The Handy California Answer Book

The Handy California Answer Book

by Kevin Hile


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California is the country's most populous state. The home of the entertainment industry and silicon valley. It's known for its beaches, its redwood forests, and as the “land of fruit and nuts.” Its people, industries, politicians, climate, and allure captivates the world and draws millions of visitors each year. Exploring the state’s fascinating history, people, myths, culture, and trivia, The Handy California Answer Book takes an in-depth look look at this fascinating, quirky, and diverse state.

Learn about the original Indigenous peoples, the Spanish explorers, the independence from Spain, the secession from Mexico, the Gold Rush, the building of the Los Angeles Aqueducts, the earthquakes, the water shortages, and much, much more. Tour landmarks, learn about famous sons and daughters, the sports teams, and the unique character of the state through a combination of facts, stats, and history, as well as the unusual and quirky. This comprehensive guide to California answers more than 1,100 intriguing questions, including How did “Eureka!” become the state motto? Why is a grizzly bear on the state flag when no grizzlies exist in California? Was the coast of California ever attacked by pirates? How did Silicon Valley become a center for the high tech industry?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578595914
Publisher: Visible Ink Press
Publication date: 10/11/2016
Series: The Handy Answer Book Series
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 1,137,477
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Raised in Laurel Canyon and Van Nuys, California, Kevin Hile has had a long career as an author and editor. He worked for several years with the late Jim Fordyce on news, entertainment, and travel radio shows about California and the Coachella Valley. He wrote Visible Ink Press' The Handy Weather Answer Book, has edited many other titles in the “Handy Answer” series, and is is most proud of his history book on Michigan’s oldest zoo, Little Zoo by the Red Cedar: The Story of Potter Park Zoo. He lives in Cathedral City, CA.

Table of Contents

Dedication vii

Acknowledgments viii

Photo Sources ix

Timeline xi

Introduction xvii

California Basics 1

Population 13

Early California: First Peoples to the 1849 Gold Rush 15

First Europeans in California 18

Spanish Mission Period 21

The Russian Presence 31

Rule under Mexico: 1821-1846 33

The Gold Rush 42

The State of California: 1850 to the Present 49

California Becomes a U.S. State 49

Stagecoaches and Railroads 52

Ghost Towns 56

The U.S. Civil War 57

Chinese Immigration 59

Other Immigrant Populations in California 61

The Turn of the Twentieth Century 63

Wartime California 65

The 1950s and 1960s 69

A More Conservative Era 74

The Twenty-first Century 74

Natural Wonders 79

Mountains 83

Valleys 89

Fault Lines and Earthquakes 90

Lakes and Rivers 93

Fires and Droughts 98

Beaches 100

Deserts 102

Islands 103

Mammals 106

Birds 108

Marine Life 108

Plant Life 110

Refuges, Preserves, and Parks 112

Zoos and Aquariums 116

Southern California 119

Los Angeles Area 119

Pasadena 136

Riverside County 139

Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley 140

Long Beach 143

San Diego and Surrounding Area 144

Northern California 149

San Francisco 149

Golden Gate Bridge and Park 161

Other Bay Area Cities 170

Sacramento 172

Central California and Agriculture 177

Agriculture in the Land of Fruits and Nuts 177

Ranching in the Central Valley and the State 182

Organics 185

Vineyards and the Wine Industry 186

Labor Troubles 190

Central Valley Cities 192

Central Coast Cities 195

California Means Business 201

Silicon Valley and More High Tech 201

Other Technology and Medicine 206

Food Industry 207

Clothing and Fashion 214

Transportation 214

Toys 223

Big Money 223

Movies, Television, and Other Entertainment 225

Hollywood and the Movie and Television Industry 226

Radio and Television 240

Music 242

Art Movements 250

Politics and the Law 253

Establishing a State 253

California's Constitution 255

Public Education 261

Utopian (or Near-Utopian) Societies 265

Actors in Politics 266

Important State Legislation 269

The Debate to Divide the State 272

Professional Sports 275

Baseball 275

Football 293

Basketball 303

Hockey 319

More Professional, College, and Amateur Sports 325

Early California Sports 325

Auto Racing 326

Boxing 330

Golf 332

Horse Racing 333

Soccer 335

Tennis 340

College Sports 341

Other Amateur Sports and Outdoor Fun 345

The Olympics 350

Quirky California 355

Odd Places 355

Musical Wonders 358

Looney Landmarks 359

The Supernatural, Paranormal; and Alien 360

A Taste of the Grotesque 366

Unconventional Religions, Beliefs, and Societies 366

Cool and Kooky Conventions 367

Talk Like a Californian 369

Odds and Ends 372

California Notables 373

Actors and Other Entertainers 373

Artists and Authors 396

Athletes and Coaches 401

Businesspeople 414

Politics, Law, and the Military 415

Scientists, Engineers, Inventors, and Educators 419

California Governors 423

Further Reading 425

Index 427

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