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14 Facts About California You Might Not Know

Last Reviewed and Updated on August 7, 2022

From the impressive sequoia trees to the Hollywood sign, California is a state full of diverse landscapes and lifestyles. Nicknamed The Golden State, this state also has an interesting history. Read through these fun facts about California and get to know this state a little bit better.

1. The first Mcdonald’s opened its gates in California

This one is a fun one for all fast food lovers. What is now one of the world’s largest food chains started as a single drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California, in 1940.

2. This state had a homework ban for a while

Yup, that’s right, homework was illegal. Starting in 1901, California had a homework ban for children under the age of 15. We are sure they didn’t object. This ban wasn’t repelled until 1929.

3. Wild zebras live in California

A herd of zebras found its home in California. A newspaper tycoon Wiliam Randolph Hearst brought zebras to California for his private zoo (once the largest private zoo). The zoo was full of free-roaming animals. While the zoo didn’t last long and most of the animals were sold, some, zebras included, stayed and still thrive today.

Fun fact: William Randolph Hearst was the inspiration for the movie Citizen Kane.

4. Oldest, largest, and tallest living trees in the world can all be found in California

One of the most fun facts about California is its impressive tree collection. These trees are so amazing they even have their own names.

With close to five millennia, the Methuselah, a Great Basin bristlecone pine, is a tree with the oldest confirmed age in the world.

Hyperion, the coast redwood tree, is the tallest in the world, with its height being about 380 feet / 116 m.

General Sherman, a giant sequoia, is the largest tree in the world, with its trunk volume of 52.500 cubic feet / 1487 cubic meters.

5. Prior to European colonization, it had the highest Native American population density in the US

It was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in the area now known as the US.

6. Hollywood, the oldest and largest film industry, is in California

Hollywood is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, and it is the home of many major film studios. The name Hollywood has become a synonym for the US film industry and show business.

7. Most notable Gold rush took place in California

One of the most interesting facts about California is a shiny one. The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. This discovery led to more than 300.000 people traveling to California, both from other parts of the US and abroad, in search of fortunes.

8. It is nicknamed the Golden State

Suggesting limitless possibilities and referencing the gold rush, the nickname is just right for this state. The Golden State became an official nickname in 1968.

9. Silicon Valley is in California

Silicon Valley, a region in Northern California, serves as a global center for high technology and innovation.

10. The internet as we know it was partially developed in California

The first two letters transmitted online were sent through ARPANET, the precursor to the internet, from the University of California, Los Angeles, to Stanford Research Institute in 1969. The letters sent were lo; the word login was supposed to be sent, but the system crashed midway.

11. One of its most famous attractions is the Golden Gate Bridge

One of the most famous bridges in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge, is located in San Francisco, California. It is a suspension bridge that took 5 years to build, and it was, at the time of completion in 1937, the tallest and longest suspension bridge in the world.

12. California Grizzli Bear is the official state animal

This is a bit puzzling as the species is now extinct, with the last recorded wild California grizzly bear in 1922 and an alleged sighting in 1924.

This bear is also pictured on the state’s flag.

13. Most of the world’s almonds are grown in this state

At this time, California produces most of the world’s almonds. It’s the state’s number one agricultural export.

14. It is one of the most biologically diverse states

When you think about California, the movie industry, the IT industry, and big cities might be the first that comes to mind. However, California is also one of the most biologically diverse states.

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