San Diego: Recreation
San Diego: Recreation
San Diego and its surrounding communities offer a wide range of tourist attractions for every taste, from amusement parks to historic buildings and scenic wilderness.
Animals play a major role in San Diego's tourist trade. The world-famous San Diego Zoo, 100 acres of lush, tropical landscape filled with more than 4,000 animals representing some 800 species, contains some of the rarest species in captivity. Moving sidewalks, an aerial tramway, and open-air buses run through the exhibits. Highlights include giant pandas, Australian koalas, rare Chinese golden monkeys, a large reptile collection, a 1-acre children's zoo, and a beautiful free-flight walk-through aviary. Habitats have been crafted to replicate desert, tropical rain forest, savanna, scrubland, island, tundra, ocean and coastline, prairie and steppe, temperate forest and taiga, river, lake, and wetland ecosystems as closely as possible. Among the habitats are Ituri Forest, which simulates a four-acre African rainforest; Tiger River, an Asian rainforest; and Polar Bear Plunge, representing Arctic tundra. The zoo's newest exhibit, Absolutely Apes, features orangutans and siamangs living together as they would in the wild. Absolutely Apes is the first phase of the under-construction New Heart of the Zoo, which will be a three-acre Asian and African rainforest containing many rare and endangered animals in the center of the zoo.
The San Diego Wild Animal Park, a 2,200-acre preserve operated by the San Diego Zoo, is located 30 miles north of downtown. Designed to protect endangered species, the park features more than 3,200 animals living in natural habitats modeled after African, Asian, and Australian terrain. The park is known for its successful breeding of such species as the southern white rhino and Arabian oryx. Visitors can walk the park or use the monorail system that traverses through the heart of the park. During summer months, the rail system also operates after dark, and lamps light the active animal areas. Nairobi Village provides special exhibits, refreshments, and other services.
Sea World San Diego, home of Shamu the killer whale and Baby Shamu (the original Shamu died long ago, but his successors bear his name), is a 150-acre marine park, located along Mission Bay, that offers a number of marine exhibits, live shows, aquariums, the world's largest shark exhibit, playgrounds and rides, and the $25 million Places of Learning educational complex. Sea World's Wild Arctic area is a massive, multimillion dollar project combining motion simulation theater technology, live marine mammal viewing, and interactive educational exhibits. At Shark Encounter, visitors come face to face with sharks by walking through a 57-foot tube that passes through a 280,000-gallon habitat. Shipwreck Rapids transforms visitors into island castaways who journey on raftlike inner tubes trying to find their way back to civilization.
LEGOLAND California, located in Carlsbad, stimulates creativity and imagination through hands-on recreation. Six play areas feature attractions, rides, building opportunities, and more than 1,000 LEGO models. AQUAZONE Wave Racers, one of the park's rides, are "Wave Activated Vehicles Equipped with Radar Antennas Capable of Evading Random Sprays" as they hydroplane across wakes created by dual carousels. New in 2005 is Knights' Tournament, a unique robotic coaster ride that allows participants to choose their own destiny.
The center of San Diego preserves two separate historic districts representing two different periods. Old Town evokes San Diego's Spanish and Mexican heritage. Many of its nineteenth-century adobe buildings have been restored and filled with museums, shops, and restaurants. Old Town was preceded, in 1769, by the Spanish establishment of California's first mission and military fortress, on nearby Presidio Hill. Gaslamp Quarter is a 16-block restored Victorian district downtown, featuring antiques, arts and crafts, offices, shops, and restaurants. Two-hour walking tours of the district depart from William Heath Davis House, one of the area's first residences, on Saturdays.
Several of the original missions in the area, including California's first, Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, which moved from Presidio Hill to its present site in 1774, still hold Mass and are open to the public for tours. San Diego Bay harbors the Star of India, a 100-year-old sailing vessel, and several U.S. Navy ships that are open to the public. At Point Loma the Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the spot where California was discovered and includes a restored lighthouse, a whale overlook, and a visitor's center.
The nearby 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, east of San Diego, is a unique collection of geological formations, plants, and animals that has been described by Flower and Garden magazine as "a perfect first desert encounter." The Cleveland National Forest north of the city, and other local cliffs, mesas, and canyons offer an abundance of natural scenic pleasures, as do the many flower plantations in the hills outside of San Diego. Tijuana, Mexico, the most visited border town in the world, is an exciting and exotic adventure for shoppers, sightseers, and sports enthusiasts. The Mexican border is a 20 minute ride away, accessed by restored trackless trolleys that depart from the renovated Santa Fe Railway Depot in downtown San Diego.
Arts and Culture
San Diego's citizens and business community are very supportive of the arts. Drama, music, and the visual arts are important elements of the city's personality. Theater, in all its varieties, is available year round. Musical offerings range from formal affairs, symphonies, and operas, to oceanside picnic concerts under the stars and arena-sized rock concerts. Over 90 area museums as well as a number of small art galleries cater to the historic- and artistic-minded.
A large theater community is rising to national prominence in San Diego, and the area's proximity to Hollywood attracts many stars to the more than 40 innovative local theater companies. The centerpiece of San Diego culture is the Simon Edison Centre for the Performing Arts, called "one of the best theater complexes in the U.S." by Time magazine. It consists of the Lowell Davies Festival Theater, a large outdoor arena; the Cassius Carter Centre Stage, a 225-seat theater-in-the-round; and the Tony Award-winning 581-seat Old Globe Theater, a reproduction of Shake-speare's Globe Theater. The theatre complex stages classic and contemporary works throughout the year, with an emphasis on Shakespeare during the summer. Numerous other theater groups are located in the area, including the La Jolla Playhouse at University of San Diego at La Jolla, which stages plays and musicals from April through December at the university's 492-seat Mandell Weiss Theatre and 384-seat Mandell Weiss Forum; the San Diego Repertory Theatre, which produces progressive, culturally diverse plays at the Lyceum Theatre's 545-seat Stage Theatre and 270-seat Space Theatre; and the Lamb's Players Theater, which stages musicals, dramas, comedies, and adventurous world premieres, primarily at the company's 350-seat resident theatre in Coronado. San Diego has a thriving dinner-theater population as well.
Music and dance are also well-represented in San Diego. The San Diego Symphony performs classical masterworks, interactive performances, outdoor summer pops, family festivals, and community concerts, altogether more than 100 performances annually. The La Jolla Music Society presents visiting orchestras, soloists, and ensembles. The San Diego Chamber Orchestra presents its classical repertoire and Carnival Concerts Series (designed for families) at venues across San Diego County. The acclaimed San Diego Opera attracts star international performers; its grand productions at the San Diego Civic Theatre run from January through May. The California Ballet Company provides year-round contemporary and classical professional ballet, while historical and cultural dance exhibitions are offered by organizations such as the Traditional Chicano-Azteca Dance Circle, the Samahan Philippine Dance Company, the Pasacat Philippine Performing Arts Company, and Teye Sa Thiosanne, an African drum and dance company.
Balboa Park is the nation's largest cultural city park. Covering 1,200 acres, it is home to the San Diego Zoo, most of San Diego's museums, performing arts venues, and restaurants, as well as cultivated and wild gardens and a number of historic buildings and exhibits. In all, more than 85 cultural and recreational organizations are located here. The park was originally the site of the Panama-California International Exhibition in 1915 and 1916 (which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal), and most of the buildings are restored exhibit halls from that period, serving as examples of Spanish Revival architecture.
There are 15 museums located in Balboa Park. Among them is the San Diego Museum of Art, established in 1922; it is the oldest and largest art museum in the region. Highlights of the museum's permanent collections include its Spanish baroque, Renaissance, and contemporary California paintings; Indian miniatures; South Asian art; and numerous works by Toulouse-Lautrec. Traditional and modern sculpture is exhibited in an outdoor garden. The Mingei International Museum emphasizes traditional and modern folkart, craft, and design from outside the United States and Europe. The Museum of Photographic Arts, devoted to collecting, conserving and exhibiting still photography and film, has a permanent collection of more than 7,000 works, as well as a state-of-the-art 226-seat movie theater, and a 20,000-volume library. The San Diego Natural History Museum features exhibits on local plants, animals, and geological specimens; in 2001, the opening of a new 90,000 square foot wing more than doubled the museum's size. The San Diego Aerospace Museum features aeronautical exhibits, from the dawn of flight through the space age. The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center houses more than 100 scientific hands-on exhibits, the nation's first Omnimax theater, a virtual reality attraction, and a motion simulation ride. The San Diego Museum of Man, devoted to anthropology, is comprised of a group of buildings documenting the history of mankind, Indians of the three Americas, and human birth, plus various temporary exhibits. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is the world's largest operating model railroad museum, at 28,000 square feet; highlights include four massive scale model layouts and a toy train gallery. The San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum is the largest multi-sport museum in the country at 70,000 square feet.
Other attractions in the park include the House of Pacific Relations, a cluster of 15 cottages representing 30 nationalities, and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, containing the largest outdoor organ in the nation, played on Sundays by a civic organist. The Spanish Village Art Center presents artists and craftspeople at work in buildings resembling a charming town square in Spain, and the San Diego Art Institute features prominent local artists.
The Junipero Serra Museum is located on the site where Father Junipero Serra and Captain Gaspar de Portola established California's first mission and military fortress, in Presidio Park overlooking Old Town. It displays exhibits covering the history of the San Diego area from 1562 to the present. The San Diego Maritime Museum, located on the waterfront, is comprised of three historic ships—the 1863 tall ship Star of India, the 1898 ferry Berkeley, and the 1904 steam yacht Medea —as well as numerous nautical exhibits. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), with San Diego and La Jolla locations, presents more than 3,000 artworks, created after 1950, in its permanent collection; across the street from the San Diego location, the historic 1915 Santa Fe Depot baggage building is currently being remodeled to become part of MCASD and is scheduled to open in 2006.
Arts and Culture Information: City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture 1010 Second Avenue, Suite 555, San Diego, CA 92101; telephone (619)533-3050
Festivals and Holidays
San Diego's events calendar begins with the New Year's Day Race, a yacht regatta in San Diego Bay. In March, the San Diego Latino Film Festival, spanning 10 days, is the largest Latino film festival in the country. ArtWalk is a twoday April event showcasing visual and performing fine arts exhibits in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood. May events include the Cinco de Mayo Celebration, which brings historical reenactments, folkloric music and dance, and Mexican food and fun to Old Town; Gator Bay two-day Cajun zydeco music and food festival; and the Ethnic Food Fair, featuring food from more than 25 nations.
A gala celebration on the Fourth of July features special events throughout the region, including several parades, outdoor concerts, a hot-air balloon race, and fireworks. The Harlem West Fest, also in July, is a premier African American festival held in the Gaslamp Quarter. Another July event, held at Imperial Beach, is Sand Castle Days, the world's longest-running and largest sand castle competition. America's Finest City Week is celebrated city-wide in August and features a large variety of events including concerts, sports events, carnivals, and more. The San Diego Film Festival in September celebrates American and international cinematic arts.
In late September, the city celebrates the Cabrillo Festival to commemorate the discovery of California by Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo. The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival in November is a culinary celebration featuring more than 150 wineries and cuisine from many fine area restaurants. The San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival is a five-day classic jazz event held during Thanksgiving weekend, showcasing traditional, swing, and dixieland jazz. The Christmas season inspires some of the major celebrations of the year, sparking festivals, parades, and light displays in many locations. Other Christmas events include the Parade of Lights, a display of decorated boats in San Diego Bay; the festive rituals of Las Posadas; and the Holiday Bowl, a college football game. December also marks the beginning of the whale migration season off Point Loma.
Sports for the Spectator
Sports are varied in San Diego. Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres play April through September at PETCO Park, which opened in 2004; PETCO, located downtown, has 42,000 seats, and its seating bowl sections are named after neighborhoods. The National Football League's San Diego Chargers, 2004 AFC West Division champions, play at 70,561-seat Quallcomm Stadium. Quallcomm is also home to San Diego State University's Aztecs. The San Diego Gulls play minor-league hockey at San Diego Sports Arena. San Diego also hosts a major bicycle Grand Prix race each year. Nearby Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, founded by entertainer Bing Crosby in 1937, offers horseracing from July through September, and Tijuana, Mexico features the excitement of jai alai, bullfighting, and greyhound racing.
Sports for the Participant
Sports Illustrated magazine calls San Diego "the sports and fitness capital of the U.S." The Pacific Ocean and numerous bays in the area provide a wide range of activities: swimming, sailing, water skiing, snorkeling, and deep sea sport fishing, among others. Mission Bay Park is the largest aquatic park in the nation; it consists of 4,235 acres, 46 percent land and 54 percent water. The park offers 44 miles of beachfront recreation area, as well as inland trails and jogging tracks. San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Reserve at La Jolla Cove provides excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. San Diego's public park system maintains extensive recreation facilities, public pools, jogging paths, and playing fields. There are more than 1,300 public and private tennis courts in the county, as well as more than 90 golf courses. The most popular bike route in the area is Route S21, which extends 15 miles along the beach between La Jolla and Oceanside. Winter sports such as skiing are available in the nearby mountains.
Shopping and Dining
San Diego offers a wide variety of shopping experiences, from small shops in renovated historical districts such as Old Town, which resembles a Mexican marketplace, and the Gaslamp Quarter, where Victorian buildings house antique stores, art galleries, and boutiques, to the large suburban shopping malls, many located in the Mission Valley region. Downtown San Diego's massive Westfield Shoppingtown Horton Plaza, adjacent to the Gaslamp district, is a five-level, open-air plaza filled with department stores and nearly 200 upscale specialty shops. Seaport Village is a 14-acre shopping, dining, and entertainment complex featuring 75 shops and restaurants in a harborside setting. Nearby Tijuana provides a colorful variety of bazaars, open-air markets, and handcrafted goods.
Seafood and authentic Mexican cuisine are dining specialties in the San Diego area. Many distinctive restaurants, ranging from formal luxury dining to sidewalk cafes can be found in the historical districts, the modern plazas, and along the waterfront. A large number of international and ethnic restaurants add variety to the dining fare.
Visitor Information: San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, 401 B Street, Suite 1400, San Diego, CA 92101; telephone (619)232-1212
SAN DIEGO , combined city-county in S. California; county population 3 million (2005), Jewish population 89,000.
Jewish life in San Diego started in what is called Old Town, near the San Diego River and just below the hill on which the Spanish built the first California mission in 1769. The first Jew arrived at this remote frontier site in 1850, the same year the city received its charter. In this town of 800, there were, perhaps, 25 Jews until the 1860s. Most were very visible for their number, both as businessmen and civic leaders. When, in the 1870s, the center of town moved southeast, to its permanent location, on San Diego Bay, the Jewish population moved also. They set up stores and lived nearby; the first synagogues were in this downtown area. In the 1920s the reform congregation, Beth Israel, moved uptown to the west side of Balboa Park, and by the mid-20th century the Conservative and Orthodox congregations had moved up-town to the north and east sides of the park. The neighborhood of North Park became the center of Jewish life with a kosher butcher, bakery, a Jewish Community Center and the homes and businesses of many of the patrons. By the late 1970s the community had migrated primarily to the east, near San Diego State University, to the South in Chula Vista, and a little to the north. With the coming of the University of California San Diego to La Jolla in the late 1960s, the Jewish community began to move there as well. Prior to that, beginning in the 1940s, the residents of La Jolla had a restrictive covenant against Jews and other minorities in their property deeds, which was enforced by the real estate agents. At the beginning of the 21st century there was no Jewish area, and the population was very spread out. Jews congregate throughout San Diego County, from the Mexican border to the northern boundary, the Marine Base at Camp Pendleton. As a matter of fact, Jews even congregate at Camp Pendleton and south of the border in Tijuana.
Louis Rose, the first Jewish settler, arrived in 1850. A multi-talented entrepreneur, he also held various prominent government positions. He was an early benefactor to the Jewish community, and two locations, Rose Canyon and Roseville are named for him. Rose was joined by Lewis Franklin who held the first recorded Jewish religious observance (Day of Atonement) in Southern California in his home soon after he arrived in 1851. Perhaps this was Franklin's hobby, as he had held the first Jewish service in San Francisco in 1849. The Jewish population increased dramatically with the arrival of Mark Jacobs (aka Jacob Marks), his wife, Hannah, and their 12 children. One daughter, Leah, married Marcus Katz in the first Jewish marriage ceremony in Southern California in 1853; another daughter, Victoria, who married Franklin's brother, Maurice, kept a diary (1856–57), which is an important record of Jewish life at that time.
Marcus Schiller was a businessman, public official, and Jewish community leader for 40 years. During his tenure on the City Board of Trustees, along with his business partner, Joseph Mannasse, 1,400 acres were set aside for Balboa Park, the main park in the city center. In 1861, Schiller organized the first congregation, Adath Jeshurun (Orthodox), the oldest congregation in Southern California, which in 1887 incorporated as Congregation Beth Israel (Reform). The Jewish population at this time was approximately 300. In the midst of planning its synagogue, the congregation hired its first rabbi, Samuel Freuder, in 1888. Within a year he left and became a Christian missionary. Twenty years later, he realized his mistake and wrote a book called A Missionary's Return in Judaism (1915). Built of wood in the gothic style, Temple Beth Israel was completed in 1889 and used for 37 years. Moved to a county park in 1978, it is one of the two oldest synagogue structures extant in California. With the Jewish population of San Diego increasing to 2,000, Congregation Beth Israel built its second home, a Byzantine-style synagogue, in 1926, near Balboa Park. Its "Temple Center" became the focal point of Jewish communal life for over 25 years. When the congregation moved to its third home in 2001, its previous building was saved from demolition, because of its eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places. At the beginning of the 21st century, Beth Israel was the only congregation in the American West to have its three synagogues still in use.
In 1905, East European immigrants formed an orthodox congregation, Tifereth Israel Synagogue. When, in 1939, this congregation became Conservative, another Orthodox congregation was formed, Beth Jacob. These three congregations, which were led out of the war years by three influential rabbis – Reform, Morton J. Cohn (1946–61); Conservative, Monroe Levens (1948–74), and Orthodox, Baruch Stern (1947–77) – were the only ones until the 1950s, when the Jewish population increased to 6,000 and new congregations formed. By the beginning of the 21st century, there were over 30 congregations, including the three original ones, covering all the trends in Judaism, from Humanistic to Chabad.
As the Jewish community grew, so did the need for social and communal service. At the beginning, men and women took separate paths to this end.
Forty men, led by Marcus Schiller, formed the first Hebrew Benevolent Society of San Diego in 1871. Twenty-six signatories received the charter for the B'nai B'rith Eduard Lasker Lodge #370 in 1887, with Simon Levi as president. By mid-20th century there were seven men's lodges, some named for prominent citizens such as Samuel I. Fox, Edward Breitbard, and Henry Weinberger. In 1929 Anna Shelley organized the Birdie Stodel B'nai B'rith Women's Chapter which grew by mid-century into five chapters in the county. aza Fraternity and B'nai B'rith Girls followed in 1930, and Hillel in 1947. In mid-century Zionist groups were also strong, but by the end of the century, most of the organizations, except for Hillel, were in decline.
In 1890, Mrs. Simon Levi organized the Ladies Hebrew Aid Society, with 20 members "to render relief to the sick and needy, to rehabilitate families and to aid the orphan and half-orphan." This group joined with the Jolly Sewing Circle, Hebrew Sisterhood and Junior Charity League in 1918 to form the Federated Jewish Charities. In 1936, the Charities split into two: the Jewish Welfare Society, later to become Jewish Family Service, incorporated, and the United Jewish Fund, predecessor of the United Jewish Federation of San Diego, was formed. The Jolly 16, a women's social and benevolent group, started a ten-bed San Diego Hebrew Home for the Aged which opened in 1944. A much larger facility opened in 1950, in partnership with the Jewish Community Center, and in 1989 the Hebrew Home expanded and moved to northern San Diego County. The first Jewish Community Center opened in 1946 in a storefront in North Park. Within six years a new building with a pool, gymnasium, classrooms and a library opened in the eastern part of the city, which served the community for almost 50 years. A larger facility opened in the La Jolla area in 1985 and was expanded in the late 1990s.
Mrs. Abraham Blochman started formal Jewish education for Beth Israel's children in 1887. Education remained the purview of individual congregations until the 1960s, when the San Diego Hebrew Day School and the Bureau of Jewish Education were created. The Bureau became the independent Agency for Jewish Education in 1986. In 1979 the San Diego Jewish Academy began, and 20 years later it opened as a full-time school at a large campus in northern San Diego.
In 1970, with the Jewish population at 12,000, a Judaic studies program began at San Diego State University. Fifteen years later this program grew into the Lipinsky Institute for Judaic Studies, sponsored by arts patrons Bernard and Dorris Lipinsky. Lawrence Baron, the director of the Institute since 1988, holds the Nasatir Professorship in Modern Jewish History, named for Abraham P. Nasatir, an Orthodox Jew who was the first Jewish professor at the university (1928–1974). When he arrived, most of the students and faculty had never met a Jew before, but by the end of his tenure, Nasatir Hall had been named for him. University of California, San Diego, started its Judaic Studies program in 1977, with an emphasis on biblical scholarship, attracting some of the nation's foremost scholars, such as David Noel Freedman, Richard Elliott Friedman, David Goodblatt, and Thomas Levy.
A group of women, under the direction of Irene Fine, began the Women's Institute for Continuing Jewish Education in 1977. It pioneered the teaching of Torah, Talmud and Midrash by women. The San Diego Women's Haggadah (1980), the first women's text for a feminist seder, was followed by other publications which led the way for Jewish feminists.
With the Jewish population at 30,000 in 1980, a small group led by historian Henry Schwartz founded the Jewish Historical Society of San Diego. Its archive for local Jewish history was established in 1999 by Stanley and Laurel Schwartz in cooperation with the Lipinsky Institute. The archive's opening in 2000 celebrated 150 years of San Diego Jewry.
The year 1914 saw the first weekly Jewish newspaper, The Southwest Jewish Press, which later became the San Diego Jewish Press Heritage, concluding its run in 2003. In 2005, there were two Jewish newspapers: the bi-weekly San Diego Jewish Times, formerly Israel Today, and the monthly San Diego Jewish Journal. Rabbi Aaron Gottesman brought the community a Jewish radio program called "Milk and Honey" during the 1980s.
The following people are some of those who have made contributions which have had a lasting effect on the community and beyond.
French immigrant Abraham Blochman and his son Lucien started the Blochman Banking Company in 1893. By the late 20th century, it had become Security Pacific National Bank, one of the largest banks in California. The Blochman family took various leadership roles in the Jewish community and in civic and communal affairs. Lucien was a director of the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 which gave Balboa Park its Spanish architecture. He and his sister Mina Blochman Brust helped found the San Diego Chapter of the American Red Cross at the turn of the century, and Mina started the First Aid Program in 1919.
Abraham Klauber, who arrived in 1869, was an early merchant and San Diego booster whose descendants were prominent into the 21st century. Daughter Alice Klauber, an artist, directed the arts pavilion at the 1915 Exposition. A business partner of Abraham Klauber, Sigmund Steiner moved to Escondido in north San Diego County to open a store and became mayor (1894–1906). Under his leadership, the grape growing industry flourished with an annual Grape Day Festival and parade, one of the largest in Southern California. The festival at Grape Day Park was still celebrated at the beginning of the 21st century.
The five Levi brothers, two of whom had long lasting effects in San Diego county and were also business partners of Klauber, came to San Diego in the 1870s. Simon was a civic and religious leader who started the Simon Levi Company, wholesale grocery and liquor. Adolph, whose interests spread from the Pacific Ocean to the easternmost reaches of the county, was in the livery and ranching business. Also a civic and religious leader, his descendants carried on the family's communal spirit into the 21st century.
Samuel I. Fox owned the Lion Clothing Store, which was located next to the Hog and Hominy Store operated by a Mr. Baer on what was known as the "Zoo Block." From 1886 to his death in 1939, he was a civic, communal and religious leader who promoted the business community by helping to secure local control of the port and the water supply. In 1930 he was the first president of the San Diego Community Chest and was one of the organizers of the 1935 Exposition in Balboa Park which helped pull the city out of the depression.
Brothers Henry and Jacob Weinberger were communal and religious leaders. Jacob became the first federal judge in San Diego in 1946 and was the founding president of the United Jewish Fund (1936–45). The restored 1917 federal bankruptcy courthouse is named for him. Judge Edward Schwartz was appointed to the U.S. District Court by President Johnson in 1968, where he remained until his death in 2000. During his term he became chief justice, and in 1995 the U.S. Courthouse was named the Edward J. Schwartz Courthouse and Federal Building.
In the later part of the 20th century, several business people made their mark on the national scene and became local philanthropists. Sol Price, 1976 founder of the first national retail membership warehouse, The Price Club, along with his family, has funded much neighborhood redevelopment and university growth. Pioneering scientists, Irwin Jacobs and Andrew Viterbi, founded linkabit, in 1968, a breakthrough company in the development of digital technology. In 1985 they went on to start Qualcomm, the cell phone industry giant. Both men, their families and their companies became major philanthropists, with the Jewish Community Center, synagogues, the San Diego Symphony, Qualcomm Stadium, theaters, public broadcasting and universities as some of the beneficiaries of their gifts.
Jews have participated in the arts with internationally renowned conductor, David Amos, who directs the Jewish Community Orchestra, and Ian Campbell, the San Diego Opera director since 1983. Under his direction the opera commissioned local composer Myron Fink to write the music for The Conquistador, the story of a family of secret Jews during the Inquisition in Mexico, which premiered in San Diego in 1997.
Robert Breitbard founded the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum, in 1961. Located in Balboa Park and with Breitbard still its driving force at the beginning of the 21st century, it was the nation's largest multi-sport museum. The Park is also host to the Museum of Photographic Arts, whose founding director, Arthur Ollman, has brought world class exhibitions to the museum since 1983 and into the 21st century.
Jack Gross started the first tv station in San Diego, kfmb, in 1949, and along with his son radio talk-show host and critic, Laurence Gross, Jews have maintained a long and steady presence on local tv news into the 21st century, with newscasters Marty Levine, Susan Taylor, and Gloria Penner.
In the national public sphere, former industrialist, Colonel Irving Salomon came to San Diego County after World War ii. In 1953 President Eisenhower appointed him as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, for which he worked until his death in 1979. He and his wife Cecile, a classical pianist and composer of Jewish music, entertained notables at their ranch in Valley Center and were benefactors for cultural programs.
Real estate developer M. Larry Lawrence bought and restored the famous 1888 Hotel Del Coronado in 1963. His philanthropy helped create the new Jewish Community Center in 1985 which bears his family name. President Clinton made him ambassador to Switzerland (1994–96).
Jonas Salk, originator of the poliomyelitis vaccine, started the Salk Institute in La Jolla in 1963 and created a haven for world renowned research, while enabling architect Louis Kahn to design one of the world's great buildings.
Though many Jews had served the city government as elected officials, the first Jewish mayor, Susan Golding, was elected in 1992, serving for two terms. Her father, Brage Golding, was president of San Diego State University from 1972 to 1977.
In 1993 two Jews were elected to congress, Robert Filner and Lynn Schenk. Schenk later became chief of staff for Governor Gray Davis, and Filner continued his tenure in congress into the 21st century. In 2000 Susan Davis was elected to congress. In 2005, two out of the five-person county congression al delegation were Jewish.
William Kolender, a career law enforcement professional, served as the chief of the San Diego Police Department for 13 years, beginning in 1975. After a short retirement, in 1995 he was elected sheriff of San Diego County, and he held the post into the 21st century. Together with Rabbi Aaron Gottesman, he started the San Diego Police Department Chaplaincy Program in 1968.
Former U.S. attorney, Alan Bersin, completed a tenure as superintendent of San Diego City Schools in 2005 and was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as secretary of education for California.
At the beginning of the 21st century, as California's population swelled, so did the Jewish population, with newcomers from all parts of the U.S. and other countries such as South Africa, Iran, and especially from Latin and South America. Cousins of first generation eastern European Jewish immigrants, who came to the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century, found themselves welcomed in Mexico and other Latin countries, and eventually, in San Diego. Proximity to Mexico provided a distinct flavor, as Jewish residents moved back and forth across the border for business, social activities and worship. The migratory inclination of the community was broadened by snowbirds in the winter, "zonies" (Arizonans), refugees from the desert heat, in the summer, a growing retirement community, and a large military presence. Many had strong ties to other places, which sometimes restrained their participation in local community life. Close-knit alliances formed, based on origins, either native or immigrant, as extended families were far away.
N.B. Stern, "The Franklin Brothers of San Diego," in: Journal of San Diego History (1975); T. Casper, "The Blochman Saga in San Diego," in: Journal of San Diego History (1977); R.A. Burlinson, "Samuel Fox, Merchant and Civil Leader in San Diego, 1886–1939," in: Journal of San Diego History (1980); L.M. Klauber, "Abraham Klauber – a Pioneer Merchant (1831–1911)," in: Western States Jewish History (1970); H. Schwartz. "The Levi Saga: Temecula, Julian, San Diego," in: Western States Jewish History (1974); R.D. Gerson, "San Diego's Unusual Rabbi, Samuel Freuder," in: Western States Jewish History (1993); idem, "Jewish Religious Life in San Diego, California, 1851–1918" (unpublished thesis, 1974); L. Baron, "The Jews of San Diego State University, California," in: Western States Jewish History (1998); V. Jacobs and S. Arden (eds.), Diary of a San Diego Girl – 1856 (1974); L.G. Stanford, Ninety Weinberger Years: The Jacob Weinberger Story (1971); B'nai B'rith Centennial 1887 – 1987 Commemorative Booklet; W.M. Kramer, L. Schwartz, S. Schwartz, Old Town, New Town an Enjoyment of San Diego Jewish History (1994); S. Schwartz, A Brief History of Congregation Beth Israel. 135th Birthday 1861–1996, booklet; M.E. Stratthaus, "Flaw in the Jewel: Housing Discrimination Against Jews in La Jolla, California," in: American Jewish History (1996).
[Stan Schwartz and
Laurel Schwartz (2nd ed.)]
San Diego: Economy
San Diego: Economy
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
San Diego's economy, once dominated by military and defense endeavors (now the city's second largest economic sector) is led by manufacturing, particularly in the areas of shipbuilding and repair, industrial machinery and computers, metals production, and the manufacture of toys and sporting goods. In 2002, manufacturing contributed $25 billion to the county's economy. International trade is an important part of San Diego's economy, accounting for 37 percent of its manufacturing dollars. In 2001, goods moving through San Diego customs totaled $33.6 billion. The border between the San Diego area and Tijuana is the busiest in the world.
Since the founding of San Diego, the city's economy has been tied to San Diego Bay, a natural harbor which today is one of California's five major ports. It is an important link in the nation's international shipping trade; the port's two marine cargo facilities are the National City Marine Terminal, which is a primary port of entry for Honda, Acura, Volkswagen, Isuzu, Mitsubishi Fuso, and Hino Motors vehicles; and Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, which handles a wide variety of commodities. The port also has a growing cruise ship operation, with more than 180 cruise ships docking annually.
San Diego's harbor has had the most significant impact on the local economy, however, through the Eleventh Naval District Headquarters, the base for the U.S. Navy Pacific fleet, which is located on the bay. San Diego is the Navy's principal location for West Coast and Pacific Ocean operations. Increases in military and homeland defense spending during the early 2000s has contributed to economic growth in San Diego. The military/defense industry is the city's second largest economic sector, bringing more than $13 billion into the local economy annually. The Marine Corps Base Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar, Naval Air Station North Island, Naval Station San Diego, and Naval Submarine Base, San Diego, are among San Diego's military installations.
With the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, a variety of historical and cultural attractions, and year-round good weather, San Diego is a top destination for tourists. In 2004, Travel and Leisure magazine ranked it America's second favorite city (behind Honolulu). San Diego's tourism industry is the third largest segment of its economy, with more than 26 million visitors to the county bringing more than $5.6 billion in annual revenues. Service industries have seen continued growth in recent years, specifically in areas such as dining, lodging, shopping and recreation services. San Diego regularly ranks as a top-10 U.S. vacation destination for international travelers.
The fourth largest segment of the economy is agriculture. San Diego County is the 20th largest agricultural producer in the nation. It is a top producer of nursery products, flowers, foliage plants, and avocados.
San Diego is a center for high technology and biotechnology. Nearly 160,000 high-technology workers are employed at 1,400 companies throughout San Diego. High technology growth areas include the biomedical, software, telecommunications and security sectors. Among all U.S. metropolitan areas, San Diego has the third largest concentration of biotech companies, with more than 32,000 biotech jobs at 499 companies.
Items and goods produced: acoustical materials, adhesives, airplane parts, bamboo, dairy products, electronics transmission and distribution equipment, plastic, rubber products, awnings, beverages, paper, clothing, dental products, detergents, computers, televisions
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
The city of San Diego offers permit and regulatory assistance, problem solving, regulatory reform, and project troubleshooting for large companies interested in expanding in the San Diego area. Most of these companies must be creating or retaining 200 or more jobs, generating $500,000 in annual revenue to the city, or be located in one of the City's three Enterprise Zones. The city's Business Cooperation Program offers incentives that can lower operating and facility costs for a variety of businesses. San Diego has 18 business improvement districts, 15 redevelopment project areas, 3 enterprise zones, a foreign trade zone, recycling market development zones, and a renewal community.
California's Commerce & Economic Development Program offers financial solutions by helping businesses secure capital to invest in major public, private, and nonprofit ventures; providing export assistance and financing; and supporting small businesses by offering financial assistance, training, and technical assistance.
Job training programs
The city of San Diego works closely with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, a nonprofit community corporation that supports the region's workforce and employers through education, training, and employment services.
Recent development highlights in San Diego include the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, completed in 2001, and the construction of PETCO Park, which opened in 2004. The new 1.7 million square foot convention facility features 615,701 square feet of exhibit space. PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, is located downtown and has 42,000 seats. In 2002, a $312.3 million program to build or improve 24 San Diego libraries was approved. As of 2004, more than 100 residential, commercial, retail, and entertainment development projects in San Diego's downtown area were underway or on the drawing board.
Economic Development Information: City of San Diego Economic Development Division, 600 B Street, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101; telephone (619)533-4233; fax (619)533-5250; email [email protected]
The Port of San Diego handles hundreds of merchant ships each year; nearby Tijuana, Mexico, is also a duty-free port. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad connects San Diego to major market areas. More than 80 trucking companies are established in metropolitan San Diego, providing freight, hauling, or equipment services. Air cargo services are maintained at San Diego International Airport, which handles more than 70,000 tons of cargo annually.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
A large portion of the San Diego work force is derived from in-migration, creating a diverse population. In 2002, San Diego added nearly 20,000 jobs, while the nation as a whole experienced an economic recession. Among the three occupations expected to see the most growth in San Diego in the near future, all are in the information technology field. A 2005 report by the San Diego Workforce Partnership indicates that the occupations with the highest growth rate between 2001-2008 are expected to be computer support specialists (57.9 percent growth), network and computer systems administrators (51.9 percent), and network systems and data communications analysts (50.0 percent). According to the same report, occupations forecasted to have the most opportunities for job seekers—the most job openings between 2001 and 2008—include janitors and cleaners, security guards, laborers, stock clerks, computer support specialists, bookkeepers, and elementary school teachers.
The following is a summary of data regarding the San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 1,258,600
Number of workers employed in . . . natural resources and mining: 400
trade, transportation, and utilities: 214,400
financial activities: 81,500
professional and business services: 205,100
educational and health services: 121,300
leisure and hospitality: 145,200
other services: 47,600
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $13.70
Unemployment rate: 4.6% (January 2005)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|State of California||32,400|
|San Diego Unified School District||25,230|
|University of California at San Diego||21,444|
|County of San Diego||17,700|
|City of San Diego||11,085|
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of data regarding key cost of living factors for the San Diego area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $597,641
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 144.8 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: Ranges from 1.0% to 9.3%
State sales tax rate: 6.0% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 1.75
Property tax rate: 1.00% of assessed valuation in city proper
San Diego: History
San Diego: History
Spanish, Mexicans, Americans Lay Claim to San Diego Region
Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the discoverer of California, sailed into what is now San Diego Bay and claimed the surrounding region for the King of Spain in 1542. The bay was named in 1602 by another Spanish explorer, Don Sebastian Viscaino. The first European settlement there was established in 1769, when the Franciscan fathers established a mission on a hill overlooking the bay, close to a large Native American village. The mission was the first in a chain of twenty-one that the sect built throughout California. The mission was burned down by the local tribes and later almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, but the determined Franciscans rebuilt each time. Today, the restored mission still conducts Mass every Sunday.
By the 1830s, a small but thriving trading village had developed on the bay, in the district now called "Old Town." The town was an important shipping point for cattle hide and quarried stone. The famous cobblestone streets of Boston are said to have been paved with San Diego stone. San Diego became the capital of Mexican California after Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1822. It was a much fought-over prize during the Mexican War, changing hands numerous times before the U.S. Army established permanent American rule in late 1846. The town was incorporated as a city in 1850.
City Thrives, Declines, Thrives Again
Throughout the next twenty years the town was an important whaling port. Then in 1867, San Francisco land-developer Alonzo E. Horton bought a 1,000-acre plot of what was to become downtown San Diego. Horton laid out streets, built a wharf and a hotel, and donated land for churches. A gold strike in 1870 and numerous land booms in the area increased the population rapidly. In 1885, when the Santa Fe Railroad and a number of eastern investors arrived, 40,000 people lived in the city.
By the turn of the century, however, San Diego was plunged into a slump. Failed businesses and unwise real estate speculations caused the population to dwindle to 17,000 people. The city began a period of slow, steady growth, helped by the Panama-California Exposition in celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal in 1915. The fledgling aircraft industry, which found the desert climate and terrain an ideal testing environment, also aided San Diego's recovery. An aggressive policy of attracting new people and industry contributed to growth, but the city remained relatively obscure, overshadowed by Los Angeles and San Francisco to the north.
City Becomes Naval Base; Rise of Agriculture and Industry
Japan's bombing of Honolulu's Pearl Harbor at the beginning of World War II forced the U.S. Navy to seek another suitable Pacific base. They chose San Diego, and almost overnight the city became a busy military center, home base for a large number of naval trainees, many of whom relocated to the city as civilians after the war. In the post-war era the city emerged as the headquarters of the Eleventh Naval District and the Naval Air Command; installations include major U.S. Navy and Marine training centers, the West Coast's main supply depot, a naval hospital and laboratories, and a large fleet stationed in the bay. Along with the military came related support industries and a large number of naval and aviation defense contractors.
Growth begun during World War II has continued unabated. San Diego spread to extend almost 20 miles in each direction, developing small, distinct communities in the nearby canyons and valleys; these areas retain a separate identity while being incorporated into San Diego. With this growth came diversity. To the south, San Diego connects with a rich agricultural area that produces much of California's famous fruit and vegetable produce, shipped worldwide from the easily accessible port. To the north the wealthy leisure class developed a resort community of hotels, spectacular cliff homes, and recreational amenities. Throughout the city commercial and industrial corridors began growing, and many corporations moved their headquarters to the region.
Downtown Declines, Revives
During the 1960s and early 1970s the San Diego downtown area declined when businesses and residents moved to the suburbs in large numbers. The city's growth continued despite these problems, and by the mid-1970s San Diego had surpassed San Francisco as California's second largest city. An efficient freeway system and a coordinated effort by the Centre City Development Corporation—a comprehensive group of developers, financial experts, and civic leaders—kept the downtown area alive.
Today downtown San Diego is revitalized with new energy and is experiencing a renaissance as growth continues: as of 2004, more than 100 residential, commercial, retail, and entertainment development projects in San Diego's downtown area were underway or on the drawing board. Thoughtful planning has produced an impressive skyline of mirrored office towers blended with innovative shopping and residential developments, parks, and historic districts, all designed to serve the people who use them. Atria, attractive public gathering spaces, and overhead walkways encourage visitors and residents alike to enjoy the downtown area.
Historical Information: San Diego Historical Society, Museum of San Diego History, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101; telephone (619)232-6203
SAN DIEGO. Located in Southern California near the border with Mexico, San Diego boasts a pleasant, temperate climate and a magnificent natural harbor that has made the city a center of international commerce, a major U.S. naval base, and a popular destination for tourists. As of the 2000 Census, the city was home to some 1,223,400 people, making it the second largest city in California and the seventh largest in the United States.
The region was originally densely inhabited by Native American peoples, including the Cahuilla and the Kumeyaay. Europeans first came in 1542, when the Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo landed there. He was followed in 1602 by Sebastián Vizcaíno, who gave San Diego its name. In 1769, when Spain finally decided to settle Alta California, San Diego became the site of the first European
settlement. San Diego was incorporated as a city in 1850, following the American conquest. With the establishment of a connection to the Santa Fe Railroad in 1884, the city's population began to grow, but it remained in the shadow of Los Angeles, which had become the economic and demographic center of Southern California. Throughout the late nineteenth century, its economy remained rooted in agriculture, cattle ranching, and fishing.
In many ways the turning point for the city came in 1915, with the Panama-California Exposition. Designed to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal, the Exposition also served to advertise the city's attractive climate, spurring tourism and settlement. A modest menagerie created as part of the celebration would become a permanent attraction, eventually blossoming into the world famous San Diego Zoo. In the late 1910s and early 1920s the city benefited from a growing military presence with the creation of naval and marine training centers and the designation of San Diego as the home port for the Eleventh Naval District.
During World War II the region's military facilities were hugely expanded to include a major new marine training center at Camp Pendleton, to the north of the city, and Miramar Naval Air Station. Equally important were wartime orders for aircraft that boosted the fortunes of several local companies, including Ryan Aeronautical and Consolidated Aircraft. In the postwar years, Cold War tensions sustained the region's military bases and fueled the federal government's orders for aircraft and sophisticated electronics. The establishment of the John Day Hopkins Laboratory and the U.S. Naval Electronics Laboratory helped provide the infrastructure to support the aerospace and high-technology industries. The University of California at San Diego, which opened in 1964 in the La Jolla section of the city, also quickly gained a reputation as a superior educational institution and a center for scientific research. In close proximity to the university were located the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, founded in 1960, and the Scripps Institute of
Oceanography, a famous aquatic research station established in 1903.
Although military spending provided the most important component of postwar growth, the city benefited as well from growing commercial ties with Asia and Latin America and a tuna fishing industry that by 1950 featured a fleet of some two-hundred ships and six canneries. By 1960 overseas competition had seriously eroded San Diego's significance as a fishing port, but a growing tourist trade helped to offset this. For decades the city's attractive climate and wide beaches had lured visitors, but during the 1960s concerted efforts were made to boost further the city's appeal, including the 1964 opening of Sea World, an amusement park with an aquatic theme; the revitalization of historic Old Town San Diego; and the unveiling of the San Diego Wild Animal Park in 1972. Since the late 1980s, cutbacks in defense spending have had an impact on the city's growth, but this has been moderated by the region's economic diversification, including a strong tourist industry and the city's strategic commercial location on the Pacific Rim.
McKeever, Michael. A Short History of San Diego. San Francisco: Lexikos, 1985.
Mills, James. San Diego: Where California Began. 5th ed. San Diego, Calif.: San Diego Historical Society, 1985.
Pourade, Richard F. The History of San Diego. 7 volumes. San Diego, Calif.: Union Tribune Publishing, 1960–1977.
San Diego: Education and Research
San Diego: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The San Diego Unified School District is the second largest school district in the state and eighth largest urban school district in the country. Its nonpartisan five-member board is elected every four years, and the superintendent is hired by the board. The district operates 24 magnet schools offering in-depth studies in areas ranging from science and research to journalism and telecommunications.
The following is a summary of data regarding the San Diego Unified School District as of the 2004-2005 school year.
Total enrollment: approximately 136,000
Number of facilities elementary schools: 113
middle level schools/junior high schools: 23
senior high school: 27
other: 39 (4 atypical, 10 alternative, and 25 charter)
Student/teacher ratio: 18.8:1 (in 2002-2003)
Teacher salaries minimum: $34,517
Funding per pupil: $7,508 (2000-2001 school year)
Public Schools Information: San Diego City Schools, Eugene Brucker Education Center, 4100 Normal Street, San Diego, CA 92103; telephone (619)725-8000
The San Diego area is also served by a number of parochial and private schools.
Colleges and Universities
Major universities in San Diego include the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), San Diego State University (SDSU), and the University of San Diego (USD), which is a Catholic university. UCSD, one of the University of California's 10 campuses, is regarded as a top institution for higher education and was recently rated seventh best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Campus enrollment is approximately 23,000. UCSD has six undergrad colleges all on one campus, each maintaining its own set of requirements while sharing departmental majors: Thurgood Marshall College, John Muir College, Revelle College, Roosevelt College, Sixth College, and Warren College. UCSD's graduate and professional schools include: the acclaimed Scripps Institution of Oceanography (one of the oldest and largest centers for marine science research and graduate training in the world), School of Medicine, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jacobs School of Engineering (graduate and undergraduate), and Rady School of Management. SDSU, the oldest and largest university in San Diego and third largest in the state, has an enrollment of nearly 34,000. A readers' poll in the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2004 ranked SDSU "Best Local College/University." SDSU offers bachelor's degrees in 81 areas of study, 59 master's degrees, and 13 joint-doctoral degrees. USD, a private, Roman Catholic university, has an enrollment of 7,262; the university offers more than 60 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, and is particularly noted for its law and nursing schools.
Libraries and Research Centers
In 2004, Library Journal named San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy "Politician of the Year" for his commitment to the city's public libraries. In 2002, the mayor and city council approved a $312.3 million program to build or improve 24 libraries; among the goals of the program is a new, state-of-the-art downtown library. San Diego is served by two major library systems. The San Diego Public Library operates 34 branches in addition to the main library, maintaining more than 2.8 million volumes, 310 e-books, 4,116 periodical subscriptions, 168,265 audio/visual materials, and collections such as local and state history, rare books and the history of printing, and U.S. Department of Patents documents. The San Diego County Library system consists of a main branch and 31 branches, two bookmobiles, and an adult literacy site with a combined total of more than 1.4 million volumes available. Special collections include audio and video tapes, films, art reproductions, extensive Filipino, Spanish, and Vietnamese collections, and special services for the deaf, including closed-captioned video tapes and talking books. More than 30 other public, private, and research libraries serve the metropolitan area.
A large number of specialized research centers functioning in such subject areas as oceanography, nuclear energy, astronomy, and biological sciences are scattered throughout San Diego. Among the most prominent research centers are the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, which focuses on molecular biology, genetics, neuroscience, and plant biology, and the Palomar Observatory, a center for astronomy research, located atop San Diego county's Mount Palomar.
Public Library Information: San Diego Public Library, 820 E Street, San Diego, CA 92101; telephone (619)236-5800.
San Diego (săn dēā´gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay.
San Diego is the second largest city in California and the seventh largest in the United States, and has an excellent natural harbor. It is an important port of entry; a shipping and receiving point for S California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico's Baja California; and headquarters for the 11th U.S. naval district. San Diego has large aerospace, electronic, and shipbuilding industries, and is an important center for the wireless communications industry, biomedical research, biotechnology industries, and oceanography. It is also a distribution and processing point for a highly productive agricultural area. Other manufactures include industrial instruments and machinery, computer hardware and software, apparel, and processed foods. Tourism is an important element in the economy; the city has a delightful climate, miles of beaches, historic attractions, and a proximity to Mexico.
Landmarks and Institutions
San Diego is a cultural, educational, and medical center. Its many health facilities include large naval and veterans hospitals. It is the seat of the Univ. of California at San Diego with its Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego State Univ., the Univ. of San Diego, Alliant International Univ., and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Balboa Park contains an art gallery, several museums (including an aerospace museum), and the enormous San Diego Zoo. Some buildings from the Panama-California International Exposition (1915–16) and the California Pacific International Exposition (1935–36) remain, and there is a spectacular aquatic park.
Also of interest are Cabrillo National Monument and Mission San Diego de Alcalá (restored). Parts of Old Town are now a state historical park. San Diego is home to a professional baseball (the Padres) and football (the Chargers) team. The San Diego Yacht Club, representing the United States, won the America's Cup in 1987, successfully defended it in 1988 and 1992, then lost it in 1995. The city also has an international airport.
The city is located on the site of the first European settlement in California. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay in 1542 and claimed the land for Spain. In 1769 Junípero Serra, a Franciscan missionary, established Mission San Diego de Alcalá and dedicated the Presidio, the first Spanish fort in California. By 1830 most of the people were living in what is now Old Town. It was under Mexican jurisdiction from 1822, when Mexico won independence from Spain, until 1846, when it was captured by a U.S. naval force. The city's population surged when the Santa Fe RR arrived in 1884.
San Diego became an important U.S. naval base during World War I; later, other branches of the military established bases there. In the 1950s, this concentration of military installations gave rise to San Diego's aerospace industry. The diversification of San Diego's economic base in the latter part of the 20th cent. contributed to its rapid growth. An urban revitalization effort begun in the 1980s included Horton Plaza, an expansive shopping mall that won acclaim for its dramatic architecture, as well as the inauguration of a trolley system.
See M. McKeever, A Short History of San Diego (1985); D. Berger et al., San Diego: Where Tomorrow Begins (1987); P. R. Pryde, ed., San Diego (3d rev. ed. 1992).
San Diego: Communications
San Diego: Communications
Newspapers and Magazines
San Diego is served by The San Diego Union-Tribune, the result of the 1992 merger of the city's two dailies. Readers can choose from among a number of weekly, ethnic, and community papers as well, such as La Prensa San Diego, a weekly English/Spanish newspaper. San Diego Magazine publishes articles of regional interest; several other technical and special interest magazines, such as San Diego Home/Garden, Computer Edge, and San Diego Metropolitan (focusing on business news), are also published in the area.
Television and Radio
Ten television stations broadcast in the San Diego area, representing ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, WB, Univision (two stations), PBS, a local independent station focusing on news, and an Oceanside-based station focusing on local government and media. The region is also serviced by cable television. More than 30 radio stations serve the San Diego area, providing a wide variety of musical and information programming, some broadcasting in Spanish.
Media Information: The San Diego Union-Tribune, PO Box 120191, San Diego, CA 92112; telephone (619)299-3131. San Diego Magazine, 1450 Front Street, San Diego, CA 92101; telephone (619)230-9292
San Diego Online
City of San Diego Home Page. Available www.ci.san-diego.ca.us
San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available www.sandiego.org
San Diego County Library. Available www.sdcl.org
San Diego Daily Transcript. Available www.sddt.com
San Diego Public Library. Available www.sannet.gov/public-library
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Available www.sdchamber.org
San Diego Unified School District. Available www.sandi.net
The San Diego Union-Tribune. Available www.uniontrib.com
Cameron, Robert, Above San Diego: A New Collection of Historical and Original Aerial Photographs of San Diego (San Francisco: Cameron and Co., 1990)
Schad, Jerry, Afoot and Afield in San Diego (Berkeley: Wilderness Press, 1998)
Urrea, Luis Alberto, Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border (New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1993)
San Diego: Population Profile
San Diego: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 12.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 19th
U.S. rank in 1990: 15th
U.S. rank in 2000: 17th
2003 estimate: 1,266,753
Percent change, 1990–2000: 10.1%
U.S. rank in 1980: 8th
U.S. rank in 1990: 6th (State rank: 2nd)
U.S. rank in 2000: 11th (State rank: 2nd)
Density: 3,771.9 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
White: 736,207 Black or African American: 96,216 American Indian and Alaska Native: 7,543 Asian: 166,968 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 5,853 Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 310,752 Other: 210,613
Percent of residents born in state: 40.3% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 82,523
Population 5 to 9 years old: 87,347
Population 10 to 14 years old: 79,520
Population 15 to 19 years old: 85,664
Population 20 to 24 years old: 110,614
Population 25 to 34 years old: 217,032
Population 35 to 44 years old: 198,474
Population 45 to 54 years old: 148,127
Population 55 to 59 years old: 48,016
Population 60 to 64 years old: 38,075
Population 65 to 74 years old: 65,922
Population 75 to 84 years old: 47,639
Population 85 years and older: 14,447
Median age: 32.5 years
Births (2002, San Diego County) Total number: 43,951
Deaths (2002, San Diego County)
Total number: 19,356 (of which, 197 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (2000)
Per capita income: $23,609 Median household income: $45,733 Total households: 451,126
Number of households with income of . . . less than $10,000: 37,637
$10,000 to $14,999: 25,745
$15,000 to $24,999: 54,563
$25,000 to $34,999: 54,499
$35,000 to $49,999: 70,654
$50,000 to $74,999: 87,022
$75,000 to $99,999: 50,492
$100,000 to $149,999: 43,452
$150,000 to $199,999: 13,558
$200,000 or more: 13,502
Percent of families below poverty level: 10.6% (17.9% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 50,124
San Diego: Geography and Climate
San Diego: History
San Diego: Population Profile
San Diego: Municipal Government
San Diego: Economy
San Diego: Education and Research
San Diego: Health Care
San Diego: Recreation
San Diego: Convention Facilities
San Diego: Transportation
San Diego: Communications
The City in Brief
Founded: 1769 (incorporated, 1850)
Head Official: Mayor Dick Murphy (R) (since 2000)
2003 estimate: 1,266,753
Percent change, 1990–2000: 10.1%
U.S. rank in 1980: 8th
U.S. rank in 1990: 6th
U.S. rank in 2000: 11th
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 12.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 19th
U.S. rank in 1990: 15th
U.S. rank in 2000: 17th
Area: 324.3 square miles (2000)
Average Annual Temperature: 63.2° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 9.32 inches
Major Economic Sectors: Manufacturing, government, services, agriculture
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (January 2005)
Per Capita Income: $23,609 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 50,124
Major Colleges and Universities: University of California San Diego, University of San Diego, San Diego State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Daily Newspapers: The San Diego Union-Tribune