California is America’s most populous state. As of 2005 Cal. is the 5 th ranked economy in the world. The 5 county L.A. area has 20.6 million people, that alone would make the 4 th largest state in the U.S. The L.A. school district reports some 92 languages in use among students. The port of L.A. is the busiest in the nation.
1533- Hernan Cortez landed his ship on what they believed to be a island, in the recently discovered Pacific. They called the island California after a mythical place.
1540-The Spanish discover there mistake, Cal. was a peninsula, not an island.
California is a result of the collision of two tectonic plates, and is 158,693 sq. miles in area, with 1,264 miles of shoreline.
San Francisco bay is one of the finest natural harbors in the world.
Cal. has several formidable mountain ranges, the Transverse, and Peninsula ranges running south, and the Klamath and Cascade ranges in the north. Then there’s the Sierra Nevada's, 4 hundred miles long and 80 miles wide. Mt Whitney is the second highest in the continental U.S. at 14,496 ft. Mt. Shasta is 14,162ft. and nearby Mt. Lasson, was an active volcano till 1921. The central valley is 430 miles long, with the Sacramento Valley to the north, and the San Joaquin Valley to the south. There’s the Mojave Desert in the southeast, and the Salton Trough coming up from Baja.
California sits on or adjacent to numerous fault lines such as , the San Andreas, the Hayward, the Garlock, the San Jacinto, and the Nacimento, which keeps the region alive with tectonic action.
60 miles from Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the state, lies Death Valley, the lowest point in the continent at 282ft. below sea level, where in 1913 the temperature reached 134 degrees.
Coastal Cal. is compared to the Mediterranean for it’s moderate climate between 40-72 degrees. There are two major river systems, the Sacramento river running north to south, and the San Joaquin River running south to north.
Off Monterey Bay lies a great under sea chasm, as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon.
In the north the Giant Redwood trees are among the largest and oldest living entities in the world, some up to 4000 years old.
Cal. is also home to bears, the Black, the Brown, and the Great Grizzly, along with the Mountain Lion.
Cal. has many native Indian Tribes which considered early Cal. a paradise, abundant with fish and game, they found little need for war, there was plenty for all.
These native peoples endured many atrocities due to the influx of the white man.
Chapter 7 Great Expectations Creating the Infrastructure of a Mega-State
1878-The California legislature passed the Drainage Act, creating the position of state engineer and appropriating $100,000 for irrigation drainage, and navigation studies. The state engineer ,William Hammond Hall laid out a comprehensive program for the development of Cal. Water projects.
The Wright Act established the legal and political framework that will disperse water throughout the state.
1901- The Cal. Development Co. dug a canal from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley.
1903-City engineers William Mulholland (L.A.) and Michael O’Shaughnessy (San Francisco) tapped the Owens River for L.A. and the Tuolumne for S.F. to bring water to those city's.
1913-The L.A. Aqueduct is 235 miles long and reaches from the Owens River to the San Fernando Valley.
1923- The S.F. water pipelines and tunnels connect the Tuolumne River to San Francisco. In both cases there was a lot of damage to the environment, and there were charges of deception, double-dealing and conflict of interest.
1930- L.A. is the leading Mexican American community in the U.S. , and many illegal's are shipped back to Mexico. Blacks are still represented as second rate citizens.
The L.A. Basin produced 230 million barrels of oil and 300 billion cubic ft. of natural gas. The oil wells were everywhere.
Southern Cal. flourished in the 1920’s from manufacturing, to fishing, to oil,to the movie industry, it’s rapid growth was astounding.
The ports of L.A., S.F., and San Diego became home to large navy ports.
1928-The St. Francis Dam near Saugus collapsed, killing 400 people and devastated everything in its path.
1935-The monumental Boulder Dam was completed, sending water from Lake Mead to southern Cal.
1936-The S.F. to Oakland Bay bridge was completed.
1937-The Golden Gate Bridge was completed, linking S.F. to the northern coast.
1940-The first section of the Cal. Freeway system was finished between Pasadena and L.A.
Banks sprang up all over the state, lending to both large and small business, adding to the economic boom of Cal.
Chapter 8 War and Peace
1846-California remained closely connected to the military, since it was seized as an act of war.
1898-The Spanish-American War formally established the U.S. as an Asia-Pacific power.
1914-The Navy establishes it’s Pacific Fleet in San Diego. Army, Navy, and Marine bases sprang up all over the state. S.F. and L.A. developed important port and ship repair facilities both military and civilian.
1936- The Japanese invade Manchuria and start expanding with military force.
1939-Germany invades Poland, and America at that time is trying to remain neutral, with movements like “America First”.
1941-Japan launches a sneak attack on Perl Harbor Hawaii. The entire west coast is thrown into a panic, and President Roosevelt declares war, first on Japan and then Germany.
1942-A Jap sub surfaced in the Santa Barbara Channel, and fired across Pacific Coast Hwy. into oil storage tanks. Anti-aircraft artillery fired at an unidentified plane in L.A. Suspicion and prejudice is evident against the Japanese people, even though they have many cultural influences in Cal., going back many years.
1942-President Roosevelt signed executive order 9066, allowing the War Dept. to remove suspicious people from military areas. Later he issued order 9102 creating the Civilian War Relocation Authority to establish relocation camps. Some 110,000 Japanese and others were placed behind barbed wire, where they stayed for the next 3 yrs.
1943-S.F. Bay area emerged as the premier military command center and port of departure and supply on the Pacific coast.
Camp Stoneman, north of S.F. processed over 1 million solders.
1944-More than 2,200 German P.O.W.’s are held at camp Stillman near S.F. The Marine Corps trains troops at the 122,798 acre Camp Pendleton, in north San Diego Cnty. and established the El Toro air base in Orange Cnty.
Several riots break out between the thousands of soldiers based in L.A., and the Mexican-American Zoot-Suiter’s.
Henry Kaiser of Oakland builds more than 1,490 ships for the war effort. Many African American’s and women work in factories throughout Cal., the women were represented by “Rosie the Riveter”.
1945-WWII ends with the surrender of Germany and Japan. The war had sparked an economic and population boom in Cal. And building of new home tracts begins like never before.
The Cal. infrastructure became overwhelmed and needed new highways and schools. Disneyland depicts the new utopian Cal. city.
After WWII Cal. Economy was booming, with many new war related business. Cal. became a post-war higher-education utopia in which all Californians would be offered the opportunity to maximize their potential.