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Fun Facts About California – Golden State!
Did you know…For the first time in US history, the American government sent a woman into space. Sally Kristen Ride from California became the world’s third female astronaut on June 18, 1983, when she flew aboard the space shuttle Challenger. It was a tremendous victory for the United States. The Encine-born Ride once said, “I didn’t get into the space program to be the first woman in space, I got into it to get a chance to fly as soon as I could”. Before Sally Ride became an astronaut she had been a tennis player. She was the first of two daughters born to Dale B. Ride and his wife, Joyce.
Did you know…Under the leadership of governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, California became one of the most industrialized regions in the world. Between 1959 and 1967, his regional plan combined a high-tech modern economy with a human development strategy (focusing on better education, employment and a water system). Later, it also earned one of America’s highest per capita incomes. Today California has one of the most educated workforces in the world.
Did you know…This state has notable women: Sally Ride (astronaut), Joan Didion (author), Dianne Feinstein (politician), Amy Tan (author), Barbara Boxer (politician), Janet Evans (Olympic champion), Liza Minnelli (actress) , Isadora Duncan (dancer), Carla Anderson Hills (politician), and Jodie Foster (performer).
World Famous Athletes
Californian Mark Spitz is one of the world’s highest profile athletes. Indeed, in 1972, he secured his place in the history of the Olympic Games when he became the first athlete (male or female) to win 7 swimming gold medals in one Summer Olympics. In the 100m and 200m freestyle, Spitz defeated Mike Wenden of Australia, the Olympic champion of 1968. Since then, it was a tremendous victory for America and California. Apart from that, Spitz had won five gold medals at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. In 2008, Michael Phelps of Maryland, with 8 gold medals, was the only athlete to break Spitz’s record. Mark Andrew Spitz was born on February 10, 1950 in Modesto, CA.
Did you know…On September 9, 1850, California became an official state of the United States
Did you know… Respected across the world as a In April 1978, the versatile actress, Diane Keaton, won a Best Actress award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for her performance in “Annie Hall”. Keaton has over 30 years of experience as an actress. She was born in Los Angeles (CA) on January 5, 1946.
Did you know… The state of California has an area of 158,869 square miles. It is about the size of Greece (50,900 square meters), Hungary (35,900 square meters), Ireland (27,100 square meters), Jamaica (4,200 square meters), and South Korea (38,000 square meters. ) combined.
Los Angeles is home to the Academy Awards Ceremony.
Did you know…For the first time since 1932, the 1984 Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. Over 6,800 athletes from 140 countries and territories took part in the Games.
Did you know… California-born Hope Namgyal became Queen of Sikkim (a kingdom until 1975 when it was annexed by India) in the 1960s. Her husband was the absolute monarch of Sikkim, a country in the Himalaya Mountains. This country had been closed to the outside world for several decades. She is from San Francisco, CA.
National Historic Sites
Did you know…The American state has four famous national historic sites:
-Eugene O’Neill (playwright’s home, Danville)
– Fort Point (confirm, San Francisco)
-John Muir (home of the environmentalist, Martinez)
-Manzanar (old burial camp, Lone Pine)
Did you know… The American state hosted the FIFA World Championships. The 15th Men’s World Cup was held in Pasadena in June/July 1994; an event that was the envy of the rest of the world. In the late 1980s, the California city beat out competing bids from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Rabat (Morocco) and Santiago (Chile). During the World Cup, the host country caused an upset in the first round of the tournament by beating Colombia (one of the heavy favourites), and came 14th, surpassing Switzerland, Russia and Greece. Five years later, on July 10, 1999, Pasadena hosted the Women’s World Tournament, where America finished first. Prior to 1994, the United States had never hosted the FIFA Championships.
Did you know…Sacramento, a city steeped in history, is the capital of California
Science and Ecology
Did you know… The oU was born in San Francisco Dian Fossey, who had a reputation as the world’s leading researcher on gorillas, went to live in Rwanda (Africa). With the support of the Rwandan government, he worked at the Karisoke Research Centre. In the early 1980s, she founded the Digit Foundation (which is today the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund), whose main aim is to lend financial support to save gorillas in Rwanda.
Some of the world’s best scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners (among them Daniel McFadden in 2000) come from the University of California at Berkeley.
Did you know…Yosemite National Park is the most famous of California’s national parks. It is home to the highest waterfall in the country.
Did you know…Between 1951 and 1953, Maureen Connolly, also known as “Little Mo”, won nine grand slam events. According to an American magazine she is “an all-around player with a strong forehand stroke and great concentration…” She was born on September 17, 1934, in San Diego, CA.
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