102 Interesting California Facts That You Should Know

Last updated on September 7th, 2023

About the flag of California

1. The official flag of the U.S. state of California is known as the Bear Flag. It was first flown during the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt. The short lived revolt, from June to July 1846, was organized by a small group of American settlers in California who rebelled against the Mexican government and proclaimed California as an independent republic.[58]

the Flag of California. California fact file.
State flag of California. Photo via ShutterStock.

2. The Bear Flag was designed by William Todd (nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln).[55]

3. The length of the flag is equal to one and half the width. The upper five-sixth of the flag is a white field while the lower sixth of the flag is a red strip.[58]

4. There is a red star in the upper left corner and a grizzly bear facing left on a grass plat.[58]

5. The flag features the bear as a symbol of “strength and unyielding resistance” and the star as an imitation of the lone star of Texas.[55]

6. The Bear Flag was adopted in 1911; and until 1953, the image of the bear varied depending on the manufacturer. The image of the bear was standardized in 1953. Grizzly bears weigh between 300 and 800 pounds with some as large as 1400 or even 1700 pounds. The grizzly bear on the California state flag was modeled after one captured by William Randolph Hearst. The California grizzly bear is now extinct.[56,57,59]

5 Facts about the Golden Gate Bridge

1) The Golden Gate Bridge is named for the Golden Gate Strait, the narrow entrance between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. The strait was named by explorer and U.S. Army Captain John C. Frémont. John C. Fremont gazed at the narrow strait that separates the Bay for the Pacific Ocean, and said “it is a golden gate to trade with the Orient.”[43]

2) The 1.7 mile-long Golden Gate Bridge connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County, California. At the time of its completion in 1937, it was the longest main suspension bridge span in the world. Today, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan has the distinction of having the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world.[44,45]

The Golden Gate, California. facts about the state of California.
Interesting facts California: the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in California. (Photo: Markus Wisnæs-Ådland via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

3) On the day of its opening on May 27, 1937, as many as 200,000 people crossed the bridge. The users had to pay 50 cents each way as toll. However, today, the bridge collects toll when only heading southbound into the city of San Francisco.[45]

4) Today, the bridge carries an estimated 40 million vehicles a year. During the FY 2019, the bridge collected $151,688,500 in toll revenue.[46]

5) Unfortunately, eleven men lost their lives during the construction of the bridge. However, as a safety net (cost – $130,000) was placed below the bridge during its construction, 19 men were saved. These men became known as members of the “Half-Way-to-Hell Club.”[47]

About Yosemite National Park

1) Yosemite Falls is one of tallest on the planet and the tallest waterfall in the U.S. It is actually made up of three separate falls: Upper Yosemite Fall (1,430 feet), the middle cascades (675 feet), and Lower Yosemite Fall (320 feet).[48]

2) Almost 75% of the visitors come to the park may through October.[49]

3) The park is also one of the only few places in the U.S. where one can see a rainbow at night. During the spring and early summer, with enough clear skies, the moon can produce enough light to produce a rainbow from a waterfall’s mist.[49]

About SpaceX, Hollywood, Disneyland

SpaceX, headquartered Hawthorne, California became the first privately funded group to put a payload in Earth orbit, in 2008. The company has also launched unmanned cargo loads to the international space station (ISS). Surprisingly, its upright landing and recovery of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 21 2015, was another first.[50,51]

International Space Station - California fun facts
For 102 interesting facts California: a foreward view of the International Space Station backdropped by the limb of the Earth. Image via Wikipedia.org

Hollywood, a quiet neighborhood in Los Angeles, California became the powerhouse of the movie industry in the U.S. In 1910, titled “In old California,” was the first film made entirely in Hollywood. Known as the “Father of Hollywood,” real estate mogul H.J.Whitley, opened the Hollywood Hotel. The hotel, now the site of the Dolby Theater, also hosts the annual Oscars ceremony.[52]

The Los Angeles metropolitan area (MSA) is the second-largest metropolitan area in the nation.[53]

Disneyland Park, originally Disneyland, is the only theme park designed and built to completion under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. It is the oldest Disney Park in the world.[54]