of the engineering wonders of the modern world, but the traffic congestion in the state's major cities during rush hours may well be the worst in the country.

In pioneer days, the chief modes of transportation were sailing ships and horse-drawn wagons; passage by sea from New York took three months, and the overland route from Missouri was a six-week journey. The gold rush spurred development of more rapid transport. The state's first railroad, completed in 1856, was a 25-mi (40-km) line from Sacramento northeast to Folsom, in the mining country. The Central Pacific-Union Pacific transcontinental railroad, finished 13 years later, would give California a direct rail line to the eastern US. In 1876, the Southern Pacific (the successor to the Central Pacific) completed a line from Sacramento to Los Angeles and another line to Texas the following year. Other railroads took much longer to build; the coastal railroad from San Francisco to Los Angeles was not completed until 1901, and another line to Eureka was not finished until 1914. The railroads dominated transportation in the state until motor vehicles came into widespread use in the 1920s.

As of 2003, California had 7,283 rail mi (11,725 km) of track, with over 76% of all railroad right-of-ways in the state operated by Class I railroads, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Union Pacific. As of 2006, Amtrak passenger trains connected the state's major population centers through three east-west routes via its California Zephyr (Chicago to Oakland), Southwest Chief (Chicago to Los Angeles) and Sunset Limited (Los Angeles to Orlando/Jacksonville, Florida) trains, and by four north-south routes that linked: Sacramento with San Jose, Oakland and Auburn (Capitol Corridor); Sacramento/Oakland with Bakersfield (San Joaquins); and Los Angeles to Seattle (Coast Starlight); and ran along the coast from Paso Robles to Los Angeles and San Diego (Pacific Surfliner).

Urban transit began in San Francisco in 1861 with horse-drawn streetcars. Cable-car service was introduced in 1873. A few cable cars are still in use, mainly for the tourist trade. The 71-mi (114-km) Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) was completed in the 1970s, despite many mechanical problems and costly delays. BART connects San Francisco with Oakland by high-speed, computerized subway trains via a 3.6-mi (5.8-km) tunnel under San Francisco Bay and runs north-south along the San Francisco peninsula.

Public transit in the Los Angeles metropolitan area was provided by electric trolleys beginning in 1887. By the early 1930s, the Los Angeles Railway carried 70% of the city's transit passengers, and in 1945, its trolleys transported 109 million passengers. Competition from buses, which provided greater mobility, but aggravated the city's smog and congestion problems, forced the trolleys to end service in 1961. During the late 1980s, plans were developed for a commuter rail transportation system in the Southern California region. In 1992, the first three lines of the Metrolink system began operation. By 1995, six Metrolink lines were serving the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura.

California's extensive highway system had its beginning in the mid-19th century, when stagecoaches began hauling freight to the mining camps from San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose. In the early 1850s, two stagecoach lines, Adams and Wells Fargo, expanded their routes and began to carry passengers. By 1860, some 250 stagecoach companies were operating in the state. The decline of stagecoach service corresponded with the rise of the railroads. In 1910, at a time when only 36,000 motor vehicles were registered in the state, the California Highway Commission was established. Among its first acts was the issuance of $18 million in bonds for road construction, and the state's first paved highway was constructed in 1912. The number of automobiles surged to 604,000 by 1920. In 1929, about 1 of every 11 cars in the United States belonged to a Californian. Ironically in view of the state's subsequent traffic problems, the initial effect of the automobile was to disperse the population to outlying areas, thus reducing traffic congestion in the cities.

The Pasadena Freeway, the first modern expressway in California, opened in 1941. During the 1960s and 1970s, the state built a complex toll-free highway network linking most cities of more than 5,000 population, tying in with the federal highway system, and costing more than $10 billion. Local, state, and federal authorities combined spent over $9.3 billion on California highways in 1997, nearly $2 billion of that amount for maintenance. Also in 1997, federal aid to California from the Federal Highway Administration fund totaled about $2 billion.

By providing easy access to beach and mountain recreation areas, the new freeways, in combination with the favorable climate and low price of gasoline, further encouraged the use of the automobile and led to massive traffic tie-ups, contributed to the decline of public transit, and worsened the coastal cities' air-pollution problems. Los Angeles County claims more automobiles, more miles of streets, and more intersections than any other city in the United States. The greatest inducement to automobile travel in and out of San Francisco was the completion in 1936 of the 8-mi (13-km) San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The following year saw the opening of the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, which at 4,200 ft (1,280 m) was the world's longest suspension bridge until New York's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened to traffic in 1964.

In 2004, California had 169,791 mi (273,363 km) of public roads. In that same year, the state registered approximately 31.501 million motor vehicles, including 19.057 million automobiles, 11.799 million trucks of all types, and some 36,000 buses. California also leads the nation in private and commercial motorcycle registrations, at around 611,000. There were 22,761,088 licensed California drivers in 2004.

The large natural harbors of San Francisco and San Diego monopolized the state's maritime trade until 1912, when Los Angeles began developing port facilities at San Pedro by building a break-water that eventually totaled 8 mi (13 km) in length. In 1924, Los Angeles surpassed San Francisco in shipping tonnage handled and became one of the busiest ports on the Pacific coast. In 2004, the port at Long Beach handled 80.066 million tons of cargo, making it the fifth-busiest port in the United States. The port at Los Angeles handled 51.931 million tons in that same year and was the nation's 14th busiest port. Other main ports and their 2004 cargo quantities include: Richmond, 24.743 million tons; Oakland, 15.541 million tons; and San Diego, with 3.170 million tons. In 2004, California had 286 mi (460 km) of navigable inland waterways. In 2003 waterborne shipments totaled 193.378 million tons.

In 2005, California had a total of 933 public and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 535 airports, 385 heliports, two STOLports (Short Take-Off and Landing), and 11 seaplane bases. California had seven airports that ranked among the top 50 busiest airports in the United States in 2004. The state's most active air terminal that year was Los Angeles International Airport, with a total of 28,925,341 enplanements, making it the nation's third busiest airport, behind Atlanta Hartsfield and Chicago O'Hare International. San Francisco International was the state's second busiest airport with 15,605,822 enplanements, which made it the 13th busiest in the United States. San Diego International, Metropolitan Oakland International, Norman Y. Mineta-San Jose International, Sacramento International, and John Wayne Airport-Orange County were the state's third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh busiest air terminals, and the nation's 29th, 31st, 37th, 41st, and 42nd busiest air terminals, respectively that year.


The region now known as California has been populated for at least 10,000 years, and possibly far longer. Estimates of the prehistoric American Indian population have varied widely, but it is clear that California was one of the most densely populated areas north of Mexico. On the eve of European discovery, at least 300,000 Indians lived there. This large population was divided into no fewer than 105 separate tribes or nations speaking at least 100 different languages and dialects, about 70% of which were as mutually unintelligible as English and Chinese. No area of comparable size in North America, and perhaps the world, contained a greater variety of native languages and cultures than did aboriginal California.

In general, the California tribes depended for their subsistence on hunting, fishing, and gathering the abundant natural food resources. Only in a few instances, notably along the Colorado River, did the Indians engage in agriculture. Reflecting the mild climate of the area, their housing and dress were often minimal. The basic unit of political organization was the village community, consisting of several small villages, or the family unit. For the most part, these Indians were sedentary people: they occupied village sites for generations, and only rarely warred with their neighbors.

European contact with California began early in the Age of Discovery, and was a product of the two great overseas enterprises of 16th-century Europe: the search for a western passage to the East and the drive to control the riches of the New World. In 1533, Hernán Cortés, Spanish conqueror of the Aztecs, sent a naval expedition northward along the western coast of Mexico in search of new wealth. The expedition led to the discovery of Baja California (now part of Mexico), mistakenly described by the pilot of the voyage, Fortún Jiménez, as an island. Two years later, Cortés established a settlement on the peninsula at present-day La Paz, but because Baja California seemed barren of any wealth, the project was soon abandoned. The only remaining interest in California was the search for the western mouth of the transcontinental canala mythical waterway the Spanish called the Strait of Anian. In 1542, Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo led a voyage of exploration up the western coast in a futile search for the strait. On 28 September, Cabrillo landed at the bay now known as San Diego, thus becoming the first European discoverer of Alta (or Upper) California.

European interest in the Californias waned in the succeeding decades, and California remained for generations beyond the periphery of European activity in the New World. Subsequent contact was limited to occasional landfalls by Manila galleons, such as those of Pedro de Unamuno (1587) and Sebastián Cermeno (1595), and the tentative explorations of Sebastián Vizcaino in 160203.

Spanish interest in California revived during the late 18th century, largely because Spain's imperial rivals were becoming increasingly aggressive. For strategic and defensive reasons, Spain decided to establish permanent settlements in the north. In 1769, José de Gálvez, visitor-general in New Spain, selected the president of the Franciscan missions in Baja California, Father Junípero Serra, to lead a group of missionaries on an expedition to Alta California. Accompanying Serra was a Spanish military force under Gaspar de Portolá. The Portolá-Serra expedition marks the beginning of permanent European settlement in California. Over the next half-century, the 21 missions established by the Franciscans along the Pacific coast from San Diego to San Francisco formed the core of Hispanic California. Among the prominent missions were San Diego de Alcalá (founded in 1769), San Francisco de Asis (1776), Santa Barbara (1786), and San José (1797). During most of the Spanish period, Mission San Carlos Borromeo (1770), at Carmel, was the ecclesiastical headquarters of the province, serving as the residence of the president-general of the Alta California missions.

These missions were more than just religious institutions. The principal concern of the missionaries was to convert the Indians to Christianitya successful enterprise, if the nearly 88,000 baptisms performed during the mission period are any measure. The Franciscans also sought to bring about a rapid and thorough cultural transformation. The Indians were taught to perform a wide variety of new tasks: making bricks, tiles, pottery, shoes, saddles, wine, candles, and soap; herding horses, cattle, sheep, and goats; and planting, irrigating, and harvesting. In addition to transforming the way of life of the California Indians, the missions also reduced their number by at least 35,000. About 60% of this decline was due to the introduction of new diseases, especially diseases that were nonepidemic and sexually tranmitted.

Spain also established several military and civilian settlements in California. The four military outposts, or presidios, at San Diego (1769), Monterey (1770), San Francisco (1776), and Santa Barbara (1783) served to discourage foreign influence in the region and to contain Indian resistance. The presidio at Monterey also served as the political capital, headquarters for the provincial governors appointed in Mexico City. The first civilian settlement, or pueblo, was established at San José de Guadalupe in 1777, with 14 families from the Monterey and San Francisco presidios. The pueblo set-tlers, granted supplies and land by the government, were expected to provide the nearby presidios with their surplus agricultural products. The second pueblo was founded at Los Angeles (1781), and a third, Branciforte, was established near present-day Santa Cruz in 1797.

During the 40 years following the establishment of the Los Angeles pueblo, Spain did little to strengthen its outposts in Alta California. The province remained sparsely populated and isolated from other centers of Hispanic civilization. During these years, the Spanish-speaking population of 600 grew nearly fivefold, but this expansion was almost entirely due to natural increase rather than immigration.

Spanish control of California ended with the successful conclusion of the Mexican Revolution in 1821. For the next quarter-century, California was a province of the independent nation of Mexico. Although California gained a measure of self-rule with the establishment of a provincial legislature, the real authority still remained with the governor appointed in Mexico City. The most important issues in Mexican California were the secularization of the missions, the replacement of the Franciscans with parish or "secular" clergy, and the redistribution of the vast lands and herds the missions controlled. Following the secularization proclamation of Governor José Figueroa in 1834, the Mexican government authorized more than 600 rancho grants in California to Mexican citizens. The legal limit of an individual grant was 11 square leagues (about 76 sq mi/197 sq km), but many large landholding families managed to obtain multiple grants.

The rancho economy, like that of the missions, was based on the cultivation of grain and the raising of huge herds of cattle. The rancheros traded hides and tallow for manufactured goods from foreign traders along the coast. As at the missions, herding, slaughtering, hide tanning, tallow rendering, and all the manual tasks were performed by Indian laborers. By 1845, on the eve of American acquisition, the non-Indian population of the region stood at about 7,000.

During the Mexican period, California attracted a considerable minority of immigrants from the United States. Americans first came to California in the late 18th century in pursuit of the sea otter, a marine mammal whose luxurious pelts were gathered in California waters and shipped to China for sale. Later, the hide and tallow trade attracted Yankee entrepreneurs, many of whom became resident agents for American commercial firms. Beginning in 1826, with the arrival overland of Jedediah Strong Smith's party of beaver trappers, the interior of California also began to attract a growing number of Americans. The first organized group to cross the continent for the purpose of settlement in California was the Bidwell-Bartleson party of 1841. Subsequent groups of overland pioneers included the ill-fated Donner party of 1846, whose members, stranded by a snowstorm near the Sierra Nevada summit, resorted to cannibalism, which allowed 47 of the 87 travelers to survive.

Official American efforts to acquire California began during the presidency of Andrew Jackson in the 1830s, but it was not until the administration of James K. Polk that such efforts were successful. Following the American declaration of war against Mexico on 13 May 1846, US naval forces, under command of Commodores John D. Sloat and Robert F. Stockton, launched an assault along the Pacific coast, while a troop of soldiers under Stephen W. Kearny crossed overland. On 13 January 1847, the Mexican forces in California surrendered. More than a year later, after protracted fighting in central Mexico, a treaty of peace was signed at Guadalupe-Hidalgo on 2 February 1848. Under the terms of the treaty, Mexico ceded California and other territories to the United States in exchange for $15 million and the assumption by the United States of some $3 million in claims by Mexican citizens.

Just nine days before the treaty was signed, James Wilson Marshall discovered gold along the American River in California. The news of the gold discovery, on 24 January 1848, soon spread around the globe, and a massive rush of people poured into the region. By the end of 1848, about 6,000 miners had obtained $10 million worth of gold. During 1849, production was two or three times as large, but the proceeds were spread among more than 40,000 miners. In 1852, the peak year of production, about $80 million in gold was mined in the state, and during the century following its discovery, the total output of California gold amounted to nearly $2 billion.

California's census population quadrupled during the 1850s, reaching nearly 380,000 by 1860, and continued to grow at a rate twice that of the nation as a whole in the 1860s and 1870s. The new population of California was remarkably diverse. The 1850 census found that nearly a quarter of all Californians were foreign-born, while only a tenth of the national population had been born abroad. In succeeding decades, the percentage of foreign-born Californians increased, rising to just under 40% during the 1860s.

One of the most serious problems facing California in the early years of the gold rush was the absence of adequate government. Miners organized more than 500 "mining districts" to regulate their affairs; in San Francisco and other cities, "vigilance committees" were formed to combat widespread robbery and arson. The US Congress, deadlocked over the slavery controversy, failed to provide any form of legal government for California from the end of the Mexican War until its admission as a state in the fall of 1850. Taking matters into their own hands, 48 delegates gathered at a constitutional convention in Monterey in September 1849 to draft a fundamental law for the state. The completed constitution contained several unique features, but most of its provisions were based on the constitutions of Iowa and New York. To the surprise of many, the convention decided by unanimous vote to exclude slavery from the state. After considerable debate, the delegates also established the present boundaries of California. Adopted on 10 October, the constitution was ratified by the voters on 13 November 1849; at the same time, Californians elected their first state officials. California soon petitioned Congress for admission as a state, having bypassed the preliminary territorial stage, and was admitted after southern objections to the creation of another free state were overcome by adoption of the stringent new Fugitive Slave Law. On 9 September 1850, President Millard Fillmore signed the admission bill, and California became the 31st state to enter the union.

The early years of statehood were marked by racial discrimination and considerable ethnic conflict. Indian and white hostilities were intense; the Indian population declined from an estimated 150,000 in 1845 to less than 30,000 by 1870. In 1850, the state legislature enacted a foreign miners' license tax, aimed at eliminating competition from Mexican and other Latin American miners. The Chinese, who replaced the Mexicans as the state's largest foreign minority, soon became the target of a new round of discrimination. By 1852, 25,000 Chinese were in California, representing about a tenth of the state's population. The legislature enacted new taxes aimed at Chinese miners, and passed an immigration tax (soon declared unconstitutional) on Chinese immigrants.

Controversy also centered on the status of the Mexican ranchos, those vast estates created by the Mexican government that totaled more than 13 million acres (5 million hectares) by 1850. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo had promised that property belonging to Mexicans in the ceded territories would be "inviolably protected." Nevertheless, in the early years of statehood, thousands of squatters took up residence on the rancho lands. Ultimately, about three-fourths of the original Mexican grants were confirmed by federal commissions and courts; however, the average length of time required for confirmation was 17 years. During the lengthy legal process, many of the grantees either sold parts of their grants to speculators or assigned portions to their attorneys for legal fees. By the time title was confirmed, the original grantees were often bankrupt and benefited little from the decision.

Despite the population boom during the gold rush, California remained isolated from the rest of the country until completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. Under terms of the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, the Central Pacific was authorized by Congress to receive long-term federal loans and grants of land, about 12,500 acres per mi (3,100 hectares per km) of track, to build the western link of the road. The directors of the California corporationLeland Stanford, Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins, who became known as the Big Fourexercised enormous power in the affairs of the state. Following completion of the Central Pacific, the Big Four constructed additional lines within California, as well as a second transcontinental line, the Southern Pacific, providing service from southern California to New Orleans.

To a degree unmatched anywhere in the nation, the Big Four established a monopoly of transportation in California and the Far West. Eventually the Southern Pacific, as the entire system came to be known after 1884, received from the federal government a total of 11,588,000 acres (4,690,000 hectares), making it the largest private landowner in the state. Opponents of the railroad charged that it had established not only a transportation monopoly but also a corrupt political machine and a "land monopoly" in California. Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley became involved in a protracted land dispute with the Southern Pacific, a controversy that culminated in a bloody episode in 1880, known as the Battle of Mussel Slough, in which seven men were killed. This incident, later dramatized by novelist Frank Norris in The Octopus (1901), threw into sharp relief the hostility between many Californians and the state's largest corporation.

In the late 19th century, California's economy became more diversified. The early dependence on gold and silver mining was overcome through the development of large-scale irrigation projects and the expansion of commercial agriculture. Southern California soon was producing more than 65% of the nation's orange crop, and more than 90% of its lemons. The population of southern California boomed in the 1880s, fueled by the success of the new citrus industry, an influx of invalids seeking a warmer climate, and a railroad rate war between the Southern Pacific and the newly completed Santa Fe. For a time, the tariff from Kansas City to Los Angeles fell to a dollar a ticket. Real estate sales in Los Angeles County alone exceeded $200 million in 1887.

During the early 20th century, California's population growth became increasingly urban. Between 1900 and 1920, the population of the San Francisco Bay area doubled, while residents of metropolitan Los Angeles increased fivefold. On 18 April 1906, San Francisco's progress was interrupted by the most devastating earthquake ever to strike California. The quake and the fires that raged for the following three days killed at least 452 people, razed the city's business section, and destroyed some 28,000 buildings. The survivors immediately set to work to rebuild the city, and completed about 20,000 new buildings within three years.

By 1920, the populations of the two urban areas were roughly equal, about 1 million each. As their population grew, the need for additional water supplies became critical, and both cities became involved in bitter "water fights" with other state interests. Around 1900, San Francisco proposed the damming of the Tuolumne River at the Hetch Hetchy Valley to form a reservoir for the city's water system. Conservationist John Muir and the Sierra Club objected strongly to the proposal, arguing that the Hetch Hetchy was as important a natural landmark as neighboring Yosemite Valley. The conservationists lost the battle, and the valley was flooded. (The dam there is named for Michael O'Shaughnessy, San Francisco's city engineer from 1912 to 1932 and the builder of many of California's water systems.) When Los Angeles began its search for new water supplies, it soon became embroiled in a long controversy over access to the waters of the Owens River. The city constructed a 250-mi (400-km) aqueduct that eventually siphoned off nearly the entire flow of the river, thus jeopardizing the agricultural development of Owens Valley. Residents of the valley dramatized their objection to the project by dynamiting sections of the completed aqueduct.

Important movements for political reform began simultaneously in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the early 20th century. Corruption in the administration of San Francisco Mayor Eugene Schmitz led to a wide-ranging public investigation and to a series of trials of political and business leaders. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a coalition of reformers persuaded the city to adopt a new charter with progressive features such as initiative, referendum, and recall. Progressive Republican Hiram Johnson won the governorship in 1910, and reformers gained control of both houses of the state legislature in 1911. Subsequent reform legislation established effective regulation of the railroads and other public utilities, greater governmental efficiency, female suffrage, closer regulation of public morality, and workers' compensation.

During the first half of the 20th century, California's population growth far outpaced that of the nation as a whole. The state's climate, natural beauty, and romantic reputation continued to attract many, but new economic opportunities were probably most important. In the early 1920s, major discoveries of oil were made in the Los Angeles Basin, and for several years during the decade, California ranked first among the states in production of crude oil. The population of Los Angeles County more than doubled during the decade, rising to 2,208,492 by 1930. Spurred by the availability and low price of petroleum products and by an ever expanding system of public roadways, Los Angeles also became the most thoroughly motorized and automobile-conscious city in the world. By 1925, Los Angeles had one automobile for every three persons, more than twice the national average.

Even during the 1930s, when California shared in the nationwide economic depression, hundreds of thousands of refugees streamed into the state from the dust bowl of the southern Great Plains. The film industry, which offered at least the illusion of prosperity to millions of Americans, continued to prosper during the depression. By 1940 there were more movie theaters in the United States than banks, and the films they showed were almost all California products.

Politics in the Golden State in the 1930s spawned splinter movements like the Townsend Plan and the "Ham'n' Eggs" Plan, both of which advocated cash payments for the elderly. In 1934, Socialist author Upton Sinclair won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination with a plan called End Poverty in California (EPIC), but he lost the general election to the Republican incumbent, Frank Merriam.

During World War II, the enormous expansion of military installations, shipyards, and aircraft plants attracted millions of new residents to California. The war years also saw an increase in the size and importance of ethnic minorities. By 1942, only Mexico City had a larger urban Mexican population than Los Angeles. During the war, more than 93,000 Japanese-Americans in Californiamost of whom were US citizens and American bornwere interned in "relocation centers" throughout the Far West.

California continued to grow rapidly during the postwar period, as agricultural, aerospace, and service industries provided new economic opportunities. Politics in the state were influenced by international tensions, and the California legislature expanded the activities of its Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities. The University of California became embroiled in a loyalty-oath controversy, culminating in the dismissal in 1950 of 32 professors who refused to sign an anticommunist pledge. Blacklisting became common in the film industry. The early 1950s saw the rise to the US vice presidency of Richard Nixon, whose early campaigns capitalized on fears of communist subversion.

In 1958 Congress decided that some Native American tribes could no longer be considered as such; the move denied these groups38 of them in Californiafederal benefits. More than 40 years later, one group, the Miwok, sought to regain official status. Calling themselves the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria, the 360 remaining members aimed to restore their culture and heritage. Promising a no-gambling policy, the federation was recognized in 1999 by the US House of Representatives, which said it was righting a wrong. If the bill were approved by the Senate, the tribe would receive health, education, and economic benefits. They could also reclaim tribal lands in northern California, as long as there were no adverse claims to the property.

At the beginning of 1963, California (according to census estimates) became the nation's most populous state; its population continued to increase at a rate of 1,000 net migrants a day through the middle of the decade. By 1970, however, California's growth rate had slowed considerably. During the 1960s, the state was beset by a number of serious problems that apparently discouraged would-be immigrants. Economic opportunity gave way to recessions and high unemployment. Such rapid-growth industries as aerospace experienced a rapid decline in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Pollution of air and water called into question the quality of the California environment. The traditional romantic image of California was overshadowed by reports of mass murders, bizarre religious cults, extremist social and political movements, and racial and campus unrest. Nevertheless, the state's population has continued to grow. According to government figures, California had a population of 31.6 million in 1995, making it the most populous state in the nation. By 2000, its population was estimated at 33.8 million, and officials believed the state would retain its status of most populated through the year 2025.

The political importance of California's preeminence in population can be measured in the size of its congressional delegation and electoral votes. Defeated in his quest for the presidency in 1960, former vice president Nixon in 1968 became the first native Californian to win election to the nation's highest office. Both Ronald Reagan, governor of the state from 1967 to 1975, and Edmund G. Brown Jr., elected governor in 1974 and reelected in 1978, were active candidates for the US presidency in 1980. Reagan was the Republican presidential winner that year and in 1984.

Assisted by the Reagan administration's military buildup, which invested billions of dollars into California manufacturers of bombers, missiles, and spacecraft as well as into its military bases, the California economy rebounded in the early and mid-1980s, bringing increases in total output, personal income, and employment which surpassed the national average. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, however, a recession and cuts in military spending, combined with existing burdens of expensive commercial and residential real estate, strict environmental regulations, and the effects of a savings and loan scandal, produced a dramatic economic decline. In 1992, the state's unemployment rate climbed to 10.1%. Jobs in the California aerospace and manufacturing sector dropped by 24%. For the first time in the state's history, substantial numbers of Californians migratedover a million left between 1991 and 1994. Although such factors as air pollution, traffic congestion, and earthquakes were cited as reasons for this exodus, research has shown that most left in search of better job opportunities.

California's economic woes were matched by civil disorders. In 1991, an onlooker released a seven-minute videotape showing a group of police officers beating Rodney King, a black motorist, with nightsticks. The driver had pulled over after giving chase. In a jury trial which took place in a mostly white suburb northwest of Los Angeles, four police officers who had been charged with unnecessary brutality were acquitted. The verdict set off riots in South Central Los Angeles, killing 60 people and causing an estimated $1 billion in property damage.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, California was also hit by two severe earthquakes. The first, which struck the San Francisco area in 1989, measured 7.1 on the Richter scale. The quake caused the collapse of buildings, bridges, and roadways, including the upper level of Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland and a 30-ft section of the Bay Bridge. As many as 270 people were killed and 100,000 houses were damaged. The quake caused $5-7 billion worth of property damage. In 1994, an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale occurred 20 mi northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Three major overpasses ruptured and 680,000 people were left without electricity. The quake produced $13-20 million in property damage.

In 1994, anger over illegal immigration led to passage of Proposition 187, which would bar illegal aliens from welfare, educa-tion, and nonemergency health services. The measure was approved by a 59 to 41% margin. Passage of the measure prompted immediate challenges in the courts by the opposition. The following year, Governor Pete Wilson signed an executive order limiting the application of affirmative action in hiring and contracting by the state. He also approved the elimination of affirmative action in university admissions, a policy implemented by the Board of Regents and effective as of January 1997. After most of Proposition 187 was ruled unconstitutional in a US district court, in 1999 Governor Gray Davis agreed to end the legal battle over the controversial measure. The only part that survived was a provision strengthening the penalties for manufacture and use of false documents to conceal illegal immigrant status. While the governor said he was reluctant to go against the will of the majority of voters, civil rights groups had successfully challenged most of the language in the proposition. Further, by the time Davis agreed to stop defending the measure, federal laws had accomplished much of the intent of Proposition 187. All states were by then required to deny welfare benefits and all health benefits (except emergency care) to anyone who could not verify their presence in the United States was legal.

In November 1996, the California Civil Rights Initiative (Proposition 209) passed with 55% of the vote, banning the use of racial and sex-based preferences in state-run affirmative action programs. Three weeks later, a federal judge blocked the enforcement of the initiative, claiming that it might be unconstitutional. In April 1997, however, a federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of Proposition 209.

In mid-2000, Governor Gray Davis signed the state's $99.4-billion budget, which included a $1.35 billion education reform program. The state's goals for its school system included recruiting 300,000 new teachers by 2010, retaining and rewarding good teachers, placing computers and Internet connections in classrooms, and raising student achievement by awarding state-funded college scholarships to top students. The package was considered one of the most comprehensive education reform plans in the nation.

Some observers believed California's biggest struggle in the 21st century would be over water. In 2000, California and six other states were on the verge of a historic agreement that would give Southern California a 15-year deadline to cut its use of the Colorado River. Municipalities began discussing ways to turn waste water into drinking water. In June Governor Gray Davis, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, and Senator Dianne Feinstein announced the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, calling it an "unprecedented effort" between state and federal governments, local agencies, the public, and private businesses to build a framework for managing water. Highlights of the plan included multimillion dollar investments in ecosystem restoration projects, projects to increase water-storage capacity, loan and grant programs for agricultural and urban water use efficiency, water-recycling capitol improvement projects, and improving water supply reliability through integration of storage, conveyance, water-use efficiency, water quality, and water transfer programs.

Beginning in 2000, California experienced an energy crisis that saw electricity prices spike to their highest levels in 2001. Prices went from $12 per megawatt hour in 1998 to $200 in December 2000 and $250 in January 2001, and at times a megawatt hour cost $1000. A series of rolling blackouts in various areas occurred during 2001. California subsequently signed $40 billion in long-term power contracts, which were seen as assuring the state's power supply at reasonable rates, but after the crisis, when electricity rates fell, they proved to be very costly. Governor Davis pledged to fight the energy companies accused of profiting from the crisis, including the Enron Corporation, and in March 2003, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a ruling that companies would have to pay $3.3 billion in refunds for gaming the state's energy markets. California claimed it was owed $9 billion in refunds.

Gray Davis was reelected governor in 2002, but by 2003, his popularity ratings had dropped dramatically, due in part to the state's $38 billion budget deficit and the 200001 energy crisis, and a gubernatorial recall election was approved for 7 October 2003. One hundred thirty-five candidates were certified as candidates in the election, including Hollywood movie star and political novice Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, although indicating Davis should stay in office, was running in the election in order to give voters the choice of voting for a strong Democratic candidate. In the first gubernatorial recall in California history, and only the second in US history, Davis was recalled with 55.4% of the vote in favor of the recall. Although dogged by charges of sexual harassment, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected to replace him.

Once he came to office, Schwarzenegger repealed an unpopular increase in vehicle license fees, and took steps to easing the state's budget woes. He proposed floating $15 in bonds, urged passage of a constitutional amendment to limit state spending, and promised an overhaul of workers' compensation. In a March 2004 election, Proposition 57, authorizing the $15 billion bond sale, and Proposition 58, mandating balanced budgets, overwhelmingly passed with 63.3% and 71% in favor, respectively. In April 2004, Schwarzenegger signed a workers' compensation reform bill into law. In September 2005, Schwarzenegger announced he would run for reelection.


The first state constitution, adopted in 1849, outlawed slavery and was unique in granting property rights to married women in their own name. A new constitution, drafted in 1878 and ratified the following year, sought to curb legislative abuseseven going so far as to make lobbying a felonyand provided for a more equitable system of taxation, stricter regulation of the railroads, and an eight-hour workday. Of the 152 delegates to the 1878 constitutional convention, only two were natives of California, and 35 were foreign born; no Spanish-speaking persons or Indians were included. This second constitution, as amended, is the basic document of state government today.

In April 1994 the California Constitutional Revision Commission was appointed to make recommendations to the governor and legislature for constitutional revisions affecting budget process, governmental structure, local government duties, and other areas. The Commission made its final report in 1996, on schedule. As of January 2005, the California constitution had been amended 513 times.

The California legislature consists of a 40-member Senate and an 80-member assembly. Senators are elected to four-year terms, half of them every two years, and assembly members are elected to two-year terms. As a result of a 1972 constitutional amendment, the legislature meets in a continuous two-year session, thus eliminating the need to reintroduce or reprint bills proposed in the first year of the biennium. Each session begins with an organizational meeting in December of even-numbered years; then, following a brief recess, the legislature reconvenes on the first Monday in January (of the odd-numbered year) and continues in session until 30 November of the next even-numbered year. Members of the Senate and assembly must be over 18 years old, and must have been US citizens and residents of the state for at least three years and residents of the districts they represent for at least one year prior to election. Legislative salaries in 2004 were $99,000 annually, unchanged from 1999.

Bills, which may be introduced by either house, are referred to committees, and must be read before each house three times. Legislation must be approved by an absolute majority vote of each house, except for appropriations bills, certain urgent measures, and proposed constitutional amendments, which require a two-thirds vote for passage. Gubernatorial vetoes may be overridden by two-thirds vote of the elected members in both houses. In the 1973/74 session, the legislature overrode a veto for the first time since 1946, but overrides have since become more common.

Constitutional amendments and proposed legislation may also be placed on the ballot through the initiative procedure. For a con-stitutional amendment, petitions must be signed by at least 8% of the number of voters who took part in the last gubernatorial election; for statutory measures, 5%. In each case, a simple majority vote at the next general election is required for passage.

California Prosidential Vote by Political Parties, 19482004
*Won US presidential election.
1948 25 *Truman (D) 1,913,134 1,895,269 1,228 190,381 3,459 16,926
1952 32 *Eisenhower (R) 2,197,548 2,897,310 3,504 24,692 273 16,117
1956 32 *Eisenhower (R) 2,420,135 3,027,668 6,087 300 11,119
1960 32 Nixon (R) 3,224,099 3,259,722 1,051 21,706
1964 40 *Johnson (D) 4,171,877 2,879,108 489
1968 40 *Nixon (R) 3,244,318 3,467,664 487,270 27,707
1972 45 *Nixon (R) 3,475,847 4,602,096 232,554 55,167 980
1976 45 Ford (R) 3,742,284 3,882,244 51,096 12,766 41,731 56,388
1980 45 *Reagan (R) 3,039,532 4,444,044 9,687 60,059 17,797
1984 47 *Reagan (R) 3,922,519 5,467,009 39,265 NEW ALLIANCE 26,297 49,951
1988 47 *Bush (R) 4,702,233 5,054,917 27,818 31,181 70,105
IND. (Perot)
1992 54 *Clinton (D) 5,121,325 3,630,574 12,711 2,296,006 18,597 48,139
GREEN (Nader)
1996 54 *Clinton (D) 5,119,835 3,828,380 697,847 237,016 73,600
2000 54 Core (D) 5,861,293 4,567,429 44,987 418,707 45,520
2004 55 Ken (D) 6,745,485 5,509,826 26,645 27,607 40,771 50,165

Officials elected statewide include the governor and lieutenant governor (who run separately), secretary of state, attorney general, controller, treasurer, and superintendent of public instruction. Each serves a four-year term, without limitation. As chief executive officer of the state, the governor is responsible for the state's policies and programs, appoints department heads and members of state boards and commissions, serves as commander in chief of the California National Guard, may declare states of emergency, and may grant executive clemency to convicted criminals. In general, if the governor fails to sign or veto a bill within 12 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays), it becomes law. A candidate for governor must be at least 18 years old, a five-year citizen of the United States, and a five-year resident of California. The governor is limited to a maximum of two consecutive terms. The governor's annual salary as of December 2004 was $175,000.

The lieutenant governor acts as president of the Senate and may assume the duties of the governor in case of the latter's death, resignation, impeachment, inability to discharge the duties of the office, or absence from the state. To vote in California, one must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, and a resident of the state. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.


As the state with the largest number of US representatives (53 in 2005) and electoral votes (55 in 2004), California plays a key role in national and presidential politics. In 2004 there were 16,557,000 registered voters; an estimated 44% were Democratic, 35% Republican, and 21% unaffiliated or members of other parties.

In 1851, the year after California entered the Union, the state Democratic Party was organized. But the party soon split into a pro-South faction, led by US Senator William Gwin, and a pro-North wing, headed by David Broderick. A political leader in San Francisco, Broderick became a US senator in 1857 but was killed in a duel by a Gwin stalwart two years later. This violent factionalism helped switch Democratic votes to the new Republican Party in the election of 1860, giving California's four electoral votes to Abraham Lincoln. This defeat, followed by the Civil War, demolished Senator Gwin's Democratic faction, and he fled to exile in Mexico.

The Republican party itself split into liberal and conservative wings in the early 1900s. Progressive Republicans formed the Lincoln-Roosevelt League to espouse political reforms, and succeeded in nominating and electing Hiram Johnson as governor on the Republican ticket in 1910. The following year, the legislature approved 23 constitutional amendments, including the initiative, referendum, recall, and other reform measures. Johnson won reelection on a Progressive Party line in 1915. After Johnson's election to the US Senate in 1916, Republicans (both liberal and conservative) controlled the state House uninterruptedly for 22 years, from 1917 to 1939. Democratic fortunes sank so low that in 1924 the party's presidential candidate, John W. Davis, got only 8% of the state's votes, leading humorist Will Rogers to quip, "I don't belong to any organized political partyI am a California Democrat." An important factor in the Progressive Republicans' success was the cross-filing system, in effect from 1913 to 1959, which blurred party lines by permitting candidates to appear on the primary ballots of several parties. This favored such Republican moderates as Earl Warren, who won an unprecedented three terms as governorin 1946, he won both Republican and Democratic party primariesbefore being elevated to US chief justice in 1953.

Political third parties have had remarkable success in California since the secretive anti-foreign, anti-Catholic Native American Party (called the Know-Nothings because party members were instructed to say they "knew nothing" when asked what they stood for) elected one of their leaders, J. Neely Johnson, as governor in 1855. The Workingmen's Party of California, as much anti-Chinese as it was antimonopolist and prolabor, managed to elect about one-third of the delegates to the 1878 constitutional convention. The most impressive third-party triumph came in 1912, when the Progressive Party's presidential candidate, Theodore Roosevelt, and vice presidential nominee, Governor Hiram Johnson, defeated both the Republican and Democratic candidates among state voters. The Socialist Party also attracted support in the early 20th century. In 1910, more than 12% of the vote went to the Socialist candidate for governor, J. Stitt Wilson. Two years later, Socialist congressional nominees in the state won 18% of the vote, and a Socialist assemblyman was elected from Los Angeles. In 1914, two Socialist assemblymen and one state senator were elected. During the depression year of 1934, the Socialist Party leader and author Upton Sinclair won the Democratic nomination for governor on his End Poverty In California program and received nearly a million votes, while losing to Republican Frank Merriam. Nonparty political movements have also won followings: several southern California congressmen were members of the ultraconservative John Birch Society during the 1960s, and in 1980 the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan won the Democratic Party nomination for a US House seat. Even when they lost decisively, third parties have won enough votes to affect the outcome of elections. In 1968, for example, George Wallace's American Independent Party received 487,270 votes, while Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon topped Democrat Hubert Humphrey by only 223,346. In 1992, Ross Perot picked up 20.6% of the vote. In 2000, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader won 4% of the vote, or 405,722 votes.

Even with a historic advantage in voter registration, however, the Democrats managed to carry California in presidential elections only three times between 1948 and 1992, and to elect only two governorsEdmund G. "Pat" Brown (in 1958 and 1962) and his son, Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr. (in 1974 and 1978)during the same period. Three times Californians gave their electoral votes to a California Republican, Richard Nixon, though they turned down his bid for governor in 1962. They elected one former film actor, Republican George Murphy, as US senator in 1964, and another, Republican Ronald Reagan, as governor in 1966 and 1970 and as president in 1980 and 1984. Democratic nominee Bill Clinton garnered 51% of the popular vote in 1996, while Republican Bob Dole received 38% and Independent Ross Perot picked up just under 7%. In the 2000 presidential election, Democrat Al Gore carried the state, with 54% of the vote to George W. Bush's 42%; in 2004, Democrat John Kerry won 54.6% of the California vote to incumbent president George W. Bush's 44.3%. (Bush won on the national level.) In 1998, Democrat Gray Davis, formerly lieutenant governor, was elected to be the state's 37th governor by 58% of voters. He won reelection in 2002, but was recalled in October 2003, the second governor to be recalled in US history. An electricity crisis in 2001 and a massive state budget deficit in 2003 contributed to his recall. He was succeeded by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Both US senators in 2005 were women: Democrat Barbara Boxer, who won reelection to a third term in 2004; and Dianne Feinstein, elected in 1992 to replace Senator Pete Wilson (who was elected governor in 1990) and reelected in 1994 to serve her first full (six-year) term. She was reelected once again in 2000, with 56% of the vote. California's delegation of US representatives to the 109th Congress (200506) consisted of 33 Democrats and 20 Republicans. Democrat Nancy Pelosi was elected House Minority Leader in 2003. After 2004 elections, the Democrats kept control of the state Senate (25-15) and House (48-32).

Minority groups of all types are represented in California politics. In mid-2003, there were 31 women, 24 Latino members, and 6 black members in the state legislature. Two of the most prominent black elected officials include Los Angeles Mayor Thomas Bradley, who served from 197390, and San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr., who began his first term in 1996 and won reelection in 1999. Organized groups of avowed homosexuals began to play an important political role in San Francisco during the 1970s.


As of 2005, California had 58 counties, 475 municipal governments, 2,830 special districts, and 985 public school districts. County government is administered by an elected board of supervisors, which also exercises jurisdiction over unincorporated towns within the county. Government operations are administered by several elected officials, the number varying according to the population of the county. Most counties have a district attorney, assessor, treasurer-tax collector, superintendent of schools, sheriff, and coroner. Larger counties may also have an elected planning director, public defender, public works director, purchasing agent, and social welfare services director.

Municipalities are governed under the mayor-council, council-manager, or commission system. Most large cities are run by councils of from 5 to 15 members, elected to four-year terms, the councils being responsible for taxes, public improvements, and the budget. An elected mayor supervises city departments and appoints most city officials. Other elected officials usually include the city attorney, treasurer, and assessor. Los Angeles and San Francisco have the mayor-council form of government, but in San Francisco, the city and county governments are consolidated under an elected board of supervisors, and the mayor appoints a manager who has substantial authority. San Diego and San Jose each have an elected mayor and city manager chosen by an elected city council.

The state's direct primary law had a salutary effect on local politics by helping end the power of political machines in the large cities. In 1910, Los Angeles voters adopted the nonpartisan primary and overthrew the corrupt rule of Mayor A. C. Harper in favor of reformer George Alexander. At the same time, voters were revolting against bossism and corruption in San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland, and other cities.

In 2005, local government accounted for about 1,384,276 full-time (or equivalent) employment positions.


To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in California operates under executive order; a Homeland Security Director is appointed to oversee the state's homeland security activities, which include enhanced highway patrol operations and the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center.

In accordance with the Political Reform Act of 1974, the Fair Political Practices Commission investigates political campaign irregularities, regulates lobbyists, and enforces full disclosure of political contributions and public officials' assets and income.

Educational services are provided by the Department of Education, which administers the public school system. The department, which is headed by the superintendent of public instruction, also regulates special schools for blind, deaf, and disabled children. The University of California system is governed by a board of regents headed by the governor.

Transportation services are under the direction of the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS), which oversees mass transit lines, highways, and airports. Intrastate rate regulation of pipelines, railroads, buses, trucks, airlines, and waterborne transportation is the responsibility of the Public Utilities Commission, which also regulates gas, electric, telephone, water, sewer, and steam-heat utilities. The Department of Motor Vehicles licenses drivers, road vehicles, automotive dealers, and boats.

Health and welfare services are provided by many state departments, most of which are part of the Health and Human Services Agency. The Department of Health Services provides health care for several millions of persons through the state's Medi-Cal program. The department's public health services include controlling infectious disease, conducting cancer research, safeguarding water quality, and protecting the public from unsafe food and drugs. The department also has licensing responsibility for hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Care for the mentally ill is provided through the Department of Mental Health by means of state hospitals and community outpatient clinics. Disabled people receive counseling, vocational training, and other aid through the Department of Rehabilitation. Needy families receive income maintenance aid and food stamps from the Department of Social Services. Senior citizens can get help from the Department of Aging, which allocates federal funds for the elderly. The Commission on the Status of Women reports to the legislature on women's educational and employment needs, and on statutes or practices that infringe on their rights. The Youth Authority, charged with the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders, operates training schools and conservation camps. The Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs coordinates prevention and treatment activities.

Public protection services are provided by the Army and Air National Guard, and by the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, which maintains institutions and programs to control and treat convicted felons and narcotics addicts. The California Highway Patrol has its own separate department within the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. This agency also includes the Department of Housing and Community Development. The State and Consumer Services Agency has jurisdiction over the Department of Consumer Affairs, the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), and several other state departments. A state innovation was the establishment in 1974 of the Seismic Safety Commission to plan public safety programs in connection with California's continuing earthquake problem.

Programs for the preservation and development of natural resources are centralized in the Resources Agency. State parks and recreation areas are administered by the Department of Parks. California's vital water needs are the responsibility of the Department of Water Resources. In 1975, as a result of a national oil shortage, the state established the Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to develop contingency plans for dealing with fuel shortages, to forecast the state's energy needs, and to coordinate programs for energy conservation (it now exists as the California Energy Commission). The Department of Conservation provides employment opportunities for young people in conservation work.

The Department of Industrial Relations has divisions dealing with fair employment practices, occupational safety and health standards, and workers' compensation. The Employment Development Department provides unemployment and disability benefits and operates job-training and work-incentive programs. The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) guards the natural environment.


California has a complex judicial system and a very large correctional system.

The state's highest court is the Supreme Court, which may review appellate court decisions and superior court cases involving the death penalty. The high court has a chief justice and six associate justices, all of whom serve 12-year terms. Justices are appointed by the governor, confirmed or disapproved by the Commission on Judicial Appointments (headed by the chief justice), and then submitted to the voters for ratification. The chief justice also chairs the Judicial Council, which seeks to expedite judicial business and to equalize judges' caseloads.

Courts of appeal, organized in six appellate districts, review decisions of superior courts and, in certain cases, of municipal and justice courts. There were 93 district appeals court judgeships in 1999. All district court judges are appointed by the governor, reviewed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, and subject to popular election for 12-year terms.

Superior courts in each of the 58 county seats have original jurisdiction in felony, juvenile, probate, and domestic relations cases, as well as in civil cases involving more than $15,000. They also handle some tax and misdemeanor cases and appeals from lower courts. Municipal courts, located in judicial districts with populations of more than 40,000, hear misdemeanors (except those involving juveniles) and civil cases involving $15,000 or less. In districts with less than 40,000 population, justice courts have jurisdiction similar to that of municipal courts. All trial court judges are elected to six-year terms.

As of 31 December 2004, a total of 166,556 prisoners were held in California's state and federal prisons, an increase (from 164,487) of 1.3% from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 11,188 inmates were female, up 5% (from 10,656) from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), California had an incarceration rate of 456 per 100,000 population in 2004.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, California in 2004 had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 551.8 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 198,070 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) in that same year totaled 1,227,194 reported incidents or 3,419 reported incidents per 100,000 people. California has a death penalty, which can be carried out by lethal injection or electrocution, depending upon the prisoner's request. From 1976 through 5 May 2006 the state has executed 13 persons; there were 2 executions in 2005 and 1 in 2006 (as of 5 May). As of 1 January 2006, there were 649 death row inmates, the most of any state in the nation.

In 2003, California spent $1,158,362,732 on homeland security, an average of $34 per state resident.


California leads the 50 states in defense contracts received, numbers of National Guardsmen and military veterans, veterans' benefit payments, and funding for police forces.

In 2004, the US Department of Defense had 173,318 active-duty military personnel, 19,026 Reserve and National Guard personnel, and 49,870 civilian personnel in California. Army military personnel totaled 9,063; the Navy (including Marines), 130,887; and the Air Force, 30,918.

Army bases are located at Oakland and San Francisco, and naval facilities in the San Diego area. There are weapons stations at Concord and Seal Beach, and supply depots at Oakland and San Pedro. The Marine Corps training base, Camp Pendleton, is at Oceanside. The Air Force operates four main basesBeale Air Force Base (AFB) at Marysville, home for the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, the T-38 jet trainer, the KC-135 tanker, and the GLOBAL HAWK, the Air Force's high-altitude reconnaissance platform; Edwards AFB at Rosamond, in California's Mojave Desert, which has two unique natural resources that help make it the premier flight test facility in the world; Rogers and Rosamond dry lakebeds; Travis AFB at Fairfield, which handles more cargo and passengers than any other military air terminal in the United States and is the West Coast terminal for aeromedical evacuation aircraft returning sick or injured patients from the Pacific area; and Vandenberg AFB at Lompoc, headquarters for the 30th Space Wing, which manages Department of Defense space and missile testing, places satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast, and is also home to the Western Launch and Test Range (WLTR). There are also numerous smaller installations. In 2004, California companies were awarded $27.8 billion in defense contracts, the highest in the nation, and amounting to over 13% of the US total. Defense Department expenditures in California that year included another $15.0 billion for payroll (including retired military pay), second only to Virginia.

There were 2,310,968 veterans of US military service in California as of 2003, of whom 333,489 served in World War II; 253,834 in the Korean conflict; 707,737 during the Vietnam era; and 334,111 during 19902000 (in the Gulf War). US Veterans Administration spending in Californian exceeded $5.6 billion in 2004.

California's military forces consist of the Army and Air National Guard, the naval and state military reserve (militia), and the California Cadet Corps. As of 31 October 2004, the California Highway Patrol employed 7,065 full-time sworn officers.


A majority of Californians today are migrants from other states. The first great wave of migration, beginning in 1848, brought at least 85,000 prospectors by 1850. Perhaps 20,000 of them were foreign born, mostly from Europe, Canada, Mexico, and South America, as well as a few from the Hawaiian Islands and China. Many thousands of Chinese were brought in during the latter half of the 19th century to work on farms and railroads. When Chinese immigration was banned by the US Congress in 1882, Japanese migration provided farm labor. These ambitious workers soon opened shops in the cities and bought land for small farms. By 1940, about 94,000 Japanese lived in California. During the Depression of the 1930s, approximately 350,000 migrants came to California, most of them looking for work. Many thousands of people came there during World War II to take jobs in the burgeoning war industries; after the war, some 300,000 discharged servicemen settled in the state. All told, between 1940 and 1990 California registered a net gain from migration of 12,426,000, representing well over half of its population growth during that period.

In the 1990s, California registered net losses in domestic migration, peaking with a loss of 444,186 in 199394. Altogether, net losses in domestic migration between 1990 and 1998 totaled 2,082,000 people. During the same period, net gains in international migration totaled 2,019,000. As of 1996, nearly 22% of all foreign immigrants in the United States were living in California, a higher proportion than in any other state. Although the 1970s brought an influx of refugees from Indochina, and, somewhat later, from Central America, the bulk of postwar foreign immigration has come from neighboring Mexico. At first, Mexicansas many as 750,000 a yearwere imported legally to supply seasonal labor for California growers. Later, hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of illegal Mexican immigrants crossed the border in search of jobs and then, unless they were caught and forcibly repatriated, stayed on. Counting these state residents for census purposes is extremely difficult, since many of them are unwilling to declare themselves for fear of being identified and deported. As of 1990, California's foreign-born population was reported at 8,055,000, or 25% of the state's total. As of 1994, the number of undocumented immigrants was estimated at between 1,321 and 1,784the most any state and close to 40% of the total number thought to be residing in the United States. As of 1998, California was the intended residence of 170,126 foreign immigrants (more than any other state and 26% of the United States total that year), of these, 62,113 were from Mexico.

Intrastate migration has followed two general patterns: rural to urban until the mid-20th century, and urban to suburban, thereafter. In particular, the percentage of blacks increased in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego between 1960 and 1970 as they settled or remained in the cities while whites moved out, into the surrounding suburbs. In the 1970s and 1980s, the percentage of blacks in Los Angeles and San Francisco decreased slightly; in San Diego, the percentage of blacks increased from 8.9% to 9.4%. By 1997, blacks represented 8.3% of the Los Angeles metropolitan population, 8.8% of the San Francisco metropolitan population, but only 6.4% of the San Diego metropolitan population, a 3% decrease from the 1980s. California's net gain from migration during 197080 amounted to about 1,573,000. In the 1980s, migration accounted for 54% of the net population increase, with about 2,940,000 new residents. Between 1990 and 1998, the state's overall population increased by 9.7%. In the period 200005, net international migration was 1,415,879 and net internal migration was 664,460, for a net gain of 751,419 people.


The Colorado River Board of California represents the state's interests in negotiations with the federal government and other states over utilization of Colorado River water and power resources. California also is a member of the Colorado River Crime Enforcement Compact, California-Nevada Compact for Jurisdiction on Interstate Waters, the Klamath River Compact Commission (with Oregon), and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (with Nevada). Regional agreements signed by the state include the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Western Interstate Corrections Compact, and Western Interstate Energy Compact. The Arizona-California boundary accord dates from 1963. California also is a member of the Commission of the Californias, along with the State of Baja California Norte and the territory of Baja California Sur, both in Mexico. During 2005, federal grants to California amounted to $43.965 billion, the most received by any state. In 2006, California received an estimated $42.467 billion in federal grants, and an estimated $43.293 billion in 2007.


California leads the 50 states in economic output and total personal income. In the 1960s, when it became the nation's most populous state, California also surpassed Iowa in agricultural production and New York in value added by manufacturing.

The gold rush of the mid-19th century made mining (which employed more people than any other industry in the state until 1870) the principal economic activity and gave impetus to agriculture and manufacturing. Many unsuccessful miners took up farming or went to work for the big cattle ranches and wheat growers. In the 1870s, California became the most important cattle-raising state and the second-leading wheat producer. Agriculture soon expanded into truck farming and citrus production, while new manufacturing industries began to produce ships, metal products, lumber, leather, cloth, refined sugar, flour, and other processed foods. Manufacturing outstripped both mining and agriculture to produce goods valued at $258 million by 1900, and 10 times that by 1925. Thanks to a rapidly growing workforce, industrial output continued to expand during and after both world wars, while massive irrigation projects enabled farmers to make full use of the state's rich soil and favorable climate.

By the late 1970s, one of every four California workers was employed in high-technology industry. California has long ranked first among the states in defense procurement, and in 1997, defense contracts awarded to southern California firms surpassed the combined totals of New York and Texas.

From its beginnings in the late 18th century, California's wine industry has grown to encompass more than 700 wineries, which is over 50% of all the wineries in the United States. In addition, the state accounts for approximately 95% of all US wine output, followed by New York and Ohio. California's Central Valley accounts for 75% to 80% of the state's wine output.

A highly diversified economy made California less vulnerable to the national recession of the early 1980s than most other states. During the first half of the 1980s, the state generally outperformed the national economy. In 1984, California enjoyed an estimated increase of 12.1% in personal income and a 6.1% increase in non-agricultural employment, and reduced the unemployment rate from 9.7% to an estimated 7.8%. The boom was short-lived, however. Cuts in the military budget in the late 1980s, a decline in Japanese investment, and the national recession in the early 1990s had a devastating impact on the state, particularly on southern California. Unemployment in 1992 rose to 9.1%, up from 5.1% in 1989. The aerospace and construction industries suffered disproportionately. Employment in aerospace declined 22.3% between May of 1990 and September of 1992; construction lost 20% of its jobs in the same period.

Stock market growth in the high-technology sector led California's growth during the late 1990s. The gross state product (GSP) in 1997 was approximately $1 trillion. Annual growth rates in 1998 and 1999 averaged 7.75% in 1998 and 1999, and soared to 9.6% in 2000. The national recession of 2002, however, brought the growth rate down to 2.2%. While employment in southern California continued to expand, the San Francisco Bay area, severely impacted by the decline in the high-tech manufacturing and soft-ware sectors, the bursting of the bubble in the stock market, and the collapse of the venture capital market, experienced its worst recession in 50 years. In 2002, recovery remained elusive, and in 2003, the state faced a projected $38 billion budget deficit that was the main issue in an unprecedented campaign to the recall the governor.

Total GSP in 2004 was $1.55 trillion, of which the real estate sector was the largest component, accounting for $240.370 billion, or 13.1% of GSP. This was followed by manufacturing (durable and nondurable goods) at $175.852 billion (11.3% of GSP), and by professional and technical services at $121.686 billion (7.8% of GSP). In 2004, the state had more than 3.3 million small businesses. Of the 1,077,390 firms that had employees that same year, an estimated 1,068,602 (or 99.2%) were small firms. In 2004, a total of 117,016 new businesses were formed in California, up 3.1% from 2003. However, business terminations that year totaled 143,115, up 1.9% from 2003. Business bankruptcies fell 16.7% in 2004 from the year before to 3,748. The personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) filing rate in 2005 totaled 391 filings per 100,000 people, ranking the state 41st.


In 2005 California had a gross state product (GSP) of $1,622 billion, which accounted for 13.1% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state first in GSP among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004 California had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $35,219. This ranked 12th in the United States and was 107% of the national average of $33,050. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 4.3%. California had a total personal income (TPI) of $1,262,306,032,000, which ranked first in the United States and reflected an increase of 6.6% from 2003. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 5.6%. Earnings of persons employed in California increased from $939,640,136,000 in 2003 to $1,008,113,229,000 in 2004, an increase of 7.3%. The 200304 national change was 6.3%.

The US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average median household income for 200204 in 2004 dollars was $49,894, compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period, an estimated 13.2% of the population was below the poverty line, as compared to 12.4% nationwide.


California has the largest workforce in the nation and the greatest number of employed workers. During the 1970s, California's workforce also grew at a higher annual rate than that of any other state.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006 the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in California numbered 17,735,300, with approximately 870,400 workers unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 4.9%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 14,951,100. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in California was 11%, in February 1983. The historical low was 4.7% in February 2001. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 6.1% of the labor force was employed in construction; 10% in manufacturing; 18.9% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 6.2% in financial activities; 14.6% in professional and business services; 10.7% in education and health services; 10.1% in leisure and hospitality services; and 16.2% in government.

The labor movement in California was discredited by acts of violence during its early years. On 1 October 1910, a bomb explosion at a Los Angeles Times plant killed 21 workers, resulting in the conviction and imprisonment of two labor organizers a year later. Another bomb explosion, this one killing 10 persons in San Francisco on 22 July 1916, led to the conviction of two radical union leaders, Thomas Mooney and Warren Billings. The death penalty for Mooney was later commuted to life imprisonment (the same sentence Billings had received), and after evidence had been developed attesting to his innocence, he was pardoned in 1939. These violent incidents led to the state's Criminal Syndicalism Law of 1919, which forbade "labor violence" and curtailed militant labor activity for more than a decade.

Unionism revived during the depression of the 1930s. In 1934, the killing of two union picketers by San Francisco police during a strike by the International Longshoremen's Association led to a three-day general strike that paralyzed the city, and the union eventually won the demand for its own hiring halls. In Los Angeles, unions in such industries as automobiles, aircraft, rubber, and oil refining obtained bargaining rights, higher wages, and fringe benefits during and after World War II. In 1958, the California Labor Federation was organized, and labor unions have since increased both their membership and their benefits.

The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2005, a total of 2,424,000 of California's 14,687,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 16.5% of those so employed, unchanged from 2004, and above the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 2,610,000 workers (17.8%) in California were covered by a union or employee association contract, which included those workers who reported no union affiliation. California does not have a right-to-work law.

As of 1 March 2006, California had a state-mandated minimum wage rate of $6.75 per hour. However, the city of San Francisco has its own mandated minimum wage rate of $8.50 per hour. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 44.8% of the employed civilian labor force.

Of all working groups, migrant farm workers have been the most difficult to organize because their work is seasonal and because they are largely members of minority groups, mostly Mexicans, with few skills and limited job opportunities. During the 1960s, a Mexican American "stoop" laborer named Cesar Chavez established the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, and now the United Farm Workers of America), which, after a long struggle, won bargaining rights from grape, lettuce, and berry growers in the San Joaquin Valley. Chavez's group was helped by a secondary boycott against these California farm products at some grocery stores throughout the United States. When his union was threatened by the rival Teamsters Union in the early 1970s, Chavez got help from the AFL-CIO and from Governor Jerry Brown, who in 1975 pushed through the state legislature a law mandating free elections so agricultural workers could determine which union they wanted to represent them. The United Farm Workers and Teamsters formally settled their jurisdictional dispute in 1977.


California has led the United States in agriculture for nearly 50 years with a diverse economy of over 250 crop and livestock commodities. With only 4% of the nation's farms and 3% of the nation's farm acreage, the state accounts for over 13% of US gross cash farm receipts. Famous for its specialty crops, California produces virtually all (99% or more) of the following crops grown commercially in the United States: almonds, artichokes, avocados, clovers, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, and English walnuts. California's total cash farm receipts for 2005 amounted to $31.9 billion.

Agriculture has always thrived in California. The Spanish missions and Mexican ranchos were farming centers until the mid-19th century, when large ranches and farms began to produce cattle, grain, and cotton for the national market. Wheat was a major commodity by the 1870s, when the citrus industry was established and single-family farms in the fertile Central Valley and smaller valleys started to grow large quantities of fruits and vegetables. European settlers planted vineyards on the slopes of the Sonoma and Napa valleys, beginning California's wine industry, which today produces over 90% of US domestic wines. Around 1900, intensive irrigation transformed the dry, sandy Imperial Valley in southeastern California into a garden of abundance for specialty crops. Since World War II, corporate farming, or agribusiness, has largely replaced small single-family farms. Today, the state grows approximately 55% of all fruits and vegetables marketed in the United States.

In 2004, California devoted nearly one-third (27.7 million acres/11.2 million hectares) of its 100 million acres (40.4 million hectares) to agricultural production with 77,000 farms comprising 26.7 million acres (10.8 million hectares. Some 25% of all farmland represents crop growth, and currently 10% of all cropland uses irrigation.

Irrigation is essential for farming in California. Agriculture consumes 28% of the state's annual water supply. A major irrigation system was implemented, including the Colorado River Project, which irrigated 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) in the Imperial Valley in 1913; the Central Valley Project, completed by 1960, which harnessed the runoff of the Sacramento River; and the Feather River Project, also in the Central Valley, which was finished during the 1970s. Largest of all is the California Water Project, begun in 1960 and completed in 1973. During 1983, this project delivered 1.3 million acre-feet of water.

On 16 June 1980, the US Supreme Court ended 13 years of litigation by ruling that federally subsidized irrigation water in the Imperial Valley could not be limited to family farms of fewer than 160 acres (56 hectares) but must be made available to all farms regardless of size; the ruling represented a major victory for agribusiness interests.

The leading crops in 2004 (by value) included greenhouse and nursery products, grapes, and almonds. These three commodities accounted for 26% of the state's crop receipts that year. Other important crops include cotton, lettuce, hay, tomatoes, flowers and foliage, strawberries, oranges, rice, broccoli, walnuts, carrots, celery, and cantaloupe.

California was the top agricultural exporter in the United States with nearly $9.2 billion in 2004. Leading agricultural exports in 2004 included vegetables ($2.4 billion), fruits ($2.0 billion), and tree nuts ($1.7 billion). Japan accounts for more than 25% of all California agricultural exports, and the entire Pacific Rim accounts for more than half its total exports. Export markets hold the greatest potential for expanding sales of California agriculture products.


In 2005, farm marketings from livestock and dairy products amounted to almost $8.3 billion, or 7% of the US total, second only to Texas.

In 2005 there were an estimated 5.4 million cattle and calves in California valued at $6.1 billion. There were 140,000 hogs and pigs on California farms and ranches in 2004, valued at $18.2 million. In 2003 California produced 49.7 million lb (22.6 million kg) of sheep and lambs for a gross income of $69.8 million.

In 2003, California was the leading milk producer among the 50 states, with 35.4 billion lb (16.1 billion kg) of milk produced. Milk cows, raised mainly in the southern interior, totaled 1.69 million head in the same year.

California ranked fourth among the 50 states in egg production in 2003, with an output of 5.38 billion eggs. In 2003, California produced 418.7 million lb (190.3 million kg) of turkey, which was valued at $150.7 million.


The Pacific whaling industry, with its chief port at San Francisco, was important to the California economy in the 19th century, and commercial fishing is still central to the food-processing industry. In 2004, California ranked fifth in the nation in commercial fishing volume, with a catch of 378.6 million lb (172 million kg), valued at $139 million. Los Angeles ranked 17th among fishing ports (in terms of volume), with landings totaling 92.4 million lb (42 million kg).

In 2004, California accounted for 97% of US landings of chub mackerel. Salmon landings totaled 7 million lb (3.2 million kg), the fourth-largest volume in the nation, with a value of $17.7 million. The state was also second in volume of dungeness crab landings with 24.8 million lb (11.3 million kg). California was the leading state in squid catch at 87.3 million lb (40.6 million kg). In 2003, there were 364 processing and wholesale plants in the state. In 2002, the California fishing fleet numbered 2,198 boats and vessels.

Deep-sea fishing is a popular sport. World records for giant sea bass, California halibut, white catfish, and sturgeon have been set in California. There were 2,024,709 anglers licensed in the state in 2004, when recreational fishers caught an estimated 13.2 million (6 million kg) of fish.


California has more forests than any other state except Alaska. Forested lands in 2003 covered 40,233,000 acres (16,282,000 hectares), 40% of the total land area.

Forests are concentrated in the northwestern part of the state and in the eastern Sierra Nevada. Commercial forestland in private hands was estimated at 17,781,000 acres (7,196,000 hectares) in 2003; an additional 18,515,000 acres (7,493,000 hectares) was US Forest Service lands, and 2,208,000 acres (893,600 hectares) was regulated by the Bureau of Land Management. In 2004, lumber production totaled 2.9 billion board feet (fifth in the United States), mostly such softwoods as fir, pine, cedar, and redwood.

About half of the state's forests are protected as national forests and state parks or recreational areas. Although stands of coast redwood trees have been preserved in national and state parks since the late 19th century, only about 46% of the original 2 million acres (800,000 hectares) of redwoods between Monterey Bay and southern Oregon remain.

Reforestation of public lands is supervised by the National Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry. In 192425, more than 1.5 million redwood and Douglas fir seedlings were planted in the northwestern corner of the state. During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps replanted trees along many mountain trails, and the California Conservation Corps performed reforestation work in the 1970s.

As of 2005, there were 21 national forests in California. The total area within their boundaries in California amounted to 24,430,000 acres (9,886,821 hectares), of which 85% was National Forest System land.


According to data compiled by the US Geological Survey, California was the leading state in the nation in the production, by value, of nonfuel minerals during 2004, accounting for more than 8% of the US total. The value of the nonfuel mineral commodities produced in the state during the year was valued at $3.76 billion, an increase of almost 10% from 2003. Industrial minerals accounted for nearly 99% of nonfuel mineral production, by value, with the rest supplied (in descending value) by gold, silver, and iron ore.

In 2004, California remained the only state to produce boron minerals (1.21 million metric tons, valued at $626 million) and led the nation in the production of construction sand and gravel (166 million metric tons, valued at $1.280 billion), accounting for over 13% of all US production (by volume) and nearly 19.5% by value. Construction sand and gravel also constituted California's leading nonfuel mineral, accounting for about 34% of the state's nonfuel mineral production by value. Cement (portland and masonry) was the second-leading nonfuel mineral, followed by boron minerals, crushed stone, diatomite, and soda ash. Together these six commodities accounted for almost 94% of the state's total industrial mineral output by value. Portland cement production by California in 2004 totaled 11.9 million metric tons, with an estimated value of $1 billion.

Although gold prices rose in 2004, gold production (by recoverable content of ores) in California fell in 2004 to 3,260 kg ($43 million) from 4,270 kg ($50.1 million) in 2003 and 9,180 kg ($91.9 million) in 2002. In that same year, there were only four major operating gold mines in the state. However, all production came not from mining but from heap leaching. From 1999 through 2004, gold production in the state had fallen nearly 85%. Silver output (by recoverable content of ores) in 2004 totaled 801 kg ($172,000), down from 957 kg ($151,000) in 2003 and 3,400 kg ($506,000) in 2002. All silver production in the state was the byproduct of gold production. Silver accounted for less than 1% of all metal output in California.

In 2004, California had about 1,156 mines actively producing nonfuel minerals, which employed about 11,000 people. At the beginning of 2002, the Division of Mines and Geology was renamed the California Geological Survey (CGS). The CGS grants mining permits. Among the programs it oversees are Mineral Resources and Mineral Hazards Mapping, Seismic Hazards Mapping, Timber Harvest Enforcement, and Watershed Restoration. Siting and permitting of mining operations throughout California often generate local controversies. The leading issues involve intense land-use competition and wide-ranging environmental concerns, along with the typical noise, dust, and truck-traffic issues in populated areas.


California had 87 electrical power service providers, of which 35 were publicly owned and 23 were cooperatives. Of the remainder, six were investor owned, one was federally operated, and 22 were owners of independent generators that sold directly to customers. As of that same year there were 13,999,457 retail customers. Of that total, 10,788,096 received their power from investor-owned service providers. Cooperatives accounted for 14,659 customers, while publicly owned providers had 3,128,465 customers. There were 48 federal customers and 25 were independent generator or "facility" customers.

Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 57.850 million kW, with total production that same year, at 192.788 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, 42.4% came from electric utilities, with the remainder coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric power generated, 91.432 billion kWh (47.4%), came from natural gas-fired plants, with hydroelectric plants in second place, at 36.370 billion kWh (18.9%), and nuclear fueled-plants in third at 35.593 billion kWh (18.5%). Other renewable power sources accounted for 12.3% of all power generated, with coal and petroleum fired plants at 1.2% each.

California utilities own and operate coal-fired power plants across the southwest. This electricity shows up as "imports" in federal accounting. California utilities buy electricity from out-of-state suppliers if it is less expensive than in-state operation.

As of 2006, California had two operating nuclear power facilities: Pacific Gas and Electric Co's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo; and the San Onofre facility, near San Clemente, which is operated by the Southern California Edison Co. The two facilities had a combined total of four reactors.

In 2003, retail sales of electric power in the state totaled 238.710 billion kWh, of which roughly 45.3% went to commercial businesses, 33.8% to home consumers, and 20.6% to industries.

Crude oil was discovered in Humboldt and Ventura counties as early as the 1860s with the first year of commercial production occurring in 1876. It was not until the 1920s, however, that large oil strikes were made at Huntington Beach, near Los Angeles, and at Santa Fe Springs and Signal Hill, near Long Beach. These fields added vast pools of crude oil to the state's reserves, which were further augmented in the 1930s by the discovery of large offshore oil deposits in the Long Beach area.

The state's attempts to retain rights to tideland oil reserves as far as 30 mi (48 km) offshore were denied by the US Supreme Court in 1965. State claims were thus restricted to Monterey Bay and other submerged deposits within a 3-mi (5-km) offshore limit. In 1994, however, California banned any further oil drilling in state offshore waters because of environmental concerns, high operating costs, and resource limitations.

As of 2004, California had proven crude oil reserves of 3,376 million barrels, or 16% of all proven US reserves, while output that same year averaged 656,000 barrels per day. Including federal offshore domains, the state that year ranked fourth (third excluding federal offshore) in both proven reserves and production among the 31 producing states. In 2004 California had 47,065 producing oil wells and accounted for 12% of all US production. As of 2005, the state's 21 refineries had a combined crude oil distillation capacity of 2,004,788 barrels per day.

In 2004, California had 1,272 producing natural gas and gas condensate wells. In that same year, marketed gas production (all gas produced excluding gas used for repressuring, vented and flared, and nonhydrocarbon gases removed) totaled 319.919 billion cu ft (9.08 billion cu m). As of 31 December 2004, proven reserves of dry or consumer-grade natural gas totaled 2,634 billion cu ft (7.8 billion cu m).


California is the nation's leading industrial state, ranking first in almost every general manufacturing category: number of establishments, number of employees, total payroll, value added by manufacture, value of shipments, and new capital spending. Specifically, California ranks among the leaders in machinery, fabricated metals, agricultural products, food processing, computers, aerospace technology, and many other industries.

With its shipyards, foundries, flour mills, and workshops, San Francisco was the state's first manufacturing center. The number of manufacturing establishments in California nearly doubled between 1899 and 1914, and the value of manufactures increased almost tenfold from 1990 to 1925. New factories for transportation equipment, primary metal products, chemicals and food products sprang up in the state during and after World War II. Second to New York State in industrial output for many years, California finally surpassed that state in most manufacturing categories in the 1972 Census of Manufacturers.

California's industrial workforce is mainly located in the two major manufacturing centers: almost three-fourths work in either the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Orange County area or the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area. Although the state workforce has a wide diversity of talents and products, the majority produces food, electronic and other electrical equipment, transportation equipment, apparel, and fabricated and industrial machinery.

According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, California's manufacturing sector covered some 21 product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $388.332 billion. Of that total, computer and electronic product manufacturing accounted for the largest portion, at $78.161 billion. It was followed by food manufacturing at $49.392 billion; transportation equipment manufacturing at $38.038 billion; petroleum and coal products manufacturing at $31.399 billion; and chemical product manufacturing at $31.270 billion.

In 2004, a total of 1,440,882 people in California were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 895,157 were production workers. In terms of total employment, the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees at 252,241, with 94,978 actual production workers. It was followed by food manufacturing with 155,807 employees (113,717 actual production workers); fabricated metal product manufacturing at 146,249 employees (105,686 actual production workers); transportation equipment manufacturing with 130,966 employees (72,185 actual production workers); and miscellaneous manufacturing at 107,492 employees (62,521 actual production workers).

ASM data for 2004 showed that California's manufacturing sector paid $65.248 billion in wages. Of that amount, the computer and electronic product manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share at $15.889 billion. It was followed by transportation equipment manufacturing at $7.688 billion; fabricated metal product manufacturing at $5.798 billion; food manufacturing at $5.275 billion; and miscellaneous manufacturing at $4.593 billion.


According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, California's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $655.9 billion from 58,770 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 34,865 establishments, followed by nondurable goods wholesalers at 20,719 and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 3,186 establishments. Sales by durable goods wholesalers in 2002 totaled $389.8 billion, while wholesalers of nondurable goods saw sales of $211.7 billion. Electronic markets, agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry had sales of $54.3 billion.

In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, California was listed as having 108,941 retail establishments with sales of $359.1 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were: clothing and clothing accessories stores (17,067); food and beverage stores (16,145); miscellaneous store retailers (13,219); motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (11,225); and health and personal care stores (8,453). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $95.9 billion, followed by food and beverage stores at $60.2 billion; general merchandise stores at $46.6 billion; and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers at $26.7 billion. A total of 1,525,113 people were employed by the retail sector in California that year.

Foreign trade is important to the California economy. In 2005, goods exported from California were valued at $116.8 billion. The state's major markets are Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, the European Community, and the industrializing countries of East Asia.

Leading exports include data-processing equipment, electrical tubes and transistors, scientific equipment, measuring instruments, optical equipment, and aircraft parts and spacecraft. The state's leading agricultural export is cotton.

California's customs districts are the ports of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. San Francisco and San Jose have been designated as federal foreign-trade zones, where imported goods may be stored duty-free for reshipment abroad, or customs duties avoided until the goods are actually marketed in the United States.


Numerous California state and local government agencies protect, promote, and serve the interests of consumers.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs comprises 40 entities (nine bureaus, one program, 24 boards, 3 committees, 1 commission, 1 office, and 1 task force) that license more than 100 business and 200 professions (including automotive repair facilities, doctors and dentists, cosmetologists and contractors). These state entities establish minimum qualifications and levels of competency for licensure; license, register, or certify practitioners; investigate complaints; and discipline violators.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs also administers the Consumer Affairs Act (consumer information, education, complaints, and advocacy), the Arbitration Certification Program (auto warranty dispute resolution), and the Dispute Resolution Programs Act (funding of local dispute resolution programs). It helps carry out the Small Claims Act by publishing materials for those who administer and use the Small Claims Court, and by training small claims advisors and attorneys who serve as judges.

Other state agencies that serve consumers include the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (unlawful employment and housing discrimination), the Department of Real Estate (licensing of real estate brokers and sales agents), the Department of Corporations (licensing of personal finance companies, and a new service dedicated to combat investment fraud on the Internet), and the Department of Insurance (licensing and conduct of insurance companies).

Consumers are also assisted by a variety of state and local law enforcement agencies that enforce the state's laws on false and deceptive advertising, unfair and deceptive trade practices, unfair competition, and other laws. These agencies include the California attorney general, the district attorneys of most counties, the city attorneys of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties, and county consumer affairs departments.

When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state's attorney general can initiate civil and criminal proceedings; is responsible for the administration of consumer protection and education programs and the handling of consumer complaints; and has broad subpoena powers. However, the Attorney General's office cannot represent the state before state regulatory agencies. In antitrust actions, the attorney general can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own; initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts; and initiate criminal proceedings.

The Office of the Attorney General, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, and the Consumer Affairs Bureau of Automotive Repair are located in Sacramento. County government consumer and environmental protection offices are located in Fairfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Martinez, Modesto, Napa, Redwood City, Salinas, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Rafael, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Ventura, and West Santana. City government offices are located in Bakersfield, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Monica.


In 1848, California's first financial institution, the Miners' Bank, was founded in San Francisco. Especially since 1904, when A. P. Giannini founded the Bank of Italy, now known as the Bank of America, California banks have pioneered in branch banking for families and small businesses. Today, California is among the leading states in branch banking, savings and loan associations, and credit union operations.

As of June 2005, California had 300 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, plus 212 state-chartered and 353 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana market area had 160 financial institutions in 2004 with $271.957 billion in deposits, followed by the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area with 85 institutions and $170.866 billion in deposits. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 10.5% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $107.169 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 89.5%, or $917.960 billion in assets held.

In 2004, the median net interest margin (the difference between the lower rates offered to savers and the higher rates charged on loans) for California's insured institutions stood at 4.37%, up from 4.36% in 2003.

Until 30 June 1997, the State Banking Department administered laws and regulations governing state-chartered banks, foreign banks, trust companies, issuers of payment instruments, issuers of travelers' checks, and transmitters of money abroad. On 1 July 1997, a new department began supervising all of California's depository institutions. The Department of Financial Institutions now supervises over 700 commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings and loans, and other licensees formerly supervised by the State Banking Department. Federally chartered financial institutions are regulated by the office of the comptroller of the Currency (banks), the office of Thrift Supervision, or the National Credit Union Administration.


Insurance companies provide a major source of California's investment capital by means of premium payments collected from policyholders. Life insurance companies also invest heavily in real estate; in 2001, life insurance firms owned $5,101.7 billion in real estate, and held an estimated $41.8 billion in mortgage debt on California properties.

In 2004, there were 11 million individual life insurance policies in force with a total value of $1.56 trillion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was over $2.2 trillion. The average coverage amount is $145,000 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled $5 billion.

In 2003, there were 28 life and health and 136 property and casualty companies domiciled in California. Direct premiums for property and casualty insurance amounted to $56.8 billion in 2004; the highest amount of the 50 states. That year, there were 261,693 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $48.6 billion. Also in 2004, there were $722.3 million in direct premiums in earthquake insurance written, representing about 45% of the US total. About $44.9 billion of coverage was offered through FAIR plans, which are designed to offer coverage for some natural circumstances, such as wind and hail, in high risk areas. In California, FAIR plans include coverage for those areas prone to brush fires.

In 2004, 49% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 6% held individual policies, and 25% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 19% of residents were uninsured. California ranks fourth in the nation for the number of uninsured residents. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at 14% for single coverage and 25% for family coverage. The state offers an 18-month expansion for small-firm employees program in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.

In 2003, there were over 21.2 million auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Required minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of up to $15,000 per individual and $30,000 for all persons injured, as well as property damage liability of $5,000. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $821.11.


California's Pacific Exchange (PCX) was founded as the San Francisco Stock and Bond Exchange in 1882. A 1957 merger with the Los Angeles Oil Exchange created the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, which became known as the Pacific Exchange in 1999. The Pacific exchange was the first in the world to operate an electronic trading system and the first in the United States to demutualize in 1999 by establishing PCX Equities, Inc. The two trading floors of the Pacific Exchange, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, closed in 2001 and 2002 respectively. In 2003, the organization established PCX Plus, an electronic options trading. In 2005, PCX Holdings (the parent company of the Pacific Exchange and PCX Equities) was acquired by Archipelago Holdings which established the Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx), the first all-electronic stock market in the United States. In 2006, Archipelago Holdings was acquired by the NYSE Group, which established operations of NYSE Arca.

In 2005, there were 12,210 personal financial advisers employed in the state and 35,010 securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. In 2004, there were over 1,730 publicly traded companies within the state, with over 856 NASDAQ companies, 203 NYSE listings, and 75 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had 52 Fortune 500 companies; Chevron (in San Ramon) ranked first in the state and fourth in the nation with revenues of over $189 billion, followed by Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto), McKesson (San Francisco), and Wells Fargo (San Francisco), which were all listed

CaliforniaState Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Abbreviations and symbols: - zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.
Total Revenue 229,289,356 6,397.23
  General revenue 154,484,882 4,310.16
    Intergovernmental revenue 49,555,933 1,382.62
    Taxes 85,721,483 2,391.65
      General sales 26,506,911 739.55
      Selective sales 7,477,277 208.62
      License taxes 5,744,089 160.26
      Individual income tax 36,398,983 1,015.54
      Corporate income tax 6,925,916 193.23
      Other taxes 2,668,307 74.45
    Current charges 11,386,550 317.69
    Miscellaneous general revenue 7,820,916 218.21
  Utility revenue 4,367,289 121.85
  Liquor store revenue - -
  Insurance trust revenue 70,437,185 1,965.21
Total expenditure 203,814,714 5,686.48
  Intergovernmental expenditure 80,132,150 2,235.71
  Direct expenditure 123,682,564 3,450.77
    Current operation 82,253,414 2,294.89
    Capital outlay 7,542,690 210.44
    Insurance benefits and repayments 27,194,376 758.73
    Assistance and subsidies 2,128,418 59.38
    Interest on debt 4,563,666 127.33
Exhibit: Salaries and wages 20,841,748 581.49
Total expenditure 203,814,714 5,686.48
  General expenditure 171,078,543 4,773.13
    Intergovernmental expenditure 80,132,150 2,235.71
    Direct expenditure 90,946,393 2,537.43
  General expenditures, by function:
    Education 59,777,134 1,667.80
    Public welfare 46,898,712 1,308.48
    Hospitals 5,168,694 144.21
    Health 9,525,062 265.75
    Highways 7,857,947 219.24
    Police protection 1,273,619 35.53
    Correction 5,875,717 163.93
    Natural resources 3,626,925 101.19
    Parks and recreation 811,686 22.65
    Government administration 8,298,729 231.54
    Interest on general debt 4,141,666 115.55
    Other and unallocable 17,822,652 497.26
  Utility expenditure 5,541,795 154.62
  Liquor store expenditure - -
  Insurance trust expenditure 27,194,376 758.73
Debt at end of fiscal year 102,812,905 2,868.50
Cash and security holdings 435,841,104 12,160.07

on NYSE, and Intel (Santa Clara), listed on NASDAQ. Hewlett-Packard ranked at 11th in the nation of Fortune 500 companies and McKesson ranked at 16th.


California has the largest state budget in the nation. The Governor's Budget is prepared by the Department of Finance (DOF) and presented by the governor to the legislature for approval. The state's fiscal year (FY) begins 1 July and ends 30 June. The Governor's Budget is the result of a process that begins more than one year before the budget becomes law. When presented to the legislature by 10 January of each year, the Governor's Budget incorporates revenue and expenditure estimates based upon the most current information available through late December. The DOF proposes adjustments to the Governor's Budget through "Finance Letters" in March. These adjustments are to update proposals made in January or to submit any new proposal of significant importance that has arisen since the fall process. By 14 May, the DOF submits revised expenditure and revenue estimates for both the current and budget years to the legislature. This revision, known as the May Revision, incorporates changes in enrollment, caseload, and population estimates. The constitution requires that the governor submit a balanced budget and it is a statutory requirement that the governor sign a balanced budget. The legislature is supposed to adopt a budget by June 15, but California law requires a two-thirds supermajority to pass the budget. California's budget process can be viewed as a casualty of California's initiative process, impeding elected officials' by reducing flexibility within the budget. Fiscal year 2006 general funds were estimated at $97.3 billion for resources and $90.3 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to California were $54.5 billion. For fiscal year 2007, federal funds are provided or increased for many projects, including: transportation system improvements; watershed and dam safety and improvements; to the CALFED Bay-Delta Program to address issues of water quality and supply; design and construction at Calexico, California of the Calexico West Border Station; and a US coastal tsunami detection and warning system.


In 2005, California collected $98,435 million in tax revenues or $2,724 per capita, which placed it ninth among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Property taxes accounted for 2.2% of the total; sales taxes, 30.4%; selective sales taxes, 7.8%; individual income taxes, 43.7%; corporate income taxes, 8.8%; and other taxes, 7.0%.

As of 1 January 2006, California had six individual income tax brackets ranging from 1.0 to 9.3%. The state taxes corporations at a flat rate of 8.84%.

In 2004, state and local property taxes amounted to $34,499,304,000, or $963 per capita. California property tax collections are slightly below average for the 50 states. Local governments collected $32,419,978,000 of the total, and the state government, $2,079,326,000.

California taxes retail sales at a rate of 6.25%. In addition to the state tax, local taxes on retail sales can reach as much as 2.65%, making for a potential total tax on retail sales of 8.90%. Food purchased for consumption off-premises is tax exempt. The tax on cigarettes is 87 cents per pack, which ranks 23rd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. California taxes gasoline at 18 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.

According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar sent to Washington in 2004, California citizens received only 79 cents in federal spending, down from 93 cents in 1992.


The California Trade and Commerce Agency was created by Governor Pete Wilson as a cabinet-level agency that consolidated the former Department of Commerce, the World Trade Commission, and the state's overseas offices. In 2001, under Governor Gray Davis, it became the Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency (TTCA). The TTCA is the state's lead agency for promoting economic development, job creation, and business retention. The agency oversees all state economic development efforts, international commerce, and tourism. Some of the array of agencies coordinated by the TTCA include the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank), which helps local governments and businesses secure capital for infrastructural and nonprofit projects; the California Export Finance Office (CEFO), which provides loan guarantees to financial institutions lending to small and medium-sized California exporters; the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (SBLGP); and the California Financing Coordination Committee (CFCC), which consists of state and federal agencies that work together to coordinate and streamline infrastructure financing in local communities.

In fulfilling its mission to improve California's business climate, the agency works closely with domestic and international businesses, economic development corporations, chambers of commerce, regional visitor and convention bureaus, and the various permit-issuing state and municipal government agencies.

The International Trade and Investment Division is headquarters for California's international offices and the Offices of Foreign Investment, Export Finance, and Export Development. The Agency also houses the Tourism Division, and the Economic Development Division, which includes the Offices of Business Development, Small Business, Strategic Technology, Permit Assistance, Major Corporate Projects, and the California Film Commission.

California offers a broad array of state economic development incentives, including a business assistance program that offers guidance through the regulatory and permitting processes. California has a statewide network of small business development centers, and has an enterprise zone program with 39 zones offering various tax credits, deductions, and exemptions. The zones focus on rural and economically distressed areas. There are ten foreign trade zones in the state, and an Office of Foreign Investment with incentives to attract foreign companies.

Among the development projects being pursued is the State Theatrical Arts Resources (STAR) program, begun in 2001 as a continuation of the successful Film California First program of 2000. The STAR program seeks to support California's $33 billion filmmaking industry, and in 2003, the government announced the completion of eight distinctive filming locations. In 2003, the Governor introduced a Build California program aimed at expe-diting the construction of schools, housing, roads, and other infrastructural projects as a means of reviving the state economy. In 2002, the TTCA gave its support to a national campaign called Back on Track America which aimed at helping small businesses through the country's economic downturn. In 2003, the government announced that outstanding loans under the SBLGP, created in 1999, had surpassed $200 million. Through the Goldstrike partnership, the Office of Strategic Technology supports the growth of high technology in California. The conversion of former military bases to new manufacturing and commercial sites is also a priority of the state government. Among the development projects announced in 2003 was $10 million in low-cost state financing, arranged through the I-Bank, for Sacramento County to be used for the economic development of the former McClennan and Mather air force bases.

Although California's high cost of living may be a disincentive to doing business in the state, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, upon coming to office in 2003, embarked upon a billboard advertising campaign through the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth featuring the slogan: "Arnold Says: California Wants Your Business." The ad was placed on billboards in major metropolitan areas of competing states, including in New York's Time Square, to stave off efforts by states to lure away California companies by underlining the positive aspects of conducting business in the state. The governor's message was also readapted for a trade mission to Japan to promote the business climate on an international level.


The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 5 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 15.2 per 1,000 population. The abortion rate stood at 31.2 per 1,000 women in 2000. In 2003, about 87.3% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. In 2004, approximately 81% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.

The crude death rate in 2002 was 6.7 deaths per 1,000 population. That year, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were: heart disease, 195.9; cancer, 154.2; cerebrovascular diseases, 50.2; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 36.1; and diabetes, 19.4. The mortality rate from HIV infection was 4.1 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was about 13 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 54.6% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004, only about 14.8% of state residents were smokers.

In 2003, California had 370 community hospitals with about 74,300 beds. There were about 3.4 million patient admissions that year and 48 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 51,500 patients. The average cost per day for hospital care was $1,763. Also in 2003, there were about 1,342 certified nursing facilities in the state with 129,658 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 83%. In 2004, it was estimated that about 70.5% of all state residents had received some type of dental care within the year. California had 261 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 626 nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there were a total of 26,692 dentists in the state.

In 2005, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center in Los Angeles ranked 5 on the Honor Roll of Best Hospitals 2005 by U.S. News & World Report. In the same report, it ranked 8 in the nation for best cancer care. The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center ranked 10 on the Honor Roll. Stanford Hospital and Clinics ranked 16 on the Honor Roll and 11 for best care in heart disease and heart surgery. The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and University of California San Francisco Medical Center all ranked within the top 20 for best pediatric care.

Medi-Cal is a statewide program that pays for the medical care of persons who otherwise could not afford it. California has also been a leader in developing new forms of health care, including the health maintenance organization (HMO), which provides preventive care, diagnosis, and treatment for which the patient pays a fixed annual premium.

About 28% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid programs in 2003; with this percentage, the state was tied with the District of Columbia and Tennessee at the second-highest percentage of Medicaid recipients in the country (after Maine). Approximately 19% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $38.5 million.


In 2004, about 1.1 million people received unemployment benefits, with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $260. In fiscal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 1,990,919 persons (785,385 households); the average monthly benefit was about $96.80 per person. That year, the total of benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was over $2.3 billion.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. California's TANF program is called CALWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). In 2004, the state program had 1,103,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this TANF program totaled $3.4 billion in 2003.

In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 4,411,970 California residents. This number included 2,838,010 retired workers, 407,540 widows and widowers, 531,490 disabled workers, 281,740 spouses, and 352,190 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 12.3% of the total state population and 83.9% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $957; widows and widowers, $926; disabled workers, $910; and spouses, $459. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $450 per month; children of deceased workers, $638; and children of disabled workers, $276. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments in December 2004 went to 1,183,002 Californians, averaging $559 a month.


The earliest homes in southern California were Spanish colonial structures renowned for their simplicity and harmony with the landscape. These houses were one-story high and rectangular in plan, with outside verandas supported by wooden posts; their thick adobe walls were covered with whitewashed mud plaster. In the north, the early homes were usually two stories high, with thick adobe walls on the ground floor, balconies at the front and back, and tile roofing. Some adobe houses dating from the 1830s still stand in coastal cities and towns, particularly Monterey.

During the 1850s, jerry-built houses of wood, brick, and stone sprang up in the mining towns, and it was not until the 1870s that more substantial homes, in the Spanish mission style, were built in large numbers in the cities. About 1900, the California bungalow, with overhanging eaves and low windows, began to sweep the state and then the nation. The fusion of Spanish adobe structures and traditional American wooden construction appeared in the 1930s, and "California-style" houses gained great popularity throughout the West. Adapted from the functional international style of Frank Lloyd Wright and other innovative architects, modern domestic designs, emphasizing split-level surfaces and open interiors, won enthusiastic acceptance in California. Wright's finest California homes include the Freeman house in Los Angeles and the Millard house in Pasadena. One of Wright's disciples, Viennese-born Richard Neutra, was especially influential in adapting modern design principles to California's economy and climate.

Between 1960 and 1990, some 6.3 million houses and apartments were built in the state, comprising more than 56% of California housing stock. Housing construction boomed at record rates during the 1970s but slowed down at the beginning of the 1980s because rising building costs and high mortgage interest rates made it difficult for people of moderate means to enter the housing market. The total number of housing units in the state increased by 53% during 194050; 52% in 195060; 28% in 196070; 33% in 197080; and 20% in 198090.

Of the state's estimated 12,804,702 housing units in 2004, 11,972,158 were occupied; about 58.6% were owner occupied. That year, California ranked as having the most housing units among the 50 states and the District of Columbia; the state also ranked as having the third-lowest percentage of owner-occupied units. It was estimated that about 253,281 units were without telephone service, 54,412 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 91,851 lacked complete kitchen facilities. While most homes used gas or electricity as a heating fuel, about 261,527 households relied on wood and about 9,112 employed solar heating. About 57.5% of all units were single-family, detached homes; about 11% of dwellings were in buildings with 20 or more units. The average household had 2.93 members.

California ranked first in the nation for highest home values in 2004, when the median value of a one-family home was $391,102. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was about $1,733 while the cost for renters was at a median of about $914. In 2004, the state authorized construction of 207,400 privately owned housing units.

California housing policies have claimed national attention on several occasions. In 1964, state voters approved Proposition 14, a measure repealing the Fair Housing Act and forbidding any future restrictions on the individual's right to sell, lease, or rent to anyone of his own choosing. The measure was later declared unconstitutional by state and federal courts. In March 1980, a Los Angeles city ordinance banned rental discrimination on the basis of age. A municipal court judge had previously ruled it was illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent an apartment to a couple simply because they had children. Ordinances banning age discrimination had previously been enacted in the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Davis and in Santa Monica and Santa Clara counties.

In September 2005, the state was awarded grants of over $1.3 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for rural housing and economic development programs. For 2006, HUD allocated to the state over $43 million in community development block grants.


The history of public education in California goes back at least to the 1790s, when the governor of the Spanish colony assigned retired soldiers to open one-room schools at the Franciscan mission settlements of San Jose, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego, and Monterey. Most of these schools, and others opened during the next three decades, were short-lived, however. During the 1830s, a few more schools were established for Spanish children, including girls, who were taught needlework. Easterners and Midwesterners who came to California in the 1840s laid the foundation for the state's present school system. The first American school was opened in an old stable at the Santa Clara mission in 1846, and the following year a schoolroom was established in the Monterey customhouse. San Francisco's first school was founded in April 1848 by a Yale graduate, Thomas Douglass, but six weeks later, caught up in Gold Rush fever, he dropped his books and headed for the mines. Two years after this inauspicious beginning, the San Francisco city council passed an ordinance providing for the first free public school system in California. Although the first public high school was opened in San Francisco in 1856, the California legislature did not provide for state financial support of secondary schools until 1903.

The state's first colleges, Santa Clara College (now the Santa Clara University), founded by Jesuits, and California Wesleyan (now the University of the Pacific), located in Stockton, both opened in 1851. A year later, the Young Ladies' Seminary (now Mills College) was founded at Benicia. The nucleus of what later became the University of California was established at Oakland in 1853 and moved to nearby Berkeley in 1873. Subsequent landmarks in education were the founding of the University of Southern California (USC) at Los Angeles in 1880 and of Stanford University in 1885, the opening of the first state junior colleges in 1917, and the establishment in 1927 of the Department of Education, which supervised the vast expansion of the California school system in the years following.

In 2004, 81.3% of Californians age 25 and older were high school graduates. Some 31.7% had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher. The total enrollment for fall 2002 in California's public schools stood at 6,356,000. Of these, 4,529,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 1,828,000 attended high school. Approximately 32.9% of the students were white, 8.2% were black, 46.7% were Hispanic, 11.3% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.8% were American Indian/Alaskan Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 6,399,000 in fall 2003 and expected to be 7,268,000 by fall 2014, an increase of 14.3% during the period 2002 to 2014. There were 623,105 students enrolled in 3,377 private schools in fall 2003. Expenditures for public education in 2003/04 were estimated at $60 billion or $7,748 per student. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005 eighth graders in California scored 269 out of 500 in mathematics compared with the national average of 278.

As of fall 2002, there were 2,474,024 students enrolled in institutions of higher education; minority students comprised 51.2% of total postsecondary enrollment. As of 2005, California had 401 degree-granting institutions. The University of California has its main campus at Berkeley and branches at Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles (UCLA), Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. The Hastings College of Law is also part of the UC system. The California state college and university system is not be confused with the University of California. California's state universities include those at Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose; locations of state colleges include Bakersfield, San Bernardino, and Stanislaus. Privately endowed institutions with the largest student enrollments are the University of Southern California (USC) and Stanford University. Other independent institutions are Occidental College in Los Angeles, Mills College at Oakland, Whittier College, the Claremont consortium of colleges (including Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College, and Claremont McKenna College), and the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena. California has several Roman Catholic colleges and universities, including Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles.

The California Student Aid Commission administers financial aid. All recipients must have been California residents for at least 12 months.


The arts have always thrived in California, at first in the Franciscan chapels with their religious paintings and church music, later in the art galleries, gas-lit theaters, and opera houses of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and now in seaside artists' colonies, regional theaters, numerous concert halls, and, not least, the motion picture studios of Hollywood.

In the mid-19th century, many artists came from the East to paint Western landscapes, and some stayed on in California. The San Francisco Institute of Arts was founded in 1874; the E. B. Crocker Art Gallery was established in Sacramento in 1884; and the Monterey-Carmel artists' colony sprang up in the early years of the 20th century. Other art colonies developed later in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, San Diego, and La Jolla. Notable art museums and galleries include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (founded in 1910), Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens at San Marino (1919), Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena (1924), and the San Diego Museum of Art (1922). The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opened in 1935 as the San Francisco Museum of Art; the word "Modern" was added to the museum's title in 1975. In 2006, the museum featured an exhibition titled "1906 Earthquake: A Disaster in Pictures," which showcased approximately 100 photographs commemorating the centennial of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

The theater arrived in California as early as 1846 in the form of stage shows at a Monterey amusement hall. The first theater building was opened in 1849 in Sacramento by the Eagle Theater Company. Driven out of Sacramento by floods, the company soon found refuge in San Francisco; by 1853, that city had seven theaters. During the late 19th century, many famous performers, including dancer Isadora Duncan and actress Maude Adams, began their stage careers in California. Today, California theater groups with national reputations include the Berkeley Repertory Theater, Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Old Globe Theater of San Diego, and the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco. The American Conservatory Theater (ACT) of San Francisco was founded in 1965 and opened its first season at the Geary Theater in 1967. ACT celebrated 40 years of performing during its 2006/07 season

The motion picture industry did not begin in Hollywoodthe first commercial films were made in New York City and New Jersey in the 1890sbut within a few decades this Los Angeles suburb had become synonymous with the new art form. California became a haven for independent producers escaping an East Coast monopoly on patents related to filmmaking. (If patent infringements were discovered, the producer could avoid a lawsuit by crossing the border into Mexico.) In 1908, an independent producer, William Selig, completed in Los Angeles a film he had begun in Chicago, The Count of Monte Cristo, which is now recognized as the first commercial film produced in California. He and other moviemakers opened studios in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, and, finally, Hollywood, where the sunshine was abundant, land was cheap, and the workforce plentiful. These independent producers developed the full-length motion picture and the star system, utilizing the talents of popular actors like Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin again and again. In 1915, D. W. Griffith produced the classic "silent," The Birth of a Nation, which was both a popular and an artistic success. Motion picture theaters sprang up all over the country, and an avalanche of motion pictures was produced in Hollywood by such increasingly powerful studios as Warner Brothers, Fox, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Hollywood became the motion picture capital of the world. By 1923, film production accounted for one-fifth of the state's annual manufacturing value; in 1930, the film industry was one of the 10 largest in the United States.

Hollywood flourished by using the latest technical innovations and by adapting itself to the times. Sound motion pictures achieved a breakthrough in 1927 with The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson; color films appeared within a few years; and Walt Disney originated the feature-length animated cartoon with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Whereas most industries suffered drastically from the depression of the 1930s, Hollywood prospered by providing, for the most part, escapist entertainment on a lavish scale. The 1930s saw the baroque spectacles of Busby Berkeley, the inspired lunacy of the Marx Brothers, and the romantic historical drama Gone with the Wind (1939). During World War II, Hollywood offered its vast audience patriotic themes and pro-Allied propaganda.

In the postwar period, the motion picture industry fell on hard times because of competition from television, but it recovered fairly quickly by selling its old films to television and producing new ones specifically for home viewing. In the 1960s, Hollywood replaced New York City as the main center for the production of television programs. Fewer motion pictures were made, and those that were produced were longer and more expensive, including such top box-office attractions as The Sound of Music (1965), Star Wars (1977), E.T.The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Independence Day (1996), Titanic (1997), Armageddon (1998), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), and Stephen Spielberg's version of War of the Worlds (2005). No longer are stars held under exclusive contracts, and the power of the major studios has waned as the role of independent filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas has assumed increased importance.

Among the many composers who came to Hollywood to write film music were Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Kurt Weill, George Antheil, Ferde Grofe, Erich Korngold, and John Williams; such musical luminaries as Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg were longtime residents of the state. Symphonic music is well established. In addition to the renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic, whose permanent conductors have included Zubin Mehta and Carlo Maria Giulini, there are the San Francisco Symphony and other professional symphonic orchestras in Oakland and San Jose. Many semiprofessional or amateur orchestras have been organized in other communities. Resident opera companies include the San Francisco Opera (1923) and the San Diego Opera. Annual musical events include the Sacramento and Monterey jazz festivals and summer concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. As of 2006, the Monterey Jazz Festival, celebrating its 49th anniversary, was noted as the longest running jazz festival in the world.

California has also played a major role in the evolution of popular music since the 1960s. The "surf sound" of the Beach Boys dominated California pop music in the mid-1960s. By 1967, the "acid rock" of bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane (later Jefferson Starship), and the Doors had started to gain national recognition, and that year the heralded "summer of love" in San Francisco attracted young people from throughout the country. It was at the Monterey International Pop Festival, also in 1967, that Jimi Hendrix began his rise to stardom. During the 1970s, California was strongly identified with a group of resident singer-songwriters, including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, Jackson Browne, and Warren Zevon, who brought a new sophistication to rock lyrics. Los Angeles is a main center of the popular music industry, with numerous recording studios and branch offices of the leading record companies. Los Angeles-based Motown Industries, the largest black-owned company in the United States, is a major force in popular music.

California has nurtured generations of writers, many of whom moved there from other states. In 1864, Mark Twain, a Missourian, came to California as a newspaperman. Four years later, New York-born Bret Harte published his earliest short stories, many set in mining camps, in San Francisco's Overland Monthly. The writer perhaps most strongly associated with California is Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck, a Salinas native. Hollywood's film industry has long been a magnet for writers, and San Francisco in the 1950s was the gathering place for a group, later known as the Beats (or "Beat Generation"), that included Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The City Lights Bookshop, owned by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was the site of readings by Beat poets during this period.

In 2005, the California Arts Council and other arts organizations received 303 grants totaling $8,459,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts, and California organizations received 87 grants totaling $10,903,937 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The California Arts Council also used state financial resources to promote arts organizations. The California Council for the Humanities has offices in San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. California is also a member state of the regional Western States Arts Federation. A California law, effective 1 January 1977, was the first in the nation to provide living artists with royalties on the profitable resale of their work.


For the fiscal year ending in June 2001, California had 179 public library systems, with 1,063 libraries, of which 897 were branches. The state's public library system that same year held 67,219,000 volumes of books and serial publications and had a circulation of 172,337,000. The system also had 2,734,000 audio and 2,095,000 video items, 110,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and 61 bookmobiles. California has three of the largest public library systems in the nation, along with some of the country's finest private collections. In 1998, the Los Angeles Public Library System had 5,811,492 volumes; the San Francisco Public Library, 2,137,618; and the San Diego Public Library, 2,670,375. Public library operating income came to $890,188,000 in fiscal year 2001, including $3,832,000 in federal grants and $77,456,000 in state grants. While California's public libraries had the second largest income of all states, spending per capita was mediocre.

Outstanding among academic libraries is the University of California's library at Berkeley, with its Bancroft collection of Western Americana. Stanford's Hoover Institution has a notable collection of research materials on the Russian Revolution, World War I, and worldwide relief efforts thereafter. Numerous rare books, manuscripts, and documents are held in the Huntington Library in San Marino.

California has nearly 576 museums and over 50 public gardens. Outstanding museums include the California Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Natural History Museum, all in Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; the San Diego Museum of Man; the California State Indian Museum in Sacramento; the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena; and the J. Paul Getty Museum at Malibu. Among historic sites are Sutter's Mill, northeast of Sacramento, where gold was discovered in 1848, and a restoration of the Mission of San Diego de Alcala, where in 1769 the first of California's Franciscan missions was established. San Diego has an excellent zoo, and San Francisco's Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens has beautiful displays of Asian, Mediterranean, and California flora.


Mail service in California, begun in 1851 by means of mule-drawn wagons, was soon taken over by stagecoach companies. The need for speedier delivery led to the founding in April 1860 of the Pony Express, which operated between San Francisco and Missouri. On the western end, relays of couriers picked up mail in San Francisco, carried it by boat to Sacramento, and then conveyed it on horseback to St. Joseph, Missouri, a hazardous journey of nearly 2,000 mi (3,200 km) within 10 days. The Pony Express functioned for only 16 months, however, before competition from the first transcontinental telegraph line (between San Francisco and New York) put it out of business; telegraph service between San Francisco and Los Angeles had begun a year earlier.

California was third among US households in 2004 in having telephones, with fully 96.0% of the state's occupied housing units. In addition, by June of that same year, there were 21,575,797 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 66.3% of California households had a computer and 59.6% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 6,045,283 high-speed lines in California, 5,378,549 residential and 666,734 for business.

The state's first radio broadcasting station, KQW in San Jose, began broadcasting speech and music on an experimental basis in 1912. California stations pioneered in program development with the earliest audience-participation show (1922) and the first "soap opera," One Man's Family (1932). When motion picture stars began doubling as radio performers in the 1930s, Hollywood emerged as a center of radio network broadcasting. Similarly, Hollywood's abundant acting talent, experienced film crews, and superior production facilities enabled it to become the principal production center for television programs from the 1950s onward.

In 2005 there were 241 FM and 81 AM major radio stations and 67 major television stations. California ranks second in the United States (after Texas) in the number of commercial television stations and of radio stations.

In 1999, Los Angeles alone had 3,392,820 cable television households (65% of television-owning households); second only to the New York City area. The Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto area had 64% cable penetration of 1,19,820 television households. The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area had cable in 72% of its TV-owning homes, and San Diego, in 83%.

A total of 1,511,571 Internet domain names had been registered in California as of 2000, the most of any state.


In 2005 there were 68 morning dailies and 23 evening dailies; 61 newspapers had Sunday editions.

The following table shows California's leading newspapers, with their 2005 circulations:

Fresno Fresno Bee (m,S) 160,143 191,205
Long Beach-Huntington Beach Press-Telegram (m,S) 96,967 109,296
Los Angeles Times (m,S) 902,164 1,292,274
Investor's Business Daily (m) 191,846
Daily News (m,S) 178,404 200,458
La Opinion (Spanish, m,S) 124,990 68,965
Oakland Oakland Tribune (m,S) 51,994 65,705
Orange County-Santa Ana Orange County Register (m,S) 303,418 371,046
Riverside Press-Enterprise (m,S) 182,790 186,790
Sacramento Sacramento Bee (m,S) 293,705 346,742
San Diego San Diego Union-Tribune (m,S) 366,740 433,973
San Francisco San Francisco Chronicle (a,S) 505,022 540,314
Examiner (e,S) 95,800 552,400
San Jose San Jose Mercury-News (m,S) 263,067 298,067

Investor's Business Daily has nationwide circulation. In 2004, the Los Angeles Times was the fourth-largest daily newspaper in the country, based on circulation. It ranked second in the nation for Sunday circulation the same year. The San Francisco Chronicle had the 11th-largest daily circulation and the 16th-largest Sunday circulation in 2004. San Francisco has long been the heart of the influential Hearst newspaper chain.

In 2005, there were 305 weekly publications in California. Of these there are 123 paid weeklies, 111 free weeklies, and 71 combined weeklies. The total circulation of paid weeklies (863,732) and free weeklies (2,590,133) is 3,453,865. Among the Top Fifty Shopper Publications in the United States, California's statewide Pennysaver ranked first, with a circulation of 5,000,000. The Beverley Hills Courier ranked 11th by circulation among the combined weeklies in the United States.

In August 1846, the state's first newspaper, the Californian, printed (on cigarette paperthe only paper available) the news of the US declaration of war on Mexico. The Californian moved to San Francisco in 1847 to compete with a new weekly, the California Star. When gold was discovered, both papers failed to mention the fact and both soon went out of business as their readers headed for the hills. On the whole, however, the influx of gold seekers was good for the newspaper business. In 1848, the Californian and the Star were resurrected and merged into the Alta Californian, which two years later became the state's first daily newspaper; among subsequent contributors were Mark Twain and Bret Harte. Four years later there were 57 newspapers and periodicals in the state.

The oldest continuously published newspapers in California are the Sacramento Bee (founded in 1857), San Francisco's Examiner (1865) and Chronicle (1868), and the Los Angeles Times (1881). Times owner and editor Harrison Gray Otis quickly made his newspaper preeminent in Los Angeles, a tradition continued by his son-in-law, Henry Chandler, and by the Otis-Chandler family today. Of all California's dailies, the Times is the only one with a depth of international and national coverage to rival the major East Coast papers. In 1887, young William Randolph Hearst took over his father's San Francisco Daily Examiner and introduced human interest items and sensational news stories to attract readers. The Examiner became the nucleus of the Hearst national newspaper chain, which later included the News-Call Bulletin and Herald Examiner in Los Angeles. The Bulletin, like many other newspapers in the state, ceased publication in the decades following World War II because of rising costs and increased competition for readers and advertisers.

California has more book publishersabout 225than any state except New York. Among the many magazines published in the state are Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Motor Trend, PC World, Runner's World, and Sierra.


Californians belong to thousands of nonprofit societies and organizations, many of which have their national headquarters in the state. In 2006, there were over 25,450 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 19,002 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations.

National service organizations operating out of California include the National Assistance League and the Braille Institute of America, both in Los Angeles, and Knights of the Round Table International, Pasadena. Gamblers Anonymous has its international service office in Los Angeles. Some national social and civic organizations are based in the state, such as the Red Hat Society and Clowns Without Borders-USA.

Environmental and scientific organizations include the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and Save-the-Redwoods League, all with headquarters in San Francisco; Animal Protection Institute of America, Sacramento; Geothermal Resources Council, Davis; and Seismological Society of America, Berkeley.

Among entertainment-oriented organizations centered in the state are the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, both in Beverly Hills; Directors Guild of America and Writers Guild of America (West), both in Los Angeles; Screen Actors Guild and American Society of Cinematographers, both in Hollywood; the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, in Encino; the GRAMMY Foundation in Santa Monica; and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Burbank. There are also several fan clubs for actors, singers, and other entertainment artists. Other commercial and professional groups are the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, San Carlos; Manufacturers' Agents National Association, Irvine; National Association of Civil Service Employees, San Diego; American Society of Zoologists, Thousand Oaks. and Pacific Area Travel Association, San Francisco.

The many national sports groups with California headquarters include the Association of Professional Ball Players of America (baseball), Garden Grove; US Hang Gliding Association, Los Angeles; National Hot Rod Association, North Hollywood; Professional Karate Association, Beverly Hills; United States Youth Soccer Association, Castro Valley; Soaring Society of America, Santa Monica; International Softball Congress, Anaheim Hills; American Surfing Association, Huntington Beach; and US Swimming Association, Fresno.

There are numerous state, regional, and local organizations dedicated to arts and culture. These include the California Arts Council, California Council for the Humanities, the Pacific Arts Association, and the California Hispanic Cultural Society. The Guitar Foundation of America is based in Claremont. The Jack London Research Center, the George Sand Association, and the Eugene O'Neill Society are headquartered in the state. Religious groups with central bases in the state include the American Druze Society, Jews for Jesus, and the Church of Scientology. There are also a number of regional conservation, environmental, and agricultural organizations. California also hosts the National Investigations Committee on UFOs, Van Nuys.


California is one of the leading travel destination in the United States. In 2004, tourism was the state's third-largest employer, with direct travel spending in the state reaching $82.5 billion that year. In 2003, California led the nation in travel and tourism with a payroll of $19.7 billion. In support of the industry, the state adopted the California Tourism Marketing Act in 1995. This marketing referendum of California businesses established the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) and a statewide marketing fund derived from mandatory assessments. The success of the California Tourism Program, a joint venture between the CTTC and the California Division of Tourism, is a model for other states.

In 2003, 85% of tourists were Californians themselves. The state also hosted 4 million international visitors that year, with 693,000 from the United Kingdom; 590,000 from Japan; 303,000 from South Korea; 260,000 from Australia and New Zealand; and 238,000 from Germany. Nearly 440,000 travelers traveled by air from Mexico, and another 3 million came by car; some 890,000 were from Canada. There are 11 official California Welcome Centers within the state; 5 international travel trade offices operate, in Brazil, Australia, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

While the state's mild, sunny climate and varied scenery of seacoast, mountains, and desert lure many visitors, the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas offer the most popular tourist attractions. San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, and Ghirardelli Square are popular for shopping and dining; tourists also frequent the city's unique cable cars, splendid museums, Opera House, and Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, comprising 68 sq mi (176 sq km) on both sides of the entrance to San Francisco Bay, includes Fort Point in the Presidio park, Alcatraz Island (formerly a federal prison) in the bay, the National Maritime Museum with seven historic ships, and the Muir Woods, located 17 mi (27 km) north of the city. South of the city, the rugged coastal scenery of the Monterey peninsula attracts many visitors; to the northeast, the wineries of the Sonoma and Napa valleys offer their wares for sampling and sale.

Spending by travelers averages $1.4 billion per county, but Los Angeles County hosts the greatest number of tourist and receives approximately $17.9 billion in direct tourist spending. The Los Angeles area has the state's principal tourist attractions: the Disneyland amusement center at Anaheim, and Hollywood, which features visits to motion picture and television studios and sightseeing tours of film stars' homes in Beverly Hills. One of Hollywood's most popular spots is Mann's (formerly Grauman's) Chinese Theater, where the impressions of famous movie stars' hands and feet (and sometimes paws or hooves) are embedded in concrete. The New Year's Day Tournament of Roses at Pasadena is an annual tradition. Southwest of Hollywood, the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area was created by Congress in 1978 as the country's largest urban park, covering 150,000 acres (61,000 hectares). The Queen Mary ocean liner, docked at Long Beach, is now a marine-oceanographic exposition center and hotel-convention complex. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is in Simi Valley.

The rest of the state offers numerous tourist attractions, including some of the largest and most beautiful national parks in the United States. In the north are Redwood National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park. In east-central California, situated in the Sierra Nevada, are Yosemite National Park, towering Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park, and Lake Tahoe on the Nevada border. About 80 mi (129 km) east of Mt. Whitney is Death Valley. Among the popular tourist destinations in southern California are the zoo and Museum of Man in San Diego's Balboa Park and the Mission San Juan Capistrano, to which, according to tradition, the swallows return each spring. The San Simeon mansion and estate of the late William Randolph Hearst are now state historical monuments.


There are considerably more professional sports teams in California than in any other state. California has everything from baseball to hockey to soccer to women's basketball. The Major League Baseball teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres, the Oakland Athletics, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Diego Chargers play in the National Football League. In basketball the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Sacramento Kings play in the National Basketball Association. The Los Angeles Sparks and Sacramento Monarchs are in the Women's National Basketball Association. The Los Angeles Kings, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and the San Jose Sharks are members of the National Hockey League. The Major League Soccer teams are the Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes.

Since moving from Brooklyn, New York, in 1959, the Dodgers have won the National League Pennant 10 times, going on to win the World Series in 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, and 1988. The Athletics won the American League Pennant six times, going on to win the World Series in 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1980. The Giants, who moved from New York City in 1959, won the National League Pennant in 1962, 1989, and 2002, losing all three World Series. The Padres won the National League Pennant in 1984 and lost the World Series. They returned to the World Series after claiming the National League Pennant in 1999, but lost again. The Anaheim Angels (formerly the California Angels and currently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) won the 2002 World Series.

The Lakers won the National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship in 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, and from 2000 through 2002. The Warriors won the Championship in 1975. The Los Angeles Rams, who moved to St. Louis in 1996, played in NFL title games in 1949, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, and 1978. They won in 1951, and lost the Super Bowl in 1980. The Raiders won the Super Bowl three times: twice from Oakland, in 1977 and 1981, and once from Los Angeles, in 1984. The Raiders returned to Oakland in 1996. They were defeated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2003 Super Bowl. The 49ers were the 1980s' most successful NFL team, winning the Super Bowl in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, and 1995. The Kings became the first California hockey team to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993, but they lost to the Montreal Canadians.

Another popular professional sport is horse racing at such well-known tracks as Santa Anita and Hollywood Park. Because of the equitable climate, there is racing virtually all year round. The California Speedway, in Fontana, hosts two NASCAR Cup Series races each year, and the Infineon Raceway hosts one NASCAR Nextel Cup event.

California's universities have fielded powerhouse teams in collegiate sports. The University of Southern California's (USC) baseball team won five consecutive national championships between 1970 and 1974. Its football team was number one in the nation in 1928, 1931, 1932, 1962, 1967, 1972, and 2004, and was a conational champion in 1974, 1978, and 2003. USC has won the Rose Bowl over 20 times, most recently in 2004. The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) basketball team won 10 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles, while the Bruins football team won Rose Bowls in 1966, 1976, 1983, 1984, and 1986. Additionally, Stanford has won six Rose Bowl titles and University of California at Berkeley, three. Stanford also won the NCAA men's basketball championship in 1942, and the women's championships in 1990 and 1992. University of California at Berkeley won the men's title in 1959. All four schools compete in the PAC-10 Conference.

Among the famous athletes born in California are Joe DiMaggio, Venus and Serena Williams, Mark McGwire, Tiger Woods, and Jeff Gordon.


Richard Milhous Nixon (191394) is the only native-born Californian ever elected to the presidency. Following naval service in World War II, he was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1946, then to the US Senate in 1950. He served as vice president during the Dwight Eisenhower administration (195361) but failed, by a narrow margin, to be elected president as the Republican candidate in 1960. Returning to his home state, Nixon ran for the California governorship in 1962 but was defeated. The next year he moved his home and political base to New York, from which he launched his successful campaign for the presidency in 1968. As the nation's 37th president, Nixon withdrew US forces from Vietnam while intensifying the US bombing of Indochina, established diplomatic relations with China, and followed a policy of détente with the Soviet Union. In 1972, he scored a resounding reelection victory, but within a year his administration was beset by the Watergate scandal. On 9 August 1974, after the House Judiciary Committee had voted articles of impeachment, Nixon became the first president ever to resign the office.

The nation's 31st president, Herbert Hoover (b.Iowa, 18741964), moved to California as a young man. There he studied engineering at Stanford University and graduated with its first class (1895) before beginning the public career that culminated in his election to the presidency on the Republican ticket in 1928. Former film actor Ronald Reagan (b.Illinois, 19112004) served two terms as state governor (196775) before becoming president in 1981. He was elected to a second presidential term in 1984.

In 1953, Earl Warren (18911974) became the first Californian to serve as US chief justice (195369). Warren, a native of Los Angeles, was elected three times to the California governorship and served in that office (194353) longer than any other person. Following his appointment to the US Supreme Court by President Eisenhower, Warren was instrumental in securing the unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) that racial segregation was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. Other cases decided by the Warren court dealt with defendants' rights, legislative reapportionment, and First Amendment freedoms.

Before the appointment of Earl Warren, California had been represented on the Supreme Court continuously from 1863 to 1926. Stephen J. Field (b.Connecticut, 181699) came to California during the gold rush, practiced law, and served as chief justice of the state supreme court from 1859 to 1863. Following his appointment to the highest court by President Abraham Lincoln, Field served what was at that time the longest term in the court's history (186397). Joseph McKenna (b.Pennsylvania, 18431926) was appointed to the Supreme Court to replace Field upon his re-tirement. McKenna, who moved with his family to California in 1855, became US attorney general in 1897, and was then elevated by President William McKinley to associate justice (18981925).

Californians have also held important positions in the executive branch of the federal government. Longtime California resident Victor H. Metcalf (b.New York, 18531936) served as Theodore Roosevelt's secretary of commerce and labor. Franklin K. Lane (b.Canada, 18641921) was Woodrow Wilson's secretary of the interior, and Ray Lyman Wilbur (b.Iowa, 18751949) occupied the same post in the Herbert Hoover administration. Californians were especially numerous in the cabinet of Richard Nixon. Los Angeles executive James D. Hodgson (b.Minnesota, 1915) was secretary of labor; former state lieutenant governor Robert H. Finch (b.Arizona, 192595) and San Francisco native Caspar W. Weinberger (19172006) both served terms as secretary of health, education, and welfare; and Claude S. Brinegar (b.1926) was secretary of transportation. Weinberger and Brinegar stayed on at their respective posts in the Gerald Ford administration; Weinberger later served as secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan. An important figure in several national administrations, San Francisco-born John A. McCone (190291) was chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (195860) and director of the Central Intelligence Agency (196165).

John Charles Frémont (b.Georgia, 181390) led several expeditions to the West, briefly served as civil governor of California before statehood, became one of California's first two US senators (serving only until 1851), and ran unsuccessfully as the Republican Party's first presidential candidate, in 1856. Other prominent US senators from the state have included Hiram Johnson (18661945), who also served as governor from 1911 to 1917; William F. Knowland (190874); and, more recently, former college president and semanticist Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa (b.Canada, 190692) and former state controller Alan Cranston (19142001). Governors of the state since World War II include Reagan, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown (190596), fourth-generation Californian Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr. (b.1938), and George Deukmejian (b.New York, 1928). Other prominent state officeholders are Rose Elizabeth Bird (b.Arizona, 193699), the first woman to be appointed chief justice of the state supreme court, and Wilson Riles (b.Louisiana, 1917), superintendent of public instruction, and the first black Californian elected to a state constitutional office. Prominent among mayors are Thomas Bradley (b.Texas, 191798) of Los Angeles, Pete Wilson (b.Illinois, 1933) of San Diego, Dianne Feinstein (b.1933) of San Francisco, and Janet Gray Hayes (b.Indiana, 1926) of San Jose.

Californians have won Nobel Prizes in five separate categories. Linus Pauling (b.Oregon, 190194), professor at the California Institute of Technology (192764) and at Stanford (196974), won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. Other winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry are University of California (Berkeley) professors William Francis Giauque (b.Canada, 18951982), in 1949; Edwin M. McMillan (190791) and Glenn T. Seaborg (b.Michigan, 191299), who shared the prize in 1951; and Stanford Professor Henry Taube (b.Canada, 19152005), in 1983. Members of the Berkeley faculty who have won the Nobel Prize for physics include Ernest Orlando Lawrence (b.South Dakota, 190158), in 1939; Emilio Segré (b.Italy, 190589) and Owen Chamberlain (19202006), who shared the prize in 1959; and Luis W. Alvarez (191188), in 1968. Stanford professor William Shockley (b.England, 191089) shared the physics prize with two others in 1956; William A. Fowler (b.Pennsylvania, 191195), professor at the California Institute of Technology, won the prize in 1983. The only native-born Californian to win the Nobel Prize for literature was novelist John Steinbeck (190268), in 1962. Gerald Debreu (b.France, 19212004), professor at the University of California at Berkeley, won the 1983 prize for economics.

Other prominent California scientists are world-famed horticulturist Luther Burbank (b.Massachusetts, 18491926) and nuclear physicist Edward Teller (b.Hungary, 19082003). Naturalist John Muir (b.Scotland, 18381914) fought for the establishment of Yosemite National Park. Influential California educators include college presidents David Starr Jordan (b.New York, 18511931) of Stanford, and Robert Gordon Sproul (18911975) and Clark Kerr (b.Pennsylvania, 19112003) of the University of California.

Major figures in the California labor movement were anti-Chinese agitator Denis Kearney (b.Ireland, 18471907); radical organizer Thomas Mooney (b.Illinois, 18821942); and Harry Bridges (b.Australia, 190190), leader of the San Francisco general strike of 1934. The best-known contemporary labor leader in California is Cesar Chavez (b.Arizona, 192793).

The variety of California's economic opportunities is reflected in the diversity of its business leadership. Prominent in the development of California railroads were the men known as the Big Four: Charles Crocker (b.New York, 182288), Mark Hopkins (b.New York, 181378), Collis P. Huntington (b.Connecticut, 18211900), and Leland Stanford (b.New York, 182493). California's longstanding dominance in the aerospace industry is a product of the efforts of such native Californians as John Northrop (18951981) and self-taught aviator Allen Lockheed (18891969), along with Glenn L. Martin (b.Iowa, 18861955); the San Diego firm headed by Claude T. Ryan (b.Kansas, 18981982), built the monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis, flown by Charles Lindbergh across the Atlantic in 1927. Among the state's banking and financial leaders was San Jose native Amadeo Peter Giannini (18701949), founder of the Bank of America. Important figures in the development of California agriculture include Edwin T. Earl (18561919), developer of the first ventilator-refrigerator railroad car, and Mark J. Fontana (b.Italy, 18491922), whose California Packing Corp., under the brand name of Del Monte, became the largest seller of canned fruit in the United States. Leaders of the state's world-famous wine and grape-growing industry include immigrants Ágostan Haraszthy de Mokcsa (b.Hungary, 1812?69), Charles Krug (b.Prussia, 183094), and Paul Masson (b.France, 18591940), as well as two Modesto natives, brothers Ernest (b.1910) and Julio (191193) Gallo. It was at the mill of John Sutter (b.Baden, 180380) that gold was discovered in 1848.

Leading figures among the state's newspaper editors and publishers were William Randolph Hearst (18631951), whose publishing empire began with the San Francisco Examiner, and Harrison Gray Otis (b.Ohio, 18371917), longtime owner and publisher of the Los Angeles Times. Pioneers of the state's electronics industry include David Packard (b.Colorado, 191296) and William R. Hewlett (b.Michigan, 19132001); Stephen Wozniak (b.1950) and Steven Jobs (b.1955) were cofounders of Apple Computer. Other prominent business leaders include clothier Levi Strauss (b.Germany, 18301902), paper producer Anthony Zellerbach (b.Germany, 18321911), cosmetics manufacturer Max Factor (b.Poland, 18771938), and construction and manufacturing magnate Henry J. Kaiser (b.New York, 18821967).

California has been home to a great many creative artists. Native California writers include John Steinbeck, adventure writer Jack London (18761916), novelist and dramatist William Saroyan (190881), and novelist-essayist Joan Didion (b.1934). One California-born writer whose life and works were divorced from his place of birth was Robert Frost (18741963), a native of San Francisco. Many other writers who were residents but not natives of the state have made important contributions to literature. Included in this category are Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens, b.Missouri, 18351910); local colorist Bret Harte (b.New York, 18361902); author-journalist Ambrose Bierce (b.Ohio, 18421914); novelists Frank Norris (b.Illinois, 18701902), Mary Austin (b.Illinois, 18681934), and Aldous Huxley (b.England, 18941963); novelist-playwright Christopher Isherwood (b.England, 190486); and poets Robinson Jeffers (b.Pennsylvania, 18871962) and Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b.New York, 1920). California has been the home of several masters of detective fiction, including Raymond Chandler (b.Illinois, 18881959), Dashiell Hammett (b.Connecticut, 18941961), Erle Stanley Gardner (b.Massachusetts, 18891970), creator of Perry Mason, and Ross Macdonald (191583). Producer-playwright David Belasco (18531931) was born in San Francisco.

Important composers who have lived and worked in California include natives Henry Cowell (18971965) and John Cage (191292), and immigrants Arnold Schoenberg (b.Austria, 18741951), Ernest Bloch (b.Switzerland, 18801959), and Igor Stravinsky (b.Russia, 18821971). Immigrant painters include landscape artists Albert Bierstadt (b.Germany, 18301902) and William Keith (b.Scotland, 18391911), as well as abstract painter Hans Hofmann (b.Germany, 18801966). Contemporary artists working in California include Berkeley-born Elmer Bischoff (b.191691), Wayne Thiebaud (b.Arizona, 1920), and Richard Diebenkorn (b.Oregon, 192293). San Francisco native Ansel Adams (190284) is the best known of a long line of California photographers that includes Edward Curtis (b.Wisconsin, 18681952), famed for his portraits of American Indians, and Dorothea Lange (b.New Jersey, 18951965), chronicler of the 1930s migration to California.

Many of the world's finest performing artists have also been Californians: Violinist Ruggiero Ricci (b.1918) was born in San Francisco, while fellow virtuosos Yehudi Menuhin (b.New York, 191699) and Isaac Stern (b.Russia, 19202001) were both reared in the state. Another master violinist, Jascha Heifetz (b.Russia, 190184), made his home in Beverly Hills. California jazz musicians include Dave Brubeck (b.1920) and Los Angeles-reared Stan Kenton (b.Kansas, 191279).

Among the many popular musicians who live and record in the state are California natives David Crosby (b.1941), Randy Newman (b.1943), and Beach Boys Brian (b.1942) and Carl (194698) Wilson.

The list of talented and beloved film actors associated with Hollywood is enormous. Native Californians on the screen include child actress Shirley Temple (Mrs. Charles A. Black, b.1928) and such greats as Gregory Peck (19162003) and Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Baker, 192662). Other longtime residents of the state include Douglas Fairbanks (b.Colorado, 18831939), Mary Pickford (Gladys Marie Smith, b.Canada, 18941979), Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby (b.Washington, 190477), Cary Grant (Archibald Leach, b.England, 190486), John Wayne (Marion Michael Morrison, b.Iowa, 190779), Bette Davis (b.Massachusetts, 190889), and Clark Gable (b.Ohio, 190160). Other actors born in California include Clint Eastwood (b.1930), Robert Duvall (b.1931), Robert Redford (b.1937), Kevin Costner (b.1955), and Dustin Lee Hoffman (b.1937).

Hollywood has also been the center for such pioneer film producers and directors as D. W. Griffith (David Lewelyn Wark Griffith, b.Kentucky, 18751948), Cecil B. DeMille (b.Massachusetts, 18811959), Samuel Goldwyn (b.Poland, 18821974), Frank Capra (b.Italy, 18971991), and master animator Walt Disney (b.Illinois, 190166).

California-born athletes have excelled in every professional sport. A representative sampling includes Baseball Hall of Famers Joe Cronin (19061984), Vernon "Lefty" Gomez (190889), and Joe DiMaggio (191499), along with tennis greats John Donald "Don" Budge (19152000), Richard A. "Pancho" Gonzales (192895), Maureen "Little Mo" Connelly (193469), and Billie Jean (Moffitt) King (b.1943); Gene Littler (b.1930) in golf, Frank Gifford (b.1930) and Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson (b.1947) in football, Mark Spitz (b.1950) in swimming, and Bill Walton (b.1952) in basketball. Robert B. "Bob" Mathias (b.1930) won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games.


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CALIFORNIA, whose name derives from a fifteenth-century Spanish romance, lies along the Pacific Coast of the United States. Formidable natural barriers, including the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Mountains to the east and the north and the Sonoran Desert to the south and southeast, isolate it from the rest of the continent. Streams plunging down from the mountains form the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers in the Great Central Valley, while coastal ranges divide the littoral into isolated plains, valleys, and marine terraces. The state contains a wide variety of ecologies, from alpine meadows to deserts, often within a few miles of each other. San Francisco Bay, near the center of the state, is the finest natural harbor in the eastern Pacific.

The first known people came to California thousands of years ago, filtering down from the north in small bands. In the varied geography, especially the many valleys tucked into the creases of the coastal mountains, these early immigrants evolved a mosaic of cultures, like the Chumash of the southern coast, with their oceangoing canoes and sophisticated trading network, and the Pomo, north of San Francisco Bay, who made the beads widely used as money throughout the larger community.

Spanish California

Spain claimed California as part of Columbus's discovery, but the extraordinary hardships of the first few voyages along the coast discouraged further exploration until Vitus Bering sailed into the northern Pacific in 1741 to chart the region for the czar of Russia. Alarmed, the viceroy in Mexico City authorized a systematic attempt to establish control of California. In 1769, a band of Franciscan monks under Fray Junipero Serra and a hundred-odd soldiers commanded by Gaspar de Portola traveled up the peninsula of Baja California to San Diego with two hundred cattle. From there de Portola explored north, found San Francisco Bay, and established the presidio at Monterey. Spanish California became a reality.

Spanish policy was to Christianize and civilize the Native peoples they found. To do this, Serra and his followers built a string of missions, like great semifeudal farms, all along what came to be called El Camino Real and forced the Indians into their confines. Ultimately, twenty-one missions stretched from San Diego to Sonoma. The missions failed in their purpose. Enslaved and stripped of their cultures, the Native people died by the thousands of disease, mistreatment, and despair. From an estimated 600,000 before the Spanish came, by 1846 their population dropped to around 300,000.

The soldiers who came north to guard the province had no place in the missions, and the friars thought them a bad influence anyway. Soldiers built the first town, San Jose, in 1777, and four years later, twenty-two families of mixed African, Indian, and Spanish blood founded the city of Los Angeles. The settlers, who called themselves Californios, planted orange trees and grapevines, and their cattle multiplied.

In 1821, Mexico declared its independence from Spain, dooming the mission system. By 1836, all the missions were secularized. The land was to be divided up among the Natives attached to the missions but instead fell into the hands of soldiers and adventurers. The new Mexican government also began granting large tracts of land for ranches. In 1830, California had fifty ranches, but by 1840 it had more than one thousand. Power gravitated inevitably to the land holders. Mexico City installed governors in Monterey, but the Californio dons rebelled against anybody who tried to control them.

When the Swiss settler Johann Sutter arrived in 1839, the government in Monterey, believing the land was worthless desert and hoping that Sutter would form a barrier between their holdings and greedy interlopers, gave him a huge grant of land in the Sacramento Valley. But in 1842, when a band of nineteen American immigrants came over the Sierras, Sutter welcomed them to his settlement and gave them land, tools, and encouragement. John Charles Frémont, a U.S. Army mapmaker, on his first trip to California also relied on Sutter's help. Frémont's book about his expedition fired intense interest in the United States, and within the next two years, hundreds of settlers crossed the Sierras into California. Many

more came by ship around Cape Horn. By 1846, Americans outnumbered the Californios in the north.

The U.S. government itself had long coveted California. In 1829, President Andrew Jackson tried to buy it. When Mexico indignantly declined, American interest turned toward taking it by force. The argument with Mexico over Texas gave the United States the chance. In May 1846, U.S. forces invaded Mexico. On 7 July 1846, Commodore John Drake Sloat of the U.S. Navy seized Monterey, and Frémont raised the American flag at Sonoma and Sacramento. The Spanish period was over; California had become part of the United States.

The Americans Take Over

Signed on 20 May 1848, the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo officially transferred the northern third of Mexico to the United States for $15 million. Because of the gold rush, California now had a population sufficient to become a state, but the U.S. Congress was unwilling even to consider admitting it to the Union for fear of upsetting the balance between slave and free states. In this limbo a series of military governors squabbled over jurisdictions. Mexican institutions like the alcalde, or chief city administrator, remained the basic civil authorities.

Yet the American settlers demanded a functioning government. The gold rush, which began in 1848 and accelerated through 1849, made the need for a formal structure all the more pressing. When the U.S. Congress adjourned for a second time without dealing with the status of California, the military governor called for a general convention to write a constitution. On 1 September 1849, a diverse group of men, including Californios like Mariano Guadeloupe Vallejo, longtime settlers like Sutter, and newcomers like William Gwin, met in Monterey. The convention decided almost unanimously to ban slavery in California, not for moral reasons but for practical reasons: free labor could not compete with slaves. After some argument, the convention drew a line along the eastern foot of the Sierra Nevada as the state's boundary. Most important, the convention provided for the election of a governor and a state legislature in the same statewide polling that ratified the constitution itself on 13 November 1849. On 22 April 1850, the first California legislature elected two U.S. senators, gave them a copy of the constitution, and sent them to Washington, D.C., to demand recognition of California as a state.

Presented with this fait accompli, Congress tilted much in favor of California, but the issue of slavery still lay unresolved. Finally, Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky cobbled together the Compromise of 1850, a law that gave everybody something, and California entered the Union on 9 September 1850.

The state now needed a capital. Monterey, San Francisco, and San Jose all competed for the honor. General Vallejo offered to build a new capital on San Francisco Bay and donated a generous piece of his property for it, but the governor impetuously moved the state offices there long before the site was ready. In 1854, citizens from Sacramento lured the legislature north and showed the politicians such a good time that Sacramento became the capital of California.

After the Gold Rush

Before the discovery of gold, hardly fifteen thousand non-Indians inhabited California. By 1850, 100,000 newcomers had flooded in, most from the eastern United States, and the 1860 census counted 360,000 Californians. These people brought with them their prejudices and their politics, which often amounted to gang warfare. In San Francisco, Sam Brannan, who had become the world's first millionaire by selling shovels and shirts to the miners, organized a vigilante committee to deal with rowdy street thugs. This committee reappeared in 1851, and in 1856 it seized power in the city and held it for months, trying and hanging men at will and purging the city of the committee's enemies.

A Democratic politician, David Broderick, a brash Irish immigrant with a genius for political organization, dominated the early years of California politics and represented the state in the U.S. Senate. In Washington, his flamboyant antislavery speeches alienated the national Democratic leadership, and he was on the verge of being run out of the party when he was killed in a duel in 1856. At Broderick's death, his followers bolted the Democrats and joined the young Republican Party, sweeping Abraham Lincoln to victory in 1860 and electing Leland Stanford to the governorship. Republicans dominated state politics for decades.

San Francisco was California's first great city, growing during the gold rush from a tiny collection of shacks and a few hundred people to a thriving metropolis of fifty thousand people. The enormous wealth that poured through the city during those years raised mansions and splendid hotels and supported a bonanza culture. Writers like Bret Harte and Mark Twain got their starts in this expansive atmosphere; theater, which captivated the miners, lured international stars like Lola Montez and impresarios like David Belasco. By 1855, the gold rush was fading. Californians turned to the exploitation of other resources, farming, ranching, whaling, and manufacturing. In 1859, the discovery of the Comstock Lode in the eastern Sierra Nevada opened up another boom.

The state's most pressing need was better communication with the rest of the country, but, deeply divided over slavery, Congress could not agree on a route for a transcontinental railroad. With the outbreak of the Civil War, the slavery obstacle was removed. In 1862, Congress passed a railroad bill, and in 1863 the Central Pacific began building east from Sacramento.

The Era of the Southern Pacific

In 1869, the Central Pacific Railroad, building eastward, met the Union Pacific, building westward, at Promontory Point, Utah. The cross-country trek that had once required six grueling months now took three days. The opening of the railroad and the end of the Civil War accelerated the pace of economic and social change in California. A steady flood of newcomers swept away the old system of ranches based on Spanish grants. A land commission was set up to verify existing deeds, but confusion and corruption kept many titles unconfirmed for decades. Squatters overwhelmed Mexican-era land owners like Sutter and Vallejo. The terrible drought of the 1860s finished off the old-timers in the south, where cattle died by the thousands.

The panic of 1873 brought on a depression with steep unemployment and a yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots. A laborer might earn $2 a week, while Leland Stanford, a senator and railroad boss, spent a million dollars in a single year to build his San Francisco mansion. Yet as the railroad was vital to the growing country, labor was vital to the railroad. In 1877, railroad workers gave the country a taste of what they could do in the first national strike, which loosed a wave of violence on the country. In San Francisco the uprising took the form of anti-Chinese riots, finally put down by a recurrence of the vigilante committee of the 1850s, which raised a private army, armed it with pick handles, and battled rioters in the streets.

But labor had shown its strength. In San Francisco its chief spokesman was Denis Kearney, a fiery Irishman who in 1877 formed the Workingmen's Party, which demanded an eight-hour day, Chinese exclusion from California, restraints on the Southern Pacific Railroad, and bank reform. The sudden vigorous growth of the Workingmen's Party gave Kearney and his followers great clout in the 1878 convention, called to revise the state's out-grown 1849 constitution.

The new constitution was not a success, especially because it failed to restrain the Southern Pacific Railroad. The Southern Pacific controlled the legislature and many newspapers. Where it chose to build, new towns sprang up, and towns it by passed died off. The whole economy of California passed along the iron rails, and the Southern Pacific took a cut of everything. The railroad was bringing steadily more people into the state. The last Mexican-era ranchos were sold off, and whole towns were built on them, including Pasadena, which arose on the old Rancho San Pascual in 1877. This was a peak year for immigration, because the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad had finally built into Los Angeles, giving the Southern Pacific some competition. The resulting fare war reduced the ticket price to California to as low as $1, and 200,000 people moved into the state.

Immigration from Asia was a perennial political issue. Brought to California in droves to build the railroad, the Chinese were the target of savage racism from the white majority and endless efforts to exclude them. Later, the Japanese drew the same attacks. Meanwhile, the original people of California suffered near extinction. White newcomers drove them from their lands, enslaved them, and hunted them like animals. The federal government proposed a plan to swap the Indians' ancestral lands for extensive reservations and support. The tribes agreed, but Congress never accepted the treaty. The government took the lands but supplied neither reservations nor help. Perhaps 300,000 Native Americans lived in California in 1850, but by 1900, only 15,000 remained.


The entrenched interests of the railroad sparked widespread if fragmented opposition. Writers like Henry George, in Progress and Poverty (1880), and Frank Norris, in The Octopus (1901), laid bare the fundamental injustices of the economy. Labor organizers took the struggle more directly to the bosses. Activists, facing the brute power of an establishment that routinely used force against them, sometimes resorted to violence. In 1910, a bomb destroyed the Los Angeles Times Building, and twenty people died. The paper had opposed union organizing. In 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) began to organize part-time and migrant workers in California, especially farm workers. This struggle climaxed in the Wheatland riot of 2 August 1913, in which several workers, the local sheriff, and the district attorney were killed. The National Guard stopped the riot, and the IWW was driven out of the Sacramento Valley. In 1919, the legislature passed the Criminal Syndicalism Law. Syndicalism was an IWW watchword, and the law basically attacked ideas. Protesting this law, the writer and politician Upton Sinclair contrived to be arrested for reading the U.S. Constitution out loud in public.

Nonetheless, the government of corruption and bossism was under serious assault. The great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 only postponed the graft prosecution of the mayor and the city's behind-the-scenes boss. Grassroots progressives in Los Angeles helped build momentum for a statewide movement that swept the Progressive Republican Hiram Johnson to the governorship in 1910. In 1911, Johnson and other progressives passed a legislative agenda that destroyed the political power of the Southern Pacific and reformed the government, giving the voters the referendum, recall, and proposition and providing for direct primary election of senators with an allowance for cross-filing, by which a candidate could run in any or all party primaries. Cross-filing substantially weakened both parties but generally favored the better organized Republicans, who remained in control of the state government.

The Rise of the South

In 1914, the opening of the Panama Canal and the completion of the harbor at San Pedro made Los Angeles the most important port on the Pacific Coast. The southland was booming. Besides its wealth of orange groves and other agriculture, southern California now enjoyed a boffo movie industry, and vast quantities of oil, the new gold, lay just underfoot. The movie business took hold in southern California because the climate let filmmakers shoot pictures all year round. In 1914, seventy-three different local companies were making movies, while World War I destroyed the film business in Europe. The war stimulated California's whole economy, demanding, among other goods, cotton for uniforms, processed food, and minerals for the tools of war. Oil strikes in Huntington Beach and Signal Hill in the early 1920s brought in another bonanza.

All these industries and the people who rushed in to work in them required water. Sprawling Los Angeles, with an unquenchable thirst for water, appropriated the Owens River in the eastern Sierra in 1913. In 1936, when the Hoover Dam was finished, the city began sucking water from the Colorado River and in the 1960s from the Feather River of northern California. San Francisco, also growing, got its water by drowning the Hetch Hetchy Valley despite the efforts of John Muir, the eccentric, charismatic naturalist who founded the Sierra Club.

The boom of the Roaring Twenties collapsed in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Thousands of poor people, many from the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma and Arkansas, drifted into California, drawn by the gentle climate and the chimera of work. John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) described the Okies' desperation and showed a California simmering with discontent. At the same time, utopian dreams sprouted everywhere. People seemed ready to try anything to improve their lives, and they had a passion for novelty. Spiritual and dietary fads abounded, and the yawning gap between the wealth of some and the hopeless poverty of so many spawned a steady flow of social schemes. Among others, Sinclair and the physician Francis E. Townsend proposed elaborate social welfare plans, which pre-figured social security.

More significant was the return of a vigorous labor movement, particularly in San Francisco's maritime industry. The organizing of Andrew Furuseth and then Harry Bridges, who built the International Longshoreman's Association, led to the great strike of 1934, which stopped work on waterfronts from San Diego to Seattle, Washington, for ninety days. Even in open-shop Los Angeles, workers were joining unions, and their numbers made them powerful. As part of his New Deal for bringing back prosperity, President Franklin Roosevelt supported collective bargaining under the aegis of federal agencies like the National Labor Relations Board, and instead of radical outsiders, labor leaders became partners in the national enterprise.

World War II

In 1891, Japanese immigration to California began to soar, and the racist exclusionary policies already directed against the Chinese turned on this new target. In 1924, the federal Immigration Act excluded Japanese immigration. The ongoing deterioration of Japanese-American relations ultimately led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and U.S. entry into World War II. In 1942, thousands of Japanese American Californians, most of them U.S. citizens, were forced into concentration camps.

The war itself brought California out of the depression. Defense industries surged, including shipbuilding, chemicals, and the new aircraft industry. California had been a center of airplane building since the early start of the industry. Lockheed and Douglas Aircraft plants had been building warplanes for other nations as well as for the United States since the beginning of the war in Europe, and with U.S. entry into the conflict, production surged. Douglas Aircraft alone built twenty thousand planes during the war.

The state's population continued its relentless growth. Thousands came to California to work in the defense industries, and thousands more passed through the great naval base in San Diego, the army depot at Fort Ord, and the marine facility at Camp Pendleton. In April 1945, the United Nations was founded in San Francisco. World War II brought California from the back porch of America into the center of the postwar order.

Modern California

In 1940 the population of California was 6,907,387; in 1950 it was 10,586,223; and in 2000 it was 33,871,648. In part this growth was due to a nationwide shift from the Northeast to the so-called Sunbelt, but also, especially after 1964, when the new federal Immigration Law passed, immigrants from Asia and South America flooded into California.

This extraordinary growth brought formidable problems and unique opportunities. The economy diversified and multiplied until by 2000 California's economy was ranked as the fifth largest in the world. Growth also meant that pollution problems reached a crisis stage, and the diversity of the population—by 2000 no one ethnic group was in the majority—strained the capacity of the political system to develop consensus. Yet the era began with one of the most popular governors in California history, Earl Warren, so well-liked that he secured both the Republican and the Democratic nominations for governor in 1946 and received 92 percent of the votes cast. He gained an unprecedented third term in 1950. In 1952, President Dwight Eisenhower appointed him chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Warren's opinions and judgments helped liberalize politics and made the African American struggle for social justice a mainstream issue.

California emerged from World War II with a huge production capacity and a growing labor force. The aircraft industry that had contributed so much to the war effort now turned to the production of jet planes, missiles, satellites, and spacecraft. Industrial and housing construction boomed, and agriculture continued as the ground of the state's wealth, producing more than one hundred cash crops. In 1955, Disneyland, the first great theme park, opened, reaffirming California's corner on the fantasy industry.

The opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1939 had signaled the state's increasing dependence on automobiles, fueled by an abundant supply of gas and oil and by Californians' love of flexibility and freedom. Highway projects spun ribbons of concrete around the major urban areas and out into the countryside. Los Angeles grew more rapidly than any other area, increasing its population by 49.8 percent between 1940 and 1950. Above it, the air thickened into a brown soup of exhaust fumes.

Population growth changed politics as well. In 1958, after decades of Republican control, the Democrat Edmund Brown Sr. took advantage of his opponents' divisions and, in a vigorous door-to-door campaign, won the governorship. California's political spectrum included extremes at either end. On the right, the John Birch Society incorporated all the paranoia of the postwar anticommunist crusade, and on the left, the free speech movement at the University of California demonstrated many young people's anarchistic defiance of authority. Throughout the rest of the century, political consensus and civility itself were often out of reach.

In 1962, Governor Brown campaigned for reelection against Richard M. Nixon, who, two years before had lost the U.S. presidency to John F. Kennedy. Brown won, sending Nixon into what seemed a political grave. But California's needs and priorities were changing, and steadily growing diversity meant sizable blocs developed behind a variety of conflicting philosophies. No politician could accommodate them all, and many, like Nixon, chose to exploit those divisions.

On 11 August 1965, the discontent of the poor African American community of Watts in Los Angeles exploded in one of the worst riots in U.S. history. Thirty-four people were killed, hundreds were wounded, and $200 million in property was destroyed. Watts inaugurated years of racial violence. An indirect casualty was Governor Brown, who lost the 1966 gubernatorial race to the former actor Ronald Reagan. Reagan came into office announcing his intentions to restore order, to trim the budget, to lower taxes, and to reduce welfare. In actuality, he more than doubled the budget, raised taxes, and greatly increased the number of people on the dole. Nonetheless, Reagan's personal charm and optimism made him irresistible to voters suffering a steady bombardment of evil news.

In 1965, the dissatisfaction of rebellious youth found a cause in the escalating war in Vietnam. Demonstrations featuring the burning of draft cards and the American flag spread from campuses to the streets. By 1968, it seemed the country was collapsing into civil war, and the country was obviously losing in Vietnam. Also in 1968, U.S. voters elected Nixon to the presidency, but his flagrant abuse of power led to his forced resignation in 1974.

Bruised and self-doubting, California and the rest of the nation limped into a post–Vietnam War economic and political gloom. In 1974, Edmund G. Brown Jr. was elected governor of California. Brown, whose frugal lifestyle charmed those tired of Reagan's grandiosity, talked of an era of limits, supported solar and wind power, and appointed a woman as chief justice of the state supreme court. At first, like Reagan, Brown enjoyed a steadily rising population and government revenues in the black. Then, in 1975, Proposition 13 and an accelerating recession derailed the state economy. Proposition 13, which rolled back and restricted property taxes, was a rebellion by middle-class home-owning Californians against apparently limitless state spending. The proposition was one of the tools Hiram Johnson had added to the California constitution in 1911. Although long underused, it has become a favorite tool of special interest groups, who have placed hundreds of propositions on state ballots calling for everything from exclusion of homosexuals from the teaching profession to demands that the government purchase redwood forests and legalize marijuana. Many propositions have been overturned in the courts, yet the proposition is uniquely effective in bringing popular will to bear on policy. Beginning in the 1970s, propositions helped make environmentalism a central issue in state politics.

George Deukmejian, a Republican, became governor in 1982. A former state attorney general, Deukmejian appointed more than one thousand judges and a majority of the members of the state supreme court. Continuing economic problems dogged the state. Revenues shrank, and unemployment rose. The Republican Pete Wilson, elected governor in 1990, faced this sluggish economy and an ongoing budget crisis. One year the state ran for sixty-one days without a budget, and state workers received vouchers instead of paychecks.

In 1992, Los Angeles erupted in another race riot. The sensational media circus of the O. J. Simpson murder trial in 1995 exacerbated racial tensions further, and Wilson's efforts to restrict immigration, especially the illegal immigration through California's porous border with Mexico, aroused the wrath of liberals and Latinos.

Fortunately, the state's economy was climbing out of the prolonged stagnation of the 1980s. Once again California was reinventing itself. Shortly after World War II, Stanford University had leased some of its endowment lands to high-technology companies, and by the 1990s, the Silicon Valley, so-called for the substance used in computer chips, was leading the explosively expanding computer and Internet industry. The irrational exuberance of this industry developed into a speculative bubble, whose bursting in 2000 precipitated the end of the long boom of the 1990s.

The 2000 census confirmed California's extraordinary diversity. Out of a total population of 33,871,648, no single ethnic group held a majority. Whites, at 46.7 percent of the total, still outnumbered any other group, but Latinos now boasted a healthy 32.4 percent, Asians amounted to 10.9 percent, and African Americans totaled 6.7 percent. Significantly, 4.7 percent of the state's residents described themselves as multiracial. But perhaps the happiest statistic was the jump in the number of Native California Indians, who had been nearly wiped out at the beginning of the twentieth century, to more than 100,000.


Beck, Warren A., and David A. Williams. California: A History of the Golden State. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1972.

Pomeroy, Earl S. The Pacific Slope: A History of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1973.

Rolle, Andrew F. California: A History. Rev. 5th ed. Wheeling, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, 1998.

Soule, Frank, et al. Annals of San Francisco. New York and San Francisco: D. Appleton, 1855.

Starr, Kevin. Americans and the California Dream, 1850–1915. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

———. Embattled Dreams: California in War and Peace, 1940– 1950. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.


See alsoAlcaldes ; Asian Americans ; Bear Flag Revolt ; Chinese Americans ; Frémont Explorations ; Gold Rush, California ; Golden Gate Bridge ; Hollywood ; Japanese American Incarceration ; Japanese Americans ; Los Angeles ; Mexican-American War ; Mission Indians of California ; Proposition 13 ; Railroads ; Sacramento ; San Diego ; San Francisco ; San José ; Silicon Valley ; Watts Riots .

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California is so large and so diverse that it is difficult to characterize. Native American, Spanish, and Mexican influences marked its earlier centuries. White settlers who came to exploit its various resources (from sea otter to beavers and gold) led it into statehood. Now an agricultural and manufacturing giant, the state has experienced many economic booms but has also weathered its share of harsh times.

European economic interest in California began in the sixteenth century, when Spanish explorers in their search for a western passage to the East discovered Baja California (now a part of Mexico). Believing there was a transcontinental canal, Juan Rodriquez de Cabrillo first landed in Upper (or Alta) California in 1542, at the bay now known as San Diego. Until the late eighteenth century, however, Europeans were little interested in the region. Spurred on by its economic rivals in 1769, Spain sent Father Junipero Serra (17131784) and military leader Gaspar de Portol to establish the first permanent European settlement in California. Franciscan friars established some 21 missions along the coast to convert the Native American population and also built four military outposts called presidios. San Jose de Guadalupe was the first civilian settlement in California.

Having done little to strengthen its California outposts, Spain lost control of the territory after the Mexican Revolution of 1821. The Mexicans gradually began redistributing the vast lands and herds owned by the missions to Mexican private citizens, who established huge ranchos (ranches) that produced grain and large herds of cattle. The rancheros (ranch owners) traded hides and tallow for manufactured products from foreign traders along the coast. They assigned most of the manual labor on the ranchos to Indian workers.

U.S. citizens first came to California in pursuit of the sea otter, whose pelts were shipped to China at profitable rates. Others came to exploit the hide and tallow trade, and inland explorers profited from the hunting of beavers. U.S. interest in California began to grow and during the administration of President James K. Polk (18451849) war was waged on Mexico. By the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, California was ceded to the United States.

By far the largest effect on the economy of the new territory was the Gold Rush of 1849, which began with the discovery of gold along the American River. Thousands of prospectors poured into California, and by 1852, $80 million in gold was being mined in the state. The state's population quadrupled during the 1850s and grew at two times the national rate in the 1860s and 1870s. California became the thirty-first state in 1851.

Racial discrimination and racial divisions marked the first years of statehood, as white citizens attempted to put down the state's growing ethnic populations. New tax laws were passed to discourage Latin American and Chinese miners, and efforts were made to displace the original Mexican owners of large ranchos.

The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 brought California into extensive contact with the rest of the country. The directors of the Central Pacific railroadLeland Stanford (18241893), Collis P. Huntington (18211900), Charles Crocker (18221888), and Mark Hopkins (18141878)wielded tremendous political and economic influence in the state, creating a transportation and land monopoly. Considerable opposition to this monopoly was expressed by novelist Frank Norris in his 1901 novel The Octopus.

In the late nineteenth century irrigation projects made it possible for agriculture to replace gold and silver mining as the mainstay of the economy. Orange and lemon groves began to supply most of the nation with citrus fruit. In the 1870s the state became the top cattle-raising state and the second-highest producer of wheat. California's population burgeoned in the 1880s because of the success of the citrus industry, the increasing popularity of the state as a destination for invalids, and a railroad rate war which made transportation cheap. The urban population grew rapidly during the early twentieth century. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 brought a halt to that city's amazing success story, but only for a few years.

Los Angeles and San Francisco, the two major urban areas, were each at about one million people in 1920. The two cities increasingly vied with one another for water rights, vital to a growing population. Over the objections of conservationists, San Francisco created a reservoir by damming the Tuolumne River at the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Los Angeles angered farmers along the Owens Valley by diverting nearly all the water in the Owens River through an aqueduct. Manufacturing in the urban areas soon began to outstrip mining and agriculture as the major employer in the state.

California continued to boom throughout the 1920s as people were drawn to the state's favorable climate, natural beauty, and economic opportunities. Oil was discovered in the Los Angeles Basin, placing the state for a time in first place in crude oil production. By 1930 the size of Los Angeles had more than doubled, growing to over 2.2 million. The city also became known for its expanding network of highways and its large number of motor cars, a distinction that would plague Los Angeles in the traffic-clogged years to come.

Like other states California suffered during the Great Depression (19291939), but also gained in some areas. People from all over the United States, especially from the dust bowl of the southern Great Plains, fled to California in search of a better life. The California film industry grew as well, giving people in the United States movies that helped them escape from their worries during the 1930s. By 1940 the United States boasted more movie theaters than banks.

1930s politics in the state were marked by several socialist-oriented ideas, such as the Townsend Plan and the "Ham 'n' Eggs" Plan, which promised cash payments for the elderly. A candidate for governor in 1934, author Upton Sinclair (18781968, also a well-known socialist) promised to "end poverty in California," but he lost to the Republican incumbent. Only World War II (19391945) brought the state to real economic health by expanding the number of military installations, aircraft factories, and shipyards in the state. Along with this expansion came the increasing importance of ethnic minorities in California, particularly Mexican and Japanese Americans.

Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s California continued to grow rapidly, reaching the top population ranking among all states in 1963. The 1970s saw a slowdown in growth after a number of industries, particularly aerospace, experienced a downturn. The military buildup during Californian Ronald Reagan's presidency (19811989), however, helped the economy bounce back in the 1980s. It declined again in the late 1980s and early 1990s as defense spending decreased, real estate became expensive, and environmental regulations discouraged business. By 1992 the state's unemployment rate had reached 10.1 percent, with jobs in aerospace and manufacturing dropping by 24 percent. Another San Francisco earthquake in 1989 caused extreme economic stress in that city, with $5 to $7 billion in property damage. Still another earthquake northwest of Los Angeles in 1994 caused $13 to $20 million in property damage.

California felt the economic stress of illegal immigration more than most states and also struggled more with its treatment of ethnic minorities. Proposition 187, passed in 1994, banned illegal immigrants from welfare, education, and non-emergency health care. In 1995 Governor Pete Wilson issued an executive order banning the use of affirmative action in state hiring and contracting and in university admissions.

By the 1990s California had the largest work force in the nation and the greatest number of employed workers. In 1995, 49 percent of the total of employees in the guided missile and space vehicle industry were located in California. In 1995 nearly 18 percent of all workers were members of labor unions. The organizing of migrant farm workers has been the most difficult task. During the 1960s labor activist Cesar Chavez (19271993) mobilized migrants to secure bargaining rights in the grape, lettuce, and berry fields of the San Joaquin Valley. An organized nationwide boycott of these products helped this effort. After surviving a challenge from the Teamsters Union, the United Farm Workers gained the right to free elections among farm workers.

California led the nation in economic output and total income in the late 1990s, with per capita income at over $25,000 in 1996. It had quite a diversified economy, including manufacturing, technology, retail trade, banking, finance, and personal services. Not to be forgotten is the growth of the California wine industry, which became both a prestigious consumer commodity and a source of tourist dollars in the Napa and Sonoma valleys and in other grape-growing areas of the state. Tourism was a major contributor to the state's economy in many other areas of California, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the many national and state parks, as well as on the spectacular coastline.

See also: Gold Rush of 1849, Mexican Cession, James Polk


Bean, Walton, and James J. Rawls. California: An Interpretive History, 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982.

Caughey, John W. California: A Remarkable State's Life-History, 4th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1982.

Kahrl, William L. Water and Power: The Conflict over Los Angeles's Water Supply in the Owens Valley. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982.

Roske, Ralph J. Everyman's Eden: A History of California. New York: Macmillan, 1968.

Watkins, T.H. California: An Illustrated History. New York: Outlet, 1983.

we this day worked our machine. oh christmas, where are the joys and festivities? not in california surely.

joseph wood, miner, christmas day, 1849

if it were an independent nation with the same gross product, california would rank with the greatest powers of the earth in wealth.

ralph j. roske, everyman's eden: a history of california, 1968

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Anaheim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Fresno . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

Los Angeles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

Monterey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

Oakland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

Riverside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167

Sacramento . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

San Diego . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191

San Francisco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205

San Jose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219

Santa Ana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229

The State in Brief

Nickname: Golden State

Motto: Eureka (I have found it)

Flower: Golden poppy

Bird: California valley quail

Area: 163,695 square miles (2000; U.S. rank: 3rd)

Elevation: Ranges from 282 feet below sea level to 14,494 feet above sea level

Climate: Extremely varied, with zones ranging from sub-tropical to subarctic, but in the main two seasonswet from October to April, dry from May to September

Admitted to Union: September 9, 1850

Capital: Sacramento

Head Official: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) (until 2007)


1980: 23,668,000

1990: 30,380,000

2000: 33,871,653

2004 estimate: 35,893,799

Percent change, 19902000: 13.8%

U.S. rank in 2004: 1st

Percent of residents born in state: 50.2% (2000)

Density: 217.2 people per square mile (2000)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 1,384,872

Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)

White: 20,170,059

Black or African American: 2,263,882

American Indian and Alaska Native: 333,346

Asian: 3,697,513

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 116,961

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 10,966,556

Other: 5,682,241

Age Characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 2,486,981

Population 5 to 19 years old: 7,747,590

Percent of population 65 years and over: 10.6%

Median age: 33.3 years (2000)

Vital Statistics

Total number of births (2003): 541,046

Total number of deaths (2003): 219,487 (infant deaths, 2,560)

AIDS cases reported through 2003: 55,750


Major industries: Agriculture, manufacturing (transportation equipment, electronics, machinery), biotechnology, aerospace, tourism

Unemployment rate: 5.8% (January 2005)

Per capita income: $33,403 (2003; U.S. rank: 11th)

Median household income: $48,979 (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Percentage of persons below poverty level: 12.9% (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Income tax rate: ranges from 1.0% to 9.3%

Sales tax rate: 7.25% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)

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California State in w USA, on the Pacific coast; the largest state by population and the third largest in area. The capital is Sacramento. Other major cities include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Oakland. In the w, coast ranges run n to s, paralleled by the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the e; between them lies the fertile Central Valley, drained by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. In the se is a broad desert area. The Spanish explored the coast in 1542, but the first European settlement was in 1769, when Spaniards founded a Franciscan mission at San Diego. The area became part of Mexico and huge cattle ranches were established. Settlers came from the USA and, during the Mexican War, US forces occupied California (1846); it was ceded to the USA at the war's end. After gold was discovered (1848), the Gold Rush swelled the population from 15,000 to 250,000 in just four years. In 1850, California joined the Union. In the 20th century, the discovery of oil and development of service industries attracted further settlers. California is the leading producer of many crops in the United States, including a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Poultry, fishing and dairy produce are also important. Forests cover c.40% of the land and support an important timber industry. Mineral deposits include oil, natural gas, and a variety of ores valuable in manufacturing (the largest economic sector). Industries: aircraft, aerospace equipment, electronic components, missiles, wine. Tourism is also a vital industry. Area: 403,971sq km (155,973sq mi). Pop. (2000) 33,871,648.

Statehood :

September 9, 1850

Nickname :

The Golden State

State bird :

California valley quail

State flower :

Golden poppy

State tree :

California redwood

State motto :


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