How Much Do You Know About California History?
By: Becky Stigall
About This Quiz
The sunny West Coast of the United States has a rich and storied history. Test your knowledge of California history with this fun quiz. How many questions can you get right?
What California city is the center of filmmaking in the United States?
Hollywood is the center of filmmaking in the United States. The proximity to a variety of filming locations made it popular.
What natural disaster destroyed San Francisco in 1906?
The San Francisco earthquake destroyed nearly 80% of the city. The event occurred at 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906.
In 1854, what city became the capital of California?
Sacramento was named the capital of California in 1854. The designation became permanent in 1879.
From 1769 to 1821, California was governed by what country?
From 1769 to 1821, California was governed by Spain. It was originally divided into two parts.
What California national park was opened in 1890?
Yosemite National Park was first established in 1890. The park encompasses 747,956 acres.
What Spanish explorer named San Diego Bay?
Sebastián Vizcaíno is said to have named San Diego Bay. He explored California in 1602.
During Mexican control, the capital of California was in what city?
During Mexican control, the capital of California was in Monterey.
What California bridge first opened to traffic in 1937?
The Golden Gate Bridge first opened to traffic in 1937. More than 100,000 cars travel the bridge each day.
Between 1849 and 1852, what type of disasters were common in San Francisco?
Fires were very common in the early days of San Francisco. Structures were mostly wooden.
Disneyland opened in what year?
Disneyland opened in 1955. The park is located in Anaheim.
On what date did California become a state?
California became a state on September 9, 1850. It's nowhere near the last state to be admitted, despite being located so far west.
What European nation was the first to settle in California?
The Spanish were the first Europeans to settle in California. The first European visitors entered at San Diego Bay.
In 1821, California was governed by what country?
In 1821, California was part of Mexico.
In 1935, what famous female pilot flew non-stop to Oakland, California, from Honolulu, Hawaii?
in 1935, Amelia Earhart flew non-stop to Oakland from Honolulu. Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937.
What water project was completed in 1913?
The Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed in 1913. The project was initiated to funnel water to Los Angeles.
The California Gold Rush began in what year?
The California Gold Rush began in 1849. Most prospectors went home empty-handed.
Many unsuccessful Gold Rush prospectors remained in California to participate in what successful industry?
Many unsuccessful Gold Rush prospectors remained in California and took jobs in agriculture.
California became the _____ state in 1850.
California became the 31st state in 1850. The 30th state was Wisconsin and the 32nd was Minnesota.
What mode of transportation was initiated in California in 1855?
California built its first railroad in 1855. It ran from Sacramento to Folsom.
Before the Spanish settled California, what portion of Native Americans lived in the state?
Before the Spanish settled California, it is estimated that one-third of the country's Native Americans lived in the state.
Early explorers thought California was what?
Early explorers thought California was an island. This is because they first landed on the Baja peninsula.
What English explorer laid claim to California in 1579?
Francis Drake landed in California in 1579. The exact location is unknown.
What order of the Catholic church occupied most of the early Spanish missions in California?
Jesuits occupied most of the early Spanish missions in California. They were ousted in 1767.
From 1822 to 1846, California was governed by what country?
From 1822 to 1846, California was governed by Mexico. This happened after Mexico became independent from Spain.
During its Mexican period, what products were mainly traded in California?
Cattle hide, tallow and marine animal fur were all valuable commodities in early California. Other countries were drawn to the area to trade.
Early California missions were staffed and maintained by what population?
California missions were staffed and maintained primarily by Native Americans.
California's Constitutional Convention took place in what year?
California's Constitutional Convention took place in 1849. The goal was to facilitate an efficient government.
What event took place between 1848 and 1855?
The California Gold Rush took place between 1848 and 1855. The first to rush to California were the residents of Oregon.
The Civil War of California
The California Gold Rush immediately benefited what industry?
The shipping industry experienced explosive growth due to the California Gold Rush. Many prospectors came by ship.
What businesses were a must in California gold towns?
Saloons, dance halls and gambling establishments were common in every California gold town. Miners paid for goods and services in gold dust.
Approximately how many ounces of gold were mined during the first five years of the California Gold Rush?
Approximately 12 million ounces of gold were mined during the first five years of the California Gold Rush. This influx of gold bolstered the Gold Standard.
Which of the following was primarily responsible for the decline of the Native American population in early California settlements?
Lack of immunity to European diseases
A lack of immunity to European diseases was primarily responsible for the decline of the Native American population in early California settlements. Europeans brought diseases such as measles, diphtheria, and smallpox.
What location is considered the first in the Gold Rush?
Sutter's Mill was where the first gold was found. The owner of the land was trying to build a sawmill.
In 1869, California was connected to the East Coast via what?
The First Transcontinental Railroad
The First Transcontinental Railroad connected California to the east coast. The First Transcontinental Railroad was also known as the Pacific Railroad.
In 1913, what road connected California to the East Coast?
The Lincoln Highway connected California to the East coast. It runs through 14 U.S. states - originally only 13.
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