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...)
Image 10Map of the route, Juan Bautista de Anza travelled in 1775–76 from Mexico to today's San Francisco via the Gila River corridor and the Yuma Crossing of the Colorado River. (from History of California)
Walter Francis O'Malley (October 9, 1903 – August 9, 1979) was an American sports executive who owned the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers team in Major League Baseball from 1950 to 1979. In 1958, as owner of the Dodgers, he brought major league baseball to the West Coast, moving the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles despite the Dodgers being the second most profitable team in baseball from 1946 to 1956, and coordinating the move of the New York Giants to San Francisco at a time when there were no teams west of Kansas City, Missouri. For this, he was long vilified by Brooklyn Dodgers fans. However, Pro-O'Malley parties describe him as a visionary for the same business action, and many authorities cite him as one of the most influential sportsmen of the 20th century. Other observers say that he was not a visionary, but instead a man who was in the right place at the right time, and regard him as the most powerful and influential owner in baseball after moving the team.
Joshua Abraham Norton (February 4, 1818 – January 8, 1880), known as Emperor Norton, was a resident of San Francisco, California, who in 1859 proclaimed himself "Norton I., Emperor of the United States". In 1863, after Napoleon IIIinvaded Mexico, he took the secondary title of "Protector of Mexico".
Norton was born in England but spent most of his early life in South Africa. Leaving Cape Town, probably in late 1845, he arrived in Boston, via Liverpool, in March 1846 and San Francisco in late 1849. Nothing is known of his whereabouts or occupations in the intervening three-and-a-half years. (Full article...)
Warner in 1955
Jack Leonard Warner (born Jacob Warner; August 2, 1892 – September 9, 1978) was a Canadian-American film executive, born in Canada, who was the president and driving force behind the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. Warner's career spanned some 45 years, its duration surpassing that of any other of the seminal Hollywood studio moguls.
As co-head of production at Warner Bros. Studios, he worked with his brother, Sam Warner, to procure the technology for the film industry's first talking picture, The Jazz Singer (1927). After Sam's death, Jack clashed with his surviving older brothers, Harry and Albert Warner. He assumed exclusive control of the film production company in the 1950s, when he secretly purchased his brothers' shares in the business after convincing them to participate in a joint sale of stocks. (Full article...)
James Robert Baker (October 18, 1947 – November 5, 1997) was an American author of sharply satirical, predominantly gay-themed transgressional fiction. A native Californian, his work is set almost entirely in Southern California. After graduating from UCLA, he began his career as a screenwriter, but became disillusioned and started writing novels instead. Though he garnered fame for his books Fuel-Injected Dreams and Boy Wonder, after the controversy surrounding publication of his novel, Tim and Pete, he faced increasing difficulty having his work published. According to his life partner, this was a contributing factor in his suicide.
Baker's work has achieved cult status in the years since his death, and two additional novels have been posthumously published. First-edition copies of his earlier works have become collector's items. His novel Testosterone was adapted to a film of the same name, though it was not a financial success. Two other books have been optioned for films, but they have not been produced. (Full article...)
Perry performing at her Play concert residency in 2021
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, actress and television personality. She is known for her influence on the pop sound and style of the 2010s. Pursuing a career in gospel music at 16, Perry released her commercially unsuccessful debut album, Katy Hudson (2001), under Red Hill Records. She moved to Los Angeles at 17 to venture into secular music, adopting the stage name "Katy Perry" from her mother's maiden name. With producers Glen Ballard and Greg Wells, she recorded an unreleased album titled Fingerprints while signed to Java Records and then Columbia Records before being dropped. After this, she signed a recording contract with Capitol Records in April 2007.
Born in Ely, Nevada, she grew up with her two brothers in what is now Cerritos, California, graduating from high school in 1929. She attended Fullerton Junior College and later the University of Southern California. She paid for her schooling by working multiple jobs, including pharmacy manager, typist, radiographer, and retail clerk. In 1940, she married lawyer Richard Nixon and they had two daughters, Tricia and Julie. Dubbed the "Nixon team", Richard and Pat Nixon campaigned together in his successful congressional campaigns of 1946 and 1948. Richard Nixon was elected vice president in 1952 alongside General Dwight D. Eisenhower, whereupon Pat became Second Lady. Pat Nixon did much to add substance to the role of the vice president's wife, insisting on visiting schools, orphanages, hospitals, and village markets as she undertook many missions of goodwill across the world. (Full article...)
Ruth E. Norman (born Ruth Nields; August 18, 1900 – July 12, 1993), also known as Uriel, was an American religious leader who co-founded the Unarius Academy of Science, based in Southern California. Raised in California, Norman received little education and worked from an early age in a variety of jobs. In the 1940s, she developed an interest in psychic phenomena and past-life regression. These pursuits led to her introduction to Ernest Norman, a self-described psychic, in 1954. He engaged in channeling, past-life regression, and attempts at communication with extraterrestrials. She married Ernest, her fourth husband, in the mid-1950s. Together they published several books about his revelations and formed Unarius, an organization which later became known as the Unarius Academy of Science, to popularize his teachings. The couple discussed numerous details about their alleged past lives and spiritual visits to other planets, forming a mythology from these accounts.
After Ernest died in 1971, Ruth succeeded him as their group's leader and primary channeler. She subsequently began publishing accounts of her experiences and revelations. In early 1974, she predicted that a space fleet of benevolent extraterrestrials, the Space Brothers, would land on Earth later that year, which led the Unarius Academy to purchase a property to serve as the landing site. After the extraterrestrials failed to appear, Norman said that trauma she had suffered in a past life had caused her to make an inaccurate prediction. Undaunted, she rented a building for Unarius' meetings and sought publicity for the movement, claiming to have united the Earth with an interplanetary confederation. She revised the Space Brothers' expected landing date several times, before finally settling on 2001. Her health declined in the late 1980s, prompting her students to try to heal her with rituals of past-life regression. Despite predicting that she would live to see the extraterrestrials land, Norman died in 1993. Unarius has continued to operate after her death, and formed a board of directors. Since the 2000s, leaders have concentrated on individual transformation leading to spiritual change in humankind. (Full article...)