As part of a treaty ending the Mexican-American War, California become a U.S. territory in 1847.
Thereafter, the discovery of gold in 1848, inspired a wave of settlers to head to the west coast.
In 1850 California became the 31st state and is now the third largest state behind Alaska and Texas.
California is also the leading state in agriculture production and at the same time home to national parks including Hollywood, Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. National parks located throughout the state are devoted to the preservation of nature and natural resources. With a trunk slightly greater than 102 feet (31 m) in circumference, the General Sherman in Sequoia National Park is the largest living tree (by volume) in the world. It is estimated between 1,800 to 2,700 years old.
California is known for its warm weather, beautiful beaches and in winter time their snow resorts on the mountain hills. Considered to be the hottest, driest place in the United States, Death Valley often reaches temperatures greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit (55 C) during the summer and averages only around 2 inches (5 cm) of rain every year.
California houses both the highest and lowest point in the American continent. Mount Whitney is the tallest point at 14,505 feet (4.421 m) and Badwater Basin in Death Valley is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level.
The Wine Country is an area of Northern California in the United States known worldwide as a premium wine-growing region. Viticulture and wine-making have been practiced in the region since the mid-19th century. There are over 400 wineries in the area north of San Francisco, mostly located in the area’s valleys, including Napa Valley in Napa County, and the Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Bennett Valley, and Russian River Valley in Sonoma County.
Lately also some Southern California like Temecula are also producing good quality wines.
California accounts for about half of the fruit production in the United State. It is the largest producer of strawberries, peaches, nectarines, prunes, plums and grapes. And even Garlic!
California has the largest economy in the United States and become the first ever to reach the trillion dollar economy gross production. If it becomes a country, it is going to be the 6th largest economy in the world.
The state motto is “EUREKA” that means “I have found it”. And the largest gold nugget discovered in Carsons Hills had a weight of over 195 pounds (88 kg).