On January 13, 1847, the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed to end the fighting of the Mexican-American War in California. The agreement led to California being under military control the following years. Subsequently, the state grew rapidly in 1848 with the discovery of gold along the American River near Sacramento. The rush of newcomers increased the population of California causing demand for a more represented government. This would lead to the first state constitution draft in 1849. Soon in accordance to the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted into the United States as a free state on September 9, 1850 (directly becoming the 31st state and never requiring it to spend a period of time as a territory).
September 9th, also known as Admission Day, used to be a celebrated day of importance for all Californians. Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a measure in 1976 that would have removed Admission Day as a state holiday. However, in 1984 Governor George Deukmejian signed legislation discontinuing the observance of Admission Day.
Still, today we remember Admission Day and the value it brings to California and all its residents. We celebrate our state’s rich history built by its people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Individuals here in search of economic, social, and educational opportunities to create a better quality of life. We recognize how California continues to be a powerhouse and leader not only nationally, but also in the global community.
So tonight when you are out celebrating with friends and family remember to toast one to California. Remember that our state motto is Eureka meaning “I have found it”. Remember that these words refer to the discovery of gold in California. Remember that California is gold. Remember that we all seek happiness and freedom to live our lives to the fullest. Remember our beautiful state with its many opportunities. Remember if you are looking for a reason to celebrate, Eureka! Here’s to you California!
9 facts on 9/9 in honor of California’s Admission Day
1. Like Fine Wine: California is the largest grape and wine producing state in the United States. Over 99% of grapes commercially grown in the United States come from California. Remember to toast a glass of wine tonight, which most likely came from California.
2. Supply and Demand: California is the first state to ever become a trillion dollar economy. The state has the sixth largest economy in the world!
3. Half/Half: If you were to cut California in half along Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles (from the Pacific Ocean to the Arizona border), half of the state’s 40 million population would fall below Wilshire and the other half above it.
4. Californians Everywhere: California is the most populous state with approximately 40 million people. This equals to about one out of every eight individuals in the country being from California. California has four of the top 15 most populous cities in the United States. These cities include Los Angeles (2nd), San Diego (8th), San Jose (10th), and San Francisco (13th).
5. Grizzly State: The state was originally known as the Grizzly Bear State. As growth continued and the bear population went extinct, California became known as the Golden State.
6. The Highs and Lows: The highest point in California is Mt Whitney (elevation of 14,505 feet) and the lowest point in California is Death Valley (282 feet below sea level). These two locations are only 109 miles apart from each other!
7. Natural Beauty: The world’s tallest tree is Hyperion, a coast redwood standing 379 feet, at the Redwood National Park in California. The exact location of the tree is kept a secret to protect the 800-year-old landmark.
8. NorCal and SoCal: There is a palm tree and pine tree planted together along Highway 99 (State Route 99) in the San Joaquin Valley. These two trees serve as an indicator at the midpoint of California. The pine tree represents Northern California’s beautiful landscape and the palm tree represents the gorgeous sunshine of Southern California.
9. The Jock: California has twenty major professional sports league franchises. This is far more than any other state. It has also been the only state in the country to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. In 2028 California will once again host the Summer Olympics which will take place in Los Angeles.