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Seal of California.
Location of California within the United States.
Flag of California.svg

California is a state in the Western United States. California borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; and has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the west. With over 39.5 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous and the third-largest U.S. state by area. It is also the most populated subnational entity in North America and the 34th most populous in the world. The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions respectively, with the former having more than 18.7 million residents and the latter having over 9.6 million. Sacramento is the state's capital, while Los Angeles is the most populous city in the state and the second most populous city in the country (after New York City). Los Angeles County is the country's most populous, while San Bernardino County is the largest county by area in the country (Alaska has some larger subdivisions, but they are not called counties). San Francisco, which is both a city and a county, is the second most densely populated major city in the country (after New York City) and the fifth most densely populated county in the country, behind four of New York City's five boroughs.

The economy of California, with a gross state product of $3.2 trillion as of 2019, is the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, it would be the fifth largest economy as well as the 37th most populous. The Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.0 trillion and $0.5 trillion respectively ), after the New York metropolitan area ($1.8 trillion). The San Francisco Bay Area Combined Statistical Area had the nation's highest gross domestic product per capita ($106,757) among large primary statistical areas in 2018, and is home to five of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people.

Prior to European colonization, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America and contained the highest Native American population density north of what is now Mexico. European exploration in the 16th and 17th centuries led to the colonization of California by the Spanish Empire. In 1804, it was included in Alta California province within the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821, following its successful war for independence, but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The western portion of Alta California was then organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850, following the Compromise of 1850. The California Gold Rush started in 1848 and led to dramatic social and demographic changes, including large-scale immigration into California, a worldwide economic boom, and the California genocide of indigenous people.

Notable contributions to popular culture, for example in entertainment and sports, have their origins in California. The state also has made noteworthy contributions in the fields of communication, information, innovation, environmentalism, economics, and politics. It is the home of Hollywood, the oldest and largest film industry in the world, which has had a profound effect on global entertainment. It is considered the origin of the hippie counterculture, beach and car culture, and the personal computer, among other innovations. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as the centers of the global technology and film industries, respectively. California's economy is very diverse: 58% of it is based on finance, government, real estate services, technology, and professional, scientific, and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.S. state. California's ports and harbors handle about a third of all U.S. imports, most originating in Pacific Rim international trade. (Full article...)

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The 2020 United States presidential election in California was held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, as part of the 2020 United States presidential election in which all 50 states plus the District of Columbia participated. California voters chose electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote, pitting the Republican Party's nominee, incumbent President Donald Trump, and running mate Vice President Mike Pence against Democratic Party nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his running mate Kamala Harris, the junior senator from California. California had, in the 2020 election 55 electoral votes in the Electoral College, the most of any state. Prior to the election, most news organizations considered California a strongly Democratic state, or a safe blue state. It has voted Democratic in every presidential election from 1992 onward. California was one of six states where Trump received more percentage of the two-party vote than he did in 2016. This election also marked the first time since 2004 that the Republican candidate won more than one million votes in Los Angeles County, due to increased turnout statewide.

Biden carried California with 63.5% of the vote and a margin of 29.2% over Trump. Biden earned the highest percentage of the vote in the state for any candidate since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, although Biden's margin of victory was slightly smaller than Hillary Clinton's 30.1% in 2016, making it one of just seven states in which Trump improved on his 2016 margin. Biden became the first candidate in any race for any office in U.S. history to win more than 10 million votes in a single state, while Trump also received the most votes a Republican has ever received in any state in any race since the country's founding, even narrowly besting his vote total in Texas, a state that he won. Biden's vote margin was the largest vote margin for a presidential candidate in a singular state. (Full article...)

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Balboa Stadium is located in San Diego, California and was built in 1914 as part of the many buildings erected for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition located in Balboa Park. Originally called City Stadium, and designed by the Quayle Brothers architectural firm, it is located to the East of San Diego High School. The Stadium was the home of the American Football League's San Diego Chargers' from 1961-66.

State facts

  • Total area: 163,696 mi2
    • Land: 156,002 mi2
    • Water: 7,694 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 14,505 ft (Mount Whitney)
  • Population 39,250,017 (2016 est)
  • Admission to the Union: September 9, 1850 (31st)

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Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein (born June 22, 1933) is the senior U.S. Senator from California, having held office as a senator since 1992. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Senator Feinstein holds a number of "firsts"; she was the first female President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco's first and only female mayor, the first woman to serve in the Senate from California, one of two female Jewish senators, the first woman to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the first woman to chair the Rules and Administration committee of that body.

Feinstein was born Dianne Emiel Goldman in San Francisco to Betty Rosenburg, a former model, and Leon Goldman, a nationally renowned surgeon who was the first Jew made tenured physician at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Feinstein's paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Poland, while her maternal grandparents, who were of the Russian Orthodox faith, left St. Petersburg, Russia after the 1917 Russian Revolution; Feinstein's maternal grandfather was an imperial army officer who was a convert from Judaism to Christianity. Feinstein attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart High School and was given a Catholic religious education, but also attended Hebrew school and was confirmed in the Jewish faith at the age of thirteen, having said that she has "always considered [herself] Jewish".

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Certainly being in California has encouraged a sustained commitment to rethinking the nature, purposes, and relevance of the contemporary arts, specifically music, for a society which by and large seems to manage quite well without them.

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