How Much Do You Know About California History?

By: Becky Stigall

How Much Do You Know About California History?
Image: Shutterstock

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?
Columbus
New York
Hollywood
Hollywood is the center of filmmaking in the United States. The proximity to a variety of filming locations made it popular.
Tampa

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What natural disaster destroyed San Francisco in 1906?
Earthquake
The San Francisco earthquake destroyed nearly 80% of the city. The event occurred at 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906.
Flood
Tornado
Tsunami

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In 1854, what city became the capital of California?
Sacramento
Sacramento was named the capital of California in 1854. The designation became permanent in 1879.
Omaha
Columbus
Nova Scotia

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From 1769 to 1821, California was governed by what country?
Spain
From 1769 to 1821, California was governed by Spain. It was originally divided into two parts.
France
Germany
England

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What California national park was opened in 1890?
Yosemite
Yosemite National Park was first established in 1890. The park encompasses 747,956 acres.
Hollywood
Disney
Metro

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What Spanish explorer named San Diego Bay?
Louis and Clark
Sebastián Vizcaíno
Sebastián Vizcaíno is said to have named San Diego Bay. He explored California in 1602.
George Washington
Pocahontas

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During Mexican control, the capital of California was in what city?
St. Louis
Cleveland
New York
Monterey
During Mexican control, the capital of California was in Monterey.

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What California bridge first opened to traffic in 1937?
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge first opened to traffic in 1937. More than 100,000 cars travel the bridge each day.
The Hollywood Bridge
The London Bridge

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Between 1849 and 1852, what type of disasters were common in San Francisco?
Fires
Fires were very common in the early days of San Francisco. Structures were mostly wooden.
Hurricanes
Tsunamis
Tornados

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Disneyland opened in what year?
1955
Disneyland opened in 1955. The park is located in Anaheim.
1855
2005
1455

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On what date did California become a state?
September 9, 1982
September 9, 1850
California became a state on September 9, 1850. It's nowhere near the last state to be admitted, despite being located so far west.
September 9, 1450
September 9, 2005

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What European nation was the first to settle in California?
Spain
The Spanish were the first Europeans to settle in California. The first European visitors entered at San Diego Bay.
Russia
Malaysia
Holland

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In 1821, California was governed by what country?
The United States
Mexico
In 1821, California was part of Mexico.
Spain
Canada

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In 1935, what famous female pilot flew non-stop to Oakland, California, from Honolulu, Hawaii?
Charles Lindbergh
Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright
Amelia Earhart
in 1935, Amelia Earhart flew non-stop to Oakland from Honolulu. Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937.

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What water project was completed in 1913?
The Golden Gates
The Titanic
The Los Angeles Aqueduct
The Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed in 1913. The project was initiated to funnel water to Los Angeles.
Disney World

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The California Gold Rush began in what year?
1449
1949
2009
1849
The California Gold Rush began in 1849. Most prospectors went home empty-handed.

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Many unsuccessful Gold Rush prospectors remained in California to participate in what successful industry?
Agriculture
Many unsuccessful Gold Rush prospectors remained in California and took jobs in agriculture.
Steel
Oil
Technology

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California became the _____ state in 1850.
1st
50th
31st
California became the 31st state in 1850. The 30th state was Wisconsin and the 32nd was Minnesota.
55th

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What mode of transportation was initiated in California in 1855?
Automobile
Railroad
California built its first railroad in 1855. It ran from Sacramento to Folsom.
Airplane
Speedboat

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Before the Spanish settled California, what portion of Native Americans lived in the state?
One-half
One-third
Before the Spanish settled California, it is estimated that one-third of the country's Native Americans lived in the state.
75%
10%

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Early explorers thought California was what?
The promised land
An island
Early explorers thought California was an island. This is because they first landed on the Baja peninsula.
Too hot
Super rich

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What English explorer laid claim to California in 1579?
Henry VIII
William Shakespeare
Louis and Clark
Francis Drake
Francis Drake landed in California in 1579. The exact location is unknown.

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What order of the Catholic church occupied most of the early Spanish missions in California?
Fathers
Monks
Nuns
Jesuits
Jesuits occupied most of the early Spanish missions in California. They were ousted in 1767.

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From 1822 to 1846, California was governed by what country?
Mexico
From 1822 to 1846, California was governed by Mexico. This happened after Mexico became independent from Spain.
The United States
France
England

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During its Mexican period, what products were mainly traded in California?
Cattle hide
Tallow
Marine animal fur
All of the above
Cattle hide, tallow and marine animal fur were all valuable commodities in early California. Other countries were drawn to the area to trade.

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Early California missions were staffed and maintained by what population?
French settlers
Canadian Mounties
Native Americans
California missions were staffed and maintained primarily by Native Americans.
Prisoners of war

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California's Constitutional Convention took place in what year?
1849
California's Constitutional Convention took place in 1849. The goal was to facilitate an efficient government.
1949
2005
1450

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What event took place between 1848 and 1855?
World War I
The California Gold Rush
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 War of Independence

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The California Gold Rush immediately benefited what industry?
Steel
Coal
Medicine
Shipping
The shipping industry experienced explosive growth due to the California Gold Rush. Many prospectors came by ship.

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What businesses were a must in California gold towns?
Saloons
Dance halls
Gambling houses
All of the above
Saloons, dance halls and gambling establishments were common in every California gold town. Miners paid for goods and services in gold dust.

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Approximately how many ounces of gold were mined during the first five years of the California Gold Rush?
12 million
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.
12 billion
12 thousand
1,200

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Which of the following was primarily responsible for the decline of the Native American population in early California settlements?
Murder
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.
Relocation
Immigration

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What location is considered the first in the Gold Rush?
Sutter's Mill
Sutter's Mill was where the first gold was found. The owner of the land was trying to build a sawmill.
Hollywood
Mexico
Oregon

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In 1869, California was connected to the East Coast via what?
Golden Gate Bridge
U.S. Air Patrol
The Brooklyn Bridge
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.

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In 1913, what road connected California to the East Coast?
The Lincoln Highway
The Lincoln Highway connected California to the East coast. It runs through 14 U.S. states - originally only 13.
The Oregon Trail
The Northwest Passage
The Highway to Heaven

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You Got:
/35

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