Today America’s most populous state and third largest by geographic area is 166 years young. California became the 31st American state on September 9, 1850.
Some fun facts that you might not know about the Golden State:
- California is home to the highest point in the continental U.S., the 14,494 foot Mt. Whitney.
- It is also home to the lowest point in the continental U.S., Death Valley, which drops down to 282 feet below sea level.
- The fortune cookie was invented here. At least the Americanized version. Efforts to trace its origins into the past and across the Pacific Ocean have been difficult, as documented by The New York Times and The Smithsonian.
- California is the only state to host the Summer (1932 & 1984) and Winter Olympics (1960).
- Our state song? “I Love You California.”
And here are some things that were going on in the world in the year 1850.
If you happen to be in Sacramento today, you can join in the festivities at the State Capital from 11am to 1pm.