"There are not many places in the world where you can get to the beach in an hour, the desert in two hours and snowboarding or skiing in three hours. You can do all that in California."~Alex Pettyfer
How did California get its name?
The name California originates from the Spanish conquistadors, taken from "Las Serges de Esplandian," a Spanish romance written about 1510 which describes an imaginary island; an earthly paradise. Baja California (lower California - now in Mexico) was first visited by the Spanish in 1533. What is now the state of California was called Alta California (upper California). The official state motto of California is...Eureka! I've Found It!
California is most widely recognized as The Golden State. Between California's explosive growth following the discovery of gold in 1848, the fields of golden poppies that appear each spring throughout the state, the golden gate bridge, and the clear, golden coastal sunsets over the Pacific - California truly is the golden state! A first nickname for California was "The Eldorado State" (Spanish for The Golden). This nickname was used for California immediately following old's discovery in 1848. Referencing the large quantities of table and wine grapes grown in California, the nickname The Grape State became prominent based on the business of agriculture. In addition, it is referred to as The Land of Milk and Honey - a nickname promoting California as a land of opportunity with connections to "The Promised Land" of the Bible.
The Pacific Coast Highway of California offers spectacular views while traveling along the edge of American culture. Buckle up for a non-stop flight over the mansion William Randolph Hearst built, the town Clint Eastwood governed and the farmland where Marilyn Monroe once held the title of Miss Artichoke. We soar over beaches and wine country, across Big Sur redwoods, under the Golden Gate Bridge and into the heart and soul of this magnificent state.
Various Native American tribes inhabited California well before being explored by a number of European expeditions throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish Empire claimed Alta California as the larger territory of New Spain, which became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence. After the Mexican-American war, California was ceded to the United States in 1848. The western portion of Alta, California was soon organized as the State of California and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush (1848-1855) led to dramatic social and demographic change, an accompanying economic boom with large-scale immigration from the U.S. and abroad.
The official flag of the state of California (also known as the Bear Flag) a grizzly bear above the words “California Republic” and a red stripe on a white field with a red star in the upper hoist corner. The design was based on the flag that was flown during the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt.
California State Song: I Love You California
|Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way|
It's part of your Manifest Destiny
Spread your wings, soar to new heights
On a flight toward new identity
Westward, ho! Time to go
Expanding America's horizons
Discover sunrises, sunsets
Blazing as nature's sirens
The rush is on, day is done
There's gold in dem dar hills
Migrate West on a new quest
Leave behind the city frills
Beckon forth westward expansion
Foster the “great experiment of liberty"
Harboring a pioneer's mansion
California, answer to America's call
Like the Pilgrim fathers' before
Whose crossing the mighty ocean
First settled the Eastern shore
©2014 Sharla Lee Shults
|How California Got Its Shape|