Everything you should know when Moving to California
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Keen to see two of the world’s oldest living things? Welcome to California, the 47th Smartest State* in America, home to ‘General Sherman’ a 3500-year old tree and a stand of bristlecone pines, which are 4000 years old!
Although California was sighted by Spanish navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo in 1542, its first Spanish mission (at San Diego) was not established until 1769. California became a U.S. territory in 1847 when Mexico surrendered it to John C. Frémont. The famous California Gold Rush started on Jan. 24, 1848, when James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill. This brought large numbers of settlers to the state.
By 1964, California had surpassed New York to become the most populous state. Leading industries include agriculture, manufacturing (transportation equipment, machinery, and electronic equipment), biotechnology, aerospace-defense, and tourism. Principal natural resources include timber, petroleum, cement, and natural gas. Points of interest include Yosemite National Park, Disneyland, Hollywood, the Golden Gate Bridge, Sequoia National Park, San Simeon State Park, and Point Reyes National Seashore.
Here are some quick facts about California:
Racial break up: White: 20,170,059 (59.5%); Black: 2,263,882 (6.7%); American Indian: 333,346 (1.0%); Asian: 3,697,513 (10.9%); other race: 5,682,241 (16.8%); Two or more races: 1,607,646 (4.7%); Hispanic/Latino: 10,966,556 (32.4%).
More immigrants settle in California than any other state in America. Asians and Pacific Islanders lead the influx.
Death Valley, is 282 ft below sea level, the lowest point in the nation.
Mt. Whitney (14,491 ft) is the highest point in the contiguous 48 states.
Lassen Peak is one of two active U.S. volcanoes outside of Alaska and Hawaii; its last eruptions were recorded in 1917.
Motto: Eureka (I have found it)
Flower – golden poppy
Tree – California redwoods
Bird – California valley quail
Animal – California grizzly bear
Fish – California golden trout
Colors – blue and gold
Nickname: Golden State
Origin of name: From a book, Las Sergas de Esplandián, by Garcia Ordóñez de Montalvo, c. 1500
10 largest cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana, Anaheim.
National forests: 18
State parks and beaches: 278 (1.5 million ac.)
* The smartest State designation is awarded on the basis of 21 factors selected from Morgan Quitno’s annual reference book, Education State Rankings, 2006-2007. Rates for each of the 21 factors were processed through a formula that measures how a state compares to the national average for a given category.
The end result is that the farther below the national average a state’s education ranking is, the lower and less smart it ranks. The farther above the national average, the higher and smarter a state ranks.