Introduction

CaliforniaPortal.png
California
State of California
Map of the United States with California highlighted
Map of the United States with California highlighted

California is a state in the Western United States. California borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; and has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the west. With nearly 39.2 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous and the third-largest U.S. state by area. It is also the most populated subnational entity in North America and the 34th most populous in the world. The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions respectively, with the former having more than 18.7 million residents and the latter having over 9.6 million. Sacramento is the state's capital, while Los Angeles is the most populous city in the state and the second most populous city in the country. Los Angeles County is the country's most populous, while San Bernardino County is the largest county by area in the country (Alaska has some larger subdivisions, but they are not called counties). San Francisco, which is both a city and a county, is the second most densely populated major city in the country and the fifth most densely populated county in the country.

The economy of California, with a gross state product of $3.2 trillion as of 2019, is the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, it would be the fifth-largest economy as well as the 37th most populous. The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.0 trillion and $0.5 trillion respectively ). The San Francisco Bay Area Combined Statistical Area had the nation's highest gross domestic product per capita ($106,757) among large primary statistical areas in 2018, and is home to five of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people.

Notable contributions to popular culture, for example in entertainment and sports, have their origins in California. The state also has made noteworthy contributions in the fields of communication, information, innovation, environmentalism, economics, and politics. It is the home of Hollywood, the oldest and largest film industry in the world, which has had a profound effect on global entertainment. It is considered the origin of the hippie counterculture, beach and car culture, and the personal computer, among other innovations. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as the centers of the global technology and film industries, respectively. California's economy is very diverse: 58% of it is based on finance, government, real estate services, technology, 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's ports and harbors handle about a third of all U.S. imports, most originating in Pacific Rim international trade. (Full article...)

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San Francisco from the Marin Headlands
San Francisco from the Marin Headlands

San Francisco (/ˌsæn frənˈsɪsk/; Spanish for "Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a commercial and cultural center in Northern California. The city proper is the 17th most populous in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California, with 815,201 residents as of 2021. It covers a land area of 46.9 square miles (121 square kilometers), at the end of the San Francisco Peninsula, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city after New York City, and the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. Among the 331 U.S. cities proper with more than 100,000 residents, San Francisco was ranked first by per capita income (at $133,856) and fifth by aggregate income as of 2019. Colloquial nicknames for San Francisco include SF, San Fran, The City, Frisco, and Baghdad by the Bay.

San Francisco and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area are a global center of economic activity and the arts and sciences, spurred by leading universities, high-tech, healthcare, FIRE, and professional services sectors. As of 2018, the metropolitan area, with 6.7 million residents, ranked 6th by GDP ($884 billion) and first by GDP per capita ($131,538) across the OECD countries, ahead of global cities like London, Singapore, or Hong Kong. San Francisco anchors the 12th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States with 4.7 million residents, and the fourth-largest by economic output, with a GDP of $592 billion in 2019. The wider San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area is the fifth most populous, with 9.6 million residents, and the third-largest by economic output, with a GDP of $1.09 trillion in 2019. Of the 105 primary statistical areas in the U.S. with over 500,000 residents, this CSA had the highest GDP per capita in 2019, at $112,910. In the same year, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $200.5 billion, and a GDP per capita of $228,118. San Francisco was ranked seventh in the world and third in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of March 2022. (Full article...)

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The following are images from various California-related articles on Wikipedia.

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There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California. — Edward Abbey

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  • Maddow in 2018
    Maddow in 2018
  • Hanna in 1977
    Hanna in 1977
  • Larson in 2018
    Larson in 2018
  • Monroe in 1953
    Monroe in 1953
  • Image 5 Thelma Catherine "Pat" Nixon (March 16, 1912 – June 22, 1993) was First Lady of the United States from 1969 to 1974 as the wife of President Richard Nixon. She also served as Second Lady of the United States from 1953 to 1961 when her husband was vice president. Born in Ely, Nevada, she grew up with her two brothers in what is now Cerritos, California, graduating from Excelsior Union High School in Norwalk, California in 1929. She attended Fullerton Junior College and later the University of Southern California. She paid for her schooling by working multiple jobs, including pharmacy manager, typist, radiographer, and retail clerk. In 1940, she married lawyer Richard Nixon and they had two daughters, Tricia and Julie. Dubbed the "Nixon team", Richard and Pat Nixon campaigned together in his successful congressional campaigns of 1946 and 1948. Richard Nixon was elected vice president in 1952 alongside General Dwight D. Eisenhower, whereupon Pat became Second Lady. Pat Nixon did much to add substance to the role of the vice president
  • Disney in 1990
    Disney in 1990
  • Image 7Randy Shilts (August 8, 1951 – February 17, 1994) was an American journalist and author. After studying journalism at the University of Oregon, Shilts began working as a reporter for both The Advocate and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as for San Francisco Bay Area television stations. In the 1980s, he was noted for being the first openly-gay reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. His first book, The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, was a biography of LGBT activist Harvey Milk. His second book, And the Band Played On, chronicled the history of the AIDS epidemic. Despite some controversy surrounding the book in the LGBT community, Shilts was praised for his meticulous documentation of an epidemic that was little-understood at the time. It was later made into an HBO film of the same name in 1993. His final book, Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the US Military from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, which examined discrimination against lesbians and gays in the military. (Full article...)
    Randy Shilts (August 8, 1951 – February 17, 1994) was an American journalist and author. After studying journalism at the University of Oregon, Shilts began working as a reporter for both The Advocate and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as for San Francisco Bay Area television stations. In the 1980s, he was noted for being the first openly-gay reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.

    His first book, The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, was a biography of LGBT activist Harvey Milk. His second book, And the Band Played On, chronicled the history of the AIDS epidemic. Despite some controversy surrounding the book in the LGBT community, Shilts was praised for his meticulous documentation of an epidemic that was little-understood at the time. It was later made into an HBO film of the same name in 1993. His final book, Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the US Military from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, which examined discrimination against lesbians and gays in the military. (Full article...)
  • Jolie in 2014
    Jolie in 2014
  • Hartman in character as Chick Hazard, Private Eye, c. 1978
    Hartman in character as Chick Hazard, Private Eye, c. 1978
  • London in 1903
    London in 1903
  • Official portrait, 2019
    Official portrait, 2019
  • Image 12 Ruth E. Norman (born Ruth Nields; August 18, 1900 – July 12, 1993), also known as Uriel, was an American religious leader who co-founded the Unarius Academy of Science, based in Southern California. Raised in California, Norman received little education and worked from an early age in a variety of jobs. In the 1940s, she developed an interest in psychic phenomena and past-life regression. These pursuits led to her introduction to Ernest Norman, a self-described psychic, in 1954. He engaged in channeling, past-life regression, and attempts at communication with extraterrestrials. She married Ernest, her fourth husband, in the mid-1950s. Together they published several books about his revelations and formed Unarius, an organization which later became known as the Unarius Academy of Science, to popularize his teachings. The couple discussed numerous details about their alleged past lives and spiritual visits to other planets, forming a mythology from these accounts.After Ernest died in 1971, Ruth succeeded him as their group's leader and primary channeler. She subsequently began publishing accounts of her experiences and revelations. In early 1974, she predicted that a space fleet of benevolent extraterrestrials, the Space Brothers, would land on Earth later that year, which led the Unarius Academy to purchase a property to serve as the landing site. After the extraterrestrials failed to appear, Norman said that trauma she had suffered in a past life had caused her to make an inaccurate prediction. Undaunted, she rented a building for Unarius' meetings and sought publicity for the movement, claiming to have united the Earth with an interplanetary confederation. She revised the Space Brothers' expected landing date several times, before finally settling on 2001. Her health declined in the late 1980s, prompting her students to try to heal her with rituals of past-life regression. Despite predicting that she would live to see the extraterrestrials land, Norman died in 1993. Unarius has continued to operate after her death, and formed a board of directors. Since the 2000s, leaders have concentrated on individual transformation leading to spiritual change in humankind. (Full article...)
    Ruth E. Norman (born Ruth Nields; August 18, 1900 – July 12, 1993), also known as Uriel, was an American religious leader who co-founded the Unarius Academy of Science, based in Southern California. Raised in California, Norman received little education and worked from an early age in a variety of jobs. In the 1940s, she developed an interest in psychic phenomena and past-life regression. These pursuits led to her introduction to Ernest Norman, a self-described psychic, in 1954. He engaged in channeling, past-life regression, and attempts at communication with extraterrestrials. She married Ernest, her fourth husband, in the mid-1950s. Together they published several books about his revelations and formed Unarius, an organization which later became known as the Unarius Academy of Science, to popularize his teachings. The couple discussed numerous details about their alleged past lives and spiritual visits to other planets, forming a mythology from these accounts.

    After Ernest died in 1971, Ruth succeeded him as their group's leader and primary channeler. She subsequently began publishing accounts of her experiences and revelations. In early 1974, she predicted that a space fleet of benevolent extraterrestrials, the Space Brothers, would land on Earth later that year, which led the Unarius Academy to purchase a property to serve as the landing site. After the extraterrestrials failed to appear, Norman said that trauma she had suffered in a past life had caused her to make an inaccurate prediction. Undaunted, she rented a building for Unarius' meetings and sought publicity for the movement, claiming to have united the Earth with an interplanetary confederation. She revised the Space Brothers' expected landing date several times, before finally settling on 2001. Her health declined in the late 1980s, prompting her students to try to heal her with rituals of past-life regression. Despite predicting that she would live to see the extraterrestrials land, Norman died in 1993. Unarius has continued to operate after her death, and formed a board of directors. Since the 2000s, leaders have concentrated on individual transformation leading to spiritual change in humankind. (Full article...)
  • Chastain at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con
    Chastain at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con
  • Image 14Walter Francis O'Malley (October 9, 1903 – August 9, 1979) was an American sports executive who owned the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers team in Major League Baseball from 1950 to 1979. In 1958, as owner of the Dodgers, he brought major league baseball to the West Coast, moving the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles despite the Dodgers being the second most profitable team in baseball from 1946 to 1956,  and coordinating the move of the New York Giants to San Francisco at a time when there were no teams west of Kansas City, Missouri.  For this, he was long vilified by Brooklyn Dodgers fans. However, Pro-O'Malley parties describe him as a visionary for the same business action, and many authorities cite him as one of the most influential sportsmen of the 20th century. Other observers say that he was not a visionary, but instead a man who was in the right place at the right time, and regard him as the most powerful and influential owner in baseball after moving the team.O'Malley was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his contributions to and influence on the game of baseball in 2008. (Full article...)
    Walter Francis O'Malley (October 9, 1903 – August 9, 1979) was an American sports executive who owned the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers team in Major League Baseball from 1950 to 1979. In 1958, as owner of the Dodgers, he brought major league baseball to the West Coast, moving the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles despite the Dodgers being the second most profitable team in baseball from 1946 to 1956, and coordinating the move of the New York Giants to San Francisco at a time when there were no teams west of Kansas City, Missouri. For this, he was long vilified by Brooklyn Dodgers fans. However, Pro-O'Malley parties describe him as a visionary for the same business action, and many authorities cite him as one of the most influential sportsmen of the 20th century. Other observers say that he was not a visionary, but instead a man who was in the right place at the right time, and regard him as the most powerful and influential owner in baseball after moving the team.

    O'Malley was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his contributions to and influence on the game of baseball in 2008. (Full article...)
  • Blanc in 1959
    Blanc in 1959

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A surfer performing a gash, or very sharp turn. Santa Cruz and the surrounding Northern California coastline is a popular surfing destination, however the year-round low temperature of the ocean in that region (averaging 57ºF/14ºC) necessitates the use of wetsuits.

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Lake Berryessa
Credit: Gh5046

Lake Berryessa is the largest lake in Napa County, California. This reservoir is formed by the Monticello Dam, which provides water and hydroelectricity to the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to its inundation, the Beryessa Valley was an agricultural region, whose soils were considered among the finest in the country.

Topics

List of California state agencies   •   Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments   •   California Attorney General   •   California State Board of Education   •   CDF Aviation Management Program   •   CalPERS   •   California Air Resources Board   •   California Commission for Economic Development   •   California Department of Boating and Waterways   •   California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection   •   California Department of Insurance   •   California Insurance Commissioner election, 2006   •   California Legislative Analyst's Office   •   California Military Department   •   California Public Utilities Commission   •   California Speaks   •   California State Lands Commission   •   California State Lottery   •   California executive branch   •   CaliforniaVolunteers   •   California State Capitol   •   List of California District Attorneys   •   Districts in California   •   State of California enterprise IT systems   •   Department of Fair Employment and Housing   •   California Geological Survey   •   Governor of California   •   11-99 Foundation   •   California Institute for Regenerative Medicine   •   California Insurance Commissioner   •   Joint Powers Authority   •   Local Agency Formation Commission   •   Secretary of State of California   •   List of law enforcement agencies in California   •   California State Controller   •   California State Police   •   California Department of Transportation   •   California State Treasurer   •   Westlands Water District

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State facts

  • Nicknames: The Golden State
  • Capital: Sacramento
  • Total area: 163,696 mi2
    • Land: 156,002 mi2
    • Water: 7,694 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 14,505 ft (Mount Whitney)
  • Population 39,250,017 (2016 est)
  • Admission to the Union: September 9, 1850 (31st)

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