California

California was the 31st state, which received it’s
statehood on Sept. 9, 1850 , and nickname is “the Golden State.”
The bird is the California Valley Quail; the flower is the golden
poppy; the tree is the California Redwood; and the state motto is
“Eureka (I have Found It).

There are many sights to see in the state of California.
Besides all the big metropolitan cities, there is the Golden Gate
Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
Also there is the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Yosemite and Sequoia
National Park, and any of the mountains in the northern part of the
state. In addition to that, you can see Disneyland and the
countless numbers of television and movie studios in Hollywood.
Another hotspot is the beautiful Lake Tahoe, which borders
Nevada.

California is the most populated state and is the most
dense , of the fifty states, at an average of 151 persons per
square-mile. The majority of California’s persons are white, but
there is a notable number of blacks, Hispanics, and Japanese &
Chinese Americans. About 95% of it’s population is metropolitan,
or urban, so about 5% is rural. Pretty much all of the rural
population is ranches or farmers.

California is very rich in minerals. They include crude
petroleum, natural gas, boron, tungsten, sand and gravel,
asbestos, copper, feldspar, iron ore, mercury, potash, rock salt,
soda ash, sulfur, uranium, zinc, and gold.

On Jan. 24, 1848, gold was found at Sutter’s Mill. The
news of the find spread quickly. Before long, the Gold Rush was
under way, bringing thousands of “forty-niners” to stake their
claims in northern California. Gold production peaked in 1852
but from there on, declined rapidly.

Manufacturing brought in an estimated $40.5 billion a
year in the mid-’70s. A large amount of it comes from fruits &
vegetables, processed meat, canned fish, and beverages like wine
and fruit juice. Most of the above come from or near the
world-famous Napa Valley. Other goods made in California are
steel, textiles and clothing, refined petroleum, metal, wood,
plastics, chemicals, and printed materials.

California’s climate varies in different regions because
of the great changes in topography and wide latitudinal range.
Most parts of the state has two distinct seasons. A rainy, which
lasts from October to April, and a dry period, May to September.
Annual precipitation is greatest in the north, especially near the
Pacific Coast, which gets around 80 in. dumped on them, while
Los Angeles gets 15 in. and San Diego gets only 10 in. The desert
gets even less precipitation.

Temperatures along the coast are mild with small
variations between the warmest and coolest months. The average
recorded temperatures in January range from 50 F in San
Francisco, 56 F in Los Angeles, and the July temps are 72 F for
Los Angeles, and a very comfortable 59 F in San Francisco. The
Central Valley usually has a mild climate, but other parts of the
area are either hotter like Death Valley and the Mojave Desert, or
colder like the peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

Earthquakes are quite common in California. An
earthquake is the sudden shaking of the ground that occurs when
masses of rock change position below the Earth’s surface.
Earthquakes, called tremblors by scientists, happen almost
continuously. Fortunately, big earthquakes can be monitored by
sensitive instruments called seismographs. Others that are felt are
just small tremors or aftershocks. Earthquakes can be great
destructers which produce such tragic effects as destroyed cities,
broken dams, mud slides, tsunamis, and volcano eruptions. A very
large earthquake usually rises at least once every year in some
part of the world.
All of California’s earthquakes are from the San
Andreas Fault, which is a major fracture in the Earth’s crust at the
mutual boundary of two of the major plates that make up the
Earth’s crust. The fault is about 50 miles inland of the California
coast from southern California north to San Francisco, where it
continues out 200 more miles before heading out to sea. A famous
earthquake in San Francisco was in 1906. There were 700 deaths,
many injured and it jumped up to 8.3 out of 10 on the Richter
Magnitude Scale. In 1989, during the World Series which saw the
Oakland Athletics -vs.- San Francisco Giants game interrupted by
an earthquake of 7.1 on the Richter Scale, and 70 deaths.

Sacramento is the capital city of California. It is the
marketing and manufacturing center for the northern part of the
great Central Valley. This rich agricultural valley is watered by
the Sacramento River. To the East of the city rises then Sierra
Nevada, a mountain wall that is always snowcapped. To the west
are the Coast