Fort Point, San Francisco
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located on the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. It is the geographic name of the promontory upon which the fort and the southern approach of the Golden Gate Bridge were constructed; the fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, to defend San Francisco Bay against hostile warships. The fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 1769 Spain occupied the San Francisco area and by 1776 had established the area's first European settlement, with a mission and a presidio. To protect against encroachment by the British and Russians, Spain selected Punta del Cantil Blanco, a promontory with a high white cliff located at the narrowest part of the bay's entrance, to construct a fortification; the Castillo de San Joaquin was constructed in 1794, subordinate to the nearby Presidio de San Francisco.
It was an adobe structure housing nine to thirteen cannons. Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, gaining control of the region and the fort, but in 1835 the Mexican army moved to Sonoma leaving the castillo's adobe walls to crumble in the wind and rain. On July 1, 1846, after the Mexican–American War broke out between Mexico and the United States, U. S. forces, including Captain John Charles Fremont, Kit Carson and a band of 10 followers and occupied the empty castillo and spiked the cannons. Sometime during the Spanish and Mexican eras, the Punta del Cantil Blanco came to be known as the "Punta del Castillo", carried over into the era of U. S. sovereignty, in rough translation, as "Fort Point". Following the United States' victory in 1848, California was annexed by the U. S. and became a state in 1850. The gold rush of 1849 had caused rapid settlement of the area, recognized as commercially and strategically valuable to the United States. Military officials soon recommended a series of fortifications to secure San Francisco Bay.
Coastal defenses were built at Alcatraz Island, Fort Mason, Fort Point. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on Fort Point in 1853. Plans specified that the lowest tier of artillery be as close as possible to water level so cannonballs could ricochet across the water's surface to hit enemy ships at the water-line. Workers blasted the 90-foot cliff down to 15 feet above sea level; the structure featured seven-foot-thick walls and multi-tiered casemated construction typical of Third System forts. It was sited to defend the maximum amount of harbor area. While there were more than 30 such forts on the East Coast, Fort Point was the only one on the West Coast. In 1854 Inspector General Joseph K. Mansfield declared "this point as the key to the whole Pacific Coast...and it should receive untiring exertions". A crew of 200, many unemployed miners, labored for eight years on the fort. In 1861, with war looming, the army mounted the fort's first cannon. Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Department of the Pacific, prepared Bay Area defenses and ordered in the first troops to the fort.
Kentucky-born Johnston resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army. Throughout the Civil War, artillerymen at Fort Point stood guard for an enemy; the Confederate raider CSS Shenandoah planned to attack San Francisco, but on the way to the harbor the captain learned that the war was over. Severe damage to similar forts on the Atlantic Coast during the war – Fort Sumter in South Carolina and Fort Pulaski in Georgia – challenged the effectiveness of masonry walls against rifled artillery. Troops soon moved out of Fort Point, it was never again continuously occupied by the army; the fort was nonetheless important enough to receive protection from the elements. In 1869 a granite seawall was completed; the following year, some of the fort's cannon were moved to Battery East on the bluffs nearby, where they were more protected. In 1882 Fort Point was named Fort Winfield Scott after the hero of the war against Mexico; the name was applied to an artillery post at the Presidio. In 1892, the army began constructing the new Endicott System concrete fortifications armed with steel, breech-loading rifled guns.
Within eight years, all 103 of the smooth-bore cannons at Fort Point had been dismounted and sold for scrap. The fort, moderately damaged in the 1906 earthquake, was used over the next four decades for barracks and storage, however, in 1913, part of the interior wall was removed by the army in their short-lived attempt to make the fort the army detention barracks using soldier and prisoner labor; the detention barracks were built on Alcatraz Island and was used until becoming a federal prison. Soldiers from the 6th U. S. Coast Artillery were stationed there during World War II to guard minefields and the anti-submarine net that spanned the Golden Gate. New quarters and administrative buildings were constructed on the higher ground, behind the new Endicott batteries, moving Fort Scott to this location. In 1926 the American Institute of Architects proposed preserving the fort for its outstanding military architecture. Funds were unavailable, the ideas languished. Plans for the Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s called for the fort's removal, but Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss redesigned the bridge to save the fort.
"While the old fort has no military value now," Strauss said, "it remains a fine example of the mason's art.... It should be preserved and restored as a national monument." The fort is situated directly below the southern approach to the bridge, u
Sutro Heights Park
Sutro Heights Park is an historic public park in the Outer Richmond District of western San Francisco, California. It is within the Sutro Historic District, it is located above the Cliff House in the Lands End area, with views of the Seal Rocks, Ocean Beach, the Pacific Ocean. The 18 acres park is on the site of the former "Sutro Heights" estate of Adolph Sutro, a Comstock Lode silver baron, a major land owner/developer in and mayor of San Francisco. In 1881, Adolf Sutro purchased 22 acres of undeveloped land south of Point Lobos and north of Ocean Beach at the western edge of the city, it included a promontory overlooking the Pacific, with scenic views of the Marin Headlands, Mount Tamalpais, the Golden Gate. Sutro built his mansion on a rocky ledge there, above the first Cliff House; the grounds consisted of a spacious turreted mansion, a carriage house, outbuildings set in expansive gardens. The estate dominated the Lands End area, with an elaborate entrance gate, he spent in excess of a million dollars to recreate an Italian style garden.
It was filled with fountains, planted urns, statues, Victorian flower beds, hedge mazes, forests of trees, a glass plant conservatory, other garden structures. Vista points included the "observation plaza" overlooking the Cliff House, the "Dolce far Niente Balcony," a long terrace-like structure along the cliff overlooking Ocean Beach. To provide garden decorations, he imported over 200 concrete replicas of Greek and Roman statuary from Belgium, to provide examples of European culture to visitors. By 1883 Sutro opened his estate's gardens, named Sutro Heights, to the public and allowed strolling the grounds for the donation of a dime; that small fee helped to pay the 17 gardeners and drivers he employed to maintain the grounds. Other features he developed on his land holdings in the Lands End area include: the Sutro Baths, the second and elaborate Victorian style Cliff House and an amusement park named Sutro Pleasure Grounds at Merrie Way. To provide inexpensive transportation for visitors to these he built a passenger steam train from downtown San Francisco to Lands End.
Adolph Sutro died in 1898, land rich but cash poor following his frustrating tenure as Mayor of San Francisco. His daughter Emma Sutro Merritt moved to the Sutro Heights estate then; as she aged she could not maintain the grounds, the house became deteriorated, though she lived there until her death in 1938. Throughout the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s, people took away many of the rose garden plantings and vandalized the statues; the Sutro family donated the estate to the City of San Francisco in 1938. In 1939 the Works Progress Administration demolished the residence. Remaining statuary was removed, with the exception of The Lions, copies of those in London's Trafalgar Square at the entrance gate, a statue of Diana the Huntress, a concrete copy of the Louvre's Diana, itself a Roman copy of a Greek statue; the 18 acres city park opened. Sutro Heights Park is no longer a city park, it is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it is maintained by a neighborhood group, Friends of the GGNRA, many of whom live on the surrounding streets.
Cliff House, San Francisco Lands End, San Francisco Sutro Baths 49-Mile Scenic Drive Golden Gate National Recreation Area NPS−Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Visiting Lands End NPS-GGNRA: Lands End History and Culture Vestiges of Lands End — digital guidebook
Fort Mason, once known as San Francisco Port of Embarkation, US Army, in San Francisco, California, is a former United States Army post located in the northern Marina District, alongside San Francisco Bay. Fort Mason served as an Army post for more than 100 years as a coastal defense site and subsequently as a military port facility. During World War II, it was the principal port for the Pacific campaign. Today it is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the site of several cultural facilities; the entire fort area is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, with 49 buildings of historic significance, spread over 1,200 acres. While the lower port area is a National Historic Landmark District, designated for its role in World War II. Fort Mason can be split into two distinct areas; the upper area, sometimes called Fort Mason, is situated on a headland and was the site of the original coastal fortifications. The lower area, Fort Mason Center, is situated close to water level to the west of Upper Fort Mason, is the site of the former military port, with its piers and warehouses.
The Marina Green lies to the west of Fort Mason. The nucleus of Fort Mason was a private property owned by John C. Frémont, the explorer of the western U. S. who spearheaded the conquest of California from Mexico, ran as the first presidential nominee of the extant Republican Party in 1856. As alleged in a 1968 federal lawsuit filed by his descendants over the 70-acre parcel at issue, Frémont bought a 13.5-acre property in the mid-1850s for $42,000, improved it by about $40,000. Appointed a major general in the Union army at the start of the Civil War, Frémont's repeated serious conflicts with President Lincoln led him to resign by late 1862. In 1863, the government seized the property without payment, by executive order of Lincoln, on the grounds it was needed for the war effort. Frémont would again contest the US presidency in 1864, running as the candidate of Radical Democracy Party, only resigning the effort when Lincoln fired a political enemy in his cabinet as a concession; the 1968 lawsuit was the last shot of a century-long legal struggle to obtain compensation for the seized realty.
In 1870, the government returned property to 49 parties in the vicinity, but not to Frémont and a few others. At that time, Frémont was still preoccupied with enough of the vast fortune he had made through gold-mining before the Civil War that the matter was unlikely of concern to him. Over the years, at least 24 Congressional committees would vote to compensate Frémont, in February 1898 President William McKinley signed a bill directing that the court of claims fix the compensation due, but in 1968 the Frémont heirs complained it had failed to carry out this direction, with John Frémont recently dead and his widow Jessie over 70 years old. The Civil War prompted the construction of several coastal defense batteries located inside the Golden Gate; these defenses were built as temporary wartime structures rather than permanent fortifications and one of these was constructed in 1864 at Point San Jose, as the location of Upper Fort Mason was known. A breast-high wall of brick and mounts for six 10-inch Rodman cannons and six 42-pounder guns were built on the site.
Excavation in the early 1980s uncovered the well-preserved remains of the western-half of the temporary battery, it has now been restored to its condition during the Civil War. The fort was named Fort Mason in 1882, after Richard Barnes Mason, a former military governor of California. President Grover Cleveland established the Endicott Board in 1885 for the purpose of modernizing the nation's coastal fortifications. Chaired by Secretary of War William Endicott, the board recommended new defenses at 22 U. S. seaports. As a result, an extensive series of forts and guns were built on the harbor, including Fort Mason; the piers and sheds of Lower Fort Mason were built from 1912 to warehouse army supplies and provide docking space for army transport ships. By this time, the US Army began to build new bases in Hawaii, the Philippines, various other Pacific islands. Most of the materiel for those bases was shipped through San Francisco. By 1915, the three piers together with their associated warehouse had been completed, Fort Mason Tunnel driven under Upper Fort Mason to connect with the railroad network along the Embarcadero.
With these new facilities, Fort Mason was transformed from a harbor defense post into a logistical and transport hub for American military operations in the Pacific. The Army ferry USAT General Frank M. Coxe provided scheduled transportation from Fort Mason to the processing center at Fort McDowell on Angel Island up to eight times per day during the war. USAT Meigs was used to transport cavalry horses from Fort Mason's pier to Fort Mills. During World War II, Fort Mason became the headquarters of the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, controlling a network of shipping facilities that spread across the Bay Area. Over the years of the war, 1,647,174 passengers and 23,589,472 measured tons moved from the port into the Pacific; this total represents two-thirds of all troops sent into the Pacific and more than one-half of all Army cargo moved through West Coast ports. The highest passenger count was logged in August 1945; the Korean War in the 1950s kept the post busy, in 1955 the San Francisco Port of Embarkation was renamed the U.
S. Army Transportation Terminal Command Pacific; the embarkation operations continued thro
Fort Cronkhite is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Today part of the National Park Service, Fort Cronkhite is a former US Army post that served as part of the coastal artillery defenses of the San Francisco Bay Area during World War II; the soldiers at Cronkhite manned gun batteries, radar sites, other fortifications on the high ridges overlooking the fort. Named for former army general Adelbert Cronkhite, Fort Cronkhite was established in the late 1930s. With the rapid military buildup of the United States in the early 1940s, tens of thousands of temporary wooden structures had to be built by the army to house its growing ranks; the army's Quartermaster Corps and the Corps of Engineers were put in charge of the building projects around the country. Using standard plans, all types of buildings could be built in short time including barracks, mess halls, supply depots and recreation buildings. Many of these types of "temporary" wooden building can still be found at Fort Cronkhite today over 70 years later.
The first unit to move into the fort was Battery E of the 6th Coast Artillery in June 1941. The soldiers stationed at the fort manned local artillery emplacements as well as the three gun, 3 inch Antiaircraft Battery No. 1. Named for Major General Clarence P. Townsley, who had commanded the 30th Infantry Division in France in World War I, construction of Battery Townsley began in 1938 with the excavation for the large magazine and gun emplacement on the ridge overlooking what would become Fort Cronkhite; when it was completed in 1940 and transferred to the Coast Artillery Corps it was the second 16-inch battery on the West Coast, after Battery Davis at Fort Funston. The battery was manned at all times with the men on each shift living in the concrete walls of the battery high on the ridge. Battery Townsley is open to the public every first Sunday of the month, from 12 noon to 4 PM. During the Cold War Fort Cronkhite was used to house soldiers of the nearby SF-88 Nike Missile launch site. SF-88 operated throughout the 1960s and early 1970s until it was permanently closed in 1974.
Many of the older wooden buildings of the fort had started to be torn down by the army in the previous years and with the closure of SF-88 Fort Cronkhite was closed altogether soon after. Fort Cronkhite was discontinued as a United States Army installation effective 10 September, 1974 by General order Number 25. Fort Cronkhite is now part of the National Park Service's Marin Headlands section within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Along with nearby Fort Baker and Fort Barry, Fort Cronkhite is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors to Fort Cronkhite can take walking tours of the former army buildings and hike the many trails located in the area. Many of these buildings are occupied by private non-profit organizations and are not open to the public. Rodeo Beach, which separates Rodeo Lagoon from the Pacific Ocean is located near Fort Cronkhite and is open to the public. Rodeo Beach is a popular public surfing location, close to San Francisco. Camping is available at campgrounds in the Marin Headlands area.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area Marin Headlands San Francisco Bay Area Seacoast defense in the United States Fort Cronkhite National Park Service website
Alcatraz Island is located in San Francisco Bay, 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco, United States. The small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, a federal prison from 1934 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Native Americans from San Francisco, who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation, with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972, Alcatraz became part of a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Today, the island's facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Visitors can reach the island in a little under 15 minutes by ferry ride from Pier 33, located between the San Francisco Ferry Building and Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco. Hornblower Cruises and Events, operating under the name Alcatraz Cruises, is the official ferry provider to and from the island.
Alcatraz Island is home to the abandoned prison, the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony. According to a 1971 documentary on the history of Alcatraz, the island measures 1,675 feet by 590 feet and is 135 feet at highest point during mean tide; the total area of the island is reported to be 22 acres. Landmarks on the island include the Main Cellhouse, Dining Hall, Lighthouse, the ruins of the Warden's House and Officers' Club, Parade Grounds, Building 64, Water Tower, New Industries Building, Model Industries Building, the Recreation Yard; the first Spaniard to document the island was Juan Manuel de Ayala, who charted San Francisco Bay in 1775 and named one of the three islands he identified as "La Isla de los Alcatraces," which translates as "The Island of the Gannets" but is believed to translate as "The Island of the Pelicans," from the archaic Spanish alcatraz.
Over the years, the Spanish version "Alcatraz" became popular and is now used. In August 1827, French Captain Auguste Bernard Duhaut-Cilly wrote "... running past Alcatraze's Island... covered with a countless number of these birds. A gun fired over the feathered legions caused them to fly up in a great cloud and with a noise like a hurricane." The California brown pelican is not known to nest on the island today. The Spanish built several small buildings on other minor structures; the earliest recorded owner of the island of Alcatraz is Julian Workman, to whom it was given by Mexican governor Pio Pico in June 1846, with the understanding that Workman would build a lighthouse on it. Julian Workman is the baptismal name of William Workman, co-owner of Rancho La Puente and personal friend of Pio Pico. In 1846, acting in his capacity as Military Governor of California, John C. Frémont, champion of Manifest Destiny and leader of the Bear Flag Republic, bought the island for $5,000 in the name of the United States government from Francis Temple.
In 1850, President Millard Fillmore ordered that Alcatraz Island be set aside as a United States military reservation, for military purposes based upon the U. S. acquisition of California from Mexico following the Mexican–American War. Frémont had expected a large compensation for his initiative in purchasing and securing Alcatraz Island for the U. S. government, but the U. S. government invalidated the sale and paid Frémont nothing. Frémont and his heirs sued for compensation during protracted but unsuccessful legal battles that extended into the 1890s. Following the acquisition of California by the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican–American War, the onset of the California Gold Rush the following year, the U. S. Army began studying the suitability of Alcatraz Island for the positioning of coastal batteries to protect the approaches to San Francisco Bay. In 1853, under the direction of Zealous B. Tower, the United States Army Corps of Engineers began fortifying the island, work which continued until 1858, when the initial version of Fort Alcatraz was complete.
The island's first garrison, numbering about 200 soldiers, arrived at the end of that year. When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, the island mounted 85 cannons in casemates around its perimeter, though the small size of the garrison meant only a fraction of the guns could be used at one time. At this time it served as the San Francisco Arsenal for storage of firearms to prevent them falling into the hands of Confederate sympathizers. Alcatraz, built as a "heavily fortified military site on the West Coast", was to form a "triangle of defense" with Fort Point and Lime Point, but the contemplated work on Lime Point was never built; the first operational lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States was built on Alcatraz. During the war, Fort Alcatraz was used to imprison Confederate sympathizers and privateers on the west coast, but never fired its guns at an enemy. Studies in 2018 by archeologists using ground-penetrating radar and laser scans found the remains of structures, ammunition magazines, tunnels below the penitentiary, built later.
They believe. Because of its isolation from the outside by the cold, tremendous currents of the waters of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz was used to house soldiers who were guilty of crimes as early as 1859. By 1861, the fort was the military priso
Legion of Honor (museum)
The Legion of Honor is a part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The name is used both for the building in which it is housed; the Legion of Honor was the gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, wife of the sugar magnate and thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder Adolph B. Spreckels; the building is a full-scale replica, by George Applegarth and H. Guillaume, of the French Pavilion at the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition, which in turn was a three-quarter-scale version of the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur known as the Hôtel de Salm in Paris, by Pierre Rousseau. At the close of the exposition, located just a few miles away, the French government granted Spreckels permission to construct a permanent replica of the French Pavilion, but World War I delayed the groundbreaking until 1921; the museum building occupies an elevated site in Lincoln Park in the northwest of the city, with views over the Golden Gate Bridge. Most of the surrounding Lincoln Park Golf Course is on the site of a potter's field called the "Golden Gate Cemetery" that the City had bought in 1867.
The cemetery was closed in 1908 and the bodies were relocated to Colma. During seismic retrofitting in the 1990s, however and skeletal remains were unearthed."Between March 1992 and November 1995—its seventy-first anniversary—the Legion underwent a major renovation that included seismic strengthening, building systems upgrades, restoration of historic architectural features, an underground expansion that added 35,000 square feet. Visitor services and program facilities increased, without altering the historic façade or adversely affecting the environmental integrity of the site; the architects chosen to accomplish this challenging feat were Edward Larrabee Barnes and Mark Cavagnero."The plaza and fountain in front of the Palace of the Legion of Honor is the western terminus of the Lincoln Highway, the first improved road for automobiles across America. The terminus marker and an interpretive plaque are located in the southwest corner of the plaza and fountain, just to the left of the Palace.
Dominating the classical plaza is "Pax Jerusalemme," a modern sculpture by Mark di Suvero. The Legion of Honor displays a collection spanning more than 6,000 years of ancient and European art and houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in a neoclassical building overlooking Lincoln Park and the Golden Gate Bridge; the museum contains a representative collection of European art, the largest portion of, French. Its most distinguished collection is of sculpture by Auguste Rodin. Casts of some of his most famous works are on display, including one of The Thinker in the Court of Honor. However, there are individual works by many other artists, including François Boucher, Gainsborough, David, El Greco, Giambattista Pittoni and many of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists—Degas, Monet, Seurat, Cézanne and others. There are representative works by key 20th century figures such as Braque and Picasso, works of contemporary artists like Gottfried Helnwein and Robert Crumb; the museum's contemporary art initiative brings the work of living artists into dialogue with the buildings and collections of the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor, with exhibitions such as Urs Fischer and Sarah Lucas in juxtaposition with the museum's acclaimed Rodin collection to commemorate the centenary of Rodin's death in 1917.
Icon of Saints John the Baptist and Minias, Saint Anthony and Saint Stephen Icons, Bicci di Lorenzo St. Francis Venerating the Crucifix, El Greco, 1595 St. John the Baptist, El Greco, 1600 The Tribute Money, Rubens, 1612 Descent from the Cross, Giambattista Pittoni, 1750 The Age of Bronze, Auguste Rodin, 1875 Trotting Horse Edgar Degas, 1881 The Kiss, Auguste Rodin, 1884 The Grand Canal, Claude Monet, 1908 Water lilies, Claude Monet, 1914 In 1924, John D. Spreckels commissioned the Ernest M. Skinner Company of Boston to build the symphonic organ; the museum organ, housed inside the museum above the main galleries, has 4 manuals and pedals, 7 divisions, 63 ranks, with a total of 4,526 pipes. Symphonic music is effective on the museum organ with its battery of pneumatically operated percussion instruments and set of tubular chimes. A thunder pedal is used for the musical representation of storms. All together, the organ comprises one Great Organ, a Swell Organ, a Choir Organ featuring a 16-foot Contra Dulciana, Choir Organ Echo, a Solo Organ, Solo Organ Echo, an Arch Organ outfitted with 8-foot Arch Clarion, a 64-foot Gravissima and a 32-foot Bourdon Profunda, in addition to the final Traps that were enclosed in the Choir: Bass drum, Chinese block, crash cymbal, gong snare drum, snare drum, a tambourine triangle.
The Palace is seen in the Alfred Hitchcock movie Vertigo when Scottie follows Madeleine Elster to the museum, where she stares at one painting for a considerable time. This painting, dubbed Beautiful Carlotta, was a prop created for the production and is not housed at the museum; the Palace appears in the 1993 miniseries, Tales of the City, based on the first of the Tales of the City series of novels by Armistead Maupin. The character of Mary Ann Singleton arranges to meet her neighbor Norman Neal Williams at the museum, where he meets his fate; the character Dr. Crippen in the spoof Maltese Falcon sequel The Black Bird has an office in the Palace. 49-Mile Scenic Drive De Young Museum Holocaust Memorial Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – Legion of Honor page Photograph of Hôtel de Salm, Paris
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a