California became the 31st state in 1850 and is the largest state by population with over 39 million residents. It is also the 3rd largest state by land and water area with a total area of 163,696 square miles. California is home to three of the ten largest cities in the United States. The largest city in California is Los Angeles which is the nation's second largest city with a population of approximately 3.8 million people. California has approximately 1,264 miles of coastal shoreline.
The first area that was referred to as "California" was the peninsula on the west coast of present day Mexico now known as Baja or Lower California. It was later discovered that "California" extended farther north. This new area was called "Alto California" and is the area which is now the state of California.
Included below are more facts and symbols, a state map, the state song and views of the California State Quarter.
California State Capital - Sacramento
State Nickname - The Golden State
State Motto - "Eureka"
State Flower - Poppy
State Tree - California Redwood
State Bird - California Quail
State Fish - Golden Trout
State Marine Fish - Garibaldi
State Animal - California Grizzly Bear
State Insect - Dogface Butterfly (Doghead)
State Reptile - Desert Tortoise
State Mammal - California Gray Whale
State Dance - West Coast Swing Dancing
State Folk Dance - Square Dancing
State Mineral - Gold
State Gemstone - Benitoite
State Fossil - Saber-toothed Cat
State Soil - San Joaquin Soil
State Grass - Purple Needlegrass (Nassella pulchra)
State Colors - Blue and Gold
Official State Web Site - www.ca.gov
I Love You, California
written by F.B. Silverwood
I love you, California, you're the greatest state of all.
I love you in the winter, summer, spring and in the fall.
I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore.
I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore.
Where the snow crowned Golden Sierras
Keep their watch o'er the valleys bloom,
It is there I would be in our land by the sea,
Every breeze bearing rich perfume.
It is here nature gives of her rarest. It is Home Sweet Home to me,
And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh
For my sunny California.
I love your red-wood forests - love your fields of yellow grain.
I love your summer breezes and I love your winter rain.
I love you, land of flowers; land of honey, fruit and wine.
I love you, California; you have won this heart of mine.
I love your old gray Missions - love your vineyards stretching far.
I love you, California, with your Golden Gate ajar.
I love your purple sun-sets, love your skies of azure blue.
I love you, California; I just can't help loving you.
I love you, Catalina, you are very dear to me.
I love you, Tamalpais, and I love Yosemite.
I love you, Land of Sunshine, Half your beauties are untold.
I loved you in my childhood, and I'll love you when I'm old.
United States Mint 50 State Quarters© Program coin:
(United States Mint Images)