Portal:California

Seal of California.
Location of California within the United States.
Flag of California.svg

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.5 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area, and is also the world's thirty-fourth most populous subnational entity. California is also the most populated subnational entity in North America, and has its state capital in Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

California's economy, with a gross state product of $3.0 trillion, is the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the fifth-largest economy in the world, and the 37th-most populous . The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.3 trillion and $1.0 trillion respectively ), after the New York metropolitan area ($2.0 trillion). The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest gross domestic product per capita in 2018 ($106,757) among large primary statistical areas, and is home to four of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people.

California culture is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, communication, information, innovation, environmentalism, economics, politics, and entertainment. As a result of the state's diversity and migration, California integrates foods, languages, and traditions from other areas across the country and around the globe. It is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, barbecue, fast food, beach and car culture, the Internet, and the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as centers of the global technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California's economy is very diverse: 58% of it is based on finance, government, real estate services, technology, and professional, scientific, and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.S. state.

California shares a border with Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. The state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, and from the redwood and Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time, drought and wildfires have become more frequent.

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Panning for gold on the Mokelumne River
The California Gold Rush started in January 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. As news of the discovery spread, some 300,000 people came to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. These early gold-seekers, called "Forty-Niners," traveled to California by sailing ship and in covered wagons across the continent, often facing substantial hardship on the trip. Gold worth billions of today's dollars was recovered, leading to great wealth for some; others, however, returned home with little more than they started with. The effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. San Francisco grew from a tiny hamlet of tents to a boomtown, and roads, churches, schools and other towns were built. A system of laws and a government was created, leading to the admission of California as a state in 1850. New methods of transportation developed as steamships came into regular service and railroads were built. The business of agriculture, California's next major growth field, was started on a wide scale throughout the state. However, the Gold Rush also had negative effects: Native Americans were attacked and pushed off traditional lands, and gold mining caused environmental harm.


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An aerial view of Redwood City Port

The Port of Redwood City is a marine freight terminal on the western side of the southern San Francisco Bay, on the West Coast of the United States. This marine terminal is situated within the city of Redwood City, California. The port was developed from a natural deepwater channel discovered in the year 1850, at the mouth of Redwood Creek.

State facts

  • Total area: 163,696 mi2
    • Land: 156,002 mi2
    • Water: 7,694 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 14,505 ft (Mount Whitney)
  • Population 39,250,017 (2016 est)
  • Admission to the Union: September 9, 1850 (31st)

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John D. Spreckels
John Diedrich Spreckels (August 16, 1853–June 7, 1926), the son of American industrialist Claus Spreckels, founded a transportation and real estate empire in San Diego, California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The oldest of eleven children (only four of whom survived to adulthood), Spreckels was born in Charleston, South Carolina, though the family soon moved to New York and then went on to San Francisco, California, where he was raised. The entrepreneur's many business ventures in the City of San Diego, California which included the Hotel del Coronado and the San Diego and Arizona Railway Company, both of which are credited with helping the City develop into a major commercial center.

Spreckels attended Oakland College and then in Hanover, Germany, where he studied chemistry and mechanical engineering in the Polytechnic College until 1872. He returned to California and began working for his father, Claus Spreckels, who had grown extremely wealthy in the sugar business. In 1876 he went to the Hawaiian Islands, where he worked in his father's sugar business, Spreckels Sugar Company.

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The Hollywood Sign

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Josiah Belden

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Fred Allen with a dummy
California is a fine place to live - if you happen to be an orange.

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Kern River
Credit: Rogerroger.org

The Kern River is a river in the U.S. state of California, approximately 164 miles (264 km) long. It drains an area of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains northeast of Bakersfield. Fed by snowmelt near Mount Whitney, the river passes through scenic canyons in the mountains and is a popular destination for whitewater rafting and kayaking.

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