Over the past ten years, I have contributed to and sourced many Wikipedia articles, mostly relating to US history and geography. In the process, I learned many fun facts and anecdotes, read many things that probably weren’t true and cleaned up a lot of vandalism. I spent more time than I ever needed to, digging through archives, Googling excerpts from books I don’t own, and reading local newspapers and publications. Our true history should be accessible and accurate, and I’ve really enjoyed learning and contributing.
The next few posts I make will be dedicated to sharing a few lists of fun facts I’ll curate from some pages of notes I have relating to the counties of California. Hopefully you’ll find the exhibition to be as fun and interesting as I do. I am a homesick Californian, this helps me cope.
I’m going to post six at a time, in staggered alphabetical order. If you are from one of these counties, or have a fun fact, leave a comment!
Before I begin, here’s a quick overview of California history*:
- Human first arrived in California about 15,000 years ago
- As many as 1/3 of all natives in the United States region may have been in California at one time
- First European contact was in 1542 by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo
- The area fell under Spanish colonial rule from 1769 to 1821
- Mexico ruled the territory from 1826-1846
- The Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War in 1848 and arranged for the United States to purchase the land
- The Gold Rush begins in 1848
- California was admitted as a state in 1850
- The Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869
- Star Trek V: The Final Fronteir is filmed in Yosemite Park in 1989
The list begins here.