California “The Golden State”

The state of California lies on the west coast of the USA. There are 50 states in the USA and California is the third largest, covering an area of 163,707 square miles. California has a coastline more than 1,264 miles long.

Facts about California

  • Capital City Sacramento
  • Other important cities Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco
  • Population 33,871,648 (2000)
  • Currency American Dollar
  • Major industries Agriculture, oil, electronics, movie making/entertainment, tourism
  • Main Rivers Sacramento River, Colorado River, San Joaquin River
  • Bordering States Oregon, Nevada, Arizona
  • Bordering Country Mexico
  • Bordering Ocean Pacific Ocean
  • Highest Point Mt. Whitney (4,418m above sea level)
  • Lowest Point Death Valley (86m below sea level)
  • State Flower Californian Poppy

“The Golden State”

California was given the official Nickname of “The Golden State” in 1968. Fields of golden poppies can be seen each spring throughout the state and California's modern development can be traced back to the discovery of gold in 1848.

What is the capital city of California?

Sacramento is the capital city of California, situated in the middle of the 400-mile long Central Valley, which is California's prime agricultural region. Sacramentobecame the State Capital in 1854. The County's largest city, the City of Sacramento, is the seat of government for the State of California and also serves as the county seat.

Sacramento County encompasses approximately 994 square miles. The County is bordered by Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties on the south, Amador and El Dorado Counties on the east, Placer and Sutter Counties on the north, and Yolo and Solano Counties on the west.

Sacramento County extends from the low delta lands between the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers north to about ten miles beyond the State Capital and east to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The southernmost portion of Sacramento County has direct access to the San Francisco Bay.

Quick Facts
  • Average Annual Maximum Temperature - 73.6 degrees
  • Average Annual Minimum Temperature - 49 degrees
  • Average Rainfall - 19.6 inches
  • 20.5 miles of light rail system
  • 3 mainline railroad tracks
  • 7.4 million passengers annually through Sacramento International airport
  • Port of Sacramento ships 870,000 short tons of cargo annually
  • 14 Regional Parks Districts
  • 6 million trees
  • 19 major public & private colleges & universities
  • 16 public school districts
  • 15 major art and historical museums
  • 26 public libraries
  • 10 hospitals
  • 69.6 of eligible voters are registered to vote
  • Persons per square mile - 1,252
  • Leading agricultural crops include: milk, wine grapes, Bartlett pears, field corn, turkeys

Skyline of Sacramento taken from a park.

The State Flag of California

A group of American settlers raised the Historic Bear Flag at Sonoma on 14thJune 1846 as a revolt against Mexican rule. The star on the flag imitates the lone star of Texas. The grizzly bear represented the many bears seen in the state. The word, "California Republic" was placed beneath the star and bear. It was adopted by the 1911 State Legislature as the State Flag.

Earthquakes in California

The San Andreas Fault

The San Andreas Fault extends from Cape Mendocino in Northern California to the Gulf of California, western USA. It is one of the Earth’s most famous faults and slices across California’s coastal region. In 1906 a massive earthquake devastated San Francisco (which lies at the northern end of the fault) in only a few seconds.