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San Francisco-- rich in history, culture, & tourism. Comments & suggestions appreciated..
San Francisco History and Culture

San Francisco (Spanish for "Saint Francis") was founded in June, 1776, when colonists from Spain established a fort at the Golden Gate and built a mission named for St. Francis of Assissi.

The earliest signs of human habitation dates to 3000 BC, when Yelamu group of Ohlone people resided in small villages. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico, and the mission system gradually ended. The land began to be privatized. At one time, the area was called Yerba Buena, but after the Mexican-American war it was expanded and renamed San Francisco.

The California Gold Rush (1848-1855) caused a population explosion. Over 300,000 people arrived. A good portion of them came from within the United States but also from all over the world. Many of these traveling adventurers suffered hardships, sickness, or even death, on the journey to San Francisco, whether they came by sea or over land. Some of these journeys are documented as the Mormon Trail and the Oregon Trail. Women played an important part. Many were single, others came either with their husbands. Becoming a widow was more common, because of accidents along the way. Disputes and mining accidents were often the cause.

Women were important too. Either they became enterpreneurs or settled into various occupations where they tended to men or shared in the mining experience in some other way..

The gold-seekers were called "forty-niners" as reference to the year 1849. The Gold Rush's effects was immense. San Francisco grew from a small settlement of about 200 residents in 1846 to a boomtown of about 36,000 by 1852.

In 1906, three-quarters of the city was destroyed by eartquake and fire, yet the city was rebuilt and continued to grow population wise.

In the 1960's hippies flocked to Haight-Ashbury during the beat movement and in 1967 the Summer of love era had begun.

San Francisco has not only become financially affluent, but is one of the top tourist destinations, known for its cool summers, rolling hills, and landmarks. Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and Fisherman's Wharf, but also Chinatown dot its terrain. It is well-known for its massive influx of immigrants and its liberal outlook.

The city is roughly square in shape and only 7 miles long on each side, and is the second most populated city in the country (USA). Climate-wise, in June or July the fog rolls in and is its thickest then.

Sourdough bread and seafood (especially crab) are food items which reflect the San Francisco culture, yet that's not all. There is something for everybody--shopping, arts, restaurants, and more. The surrounding area has fishing, wineries, and even more attractions across the bay..

Aside from being a city bursting with activity and entertainment, to this day, there are countless homeless people living on the streets.

There are so many interesting facets of this city. There is even a popular song written about it. "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by Tony Bennett.

It is well known that certain people seem to have issues about the proper way to refer to San Francisco. Visitors, who think they are being endearing, often will refer to San Francisco as Frisco, while locals refer to it simply as The City or SF.

If you would like to read more about this beautiful and interesting city, please visit Wikipedia. There you will find photos and more information. Here is one of the links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco

Research and Resources:

* Various online sources were used to research this topic more fully, as well as books, and also taken from personal observation.
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