State of California



ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Probably from the mythical island California in a 16th-century romance by Garci Ordónez de Montalvo. NICKNAME: The Golden State. CAPITAL: Sacramento. ENTERED UNION: 9 September 1850 (31st). SONG: "I Love You, California." MOTTO: Eureka (I have found it). FLAG: The flag consists of a white field with a red star at upper left and a red stripe and the words "California Republic" across the bottom; in the center, a brown grizzly bear stands on a patch of green grass. OFFICIAL SEAL: In the foreground is the goddess Minerva; a grizzly bear stands in front of her shield. The scene also shows the Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay, a miner, a sheaf of wheat, and a cluster of grapes, all representing California's resources. The state motto and 31 stars are displayed at the top. The words "The Great Seal of the State of California" surround the whole. COLORS: Yale blue and golden yellow. ANIMAL: California grizzly bear (extinct). BIRD: California valley quail. FISH: South Fork golden trout. MARINE MAMMAL: California gray whale. REPTILE: California desert tortoise. INSECT: California dog-face butterfly (flying pansy). FLOWER: Golden poppy. TREE: California redwood. ROCK: Serpentine. MINERAL: Native gold. FOSSIL: California saber-toothed cat. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, 12 February; Presidents' Day, 3rd Monday in February; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Admission Day, 9 September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans Day, 11 November, Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 4 AM PST = noon GMT.


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