Davis, Alexander Jackson, 1803-92, American architect, b. New York City. He was the partner of Ithiel Town of New Haven, with whom he designed many important buildings in both the Greek and Gothic revival styles. Works by him include the New York Customs House (1832), now the Subtreasury; the state capitols of Indiana (1832-35), North Carolina (1831, in association with David Paton), Illinois (1837), and Ohio (1839); and a number of villas along the Hudson River, including Lyndhurst (1838-42). The most prolific practitioner of his time, Davis also anticipated, in a New York shop front designed in 1835, the architectural use of iron.
Davis, Andrew Jackson, 1826-1910, American spiritualist, b. Blooming Grove, N.Y. He became a professional clairvoyant, known as the "Poughkeepsie Seer," after being mesmerized in 1843. He was popular among followers of abolitionist, feminist, and temperance movements. Influenced by the ideas of Swedish philosopher Emmanuel Swedenborg, Davis was one of the first American spiritualists to envision the potential of spiritual naturalism to achieve social reform. His writings include The Principle of Nature (1847) and The Harmonial Man (1853).
Davis, Angela Yvonne, 1944-, African-American political activist, b. Birmingham, Ala. She taught philosophy (1969-70) at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles, until she was finally denied reappointment because of her membership in the Communist party and her advocacy of radical black causes. In Aug., 1970, she went into hiding after a gun legally registered to her was used in an attempted courtroom escape in which a judge and three others were killed. Apprehended two months later, she was tried on charges of conspiracy, murder, and kidnapping (1972). After months in prison, she was released on bail and later acquitted. She has since taught at San Francisco State Univ. (1979-91) and the Univ. of California at Santa Cruz (1992-). Davis was the American Communist party's vice presidential candidate in 1980 and 1984.

See her Women, Race, and Class (1982), autobiography (1988), and Women, Culture, and Politics (1989).

Davis, Benjamin Oliver, 1877-1970, American general, b. Washington, D.C. After studying (1897-98) at Howard Univ., Davis served as a lieutenant in the Spanish-American War and in 1899 enlisted in the regular army as a private. He subsequently rose through years of service to become (1940) the first African-American general in the U.S. army. After the World War II he served as assistant inspector general. He retired in 1948.

See M. Fletcher, America's First Black General (1989).

Davis, Benjamin Oliver, Jr., 1912-2002, American air force general, b. Washington, D.C.; son of Benjamin Oliver Davis. After studying at Western Reserve and Chicago universities, he attended West Point, graduating in 1936. At the academy, Davis was the only African American in a white student body and was ostracized by the majority of the cadets, who would speak to him only in the line of duty. Following graduation he served as an infantry officer, entered the U.S. air force, and completed his flight training in 1942. During World War II he distinguished himself as a combat pilot, leading the Tuskegee Airmen. In 1954, Davis became the first African-American general in the U.S. air force; from 1965 to 1970 he served as lieutenant general. In 1971 he became an assistant secretary for the department of transportation, leaving the department in 1975.

See his autobiography (1991).

Davis, Bette, 1908-89, American film actress, b. Lowell, Mass., as Ruth Elizabeth Davis. One of the most durable stars of the American screen, she made her debut in 1931. With a strikingly artificial yet emotionally compelling acting style and distinctive features that gave her an unconventional beauty, Davis was difficult to promote as a romantic figure. Her successful early roles included Of Human Bondage (1934) and Dangerous (1935, Academy Award). Frustrated at the lack of better roles, she broke her contract with Warner Brothers and lost a subsequent court case in which the standard seven-year contract binding a performer to one studio was upheld. But Davis found her niche as the troubled woman in search of romance in such films as Jezebel (1938), for which she won another Academy Award, and The Little Foxes (1941). Among her other outstanding films are Dark Victory (1939), Now, Voyager (1942), and the superb All about Eve (1950). When her popularity began to decline in the 1950s, she responded by accepting offbeat, even bizarre, roles in The Catered Affair (1955), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1961), and other 1960s films. With fellow screen legend Lillian Gish, she gave a graceful valedictory performance in The Whales of August (1987).

See her autobiography (1962); biographies by J. Vermilye (1972), C. Higham (1981), B. Leaming (1992), J. Spada (1993), C. Chandler (2006), and E. Sikov (2007).

Davis, Charles Henry, 1807-77, American naval officer and scientist, b. Boston. Appointed a midshipman in 1823, Davis directed operations of the Coast Survey for a time along the New England coast. He established the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac in 1849 and published several hydrographic studies. In the Civil War he was fleet captain and chief of staff to S. F. Du Pont in the successful expedition (Nov., 1861) against Port Royal, S.C. On May 9, 1862, he replaced A. H. Foote in command of the Upper Mississippi flotilla of gunboats. The next day he repulsed the attack of a Confederate fleet near Fort Pillow, and on June 6 he annihilated the Confederate fleet before Memphis, taking the city the same day. He then joined Farragut in an unsuccessful attempt to take Vicksburg. Davis was chief (1862-65) of the Bureau of Navigation and superintendent (1865-67, 1874-77) of the Naval Observatory. For his victories at Fort Pillow and Memphis he was promoted to rear admiral in Feb., 1863.

See biography by his son Charles H. Davis (1899).

Davis, Sir Colin Rex, 1927-, English conductor. Davis began his musical career as a clarinetist; he is a self-taught conductor. After serving with the Sadler's Wells Opera, he was conductor of the British Broadcasting Corporation Symphony (1967-71) and of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden (1971-86). He made his American debut in 1961 with the Minneapolis Symphony. Chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich from 1983 to 1992, he became the principal conductor of the London Symphony in 1995 and principal guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1996. Davis is renowned as a conductor of Mozart, Berlioz, and Wagner.
Davis, David, 1815-86, American jurist, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1862-77), b. Cecil co., Md., grad. Kenyon College, 1832; cousin of Henry Winter Davis. In 1836 he settled as a lawyer in Bloomington, Ill., his home thereafter. From 1848 to 1862 Davis presided over the eighth judicial circuit in Illinois, famous because Abraham Lincoln practiced in its courts. An intimate of Lincoln (the tall, spare Lincoln and the corpulent Davis often bunked together in traveling the circuit), he successfully managed his friend's campaign to secure the Republican nomination for the presidency at Chicago in 1860. Davis and Leonard Swett, another lawyer from the eighth circuit active in Lincoln's cause, gave several political assurances without Lincoln's knowledge (notably one to Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania), which Lincoln reluctantly honored. Lincoln appointed (1862) Davis to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not especially learned in the law, he nevertheless wrote one of the most important opinions in the history of the court in Ex parte Milligan (1866). The decision, denouncing arbitrary military power, became famous as one of the bulwarks of civil liberty in the United States. Davis, who did not allow his judicial position to interfere with his political ambitions, was nominated for President by the Labor Reform Convention at Columbus, Ohio, in 1872, but withdrew when he failed to win the nomination of the Liberal Republican party as well. In 1877 he resigned from the court to serve (1877-83) as U.S. Senator from Illinois.

See biography by W. L. King (1960).

Davis, Dwight Filley, 1879-1945, American tennis player and public official, b. St. Louis, grad. Harvard, 1900, and Washington Univ. law school. An outstanding tennis player, Davis donated in 1900 a cup as an international tennis trophy; this donation brought about the annual Davis Cup matches. He held several public offices in St. Louis, and after service in World War I he was Secretary of War (1925-29). He succeeded Henry L. Stimson as governor-general (1929-32) of the Philippines. In World War II, Davis served in the army as a major general.
Davis, Elmer, 1890-1958, American newspaperman, radio commentator, and author, b. Aurora, Ind. Davis was a Rhodes scholar (1910-13) at Oxford. For 10 years (1914-24) he was on the staff of the New York Times. In 1939 he became radio news analyst for the Columbia Broadcasting System. He soon became noted for his incisiveness, objectivity, and dry humor. During World War II Davis was (1942-45) director of the Office of War Information. From 1945-53 he was radio news analyst with the American Broadcasting Company. His works include History of the New York Times (1921), several novels, short stories, and two volumes of essays—Show Window (1927) and Not to Mention the War (1940). His later writings include But We Were Born Free (1954) and Two Minutes till Midnight (1955).

See R. Burlingame, Don't Let Them Scare You (1961, repr. 1974).

Davis, George Breckenridge, 1847-1914, American army officer and jurist, b. Ware, Mass., grad. West Point, 1871. His early military service was divided between duty on the Western frontier and teaching at West Point. Davis joined the judge advocate general's department in 1888 and was graduated in 1891 from the Columbian Univ. (now George Washington Univ.) law school. He became judge advocate general in 1901. He edited The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (4 series, 70 vol. in 128 vol., 1880-1901). In 1896 he returned to West Point and taught law and history until 1901. Davis was an American delegate (1907) to the Second Hague Conference. His other writings include The Elements of Law (1897) and A Treatise on the Military Law of the United States (1898). He retired as major general in 1911.
Davis, Gray (Joseph Graham Davis, Jr.), 1942-, U.S. politician, b. the Bronx, N.Y. A graduate of Stanford Univ. (1964) and Columbia Univ. Law School (1967), he entered the army and served in Vietnam (1968-69). Active in California Democratic politics, he was Gov. Jerry Brown's chief of staff, served in the state assembly (1983-87), and was elected state controller (1987-95) and lieutenant governor (1995-99) before winning the governorship in 1998. In office, he was generally moderate on most issues, but strongly conservative in his attitude toward crime and punishment. He was reelected in 2002, but a troubled economic situation and a well-financed petition drive led to his recall in 2003.
Davis, Henry Winter, 1817-65, American political leader, b. Annapolis, Md. He was elected (1854) to the House of Representatives on the Know-Nothing ticket and was twice reelected (1856, 1858) with the aid of the Republican party. He tried to remain neutral on the slavery issue, but in 1860 cast the deciding vote for a Republican as speaker, which enabled the Republicans to organize the House. His action was censured by the Maryland legislature, and he was not reelected. Davis became the leader of the Unionist forces in Maryland in opposition to Governor Hicks, whose sympathies were Southern. Again (1863-65) in Congress, he bitterly attacked Lincoln's gradual assumption of extraconstitutional powers and opposed his Reconstruction program. Davis and Benjamin F. Wade substituted for Lincoln's measures a much more thorough and radical plan of their own and succeeded in forcing it through both House and Senate, only to see it killed by Lincoln's pocket veto (1864). They replied with the Wade-Davis Manifesto, an angry attack on the President's plan and actions. When Davis was defeated, Thaddeus Stevens took up the fight on the Reconstruction issue. Davis was a magnetic speaker, and at his death was, as a private citizen, virtually dictating the actions of the radical Republicans in Congress.

See study by G. S. Henig (1973).

Davis, James John, 1873-1947, American public official, b. Wales. After emigrating (1881) to the United States, he worked as a puddler in ironworks in Pennsylvania and, moving to Elwood, Ind., became active in local politics and labor activities. After 1907 he became well known as director-general of the Loyal Order of Moose. He was appointed (1921) Secretary of Labor by President Warren G. Harding, remained at that post until 1930, and served (1930-45) in the U.S. Senate.

See his autobiography, The Iron Puddler (1922).

Davis, Jefferson, 1808-89, American statesman, President of the Southern Confederacy, b. Fairview, near Elkton, Ky. His birthday was June 3.

Early Life

Davis's parents moved to Mississippi when he was a boy. He was given a classical education at Transylvania Univ. and was appointed to West Point, where he was graduated in 1828. He spent the next seven years in various army posts in the Old Northwest and took part (1832) in the Black Hawk War. In 1835 he married the daughter of Zachary Taylor, but she died three months later. Davis spent the next 10 years in the comparative quiet of a Mississippi planter's life. In 1845 he married Varina Howell.

Early Political Career

Elected (1845) to the House of Representatives, he resigned in June, 1846, to command a Mississippi regiment in the Mexican War. Under Zachary Taylor he distinguished himself both at the siege of Monterrey and at Buena Vista. Davis was appointed (1847) U.S. Senator from Mississippi to fill an unexpired term but resigned in 1851 to run for governor of Mississippi against his senatorial colleague, Henry S. Foote, who was a Union Whig. Davis was a strong champion of Southern rights and argued for the expansion of slave territory and economic development of the South to counterbalance the power of the North. He lost the election by less than a thousand votes and retired to his plantation until appointed (1853) Secretary of War by Franklin Pierce. Throughout the administration he used his power to oppose the views of his Northern Democratic colleague, Secretary of State William L. Marcy. Davis favored the acquisition of Cuba and opposed concessions to Spain in the Black Warrior and Ostend Manifesto difficulties, and he also promoted a southern route for a transcontinental railroad, therefore favoring the Gadsden Purchase. Reentering the Senate in 1857, Davis became the leader of the Southern bloc.

The Confederacy and After

Davis took little part in the secession movement until Mississippi seceded (Jan., 1861), whereupon he withdrew from the Senate. He was immediately appointed major general of the Mississippi militia, and shortly afterward he was chosen president of the Confederate provisional government established by the convention at Montgomery, Ala., and inaugurated in Feb., 1861. Elected regular President of the Confederate States (see Confederacy), he was inaugurated at Richmond, Va., in Feb., 1862. Davis realized that the Confederate war effort needed a strong, centralized rule. This conflicted with the states' rights policy for which the Southern states had seceded, and, as he assumed more and more power, many of the Southern leaders combined into an anti-Davis party.

Originally hopeful of a military rather than a civil command in the Confederacy, he closely managed the army and was involved in many disagreements with the Confederate generals; arguments over his policies raged long after the Confederacy was dead. Lee surrendered without Davis's approval. After the last Confederate cabinet meeting was held (Apr., 1865) at Charlotte, N.C., Davis was captured at Irwinville, Ga. He was confined in Fortress Monroe in Virginia for two years and was released (May, 1867) on bail. The federal government proceeded no further in its prosecution of Davis. After his release he wrote an apologia, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881). He was buried at New Orleans, but his body was moved (1893) to Richmond, Va.


See his papers, ed. by H. M. Monroe, Jr., J. T. McIntosh, and L. L. Crist (10 vol., 1972-); biographies by W. E. Dodd (1907, repr. 1966), H. Strode (4 vol., 1955-66), W. C. Davis (1991), and W. J. Cooper, Jr. (2000); V. H. Davis, Jefferson Davis: A Memoir (1890); B. J. Hendrick, Statesmen of the Lost Cause (1939); M. B. Ballard, Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy (1986); W. C. Davis, Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour (1992); J. T. Glatthaar, Partners in Command (1994).

Davis or Davys, John, 1550?-1605, English navigator. He made his first voyage in search of the Northwest Passage in 1585, continuing the work of Martin Frobisher. On this voyage he discovered Cumberland Sound of Baffin Island and made explorations that prepared the way for his later voyages in 1586 and 1587. On the third exploration he sailed through Davis Strait into Baffin Bay and coasted down Baffin Island and across the east end of Hudson Strait. He clarified much of the confusion over the geography of that region. In 1591, Davis sailed S for the Straits of Magellan, and in 1592 he sighted the Falkland Islands. He later made voyages to the East Indies and was killed in a fight with Japanese pirates. A type of quadrant he invented was used for more than a century, and he wrote a manual, The Seaman's Secrets (1594).

See The Voyages and Works of John Davis, ed. by A. H. Markham (1880, repr. 1970); biography by Sir Clements Markham (1889, repr. 1970).

Davis, John William, 1873-1955, American lawyer and public official, b. Clarksburg, W.Va. Admitted (1895) to the bar, he taught (1896-97) at Washington and Lee Univ. and later practiced (1897-1913) in Clarksburg. He served as Congressman (1911-13), U.S. Solicitor General (1913-18), and ambassador to Great Britain (1918-21). After 1921 he practiced law in New York City. He was nominated for President in 1924 on the 103d ballot, when, after a two-week deadlock at the Democratic convention, the forces of Alfred E. Smith and William Gibbs McAdoo agreed to compromise on a third candidate. Hampered by his legal affiliation with large corporations, Davis, even though he carried the South, won only 136 electoral votes and 8,386,500 popular votes. His speeches are collected in Treaty-making Power in the United States (1920) and Party Government in the United States (1929).

See biography by W. H. Harbaugh (1973).

Davis, Miles, 1926-91, American jazz musician, b. Alton, Ill. Rising to prominence with the birth of modern jazz in the mid-1940s, when he was a sideman in Charlie Parker's bop quintet, Davis became a dominant force in jazz trumpet. He was influential in the development of "cool" jazz in 1949-50, led numerous outstanding small groups through the 1950s and 60s, and produced a successful blend of jazz and rock music in the 1970s and 80s. Davis's trumpet and flügelhorn styles were warmly lyrical and were marked by a brilliant use of mutes. He made many recordings, which reflect his stylistic changes; Kind of Blue (1959), a landmark of modal jazz, has been a best-seller since it was issued.

See Miles: The Autobiography (1989, with Q. Troupe); biographies by I. Carr (1982), J. Chambers (2 vol., 1983-85), B. McRae (1988), and J. Szwed (2002); Q. Troupe, Miles and Me (2000).

Davis, Paulina Wright, 1813-76, American lecturer and suffragist, b. Bloomfield, N.Y. Born Paulina Kellogg, she was married in 1833 to a merchant, Francis Wright, who died two years later. In 1849 she was married again, this time to Thomas Davis, who later became a congressman from Rhode Island. She was active in the early antislavery and women's-rights movements. In 1844 she began to lecture women on anatomy and physiology and was instrumental in opening the medical profession to women. In 1853 she founded the first women's-rights paper in the United States, Una, and in 1871 she published A History of the National Women's Rights Movement.
Davis, Raymond, Jr., 1914-2006, American astrochemist, Ph.D. Yale Univ. 1942. Davis was a researcher at Monsanto Chemical Company (1946-48) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (1948-84). In 1984 he was named a research professor at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, a position he held until his death in 2006. Davis received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics with Riccardo Giacconi and Masatoshi Koshiba for pioneering contributions to astrophysics. Davis and Koshiba are credited with detecting cosmic neutrinos, the most elusive particles in the universe. Their work led to a new field of research known as neutrino astronomy, which is of importance to particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology.
Davis, Rebecca Harding, 1831-1910, American novelist, b. Washington, Pa.; mother of Richard Harding Davis. Her early nonfiction pieces, particularly those collected under the title Life in the Iron Mills (1861), and her first novel, Margaret Howth (1862), foreshadowed the naturalistic techniques of later 19th-century writers by showing how a dismal environment can warp character.

See her autobiographical Bits of Gossip (1904); biography by G. Langford (1961).

Davis, Richard Harding, 1864-1916, American author and journalist, b. Philadelphia; son of Rebecca Harding Davis. After attending Lehigh and Johns Hopkins universities, he became a reporter in Philadelphia and later was on the New York Evening Sun. His stories and articles were soon attracting attention, and with the publication of Gallegher and Other Stories (1891), a collection of tales about a newsboy-detective, his reputation as a fiction writer was established. In 1890 he became managing editor of Harper's Weekly and began making trips in its behalf to various parts of the world. As a foreign correspondent he covered all the wars of his day and published several books recording his experiences; his war dispatches were colorful and dramatic, frequently at the expense of accuracy. Besides collections of short stories, his other writings include the novels Soldiers of Fortune (1897) and The Bar Sinister (1903) and the plays The Dictator (1904) and Miss Civilization (1906).

See his Adventures and Letters (ed. by his brother, C. B. Davis, 1917); biography by A. Lubow (1992).

Davis, Stuart, 1894-1964, American painter, b. Philadelphia, studied with Robert Henri in New York City. At the age of 19 he did drawings and covers for The Masses and exhibited in the Armory Show. One of the early jazz enthusiasts, Davis is often said to have incorporated its exciting tempos into the vibrant patterns of his paintings. In the 1920s the influence of cubism became apparent in his work. He painted the famous Eggbeater series in an attempt to avoid the depiction of natural objects and instead to create an art of abstract forms and planes. During the 1930s he was active in the Artists' Congress, editing Art Front. Davis was an articulate spokesman for abstract art. Among his canvases in numerous museums are Visa (Mus. of Modern Art, New York City); Colonial Cubism (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis); and Midi (Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn.).

See biography by E. C. Goosen (1959); study ed. by D. Kelder (1971).

Davis, William Morris, 1850-1934, American geographer, geologist, and teacher, b. Philadelphia; B.S. Harvard, 1869. He founded (1904) the Association of American Geographers and served three terms as its president. He was on the Harvard faculty from 1879 to 1912 and was visiting professor at the Univ. of Berlin (1908-9) and at the Sorbonne (1911-12). In 1912 he led a transcontinental excursion across the United States sponsored by the American Geographical Society. Davis is responsible for enlarging the scope and systematizing the study of geography; his methods of description and analysis and his use of maps and block diagrams revolutionized the teaching of geography. His major works include The Coral Reef Problem (1928) and Geographical Essays (1909, repr. 1954).
Davis, city (1990 pop. 46,209), Yolo co., central Calif.; settled in the 1850s, inc. 1917. It is an education center with light industry; machinery, processed foods, and computer equipment are produced. The extensive Univ. of California at Davis, which has a major agricultural research center as well as schools of law, medicine, and engineering and the Mondavi performing arts center, is there. The National Primate Center and a university of Native American and Chicano cultures are also in Davis.
Davis, Mount, peak, 3,213 ft (979 m) high, SW Pa., in the Alleghenies; highest point in Pennsylvania.

Davis is a city in Yolo County, California, United States. It is part of the SacramentoArden-ArcadeRoseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to estimates published by the California Department of Finance, the city had a total population of 64,938 in 2007 (60,308 in 2000) – the largest city in Yolo County, and the 126th largest in the state, by population. Davis is known as a strongly leftist-liberal town with significant bike path mileage and the campus of the University of California, Davis. In 2006, Davis was ranked as the second most educated city (in terms of the percentage of residents with graduate degrees) in the United States by CNN Money Magazine, after Arlington, Virginia.


Davis grew around a Southern Pacific Railroad depot built in 1868. It was then known as "Davisville," named for Jerome C. Davis, a prominent local farmer. However, the post office at Davisville shortened the town name to simply "Davis" in 1907. The name stuck, and the city of Davis was incorporated on March 28, 1917.

From its inception as a farming community, Davis has been known for its contributions to agriculture along with veterinary care and animal husbandry. Following the passage of the University Farm Bill in 1905 by the California State Legislature, Governor George Pardee selected Davis out of 50 other sites as the future home to the University of California's University Farm, officially opening to students in 1908. The farm, later renamed the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture in 1922, was upgraded into the seventh UC campus, the University of California, Davis, in 1959. Contemporary Davis is also known for its contributions in the areas of biotechnology, medicine, and other life sciences.

Geography and environment


Davis is located at (38.553856, -121.738095) in Yolo County, California. The city is 18 km (11 mi) west of Sacramento, 113 km (72 mi) northeast of San Francisco, 619 km (385 mi) north of Los Angeles, at the intersection of Interstate 80 and State Route 113. Neighboring towns include Dixon, Winters, and Woodland.

Davis lies in the Sacramento Valley, the northern portion of the Central Valley, in Northern California, at an elevation of about 16 m (52 ft) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.1 km² (10.5 mi²). 27.1 km² (10.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it (0.19%) is water.

The topography of Davis is very flat, which has helped Davis to become known as a haven for bicyclists.


The climate in Davis resembles that of nearby Sacramento. Davis is also close to San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River Delta, which moderate the more extreme temperatures found elsewhere in the Sacramento Valley and nearby San Joaquin Valley. The dry, hot summers and mild, winters are typical of a Mediterranean climate. The Davis climate resembles a Csa Köppen climate system.


Davis is internally divided by two freeways (Interstate 80 and State Route 113), a north-south railroad, and several major roads. The city is unofficially divided into five main districts made up of smaller neighborhoods:

  • Central Davis, north of Fifth Street and Russell Boulevard, south of Covell Blvd., east of SR 113, and west of the railroad tracks running along G Street.
  • Downtown Davis, roughly the numbered-and-lettered grid north of I-80, south of Fifth Street, east of A Street, and west of the railroad tracks.
  • East Davis, north of I-80, south of Covell Blvd., and east of the railroad tracks, and includes Mace Ranch and Lake Alhambra Estates.
  • North Davis, north of Covell Blvd. between SR 113 and the railroad tracks.
  • South Davis, south of I-80, and includes Willowbank. El Macero, California, although outside the city limits, is sometimes considered part of South Davis.
  • West Davis, north of I-80 and west of SR 113. West Davis includes Westwood, Evergreen, Aspen, Stonegate (west of Lake Boulevard and including Stonegate Lake and the Stonegate Country Club) and the eco-friendly Village Homes development, known for its solar-powered houses.
  • Wildhorse, north of Covell Blvd., east of Poleline Rd.

The University of California, Davis is located south of Russell Boulevard and west of A Street and then south of 1st Street. The land occupied by the university is not incorporated within the boundaries of the city of Davis.


On November 14, 1984 the Davis City Council declared the city to be a nuclear free zone.


As of the United States 2000 Census, there were 60,308 people, 22,948 households, and 11,290 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,228.2/km² (5,769.2/mi²). There were 23,617 housing units at an average density of 872.6/km² (2,259.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.07% White, 2.35% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 17.5% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 4.26% from other races, and 4.87% from two or more races. 9.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 22,948 households out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.8% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.6% under the age of 18, 30.9% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,454, and the median income for a family was $74,051. Males had a median income of $51,189 versus $36,082 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,937. About 5.4% of families and 24.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.

This city of approximately 65,000 people is home to a university campus of 31,000 students.


Bicycling has been a popular mode of transportation in Davis for decades, particularly among UC Davis students.

Bicycle infrastructure became a political issue in the 1960s, culminating in the election of a pro-bicycle majority to the City Council in 1966. By the early 1970s, Davis became a pioneer in the implementation of cycling facilities. As the city expands, new facilities are usually mandated. As a result, Davis residents today enjoy an extensive network of davis:bike lanes, davis:bike paths, and grade-separated davis:bicycle crossings. The flat terrain and temperate climate are also conducive to bicycling.

In 2005 the Bicycle-Friendly Community program of the League of American Bicyclists recognized Davis as the first Platinum Level city in the U.S. In March 2006, Bicycling magazine named Davis the best small town for cycling in its compilation of "America's Best Biking Cities. Yet bicycling appears to be on the wane among Davis residents. From 1990 to 2000, the U.S. census reported a decline in the fraction of commuters traveling by bicycle, from 22 percent to 15 percent.

In 1994, 2001, and 2006 the UC Davis " Cal Aggie Cycling" Team won the national road cycling competition. The team also competes off-road and on the track, and has competed in the national competitions of these disciplines. In 2007, UC Davis also organized a record breaking davis:bicycle parade numbering 913 bicycles.

Sights and culture

A continuous stream of bands, speakers and various workshops occurs throughout the weekend on each of WEF's three stages and other specialty areas. The majority of the festival is solar powered.

WEF is organized primarily by UC Davis students, in association with the Associated Students of UC Davis (davis:ASUCD), davis:Experimental College, and the university.

Picnic Day

davis:Picnic Day is an annual event at the University of California, Davis and is always held on the third Saturday in April. It is the largest student-run event in the US. Picnic Day starts off with a parade, which features the UC Davis California Aggie Marching Band-uh!, and runs through campus and around downtown Davis and ends with the Battle of the Bands, which lasts until the last band stops playing (sometimes until 2 a.m.). There are over 150 free events and over 50,000 attend every year. Other highlights include: the Dachshund races, aka the Doxie Derby, held in the Pavilion; the Davis Rock Challenge, the Chemistry Magic Show, the sheep dog trials, and of course the wonderful food made by student groups. Many departments have exhibits and demonstrations, such as the Cole Facility, which until recently showed a fistulated cow (a cow that has been fitted with a plastic portal (a "fistula") into its digestive system to observe digestion processes). Its name was "Hole-y Cow".

Mondavi Center

The Mondavi Center, located on the UC Davis campus, is one of the biggest non-seasonal attractions to Davis. The Mondavi Center is a theatre which hosts many world-class touring acts, including star performers such as Yo-Yo Ma and Cecilia Bartoli, and draws a large audience from Sacramento.

UC Davis Arboretum

The UC Davis Arboretum is an arboretum and botanical garden. Plants from all over the world grow in different sections of the park. There are notable oak and native plant collections and a small redwood grove. A small waterway spans the arboretum along the bed of the old North Fork of Putah Creek. You can occasionally see herons, kingfishers, and cormorants around the waterways, as well as the ever present ducks. Tours of the arboretum led by volunteer naturalists are often held for grade school children.

Farmers market

The Davis Farmers Market is held every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning. Participants sell a range of fruits and vegetables, baked goods, dairy and meat products (often from certified organic farms), crafts, and plants and flowers. From April to October, the market hosts davis:Picnic in the Park, with musical events and food sold from restaurant stands.


Davis has one daily newspaper, the Davis Enterprise, founded in 1897. UC Davis also has a daily newspaper called the The California Aggie which covers campus, local and national news. There is a community television station (davis:DCTV), along with numerous commercial stations broadcasting from nearby Sacramento. There are also two community radio stations: KDVS 90.3 FM, on the University of California campus, and KDRT 101.5 FM, a subsidiary of DCTV and one of the first low-power FM radio stations in the United States. Davis also has the world's largest English-language local wiki, DavisWiki.

Toad Tunnel

Davis' Toad Tunnel is a wildlife crossing that was constructed in 1995 and has drawn much attention over the years, including a mention on The Daily Show. Because of the building of an overpass, animal lovers worried about toads being killed by cars commuting from South Davis to North Davis, since the toads hopped from one side of a dirt lot (which the overpass replaced) to the reservoir at the other end. After much controversy, a decision was made to build a toad tunnel, which runs beneath the Pole Line Road overpass which crosses Interstate 80. The project cost $14,000. The tunnel is 21 inches (53 cm) wide and 18 inches (46 cm) high.

The tunnel has created problems of its own. The toads originally refused to use the tunnel and so the tunnel was lit to encourage its use. The toads then died from the heat of the lamps inside the tunnel. Once through the tunnel, the toads also had to contend with birds who grew wise to the toad producing hole in the ground. The exit to the toad tunnel has been decorated by the Post-Master to resemble a toad town.

Notable Davisites


University of California

The University of California, Davis, or UC Davis, a campus of the University of California, had an enrollment of 30,475 students as of Fall 2006, and is a major research university. UC Davis provides a major influence on the social and cultural life of the town.

D-Q University

Also known as Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University and much smaller than UC Davis, D-Q University is a two-year institution located on Road 31 in Yolo County 6.7 miles (11 km) west of State Route 113. This is just west of Davis near the Yolo County Airport. About four miles (6 km) to the west, the Road 31 exit from Interstate 505 is marked with cryptic signage, "DQU." The site is about 100 feet (30 m) above mean sea level (AMSL). NAD83 coordinates for the campus are

The curriculum is said to include heritage and traditional American Indian ceremonies. The 643 acres (2.6 km2) and 5 buildings were formerly a military reservation according to a National Park Service publication, Five Views. The full name of the school is included here so that readers can accurately identify the topic. According to some tribal members, use of the spelled-out name of the university can be offensive. People who want to be culturally respectful refer to the institution as D-Q University. Tribal members in appropriate circumstances may use the full name.

Other colleges

An off-campus branch of Sacramento City College is located in Davis.

Public schools

The city has nine public elementary schools (North Davis, Birch Lane, Pioneer Elementary, Patwin, Cesar Chavez, Robert E. Willett, Marguerite Montgomery, Fred T. Korematsu at Mace Ranch, and Fairfield Elementary (which is outside the city limits but opened in 1866 and is Davis Joint Unified School District's oldest public school)). Davis has one school for independent study (Davis School for Independent Study), three public junior high schools (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Frances Harper), one main high school (Davis Senior High School), an alternative high school (Martin Luther King High School), and a small technology-based high school (Leonardo da Vinci High School). Cesar Chavez is a Spanish immersion school, with no English integration until the third grade. The junior high schools contain grades 7 through 9. Due to a decline in the school-age population in Davis, several of the elementary schools may be closed. Valley Oak may be closing after the 2007/08 school year.

At one time, Chavez and Willett were incorporated together to provide elementary education K-6 to both English-speaking and Spanish immersion students in West Davis. Cesar Chavez served grades K-3 and was called West Davis Elementary, and Robert E. Willett (named for a long-time teacher at the school, now deceased) served grades 4-6 and was known as West Davis Intermediate. Willett now serves K-6 English speaking students, and Chavez supports the Spanish immersion program for K-6.

Sister cities

Davis has eight sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI), and the city of Davis:


External links

  • Aerial photos – From the Davis Community Network website
  • OneGate for UCDavis - A collection of resources, links and information on the city of Davis and UC Davis

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