Independence Day (United States)
Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject to the monarch of Britain and were now united and independent states; the Congress had voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2, but it was not declared until July 4. Independence Day is associated with fireworks, barbecues, fairs, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States. During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain in 1776 occurred on July 2, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence, proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain's rule.
After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration approving it two days on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail: The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival, it ought to be commemorated by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, sports, bells and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.
Historians have long disputed whether members of Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4 though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin all wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, not on July 4 as is believed. Coincidentally, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, another Founding Father, elected as President died on July 4, 1831, he was the third President. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872. S. President to have been born on Independence Day. In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. An article in July 18, 1777 issue of The Virginia Gazette noted a celebration in Philadelphia in a manner a modern American would find familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, prayers, parades, troop reviews, fireworks.
Ships in port were decked with red and blue bunting. In 1778, from his headquarters at Ross Hall, near New Brunswick, New Jersey, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France. In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday; the holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5. In 1781, the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration. In 1783, North Carolina held a celebration with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter entitled The Psalm of Joy; the town claims to be the first public July 4 event, as it was documented by the Moravian Church, there are no government records of any earlier celebrations. In 1870, the U. S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations take place outdoors. According to 5 U. S. C. § 6103, Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation's heritage, history and people. Families celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue. Decorations are colored red and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades are held in the morning, before family get-togethers, while fireworks displays occur in the evening after dark at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares; the night before the Fourth was once the focal point of celebrations, marked by raucous gatherings incorporating bonfires as their centerpiece. In New E
Richard M. "Dick" Murphy is a former American politician who served as the 33rd Mayor of San Diego, California from 2000 to 2005. Murphy was born 1942 in Illinois, he was the first Class President of Proviso West High School in its first graduating class in 1961. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Economics, he received his Master of Business Administration from Harvard University and his law degree from Stanford University. Murphy served as an officer in the U. S. Army, in The Pentagon and as a military aide to the Nixon administration. In the early 1970s he moved to San Diego, where he was Marketing Director for Bank of America, an attorney at the law firm of Luce, Hamilton & Scripps. In 1980, he was elected to the San Diego City Council, served from 1981 through 1985. In 1985, he was appointed municipal court judge by Governor George Deukmejian. In 1989, the governor elevated him to superior court judge. Murphy was first elected mayor in November 2000, his election was a long shot against Ron Roberts.
He campaigned on providing "Leadership With 2020 Vision"—a promise to set forth a clear long term vision for the city and to provide the leadership to implement that vision. Murphy had served one term on the San Diego City Council representing the Seventh District. While elections for municipal offices in California are non-partisan, he is a registered Republican. During his first term in office, Murphy set ten goals for the city and had success in accomplishing many of them; the most significant included establishing the city's first ethics commission, completing construction of a new downtown ballpark for the San Diego Padres baseball team, forming the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, creating the San Diego River Conservancy, building the Veterans Memorial Garden in Balboa Park, jump starting plans for a new central library, implementing a plan to underground all overhead utility lines in the city. Murphy ran for a second term in 2004 again against Ron Roberts, his re-election campaign saw controversy with a last minute write-in candidate, Donna Frye, a member of the San Diego City Council.
A number of voters did not follow the proper procedure for supporting a write-in candidate, either misspelling the name of Donna Frye or writing her name in the blank but neglecting to fill in the corresponding bubble to indicate their preference. After a legal imbroglio involving three lawsuits, these votes were not counted, resulting in Murphy winning the official tally by 2,000 votes. During Murphy's second term, the city faced serious fiscal problems from years of financial mismanagement by past city governments, problems including an underfunded pension program and a series of credit-score downgrades. Facing mounting criticism over his controversial election victory and failure to adequately address the pension underfunding problem, Murphy announced his plans to resign as Mayor and resigned July 15, 2005; the City of San Diego Mayor's Office
San Diego Miramar College
San Diego Miramar College is a public, two-year community college located in San Diego, California. Miramar College is part of the San Diego Community College District along with San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College and San Diego Continuing Education. Miramar, as well as City and Mesa belong to the California Community College system along with 111 other public community colleges, it is administered by the San Diego Community College District. Each semester, more than 12,000 individuals of all ages and backgrounds attend Miramar College classes to obtain associate degrees, the first two years of university transfer courses, or train for a career. Miramar College opened as a training facility for San Diego's law enforcement personnel and firefighters in 1969. While the College is still home to the San Diego Regional Public Safety Institute, it has grown into a comprehensive community college, offering transfer and expanded career training programs, including biotechnology, advanced transportation, child development and more.
Locally passed facilities bond measures in 2002 and 2006 have resulted in the recent transformation of the 125-acre campus. New facilities include math & business and arts & humanities classroom buildings and expansion of the advanced transportation/automotive and diesel technology buildings, completion of the Hourglass Field athletics complex, a multi-level parking structure and police sub-station, campus-wide infrastructure improvements, a massive 100,000 square foot Library Learning Resource Center. A cafeteria/bookstore/student services center, fire technology and science expansion are or soon to be, in construction. All facilities meet LEED certification. In the fall of 2012, the college became a smoke-free campus. Phil Esbenshade: Professional Skateboarder / Deputy District Attorney Jerry Sanders: San Diego Mayor 2. Scandal Official San Diego Miramar College website Miramar Fire Technology Program
New York City
The City of New York called either New York City or New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, exerts a significant impact upon commerce, research, education, tourism, art and sports; the city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of, a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898; the city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, it has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U. S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the U. S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability, as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity. Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
The names of many of the city's landmarks and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York.
James's older brother, King Charles II, had appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had seized from the Dutch. During the Wisconsinan glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth; the erosive forward movement of the ice contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers. In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He named it Nouvelle Angoulême. A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio.
The Padrón Rea
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Sigma Alpha Epsilon known as SAE, is a North American Greek-letter social college fraternity. It was founded at the University of Alabama on March 9, 1856. Of all existing national social fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only one founded in the Antebellum South, its national headquarters, the Levere Memorial Temple, was established on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 1929. The fraternity's mission statement is "To promote the highest standards of friendship and service for our members based upon the ideals set forth by our Founders and as enunciated in our creed." The fraternity has chapters and colonies in 50 states and provinces as of 2011. The creed of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, The True Gentleman, must be memorized and recited by all prospective members. New members receive a copy of The Phoenix, the manual of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, for educational development. In March 2014, the fraternity announced that it was eliminating the tradition of pledging following several alcohol- and drug-related incidents.
In 2013, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has had nine deaths linked to drinking and hazing since 2006, more than any other Greek organization in the United States according to data compiled by Bloomberg in 2013. During the 2010s, at least 18 Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters closed, or banned. Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded on March 9, 1856, at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, its founders were Noble Leslie DeVotie, Nathan Elams Cockrell, Samuel Marion Dennis, John Barrett Rudulph, Abner Edwin Patton, Wade Hampton Foster, Thomas Chappell Cook and John Webb Kerr. Their leader was DeVotie, who wrote the ritual, created the grip, chose the name. Rudulph designed the fraternity badge. Of all existing national social fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only national fraternity founded in the Antebellum South. Founded in a time of intense sectional feeling, Sigma Alpha Epsilon confined its growth to the southern states. By the end of 1857, the fraternity numbered seven chapters, its first national convention met in the summer of 1858 at Murfreesboro, with four of its eight chapters in attendance.
By the time of the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, fifteen chapters had been established. None of the founders of SAE were members of any other fraternity, although Noble Leslie DeVotie had been invited to join all of the other fraternities at the University of Alabama before founding Sigma Alpha Epsilon; the fraternity had fewer than 400 members. Of those, 369 went to seven for the Union Army. Seventy-four members of the fraternity lost their lives in the war. While many Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters today claim that Noble Leslie DeVotie was the first person to die in the Civil War, this is in dispute. DeVotie lost his footing while boarding a steamer at Fort Morgan, Alabama, on February 12, 1861, hit his head and drowned, his body washed ashore three days later. Because Alabama had seceded from the Union in January of that year, DeVotie is viewed by many to be the first casualty of the war, he is recognized as such by the state of Alabama. After the Civil War, only one chapter survived – at tiny Columbian College in Washington, D.
C.. When a few of the young veterans returned to the Georgia Military Institute and found their college burned to the ground, they decided to enter the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia; the founding of a chapter there at the end of 1865, along with the re-establishment of the chapter at the University of Virginia, led to the fraternity's revival. Soon, other chapters came back to life and, in 1867, the first post-war convention was held at Nashville, where a half-dozen revived chapters planned the fraternity's future growth. In the 1870s and early 1880s, more than a score of new chapters were formed. Older chapters died as fast. By 1886, the fraternity had chartered 49 chapters; the first northern chapter had been established at Pennsylvania College, in 1883, a second was placed at Mount Union College in Ohio two years later. Soon after, 16-year-old Harry Bunting entered Southwestern Presbyterian University in Clarksville, now known as Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, he was initiated into the Tennessee Zeta Chapter, which had initiated two of his brothers.
In just eight years, Harry Bunting and his younger brother, emboldened Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters to increase their membership. They wrote encouraging articles in the fraternity's quarterly journal, The Record, promoting better chapter standards. Above all, they gave new life to old chapters in the South and founded new ones in the North and West; the Buntings were responsible for an explosion of growth, founding nearly 50 chapters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. When Harry Bunting founded the Northwestern University chapter in 1894, he initiated as a charter member William Collin "Billy" Levere. Bunting passed the torch of leadership to Levere, for the next three decades, Levere's high spirits brought the fraternity to maturity; when Levere died on February 22, 1927, the fraternity's Supreme Council decided to name the new national headquarters building The Levere Memorial Temple. Construction of the Temple, an immense German Gothic structure located near Lake Michigan and across from the Northwestern University campus, was started in 1929, the building was dedicated in the winter of 1930.
When the Supreme Council met in the early 1930s at the Temple, educator John O. Moseley, the fraternity's national president, lamented, "We have in the Temple a magnificent school-house. Why can we not
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The GOP was founded in 1854 by opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which had expanded slavery into U. S. territories. The party subscribed to classical liberalism and took ideological stands that were anti-slavery and pro-economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in the history of the United States; the Party was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System and Fourth Party System. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party after being rejected by the GOP and ran unsuccessfully as a third-party presidential candidate calling for social reforms. After the 1912 election, many Roosevelt supporters left the Party, the Party underwent an ideological shift to the right; the liberal Republican element in the GOP was overwhelmed by a conservative surge begun by Barry Goldwater in 1964 that continued during the Reagan Era in the 1980s. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with the Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more reliably Democratic.
White voters identified with the Republican Party after the 1960s. Following the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party made opposition to abortion a key plank of its national party platform and grew its support among evangelicals. By 2000, the Republican Party was aligned with Christian conservatism; the Party's core support since the 1990s comes chiefly from the South, the Great Plains, the Mountain States and rural areas in the North. The 21st century Republican Party ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats' liberal platform and progressive wing; the GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, a strong national defense, gun rights and restrictions on labor unions. The GOP was committed to protectionism and tariffs from its founding until the 1930s when it was based in the industrial Northeast and Midwest, but has grown more supportive of free trade since 1952. In addition to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican Party is conservative.
Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by abolitionists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the popular Know Nothing Party. The party grew out of opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states; the Northern Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil. The first public meeting of the general anti-Nebraska movement, at which the name Republican was suggested for a new anti-slavery party, was held on March 20, 1854 in a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin; the name was chosen to pay homage to Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party. The first official party convention was held on July 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. At the 1856 Republican National Convention, the party adopted a national platform emphasizing opposition to the expansion of slavery into U. S. territories. While Republican candidate John C.
Frémont lost the 1856 United States presidential election to James Buchanan, he did win 11 of the 16 northern states. The Republican Party first came to power in the elections of 1860 when it won control of both houses of Congress and its candidate, former congressman Abraham Lincoln, was elected President. In the election of 1864, it united with War Democrats to nominate Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket. Under Republican congressional leadership, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution—which banned slavery in the United States—passed the Senate in 1864 and the House in 1865; the party's success created factionalism within the party in the 1870s. Those who felt that Reconstruction had been accomplished, was continued to promote the large-scale corruption tolerated by President Ulysses S. Grant, ran Horace Greeley for the presidency; the Stalwart faction defended Grant and the spoils system, whereas the Half-Breeds pushed for reform of the civil service. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed in 1883.
The Republican Party supported hard money, high tariffs to promote economic growth, high wages and high profits, generous pensions for Union veterans, the annexation of Hawaii. The Republicans had strong support from pietistic Protestants, but they resisted demands for Prohibition; as the Northern postwar economy boomed with heavy and light industry, mines, fast-growing cities, prosperous agriculture, the Republicans took credit and promoted policies to sustain the fast growth. The GOP was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System. However, by 1890 the Republicans had agreed to the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Interstate Commerce Commission in response to complaints from owners of small businesses and farmers; the high McKinley Tariff of 1890 hurt the party and the Democrats swept to a landslide in the off-year elections defeating McKinley himself. The Democrats elected Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892; the election of William McKinley in 1896 was marked by a resurgence of Republican dominance that lasted until 1932.
McKinley promised that high tariffs would end the severe hardship caused by the Pa
San Diego is a city in the U. S. state of California. It is in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California 120 miles south of Los Angeles and adjacent to the border with Mexico. With an estimated population of 1,419,516 as of July 1, 2017, San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest in California, it is part of the San Diego–Tijuana conurbation, the second-largest transborder agglomeration between the U. S. and a bordering country after Detroit–Windsor, with a population of 4,922,723 people. The city is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the United States Navy, recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center. San Diego has been called "the birthplace of California". Home to the Kumeyaay people, it was the first site visited by Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States. Upon landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area for Spain, forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later.
The Presidio and Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, formed the first European settlement in what is now California. In 1821, San Diego became part of the newly independent Mexico, which reformed as the First Mexican Republic two years later. California became part of the United States in 1848 following the Mexican–American War and was admitted to the union as a state in 1850; the city is the seat of San Diego County and is the economic center of the region as well as the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. San Diego's main economic engines are military and defense-related activities, international trade, manufacturing; the presence of the University of California, San Diego, with the affiliated UCSD Medical Center, has helped make the area a center of research in biotechnology. The original inhabitants of the region are now known as the San La Jolla people; the area of San Diego has been inhabited by the Kumeyaay people. The first European to visit the region was explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, sailing under the flag of Castile but born in Portugal.
Sailing his flagship San Salvador from Navidad, New Spain, Cabrillo claimed the bay for the Spanish Empire in 1542, named the site "San Miguel". In November 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno was sent to map the California coast. Arriving on his flagship San Diego, Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what are now Mission Bay and Point Loma and named the area for the Catholic Saint Didacus, a Spaniard more known as San Diego de Alcalá. On November 12, 1602, the first Christian religious service of record in Alta California was conducted by Friar Antonio de la Ascensión, a member of Vizcaíno's expedition, to celebrate the feast day of San Diego. Permanent colonization of California and of San Diego began in 1769 with the arrival of four contingents of Spaniards from New Spain and the Baja California peninsula. Two seaborne parties reached San Diego Bay: the San Carlos, under Vicente Vila and including as notable members the engineer and cartographer Miguel Costansó and the soldier and future governor Pedro Fages, the San Antonio, under Juan Pérez.
An initial overland expedition to San Diego from the south was led by the soldier Fernando Rivera and included the Franciscan missionary and chronicler Juan Crespí, followed by a second party led by the designated governor Gaspar de Portolà and including the mission president Junípero Serra. In May 1769, Portolà established the Fort Presidio of San Diego on a hill near the San Diego River, it was the first settlement by Europeans in. In July of the same year, Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Franciscan friars under Serra. By 1797, the mission boasted the largest native population in Alta California, with over 1,400 neophytes living in and around the mission proper. Mission San Diego was the southern anchor in Alta California of the historic mission trail El Camino Real. Both the Presidio and the Mission are National Historic Landmarks. In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, San Diego became part of the Mexican territory of Alta California. In 1822, Mexico began its attempt to extend its authority over the coastal territory of Alta California.
The fort on Presidio Hill was abandoned, while the town of San Diego grew up on the level land below Presidio Hill. The Mission was secularized by the Mexican government in 1834, most of the Mission lands were granted to former soldiers; the 432 residents of the town petitioned the governor to form a pueblo, Juan María Osuna was elected the first alcalde, defeating Pío Pico in the vote. However, San Diego had been losing population throughout the 1830s and in 1838 the town lost its pueblo status because its size dropped to an estimated 100 to 150 residents. Beyond town Mexican land grants expanded the number of California ranchos that modestly added to the local economy. Americans gained increased awareness of California, its commercial possibilities, from the writings of two countrymen involved in the officially forbidden, to foreigners, but economically significant hide and tallow trade, where San Diego was a major port and the only one with an adequate harbor: William Shaler's "Journal of a Voyage Between China and the North-Western Coast of America, Made in 1804" and Richard Henry Dana's more substantial and convincing account, of his 1834–36 voyage, the classic Two Years Before the Mast.
In 1846, the United States went to war against Mexico and sent a naval and land expedition to conquer Alta California. At firs