American Civil War
The American Civil War was an internal conflict fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America, the Union won the war, which remains the bloodiest in U. S. history. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, War broke out in April 1861 when Confederates attacked the U. S. fortress of Fort Sumter. The Confederacy grew to eleven states, it claimed two more states, the Indian Territory, and the southern portions of the western territories of Arizona. The Confederacy was never recognized by the United States government nor by any foreign country. The states that remained loyal, including border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North, the war ended with the surrender of all the Confederate armies and the dissolution of the Confederate government in the spring of 1865. The war had its origin in the issue of slavery. The Confederacy collapsed and 4 million slaves were freed, but before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy.
The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, the first seven with state legislatures to resolve for secession included split majorities for unionists Douglas and Bell in Georgia with 51% and Louisiana with 55%. Alabama had voted 46% for those unionists, Mississippi with 40%, Florida with 38%, Texas with 25%, of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession, outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincolns March 4,1861 inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war, speaking directly to the Southern States, he reaffirmed, I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed, the Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on King Cotton that they would intervene, but none did, and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.
Hostilities began on April 12,1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, while in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive in 1861–62. The autumn 1862 Confederate campaigns into Maryland and Kentucky failed, dissuading British intervention, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, much of their western armies, the 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lees Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg, Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grants command of all Union armies in 1864
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5,12 a. m. on April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.8 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI. Severe shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several days. As a result, about 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed, the events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest natural disasters in the history of the United States. The death toll remains the greatest loss of life from a disaster in Californias history. The San Andreas Fault is a transform fault that forms part of the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The strike-slip fault is characterized by mainly lateral motion in a dextral sense, the 1906 rupture propagated both northward and southward for a total of 296 miles. This fault runs the length of California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, the maximum observed surface displacement was about 20 feet, geodetic measurements show displacements of up to 28 feet.
The 1906 earthquake preceded the development of the Richter magnitude scale by three decades. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the quake on the moment magnitude scale is 7.8. According to findings published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, severe deformations in the earths crust took place both before and after the earthquakes impact. Accumulated strain on the faults in the system was relieved during the earthquake, the main shock epicenter occurred offshore about 2 miles from the city, near Mussel Rock. Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada, a strong foreshock preceded the main shock by about 20 to 25 seconds. The strong shaking of the main shock lasted about 42 seconds, there were decades of minor earthquakes – more than at any other time in the historical record for northern California – before the 1906 quake. For years, the epicenter of the quake was assumed to be near the town of Olema, in the Point Reyes area of Marin County, because of evidence of the degree of local earth displacement.
In the 1960s, a seismologist at UC Berkeley proposed that the epicenter was more likely offshore of San Francisco, at the time,375 deaths were reported, partly because hundreds of fatalities in Chinatown went ignored and unrecorded. The total number of deaths is uncertain today, and is estimated to be roughly 3,000 at minimum. Most of the deaths occurred in San Francisco itself, but 189 were reported elsewhere in the Bay Area, nearby cities, such as Santa Rosa and San Jose, in Monterey County, the earthquake permanently shifted the course of the Salinas River near its mouth. Where previously the river emptied into Monterey Bay between Moss Landing and Watsonville, it was diverted 6 miles south to a new channel just north of Marina
Joseph K. Mansfield
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield was a career United States Army officer, civil engineer, and a Union general in the American Civil War, mortally wounded at the Battle of Antietam. Mansfield was born to Henry and Mary Fenno Mansfield in New Haven, Connecticut and he entered the United States Military Academy when he was fourteen and graduated second in a class of forty in 1822. He became a resident of Middletown, Connecticut before and during his military career and he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Advancement came slowly in the peacetime Army and he was promoted to first lieutenant in 1832, in the Mexican-American War, he received a brevet promotion to major for the action at Fort Brown, Texas, on May 9,1846. He was wounded in the leg at the Battle of Monterrey and he was appointed a brevet colonel for the Battle of Buena Vista in 1847. After the war he was promoted to colonel and Inspector General of the U. S. Army on May 28,1853, at the start of the Civil War, Mansfield commanded the Department of Washington, and was promoted to brigadier general on May 6,1861.
He was stationed at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, in October and he was a brigade commander in the Department of Virginia from March to June 1862. His only combat activity during this period was the firing of coastal batteries from Hampton Roads against the ironclad CSS Virginia in its battle against the USS Monitor on March 9,1862. Until the fall of 1862, Mansfield commanded the Suffolk Division of the VII Corps of the Department of Virginia in the vicinity of Suffolk and he arrived in the camp with 40 years of army experience, but no recent combat. He was white-haired and white-bearded, but had a manner that belied his age. His officers considered him nervous and fussy, but his men, many of whom were new recruits, liked him well enough due to his shows of blustery enthusiasm and fatherly assurance. On the morning of September 17,1862, the I Corps under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker attacked from the north, parallel to the Hagerstown Turnpike, smashing into the Confederate left flank. As the lead brigade moved through a field east of the Miller farmstead, they were subjected to fire by Confederate gunners.
Mansfield countermanded these orders, insisting they stay in column, because he was concerned that outside of the control of their officers. The result of this was to improve the mass of men descended on the Confederate lines. Mansfield personally led troops on his flank, from the brigade of Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford. He returned to the rear to bring up troops. Mansfield, assuming that men from Hookers corps were in the woods, rode down the regimental line crying out, the soldiers convinced Mansfield that in fact they were not and were receiving heavy fire from the woods
Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the military ground force of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. S. Military Academy and colonel of a regiment during the Mexican War. In March 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress established a more permanent Confederate States Army, the better estimates of the number of individual Confederate soldiers are between 750,000 and 1,000,000 men. This does not include a number of slaves who were pressed into performing various tasks for the army, such as construction of fortifications. Since these figures include estimates of the number of individual soldiers who served at any time during the war. These numbers do not include men who served in Confederate naval forces, although most of the soldiers who fought in the American Civil War were volunteers, both sides by 1862 resorted to conscription, primarily as a means to force men to register and to volunteer. In the absence of records, estimates of the percentage of Confederate soldiers who were draftees are about double the 6 percent of Union soldiers who were conscripts.
Confederate casualty figures are incomplete and unreliable, one estimate of Confederate wounded, which is considered incomplete, is 194,026. These numbers do not include men who died from causes such as accidents. Other Confederate forces surrendered between April 16,1865 and June 28,1865, by the end of the war, more than 100,000 Confederate soldiers had deserted. The Confederacys government effectively dissolved when it fled Richmond in April, by the time Abraham Lincoln took office as President of the United States on March 4,1861, the seven seceding slave states had formed the Confederate States. The Confederacy seized federal property, including nearly all U. S. Army forts, Lincoln was determined to hold the forts remaining under U. S. control when he took office, especially Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. Under orders from Confederate President Jefferson Davis, C. S. troops under the command of General P. G. T, Beauregard bombarded Fort Sumter on April 12–13,1861, forcing its capitulation on April 14.
The Northern states were outraged by the Confederacys attack and demanded war and it rallied behind Lincolns call on April 15, for all the states to send troops to recapture the forts from the secessionists, to put down the rebellion and to preserve the Union intact. Four more slave states joined the Confederacy. The Confederate Congress provided for a Confederate army patterned after the United States Army and it was to consist of a large provisional force to exist only in time of war and a small permanent regular army. Although the two forces were to exist concurrently, very little was done to organize the Confederate regular army, the Provisional Army of the Confederate States began organizing on April 27. Virtually all regular and conscripted men preferred to enter this organization since officers could achieve a rank in the Provisional Army than they could in the Regular Army
National Park Service
It was created on August 25,1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. As of 2014, the NPS employs 21,651 employees who oversee 417 units, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial in 2016. National parks and national monuments in the United States were originally individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior, the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior and they wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service, Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS.
On March 3,1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933, the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasnt until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Roosevelt agreed and issued two Executive orders to make it happen. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service, the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery, Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States national parks, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States.
In 1872, there was no government to manage it. Yosemite National Park began as a park, the land for the park was donated by the federal government to the state of California in 1864 for perpetual conservation. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership, at first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. Later, the agency was given authority over other protected areas, the National Park System includes all properties managed by the National Park Service
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers, sometimes shortened to CoE is a U. S. Although generally associated with dams and flood protection in the United States, the Corps of Engineers provides outdoor recreation opportunities to the public, and provides 24% of U. S. hydropower capacity. The corps mission is to Deliver vital public and military engineering services, partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nations security, energize the economy and their most visible missions include, designing and operating locks and dams. Other civil engineering projects include flood control, beach nourishment and construction of flood protection systems through various federal mandates. Design and construction management of military facilities for the Army, Air Force, Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve and other Defense and Federal agencies. The history of United States Army Corps of Engineers can be traced back to 16 June 1775, colonel Richard Gridley became General George Washingtons first chief engineer, however, it was not until 1779 that Congress created a separate Corps of Engineers.
One of its first tasks was to build fortifications near Boston at Bunker Hill, the first Corps of Engineers was mostly composed of French subjects who had been hired by General Washington from the service of Louis XVI. that the said Corps. Shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York, until 1866, the superintendent of the United States Military Academy was always an officer of engineer. During the first half of the 19th century, West Point was the major and, for a while, the General Survey Act of 1824 authorized the use of Army engineers to survey road and canal routes. Separately authorized on 4 July 1838, the U. S and it was merged with the Corps of Engineers on 31 March 1863, at which point the Corps of Engineers assumed the Lakes Survey District mission for the Great Lakes. In 1841, Congress created the Lake Survey, the survey, based in Detroit, Mich. was charged with conducting a hydrographical survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes and preparing and publishing nautical charts and other navigation aids.
The Lake Survey published its first charts in 1852, in the mid-19th century, Corps of Engineers officers ran Lighthouse Districts in tandem with U. S. Naval officers. The Army Corps of Engineers played a significant role in the American Civil War, many of the men who would serve in the top leadership in this institution were West Point graduates who rose to military fame and power during the Civil War. Some of these men were Union Generals George McClellan, Henry Halleck, George Meade, and Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Joseph Johnston, the versatility of officers in the Army Corps of Engineers contributed to the success of numerous missions throughout the Civil War. They were responsible for building pontoon and railroad bridges and batteries, the destruction of supply lines. The Army Corps of Engineers served as a function in making the war effort logistically feasible. This method of building trenches was known as the zigzag pattern, from the beginning, many politicians wanted the Corps of Engineers to contribute to both military construction and works of a civil nature.
During World War II the mission grew to more than 27,000 military, included were aircraft, tank assembly, and ammunition plants, camps for 5.3 million soldiers, depots and hospitals, as well as the Manhattan Project, and the Pentagon
Sonoma is a city in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, United States, surrounding its historic town plaza, a remnant of the towns Mexican colonial past. Today, Sonoma is a center of the wine industry for the Sonoma Valley AVA Appellation. Sonomas population was 10,648 as of the 2010 census, the area around what is now the City of Sonoma, California was not empty when the first Europeans arrived. It is near the northeast corner of the territory claimed by the Coast Miwok, with Southern Pomo to the northwest, Wappo to the northeast, Mission San Francisco Solano was the predecessor of the Pueblo of Sonoma. The Mission, established in 1823 by Father José Altimira of the Franciscan Order was the 21st, last and northernmost mission built in Alta California and it was the only mission built in Alta California after Mexico gained independence from the Spanish Empire. In 1833 the Mexican Congress decided to all of the missions in Alta California. The Spanish missionaries were to be replaced by parish priests, the commander of the Company of the National Presidio at San Francisco, Lieutenant Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo was appointed administrator to oversee the closing of Mission San Francisco Solano.
Governor José Figueroas naming of Lieutenant Vallejo as the administrator to secularize the Mission was part of a larger plan, an immediate concern was the further eastward movement of the Russian America Company from their settlements at Fort Ross and Bodega Bay on the California coast. The Sonoma Barracks were built to house the soldiers, until the building was habitable, the troops were housed in the buildings of the old Mission. Yount, the first Euro-American permanent settler in the Napa Valley, was employed as a carpenter by General Vallejo, the Governor granted Lieutenant Vallejo the initial lands of Rancho Petaluma immediately west of Sonoma. Vallejo was named Director or Colonization which meant that he could initiate land grants for other colonists, Vallejo had been instructed by Governor Figueroa to establish a pueblo at the site of the old Mission. Although Sonoma had been founded as a pueblo in 1835, it remained under military control, in 1843, Lieutenant Colonel Vallejo wrote to the Governor recommending that a civil government be organized for Sonoma.
A town council was established in 1844 and Jacob P. Leese was named first alcalde, before dawn on Sunday, June 14,1846, thirty-three Americans, already in rebellion against the Alta California government, arrived in Sonoma. Some of the group had traveled from the camp of U. S. Army Brevet Captain John C, Frémont who had entered California in late 1845 with his exploration and mapping expedition. Others had joined along the way, Mexican officials were concerned about the coming war with the United States coupled with the growing influx of American immigrants into California. The insurgents next determined to seize the weapons and materiel stored in the Sonoma Barracks, meeting no resistance, they approached Comandante Vallejos home and pounded on his door. After a few minutes Vallejo opened the door dressed in his Mexican Army uniform, Vallejo invited the filibusters leaders into his home to negotiate terms. However, when the agreement was presented to those outside they refused to endorse it, rather than releasing the Mexican officers under parole they insisted they be held as hostages
Conclusion of the American Civil War
This is a timeline of the conclusion of the American Civil War which includes important battles, skirmishes and other events of 1865. These led to additional Confederate surrenders, key Confederate captures, reporting of the Eastern Theater skirmishes largely dominated the newspapers as the Appomattox Campaign developed. Lee’s army fought a series of battles in the Appomattox Campaign against Grant that ultimately stretched thin his lines of defense, Lees extended lines were mostly on small sections of thirty miles of strongholds around Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. His troops ultimately became exhausted defending this line because they were too thinned out, Grant took advantage of the situation and launched attacks on this thirty mile long poorly defended front. This ultimately led to the surrender of Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on April 9 around noon followed by General St. John Richardson Liddells troops some six hours later.
Mosbys Raiders disbanded on April 21, General Joseph E. Thompsons Brigade surrendered on May 11, Confederate forces of North Georgia surrendered on May 12, the last battle of the American Civil War was the Battle of Palmito Ranch in Texas on May 12 and 13. The last significant Confederate active force to surrender was the Confederate allied Cherokee Brigadier General Stand Watie, the last Confederate surrender occurred on November 6,1865, when the Confederate warship CSS Shenandoah surrendered at Liverpool, England. President Andrew Johnson formally declared the end of the war on August 20,1866, General Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia, while Major General John Brown Gordon commanded its Second Corps. Early in the morning of April 9, Gordon attacked, aiming to break through Federal lines at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, but failed, and the Confederate Army was surrounded. At 8,30 A. M. that morning, Lee requested a meeting with Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant to discuss surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia.
Shortly after twelve oclock, Grants reply reached Lee, and in it Grant said he would accept the surrender of the Confederate Army under certain conditions. Lee rode into the hamlet of Appomattox Court House, where the Appomattox county court house stood. The Confederates lost the city of Spanish Fort in Alabama at the Battle of Spanish Fort, after losing Spanish Fort, the Confederates went on to lose Fort Blakely to Union forces at the Battle of Fort Blakely, between April 2 and 9,1865. This was the last battle of the American Civil War involving large numbers of United States Colored Troops, the Battle of Fort Blakely happened six hours after Lees surrender to Grant at Appomattox. In the course of the battle, Brigadier General St. John Richardson Liddell was captured and surrendered his men, out of 4,000 soldiers originally, Liddell lost 3,400 that were captured in this battle. About 250 were killed and only some 200 men escaped, the successful Union assault can be attributed in large part to African-American forces.
Unaware of Lees surrender on April 9 and the assassination of President Lincoln on April 14, on April 16, the Battle of Columbus, Georgia was fought. This battle - erroneously - has been argued to be the last battle of the Civil War, Columbus fell to Wilsons Raiders about midnight on April 16, and most of its manufacturing capacity was destroyed on the 17th
Presidio of San Francisco
It had been a fortified location since September 17,1776, when New Spain established it to gain a foothold on Alta California and the San Francisco Bay. It passed to Mexico, which in turn passed it to the United States in 1848. As part of a 1989 military reduction program under the Base Realignment, on October 1,1994, it was transferred to the National Park Service, ending 219 years of military use and beginning its next phase of mixed commercial and public use. In 1996, the United States Congress created the Presidio Trust to oversee and manage the interior 80% of the parks lands, with the National Park Service managing the coastal 20%. In a first-of-its-kind structure, Congress mandated that the Presidio Trust make the Presidio financially self-sufficient by 2013, the park is characterized by many wooded areas and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It was recognized as a California Historical Landmark in 1933 and as a National Historic Landmark in 1962, battery Chamberlin, seacoast defense museum and artillery display at Baker Beach built in 1904.
Fort Point,1861 brick and granite fortification located under the Golden Gate Bridge, the visitor center, open on Friday and Sunday, offers video orientations, guided tours, self-guiding materials, and a bookstore. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center, This center offers hands-on marine-life exhibits, the building was used by the Coast Guard from 1890 to 1990. Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion, opened May 2012 for the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and it is located just east of the southern end of the bridge. Crissy Field Center is an environmental education center with programs for schools, public workshops, after-school programs, summer camps. The Center is operated by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the facilities include interactive environmental exhibits, a media lab, resource library, arts workshop, science lab, gathering room, teaching kitchen, café and bookstore. The landscape of Crissy Field was designed by George Hargreaves, the project restored a naturally functioning and sustaining tidal wetland as a habitat for flora and fauna, which were previously not in evidence on the site.
It restored a historic grass airfield that functioned as a significant military airfield between 1919 and 1936. The park at Crissy Field expanded and widened the recreational opportunities of the existing 1 1⁄2-mile San Francisco shore to a number of Presidio residents. 1776, Spanish Captain Juan Bautista de Anza led 193 soldiers, women,1794, Castillo de San Joaquin, an artillery emplacement was built above present-day Fort Point, San Francisco, complete with iron or bronze cannon. Six cannons may be seen in the Presidio today, 1776–1821, The Presidio was a simple fort made of adobe and wood. It often was damaged by earthquakes or heavy rains, in 1783, its company was only 33 men. Presidio soldiers duties were to support Mission Dolores by controlling Indian workers in the Mission, and farming, support from Spanish authorities in Mexico was very limited
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. It is the birthplace of the United Nations, the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856, after three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines, San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, as of 2016, San Francisco is ranked high on world liveability rankings.
The earliest archaeological evidence of habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the system gradually ended, and its lands became privatized. In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, and the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7,1846, during the Mexican–American War, montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography. The California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers, with their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849.
The promise of fabulous riches was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. Some of these approximately 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels, many were left to rot, by 1851 the harbor was extended out into the bay by wharves while buildings were erected on piles among the ships. By 1870 Yerba Buena Cove had been filled to create new land, buried ships are occasionally exposed when foundations are dug for new buildings. California was quickly granted statehood in 1850 and the U. S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate, silver discoveries, including the Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1859, further drove rapid population growth. With hordes of fortune seekers streaming through the city, lawlessness was common, and the Barbary Coast section of town gained notoriety as a haven for criminals, entrepreneurs sought to capitalize on the wealth generated by the Gold Rush