California became the 31st state to join the Union in September of 1850, and is famous for the Gold Rush that occurred in the 19th century, which is the origin of the state's nickname, the Golden State. California is the nation's leading producer of many different types of fruits, such as grapes, strawberries, plums, peaches, avocados, dates and nectarines.
Being the third largest state in the United States, California's land area is 158,706 square miles. Some of this state's largest cities are Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. California's population is approximately 37.7 million. The capital city is Sacramento. The state animal is the California grizzly bear, which also appears on the state flag.
California is situated on the west coast of the United States. A Spanish navigator was the first European to lay eyes on California in 1542, but the first Spanish mission constructed in this state was in 1769 in San Diego. Due to the Gold Rush, the population of California grew rapidly between the period of 1848 to 1855.
There are many things that California is famous for, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the giant sequoia trees found in the Redwood National Forest, Disneyland, Hollywood and Silicon Valley. California also has the highest and lowest points found in the U.S., which are Mount Whitney and Badwater Basin in Death Valley, respectively.