State Information

Nickname(s):              The Golden State

Motto(s):                     Eureka

State song(s):            I Love You, California

Capital:                        Sacramento

Largest city:                Los Angeles

Admitted to US:          9/9/1850                   31st State

Brief History

Here are a few interesting facts about California:

  • It produces 90% of the total wine production in the Nation and 99.5% of all dates. 

  • California is rich in crude oil, providing eight percent of the Nation’s oil supply. 

  • The Pebble Beach community claims this famous cypress tree and many golf courses, such as Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, and Monterey Country Club.  

  • Famous people include Joe DiMaggio (baseball), George Patton (General), John Muir (environmentalist), John Steinbeck (writer), Clint Eastwood (actor), Tom Hanks (actor), and many others.

Interesting Stories

Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco.  He was brilliant and had difficulty making friends.  His parents used all of their savings to buy a new home so that Steve could change schools.  In 1976 Steve Woznick and Steve Jobs started Apple Computers in a garage and began selling Apple I, II, and the Macintosh.  Many years later, its Board of Directors pushed Steve out of Apple.  He jumped into Pixar, and sales skyrocketed with multi-million dollar hit after hit.  Apple began having financial problems, and the board asked him to return.  He did and fired the people that fired him.  That’s when he designed the iPod.  Steve felt that cell phones would be the next big craze.  Steve Jobs was one-of-a-kind and changed the world.  

Silicon Valley is a region surrounding Stanford University.  Hewlett-Packard opened its office there.  SUN Microsystems, which stands for Stanford University Networking, was started at Stanford University.  Adobe began in a garage in Los Altos.  Fairchild Semiconductor, later renamed Intel, was formed in Mountain View.  Cisco Systems was founded at Stanford University.  Oracle is headquartered in Redwood City.  One company after another moved to Silicon Valley to be part of the dot com bubble.  In 2014 the net worth of these firms exceeded $2 trillion and climbing.  This small area catapulted California into the world’s digital and economic powerhouse.

Tiger Woods was born in Cypress, CA. He was a child golfing prodigy who played golf with Bob Hope at age three and shot 48 in nine holes.  Every major college tried to recruit him, but Stanford won.  When he turned professional, he dominated the field, winning almost every title and award available.  Back injuries plagued him, and his golf suffered, causing him to drop out for many years.  In 2019 he returned and won the Masters, becoming the second oldest golfer after Jack Nicklaus to accomplish that feat.  Thank you, California, for giving us the “come-back kid.”

Barry Bonds was born in Riverside, CA. His father was former major league player Bobby Bonds.  Drafted by Pittsburgh, he lifted the attendance from their lowest point ever to breaking attendance records.  He signed with the San Francisco Giants and had a slugging percentage over .800.  He hit so many home runs that the other teams chose to walk him rather than pitch to him.  He turned down interviews, and journalists began spreading rumors of his doping.  Although he was never charged with any drug offense, one San Francisco prosecutor charged him with giving ambiguous answers.  The court, in a scathing decision, threw that out.  The media remained unapologetic, preferring journalistic license over facts.  Today, the greatest baseball player of all time is not in the hall of fame due to these allegations.

Theodore Harold Maiman was born in Los Angeles. He developed the red laser.  A laser is light with a single wavelength capable of traveling in a narrow beam over great distances.  It can be so powerful as to cut through steel and so delicate as to fuse the retina to the back of the human eye.  Lasers have revolutionized the communication industry.   Ted has been awarded almost every prestigious award but won – the Nobel.  Remember what Dr. Maiman said – “Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”