Population: 39,865,590 (Source: 2012 U.S. Census)
Major Cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento
Borders: Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Mexico, Pacific Ocean
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $2,003,479 million (2012 U.S. Department of Commerce)
Agriculture including dairy products, almonds, grapes, tomatoes, avocados, and broccoli
Computers, electronics, food processing, paper, mining, movie production, and tourism
How California got its name: California was named by Spanish explorers who thought they had discovered an island. The name comes from the Spanish story of Queen Califia who ruled a mythical island.
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California State Symbols
State Nickname: Golden State
State Slogan: Find Yourself Here
State Motto: Eureka (I have found it)
State flower: California Poppy
State bird: California Quail
State fish: Golden trout (fresh water), Garibaldi (salt water)
State tree: California Redwood
State mammal: Grizzly bear, Gray whale
State foods: Wine
Becoming a State
Date admitted: Monday, September 9, 1850
Number admitted: 31
Prior Name: Mexican Cession, Alta California
Postal Abbreviation: CA
The Geography of California
Total Size: 155,959 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
Geographical Low Point: Death Valley at -282 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Inyo (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Geographical High Point: Mt. Whitney at 14,494 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Inyo-Tulare (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Central Point: Located in Madera County approx. 38 miles east of Madera (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Counties: 58 (source: National Association of Counties)
Bodies of Water: Salton Sea, Lake Tahoe, Goose Lake, Mono Lake, Lake Shasta, Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, Colorado River, Pit River, Feather River, San Francisco Bay, Pacific Ocean
- Tom Brady - Professional football player
- Leonardo Dicaprio - Actor
- Joe Dimaggio - Professional baseball player
- Snoop Dogg - Rapper, Actor
- Clint Eastwood - Actor
- Robert Frost - Poet
- Jeff Gordon - Race car driver
- Tom Hanks - Actor
- Tony Hawk - Professional skateboarder
- Steve Jobs - Founder of Apple
- Bruce Lee - Actor, Martial arts expert
- Marilyn Monroe - Actress
- Richard Nixon - The 37th President of the United States
- George Patton - WWII general
- Katy Perry - Singer
- Ronald Reagan - The 40th President of the United States was governor of California.
- Sally Ride - Astronaut
- Lemony Snicket - Author
- Shirley Temple - Child actress
- Shaun White - Professional snowboarder
- Tiger Woods - Professional golfer
- California is home to the highest point (Mt. Whitney) and the lowest point (Death Valley) in the continental United States.
- California is home to many tourist attractions including Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, Lego Land, and Yosemite National Park.
- You can drive through a giant Redwood tree in California's Kings Canyon.
- California is home to Silicon Valley, the home to many of the top US technology companies.
- The annual arm wrestling championship is held in Petaluma in October.
- More than half of all the nation's vegetables, nuts, and fruits are grown in the state of California.
- San Bernardino County is the largest county in the entire United States. It covers almost 3 million acres!
- The redwood tree can grow to well over 300 feet tall.
- The Gold Rush started in 1848 when James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill.
- The first McDonald's restaurant was opened in San Bernardino, California in 1940.
Professional Sports Teams
- MLB (baseball) - Dodgers, Angels, Athletics, Padres, Giants
- NFL (football) - Raiders, Chargers, 49ers
- NBA (basketball) - Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Kings
- WNBA (basketball) - Sparks
- NHL (hockey) - Ducks, Kings, Sharks
- MLS (Soccer) - Galaxy, Earthquakes, Chivas USA
Geography >> US States>> California History
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