Nicknamed the “Golden State,” California is the third largest state in area after Alaska and Texas. The discovery of gold and the immigration in 1849 of thousands of “forty-niners” in search of the precious metal helped California’s admission into the Union in 1850. Today, California, land of the giant redwoods, has the highest population of any state in the nation and is America’s principal agricultural state. It is also the home of Hollywood, the center of America’s movie and television industry. Its capital is Sacramento and the state flower is the golden poppy.

Capital City: Sacramento
Nickname: The Golden State
Motto: Eureka (I have found it)
Statehood: September 9, 1850 (31st)
Origin of State’s Name: Named by the Spanish after Califia, a mythical paradise in a Spanish romance written by Montalvo in 1510.
Largest Cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Long Beach
Border States: Arizona, Nevada, Oregon
Land Area: 155,973 sq. mi.; 3rd largest
State Bird: California Valley Quail
State Flower: Golden Poppy (eschscholtzia californica)
State Tree: California redwood (sequoia sempervirens)
State Song: I Love You, California