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Fun Facts & More!

  • San Diego Bay is the "birthplace of San Diego." On his search for a northwestern Pacific-to-Atlantic passage, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo set anchor in San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542, naming the bay San Miguel after the saint whose day it was. Sixty years later, explorer Sebastián Viscaíno arrives in San Miguel and renames it San Diego de Alcalá, after the patron saint of his flagship.
  • Father Junípero Serra established the first of 21 missions in the San Diego in 1769, the first step in colonizing Upper California for the Spanish government.
  • The world's oldest seaworthy tall sailing ship, the Star of India, calls San Diego Bay its homeport. Built in the 1863 and christened the Euterpe, after the Greek goddess of music, it circumnavigated the world 21 times.
  • Charles Lindbergh takes off from San Diego in May 9, 1927, in the Spirit of St. Louis, headed for New York, and then non-stop to Paris.
  • From the early thirties and up until the late seventies San Diego was known as the Tuna Capital of the World. More than, 40,000 people were employed directly or indirectly by the industry.
  • With headquarters adjacent to Lindbergh Field, San Diego's Consolidated Aircraft's workforce grew during 1940 from 3,170 to 33,000. By 1942, nearly 40 percent of the workforce was female, nicknamed "Rosie the Riveter." By 1945, Consolidated's San Diego plant had turned out 6,724 B-24 Liberators in support of World War II.
  • Before the Coronado Bay Bridge opened in 1969, commuters to and from the island relied on ferry service to cross the bay.
  • San Diego hosts the 1996 Republican National Convention, the first national political convention for the city.
  • San Diego County, long a proud military town, is home to more than 360,000 residents with naval ties: sailors, Marines, civilian employees, retirees, and family members. San Diego Bay is home to 48 Naval surface ships, seven submarines, four coastal patrol boats and nine USNS ships.
  • San Diego is California's second-largest city and the sixth-largest in the US, and is the second most populous of California's 58 counties. Land area in square miles 4204.5. One of the original counties, named after San Diego Bay, the bay had been named by Vizcaino for San Diego de Alcala de Henares, a Franciscan of the Fifteenth Century, on November 12, 1602. San Diego County was incorporated: February 18, 1850.
  • In 1926, the bells from Santa Ysabel Indian Mission in San Diego County were stolen. They may have been the oldest bells brought to Upper California. One was inscribed "N.S. De Loreto 1729" and the other "San Pedro 1767."
  • From 80,000 to 160,000 tons of olives are produced in California each year; the first cuttings were planted in 1769 at the San Diego Mission.
  • San Diego's best known mining period - the Julian gold rush of 1870 - began when rancher Fred Coleman spotted gold in a creek in the Cuyamaca Mountains.
  • Stagecoaches first appeared in the San Diego region in 1852 with the establishment of erratic service between San Diego and Los Angeles. The route required two full days of travel.
  • In 1951, Jack In The Box opened its first restaurant in San Diego, California, pioneering the drive-thru concept and featuring 18-cent hamburgers.
  • Baseball player Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres became the 22nd player to reach the milestone 3,000 career-hit mark on August 6, 1999.
  • San Diego County's overall growth rate between 1990 and 2000 is at 12.6%. Rural areas grew faster than urban areas: Ramona 17%, Valley Center 17%, Fallbrook 18%, Jamul 30%, San Marcos 41%, and Pauma 56%. Most of the recent development in rural communities consists of spacious homes on 1-or 2-acre lots. So far the migration to rural areas has not yet hurt farming; acreage under cultivation has not changed significantly.
  • The California Academy of Tauromaquia in San Diego is a world renowned school for Matadors.

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