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California Statehood

California was admitted to the United States on September 9, 1850. Originally colonized by the Spanish in the 17th century, it became part of Mexico in 1821. In 1846, a group of American settlers declared an independent California Repulic shortly after the beginning of the Mexican-American War. The California Gold Rush of 1848 led to a huge increase in Califronia's population and started an economic boom. Some of the many figures connected to the state's rich and complicated history include Sir Francis Drake, Junipero Serra, John Fremont, Leland Stanford, Upton Sinclair, and William Randolph Hearst. Learn more:

California: a history by Kevin Starr

Rivers in the desert: William Mulholland and the inventing of Los Angeles by Margaret Leslie Davis

Bear Flag rising: the conquest of California, 1846 by Dale L. Walker

The California Gold Rush and the coming of the Civil War by Leonard L. Richards

Around California in 1891 by Terence Emmons

Historical atlas of California: with original maps by Derek Hayes

The missions of California by Stanley Young ; photography by Melba Levick

The age of gold: the California Gold Rush and the new American dream by H.W. Brands

The campaign of the century: Upton Sinclair's race for governor of California and the birth of media politics by Greg Mitchell

Beneath the diamond sky: Haight-Ashbury, 1965-1970 by Barney Hoskyns

San Francisco: a cultural and literary history by Mick Sinclair

A crack in the edge of the world: America and the great California earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester

Rivers in the desert: William Mulholland and the inventing of Los Angeles by Margaret Leslie Davis

The missions of Father Serra [videodisc]

The gold rush [videodisc] by a Yellow Jersey Films, Inc. production for American Experience in association with KQED ; produced by Randall MacLowry & Laura Longsworth ; directed by Randall MacLowry ; written by Michelle Ferrari

The great San Francisco earthquake [videodisc] by WGBH Educational Foundation ; a Moira Productions, Inc. film for American Experience ; WGBH Boston ; written and produced by Tom Weidlinger

Inventing L.A. [videodisc]: the Chandlers and their Times