History of California 1900 to present
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|History of California|
for events through 1899, see History of California through 1899.
After 1900, California continued to grow rapidly and soon became an agricultural and industrial power. The economy was widely based on specialty agriculture, oil, tourism, shipping, film, and after 1940 advanced technology such as aerospace and electronics industries - along with a significant military presence. The films and stars of Hollywood helped make the state the "center" of worldwide attention. California became an American cultural phenomenon; the idea of the "California Dream" as a portion of the larger American Dream of finding a better life drew 35 million new residents from the start to the end of the 20th century (1900–2010). Silicon Valley became the world's center for computer innovation.
- 1 California demographics
- 2 California earthquakes
- 3 California oil and gas industry
- 4 California businessmen
- 5 California women
- 6 Progressive Movement
- 7 Organized labor
- 8 Upton Sinclair and the unsuccessful EPIC movement
- 9 California water and transport infrastructure projects
- 10 California movies, radio and TV
- 11 California Aerospace and Shipping
- 12 Gallery
- 13 California shipping
- 14 California Naval Bases
- 15 California growth after World War II
- 16 California as an economic power house
- 17 California High-tech expansion
- 18 California Post 2000: problems mount
- 19 See also
- 20 References
- 21 Bibliography
California is now the most populous state in the United States. If it were an independent country, California would rank 34th in population in the world. California has had waves of immigration and emigration over the years. The first big wave was the California Gold Rush miners and businessmen as well as their many supporters.
The non-Indian population of California in 1840 was about 8,000 as confirmed by the 1850 U.S. Census which asked everyone their place of birth. The Indian population is unknown but has been variously estimated at about 50,000 to 150,000 in 1840. The population in 1850, the first U.S. California census, does not count the Indian population and misses the largest city in California then, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties whose censuses were lost before they could be included. A corrected California 1850 Census would go from 92,597 (the uncorrected "official number) to over 120,000. The 1850 U.S. California Census, the first census that included everyone, showed only about 7,019 females with 4,165 non-Indian females older than 15 in the state. To this should be added about 1,300 women greater than 15 from San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties whose censuses were lost and not included in the totals. This gives about 5,500 females greater than age 15 in a total California population (not including Indians who were not counted) of about 120,000 residents in 1850 or about 4.5% female. The number of women in the mining communities and mining camps can be estimated by subtracting the roughly 2,000 females who lived in predominately Californio (Hispanics born in California before 1848) communities and were not part of the gold rush community. About 3.0% of the gold rush Argonauts before 1850 were female or about 3,500 female Gold Rushers compared of about 115,000 male California Gold Rushers.
By California’s 1852 State Census, the population has already increased to about 200,000 of which about 10% or 20,000 are female. Competition by 1852 had decreased the paddle steamer steam ship's fare via Panama to about $200. Many of the new California residents sent off for their wives, sweethearts and families. After 1850 the Panama Railroad (completed 1855) was already working its way across the Isthmus of Panama making it ever easier to get to California in about 40 days. The "normal" male to female ratio of about one to one would not arrive until the 1950 census. California for over a century was short on females.
The gold rush emigrations coming to California continued to build till the end of Gold Rush in the 1880s. The 1900 census showed emigrations down to "only" a 20% growth rate. The early 1900s showed a massive population increase of over 60% between 1900 and 1910. The population more than doubled again in the next 20 years by 1930. Foreign emigration largely ceased during the Great Depression as immigration to the U.S. was held to a low of 23,068/year by 1933 and only starting to increase significantly in 1946 when immigration was back up to 108,721/year and many foreign workers were deported. There were not enough jobs to go around. These very low immigration limits, unfortunately, had the effect of limiting the options of those trying to escape the coming terror in Nazi controlled Europe. The massive buildup of U.S. workers in California in the World War II years from other states increased the California population to 10,586,223 by 1950. The continuing prosperity in the 1950s and 1970s again almost doubled the California population again to 19,953,134 by 1970. The 1970-2010 population growth has still been substantial but has held to "only" about a 15% growth rate per decade. By 2010 the population growth had been lowered to 10% by the high taxes and high cost of living in California.
(See also: List of earthquakes in California)
Earthquakes in California are common occurrences since the state is traversed by six major slip-strike fault systems with hundreds of related faults, many of which are "sister faults" of the infamous San Andreas Fault all of which are stressed by the relative motion between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate or by compressive stresses between these plates. The fault systems include the Hayward Fault Zone, Calaveras Fault, Clayton-Marsh Creek-Greenville Fault, and the San Gregorio Fault. Significant blind thrust faults (faults with near vertical motion and no surface ruptures) are associated with portions of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the northern reaches of the Diablo Range and Mount Diablo. California earthquake forecast gives a rough estimate of where the main earthquake zones in California are.
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was a major earthquake that struck the city and nearby at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. Devastating fires broke out in the city that lasted for several days destroying about 28,000 buildings. As a result of the quake and fires, about 3,000 people died and over 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. The death toll from the earthquake and resulting fire is the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history.
The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude or Richter scale magnitude (Mw) of 7.8; however, other values have been proposed, from 7.7 to as high as 8.25. Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada.
The earthquake was caused by a rupture on the San Andreas Fault, a continental transform fault that forms part of the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The fault is characterized by mainly lateral motion in a dextral sense, where the western (Pacific) plate moves northward relative to the eastern (North American) plate. The 1906 rupture propagated both northward and southward for a total of 296 miles (476 km). This fault runs the length of California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino to the north, a distance of about 810 miles (1,300 km). The earthquake ruptured the northern third of the fault for a distance of 296 miles (476 km). The maximum observed surface displacement was about 20 feet (6 m); however, geodetic measurements show displacements of up to 28 feet (8.5 m). The most recent analysis by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows that the most likely epicenter was very near Mussel Rock on the coast of Daly City, an adjacent suburb just south of San Francisco.
A strong foreshock preceded the mainshock by about 20 to 25 seconds. The strong shaking of the main shock lasted about 42 seconds. The shaking intensity as described on the Modified Mercalli intensity scale reached VIII in San Francisco and up to IX in areas to the north like Santa Rosa where destruction was devastating. There were decades of minor earthquakes – more than at any other time in the historical record for northern California – before the 1906 quake. Widely interpreted previously as precursory activity to the 1906 earthquake, they have been found to have a strong seasonal pattern and have been postulated to be due to large seasonal sediment loads in coastal bays that overlie faults as a result of the erosion caused by hydraulic mining in the later years of the California Gold Rush.
Due to a widespread practice by insurers to indemnify San Francisco properties from fire, but not earthquake damage, most of the destruction in the city was blamed on the fires. Some property owners deliberately set fire to damaged properties, in order to claim them on their insurance. Capt. Leonard D. Wildman of the U.S. Army Signal Corps reported that he "was stopped by a fireman who told me that people in that neighborhood were firing their houses… they were told that they would not get their insurance on buildings damaged by the earthquake unless they were damaged by fire. The insurance industry eventually paid out over $250,000,000 (the largest amount they paid out for the next 60 years) which significantly helped to rebuild the city." Building standards of the original 1906 buildings had almost no earthquake resistance built in. Since 1906 earthquake standards have been steadily upgraded as damages caused by earthquakes are investigated. Unfortunately, a lot of older buildings do not meet today's standards and it would typically cost too much to upgrade them. It was discovered in 1906 that all masonry type structures build of brick and un-reinforced concrete are resistance to fire but not earthquakes. A detailed analysis of the city today estimates that an earthquake even less powerful than the 1906 quake would still completely destroy or seriously damage many sections of the city and result in thousands of deaths. Most other structures build to later earthquake standards would do well. The water mains etc. needed for fighting fires have all been upgraded but how well they would survive can only be found at the next earthquake—which is coming.
California oil and gas industry
Oil in California is one of the most important products used in the modern industrial age as it lubricates and powers most of today's modern industries and transportation systems—called correctly Black Gold. Through the creation of electrical current by oil powered generators it produces more power for use in a myriad of ways. Oil's discovery and use in California added significantly to the wealth and development of the state. California’s crude oil output accounts for about 200 million barrels of oil out of the total 1,800 million barrels of oil produced in the U.S. Now oil production in the U.S. is increasing due to new shale oil extraction techniques--(fracking). California drilling operations and oil production are concentrated primarily in Kern County, San Joaquin Valley and the Los Angeles basin. There is also some offshore oil and gas production in California, but there is now a "permanent" moratorium on new offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling in California waters and a deferral of leasing in Federal waters. These restrictions were imposed after a series of accidents in the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill released oil into the Pacific Ocean even though earthquakes etc. have been observed to release "natural" oil leaks in the same area.
As California pioneers continued to arrive and settle after 1848, they discovered an increasing number of oil seeps—oil seeping to the surface. In Northern California, people were interested in the oil seeps in Humboldt, Colusa, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties, and in the asphaltum seeps and bituminous residues in Mendocino, Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties. In Southern California, large seeps in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Kern, and Los Angeles Counties received the most attention. Interest in oil and gas seeps was stirred in the 1850s and 1860s, Interest became widespread after the 1859 discovery of oil in Pennsylvania by Edwin Drake. Samuel Martin Kier is credited with founding the first American oil refinery in Pittsburgh. He was the first person in the United States to refine crude oil into the lamp oil--kerosene. Along with a new lamp to burn Kier's product a new market to replace whale oil as a lamp oil began to rapidly develop. The invention of kerosene has been credited with saving the lives of more whales than any conservation program. When the value of kerosene, distilled from oil, as an lantern fuel became generally known the market for kerosene rapidly blossomed—it was much cheaper than whale oil and much easier to obtain. Oil from the ground at that time was used mainly as a lubricant, a sealant for roofs or a material that could be mixed with gravel and used on roads to minimize dust and mud.
As early as 1856, a company organized in San Francisco began working the tar pits at La Brea Ranch, near Los Angeles, distilling some oil. Initially these oil discoveries were done by hand digging a well with pick and shovel or even tunneling (by hand) into a mountain that contained oil. By sloping the tunnels downward the oil ran out the mouth to be collected. Some of this oil was so thick that when pipelines were used they had to be heated in winter to get the oil to flow. Transporting the oil to a market or refinery was nearly always a primary concern. In 1866 the first oil refinery in California was built near McKittrick Tar Pits in Kern County to process kerosene and asphalt.
In 1861 Standard Oil headed by John D. Rockefeller helped lower the kerosene price from 58 to 26 cents from 1865 to 1870. Competitors disliked the company's business practices, but consumers liked the lower prices.
Much of California’s early oil discoveries were in the form of asphalt also known as bitumen a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It was found in natural deposits and by processing it became a refined product. One of the primary uses of asphalt/bitumen is in road construction, where it is used as the glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles or gravel to create asphalt concrete. Its other main uses are for bituminous waterproofing products, including production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs. Some cities in California started asphalting their streets in the 1870s to keep down dust and mud.
The story of oil production in California began in the late 19th century. At the turn of the century, oil production in California continued to rise at a booming rate. In 1900, the state of California produced 4 million barrels. In 1903, California became the leading oil-producing state in the US, and traded the number one position back-and forth with Oklahoma through the year 1930. Production at the various oil fields increased to about 34 million barrels by 1904. By 1910 production has reached 78 million barrels.
However, the development of increased oil production in California had consequences. The additional California oil fields—along with booming oil supplies in Texas from Spindletop and other oil discoveries in Oklahoma, etc.—resulted in another surplus of oil reaching the market, again putting pressure on the price of the commodity. With the accelerated oil drillings, the price of oil in the 1920s fell from $28 per barrel to below $10 per barrel. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge created the Federal Oil Conservation Board in an effort to control oil production and stabilize the oil market. However, The American Petroleum Institute (API), representing over 500 oil companies, opposed Cleveland's program because it feared the government might force many of its affiliated oil corporations out of business. Ultimately, through API’s resistance, Coolidge’s program never succeeded in controlling oil production and the oil producing companies survived "naturally" by consolidating or selling out to more successful companies.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1911 that antitrust law required Standard Oil to be broken into smaller, independent companies. Among the "baby Standards" that still exist are ExxonMobil and Chevron. In 1920, oil production in California had expanded to 77 million barrels. Between 1920 and 1930, new oil fields across Southern California were being discovered with regularity including Huntington Beach in 1920, Long Beach and Santa Fe Springs in 1921, and Dominguez in 1923. Southern California had become the hotbed for oil production in the United States. In a 1926 Times magazine article, it was said, The Standard Oil Company of California (now Chevron) is the largest individual producer of crude oil in the U.S. and dominates the marketing of petroleum products along the west coast of both Americas." During this same period, California’s agriculture, manufacturing, railroad, shipping, cement making, highway construction and electrical production markets were also expanding rapidly, and the increased oil production helped to power the development of these industries.
In 1929, however, the sense of crisis in the oil market grew as vast amounts of oil supplies were going unused in Southern California and throughout the US. The API reversed its stance and urged its members to limit its oil production. Like his predecessor, President Herbert Hoover attempted to control oil overproduction on the federal level. Hoover met with California Governor C.C. Young to create a commission to regulate the oil industry. Hoover’s proposal was defeated because many of the largest oil companies opposed federal regulation or price controls.
As of 2012, California was the nation's third most prolific oil-producing state, behind only Texas and North Dakota. In the past century, California’s oil industry grew to become the state’s number one GDP export and one of the most profitable industries in the region.
San Joaquin Valley Oil
Except for a couple of mediocre wells on the "westside" of the San Joaquin Valley, and a few tar mining operations, farming was the mainstay of the valley in the late 1800s. However, the 1899 discovery of "black gold" in a shallow hand-dug oil well on the west bank of the Kern River changed all that. The Kern River discovery started an oil boom, and a forest of wooden derricks sprang up overnight on the flood plain just north of Bakersfield, a sleepy farm town known to most as "Bakers Swamp". Soon Kern River production accounted for 7 out of every 10 barrels of oil that came from California, and Kern River field by 1903 had made California the top oil-producing state in the country. Inspired by the Kern River discovery, "oil prospectors" fanned out across the San Joaquin Valley, and derricks began to pop up everywhere. Many discoveries followed, and a string of spectacular gushers at Coalinga, McKittrick and Midway-Sunset fields kept the valley in the oil news. And of course, there was the Lakeview Gusher . . . the greatest oil well the west, for that matter the country, has ever known.
Over century later, the San Joaquin Valley still produces a lot of oil. In fact, just the Kern County part of the valley in 2008 had over 42,000 producing oil wells that provided about 68% of the oil produced in California, 10% of the entire United States production, and close to 1% of the total world oil production. Add to that another producing 2,000 wells in Fresno County. If the Valley was a state in its own right, it would rank right behind Texas, Alaska and Louisiana as the fourth largest oil producer in the country.
The Valley is also home to 21 giant oil fields that have produced over 100 million barrels of oil each, with four "super giants" that have produced over 1 billion barrels of oil. Among these "super gaints" are Midway-Sunset . . . the largest oil field in the lower 49 United States, and Elk Hills . . . the former U.S. Naval Petroleum Reserve.
California shale oil production
California is sitting on a massive amount of shale oil and could become the next oil boom state if the oil industry can get the stuff out of the ground without upsetting the state's powerful environmental lobby. Running from Los Angeles to San Francisco, California's Monterey Shale is thought to contain more oil, over 400 billion barrels, than about half the conventional oil that is believed to be in all of Saudi Arabia. The United States consumes about 19 million barrels of oil a day. The trick now is getting it out cleanly. California's geologic layers are folded like an rolled up newspaper rather than simply stacked on top of each other. It's hard to drill horizontally, as required for "conventional" recovery of shale oil by hydraulic fracturing, if the shale is not flat. This type of geology makes it difficult to predict how successfully shale oil recovery will be in California. The Monterey shale zone also appears to be made up of shale rock that doesn't respond as well to hydraulic fracturing, fracking, that involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into the shale bearing ground under high pressure to crack the rock and allow the oil and gas to flow. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates there are over 15 billion barrels of oil that can be recovered using today's technology and potentially much more if techniques can be found to safely release it.
Chronology of the California oil industry
California gas production
California gas production has always been relatively small energy source as only "incidental" gas fields have been discovered in California when drilling for oil or water. Initially the natural gas discovered was allowed to vent or was burned off. Only a relatively small fraction was used for lighting or heating purposes. At the turn of the century, before electrical lights were common, street lighting in cities was done by gas street lamps. Some homes were lighted with gas lamps. Much of this gas was generated from coal. By the time significant amounts of natural gas became available electricity was taking over the lighting job.
The gas industry market structure was dramatically altered by the discovery of massive natural gas fields throughout the American Southwest beginning in 1918. The natural gas found was cleaner than manufactured gas and less expensive to produce. While natural gas sources were abundant in Southern California, no economical sources were available in Northern California. In 1929, PG&E constructed a 300-mile pipeline from the Kettleman oil field to bring natural gas to San Francisco Bay area. The city became the first major urban area to switch from manufactured coal gas to natural gas. The transition required the adjustment of burners and airflow valves on 1.75 million appliances and gas lamps. In 1936, PG&E expanded distribution with an additional 45-mile pipeline from Milpitas. PG&E gradually retired its gas manufacturing facilities, although some plants were kept on standby.
During World War II defense related population growth and industry growth boosted natural gas sales in California and cut deeply into the state's natural reserves. In 1947, PG&E entered into a contract with the Southern California Gas Company and the Southern Counties Gas Company to purchase natural gas through a new 1,000-mile pipeline running from Texas and New Mexico to Los Angeles. Another agreement was reached with the El Paso Natural Gas Company of Texas for gas delivery to the California-Arizona border. In 1951, PG&E completed a 502-mile gas main which connected with the El Paso network at the state line.
In 2012 California was the 13th largest producers of natural gas with a total annual production of 248 billion cu feet of gas. Today natural gas is the second most widely used energy source in California. Depending on yearly weather conditions, about 45% of the total natural gas used is now burned in natural gas fired electric generator plants for electricity generation as coal burning plants are phased out. Most of these plants are cogeneration plants that use high temperature burning gas to run gas turbines driven generators and use the captured turbine exhaust heat as power for a steam turbine driven generator set. By combining these technologies almost 60% of the energy from burning gas can be converted from heat into electrical power. About 9% of the natural gas is used in facilitating the extraction of more oil and gas. Roughly 21% is used for residential space and water heating, cooking, clothes drying, etc.; about 8.6% is used for commercial building and water heating, 14.5% is used in industrial use and some of the rest has varied uses such as fueling bus fleets and UPS trucks.
California imports about 85% of its natural gas using six large gas lines. The majority of its natural gas comes from the American Southwest, the Rocky Mountain states, and Canada. The remaining 15% of California's natural gas is produced in-state, both off-shore and onshore.
Natural gas-fired electricity generator plants have been the dominant use of natural gas California for many years. Natural gas is a dispatchable resource that fills in the gaps from other electrical resources when peak power loads are needed. In addition, natural gas releases from a natural gas fired generator station are about half the CO2 that coal fired plants would use. Typically California gets about 14% of its electricity from water generated electricity. The availability of hydroelectricity resources depends upon annual rainfall in the state so varies considerably year by year. The emergence of renewable and often highly variable resources for electricity generation such as solar and wind power has led to more natural gas use in generation with its much cheaper, more versatile and reliable source of electricity generation—so far.
Natural gas prices spiked in 2007 but have decreased significantly since then as more gas has become available nationwide. The biggest change in U.S. gas supply has been the expansion of total natural gas production in the Lower 48 States, which has increased 20% from 2005 to 2011. The increase is largely attributed to breakthroughs in horizontal drilling techniques and increased hydraulic fracturing.
Six major interstate pipelines deliver the 85% of natural gas imported to California. Inside California more than 100,000 miles of intrastate pipelines take the natural gas to customers for immediate consumption or to underground storage facilities for later use. There are 10 operating natural gas storage facilities in California, which use underground depleted oil or natural gas production fields. All but three of them are owned by either Pacific Gas and Electric or Southern California Gas Company. The latest interstate pipeline additions are the 42 inch diameter Ruby Pipeline, LLC, which began operation in California near the Oregon border in July 2011, and the Kern River Expansion, which came on-line in October 2011.
In 1911 a new California Assembly created a new railroad commission with vastly enlarged powers and brought public utilities under state supervision. Organized businessmen were the leaders of both of these reforms. The driving force for railroad regulation came less from an outraged public seeking lower rates than from shippers and merchants who wanted to stabilize their businesses. Public utility officers spearheaded campaigns for the passage, and, later, the enlargement of the Public Utilities Act. They expected that state regulation would reduce wasteful competition between their companies, improve the value of their companies' securities, and allow them to escape continual wrangling with county and municipal authorities.
Although the businessmen were influential in obtaining the passage of bills the wanted, no group of businessmen dominated the California legislature or the railroad commission after 1910. Legislation proposed by some businessmen were opposed by other business interests. Organized labor made significant gains during the Progressive Era, but they were not a result of the benevolent, middle-class reformer actions, but of a powerful lobbying activity on the part of unions with their solid base in San Francisco and Oakland.
In the 1920s, most progressives came to view the business culture of the day not as a repudiation of progressive goals but as the fulfillment of it. The most important progressive victories of 1921 were the passage of administrative reorganization laws, the King Bill, increasing corporate taxes, and a progressive budget. In 1927-31, governor Clement Calhoun Young (1869–1947) brought more progressivism to the state. The state began large-scale hydroelectric power development, and began state aid to the handicapped. California became the first state to enact a modern old-age pension law. The state park system was upgraded and California (like most states) rapidly expanded its highway program, funding it through a tax on gasoline, and creating the California Highway Patrol.
California women had the right to own property in their own name since the First California Constitution in 1850. In 1911 California voters, in a special election, narrowly granted women the right to vote, nine years before the 19th Amendment enfranchised women nationally in 1920; but over 41 years later than the women of Wyoming had been granted the right to vote. Women's clubs flourished and turned a spotlight on issues such as public schools, dirt and pollution, and public health. California women were leaders in the temperance movement, moral reform, conservation, public schools, recreation, and other issues. They helped pass the 18th amendment which established prohibition in 1920. Initially, the women did not often run for public office.
California was a leader in the Progressive Movement from the 1890s into the 1920s. A coalition of reform-minded Republicans, especially in southern California, coalesced around Thomas Bard (1841–1915). Bard's election in 1899 as U.S. Senator enabled the anti-machine Republicans to sustain a continuing opposition to the Southern Pacific Railway's political power in California. They helped nominate George C. Pardee for governor in 1902 and formed the "Lincoln-Roosevelt League." In 1910 Hiram W. Johnson won the campaign for governor under the slogan "Kick the Southern Pacific out of politics." In 1912 Johnson became the running mate for Theodore Roosevelt on the new Bull Moose Party ticket.
By 1916 the Progressives were supporting labor unions, which helped them in ethnic enclaves in the larger cities but alienated the native-stock Protestant, middle-class voters who voted heavily against Senator Johnson and President Wilson in 1916.
Political progressivism varied across the state. Los Angeles (population 102,000 in 1900) focused on the dangers posed by the Southern Pacific Railroad, the liquor trade, and labor unions; San Francisco (population 342,000 in 1900) confronted with a corrupt union backed political "machine" that was finally overthrown following the earthquake of 1906. Smaller cities like San Jose (which had a population of 22,000 in 1900) had somewhat different concerns, such as fruit cooperatives, urban development, rival rural economies, and Asian labor. San Diego (population 18,000 in 1900) had both the Southern Pacific and a corrupt machine.
Organized labor was centered in San Francisco for much of the state's early history. By the opening decades of the twentieth century, labor efforts had expanded to Los Angeles, Long Beach and the Central Valley. In 1901, the San Francisco based City Front Federation was reputed to be the strongest trade federation in the country. It grew out of intense organizational drives in every trade during the boom around the start of the 20th century.
Employers also organized during the building trades strike of 1900 and the (San Francisco) City Front Federation strike of 1901, which led to the founding of Building Trades Council. The open shop question was at stake. Out of the City Front strike came the Union Labor Party because workers were angry at the mayor for using the police to protect strikebreakers. Eugene Schmitz was elected mayor in 1902 on the party's ticket, making San Francisco the only town in the United States, for a time, to be run by labor. A combination of corruption and unscrupulous reformers culminated in graft prosecutions in 1907.
In 1910, Los Angeles was still an open shop and employers in the north threatened for a new push to open San Francisco shops. Responding, labor sent delegations south in June 1910. National organizers were sent in during a lockout of 1,200 idled metal-trades workers. Then occurred an incident that would set back Los Angeles organizing for years, On October 10, 1910, a bomb exploded at the Los Angeles Times newspaper plant that killed twenty-one workers.
In the decade following, the rapid growth of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, or Wobblies) in ununionized trades, logging, wheat farming, lumber camps began extending its efforts to mines, ports and agriculture. The IWW came to public notice after the Wheatland Hop Riot when a sheriff's posse broke up a protest meeting and four people died. It led to the first legislation protecting field labor. The IWW was harmed by anti-union drives and prosecution of members under the state's California Criminal Syndicalism Act.
The IWW was also involved in the 1923 seamen's strike at San Pedro, where Upton Sinclair was arrested for reciting the Declaration of Independence. The man who became the most prominent Wobbly of all, Thomas Mooney, soon became a cause-celebre of labor and the most important political prisoner in America.
California Labor in the 1920s
The Preparedness Day Bombing killed ten people and hurt labor for decades. During the 1920s, the open shop efforts succeeded through a coordinated strategy called the "American Plan". In one case, the Industrial Association of San Francisco raised over a million dollars to break the building trades strikes in 1921 that led to the collapse of the building trades unions. This employers association cut wages twice in one year, and the Metal Trades Council was defeated, losing an agreement that had been in effect since 1907. The Seamen's Union also suffered defeat in 1921.
California Labor in the 1930s
Unions grew rapidly after 1935 with political and legal support from the national New Deal and its Wagner Act of 1935. The most serious strike came in 1934 along the state's ports. In May 1934, dock workers and longshoremen along the West Coast went on strike for better hours and pay, a union hiring hall and a coast-wide contract. Communists were in control of the union, the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), led by Harry Bridges (1901–1990).
On "Bloody Thursday", July 5, 1934, San Francisco was swept by bloody rioting . Striking maritime workers, pitting themselves against police, took control of much of the waterfront and warehouse areas of the city. Two workers were killed and hundreds were clubbed and gassed. The West Coast Waterfront Strike lasted 83 days with longshoremen returning to work on July 31. Arbitration was agreed to and it resulted in a victory for the strikers. and the unionization of all West Coast ports in the United States.
San Francisco in the late 1930s had 120,000 union members. Longshoreman wore union buttons on their white union made caps, Teamsters drove trucks as unionists, fishermen, taxi drivers, streetcar conductors, motormen, newsboys, retail clerks, hotel employees, newspapermen and bootlacks all had representation. Against 30,000 trade union members in 1933-34, Los Angeles by the late thirties 200,000, even against a severe 1938 anti-picketing ordinance. But Los Angeles became unionized in the mass production industries of aircraft, auto, rubber, oil and at the yards of San Pedro. Later, drives for unionization spread through musicians, teamsters, building trades, movies, actors, writers and directors.
Farm labor remained unorganized, the work brutal and underpaid. In the 1930s, 200,000 farm laborers traveled the state in tune with the seasons. Unions were accused of an "inland march" against landowners rights when they took up the early effort to organize farm labor. A number of valley towns endorsed anti-picketing ordinances to thwart organizing.
In the 1933-1934 period, a wave of agricultural strikes flooded the central valley, including the Imperial Valley lettuce strike and San Joaquin Valley cotton strike. In the 1936 Salinas lettuce strike, vigilante violence shocked the nation. Again, in the spring of 1938, about three hundred men, women and children were driven by vigilantes from their homes in Grass Valley and Nevada City.
A 1938 ballot proposition against picketing, "Proposition #1," considered fascist by commentators for the state grange, became a huge political struggle. Proposition #1 failed at the polls. Soon, racist distinctions fell as California unions began to admit non-white members.
By the advent of World War II, California had an old-age assistance law, unemployment compensation, a 48 hour work week maximum for women, an apprentice law, and workplace safety rules.
Upton Sinclair and the unsuccessful EPIC movement
n the 1934 California gubernatorial election novelist Upton Sinclair was the narrowly defeated Democratic nominee, running on the platform of the socialist End Poverty in California (EPIC) movement, a radical response to the Great Depression. Other radical movements flourished, such as the Townsend Plan for old age pension, and "Ham and Eggs", which promised "$30 Every Thursday" to everyone over age 50. Voters narrowly rejected it in 1938 and the utopians failed to enact any panaceas; however the movements did spawn a generation of activists on the left.
California water and transport infrastructure projects
Beginning around the start of the 20th century, there were several feats of engineering in Californian history. Among many, the first major engineering was in mining, building and railroads. The Los Angeles Aqueduct, which runs from the Owens Valley, through the Mojave Desert and its Antelope Valley, to dry Los Angeles far to the south. Finished in 1911, it was the brain-child of the self-taught William Mulholland and is still in use today. Creeks flowing from the eastern Sierra are diverted into the aqueduct. This attracted controversy beginning in the 1960s, since this withholds water from Mono Lake and from farmers in the Owens Valley. See also California Water Wars.
Other feats are the building of Hoover Dam (which is in Nevada, and provides power and water to Southern California), Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Shasta Dam, and the California Aqueduct, taking water from northern California to dry and sprawling southern California. Another project was the draining of Lake Tulare, which, during high water was the largest fresh-water lake inside an American state. This created a large wet area amid the dry San Joaquin Valley and swamps abounded at its shores. By the 1970s, it was completely drained, but it attempts to resurrect itself during heavy rains.
Automobile travel became important after 1910. A key route was the Lincoln Highway, which was America's first transcontinental road for motorized vehicles, connecting New York City to San Francisco. The creation of the Lincoln Highway in 1913 was a major stimulus on the development of both industry and tourism in the state. Similar effects occurred in 1926 with the creation of Route 66.
California movies, radio and TV
The first decades of the twentieth century saw the rise of the studio system. MGM, Universal and Warner Brothers all acquired land in Hollywood, which was then a small subdivision known as "Hollywoodland" on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The enormous variety in terrain and the year round sunshine made film making easier and cheaper, as actors, producers, financiers and craftsmen headed to Hollywood.
By the 1930s, Hollywood had extended its reach into radio, and by 1950 Southern California had also become a major center of television production, hosting studios for major networks such as NBC and CBS.
California Aerospace and Shipping
California Aerospace History
The basic concept of powered flight was achieved on December 17, 1903, when two brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, became the first men in aviation history to be able to achieve powered flight with usable flight controls at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. American aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss entered the focusing on aircraft manufacturing and pilot training. At least part of this training was done in California.Los Angeles International Air Meet (January 10 to January 20, 1910) was among the earliest airshows in the world and the first major airshow in the United States. It was held in Los Angeles County, California at Dominguez Field in present day Compton, California. Spectator turnout numbered approximately 254,000 over 11 days of ticket sales. The Los Angeles Times called it "one of the greatest public events in the history of the West."
On 29 Nov. 1910 Glenn H. Curtiss wrote to Secretary of the Navy George von L. Meyer offering flight instruction without charge for one Navy officer as one means of assisting "in developing the adaptability of the aeroplane to military purposes." In the winter of 1910, Glenn Curtiss established a private flying school on North Island, on land obtained through the cooperation of the Aero Club of San Diego, California. He soon invited the Army and Navy to send officers to receive free instruction as "aeroplane pilots." On Dec. 23, 1910 Lieut. T. Gordon "Spuds" Ellyson was ordered to report to the Glenn Curtiss Aviation Camp at North Island, San Diego, Calif. He completed his training Apr. 12, 1911, and became Naval Aviator No. 1. The original site of this winter encampment is now part of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego and is referred to by the Navy as "The Birthplace of Naval Aviation".
On 18 January 1911 at 11:01 a.m., Eugene Ely, flying a Curtiss pusher, landed on a specially built platform aboard the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania (ACR 4) at anchor in San Francisco Bay. At 11:58 a.m., he took off and returned to Selfridge Field, San Francisco.
Caltech in Pasadena, California provided an ideal situation for the development and manufacture of aircraft. In 1925, aircraft builder, Donald Douglas and Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler, worked together with Caltech president Robert Millikan to bring a state-of-the-art aeronautical research laboratory to the Pasadena college. Douglas recruited some of Caltech's best and brightest students for his company. Douglas utilized the lab's wind-tunnel and research staff while designing his DC-1, 2, and 3. In this way, the DC-3, undoubtedly one of the most successful aircraft design ever built, represented more than just a single designer's project. It was a regional product, the result of an alliance of business and science created over the preceding five decades.
The Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) traces its beginnings to 1936 in the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT) when the first set of rocket experiments were carried out in the Arroyo Seco. Caltech graduate students Frank Malina, Weld Arnold, Apollo M. O. Smith, and Tsien Hsue-shen, along with Jack Parsons and Edward S. Forman, tested a small, alcohol-fueled motor to gather data for Malina's graduate thesis. Malina's thesis adviser was engineer - aerodynamicist Theodore von Kármán, who eventually arranged for U.S. Army financial support for this "GALCIT Rocket Project" in 1939. In 1941, Malina, Parsons, Forman, Martin Summerfield, and pilot Homer Bushey demonstrated the first jet assist takeoff rockets, (JATO units) to the Army. In 1943, von Kármán, Malina, Parsons, and Forman established the Aerojet Corporation to manufacture JATO motors. The project took on the name Jet Propulsion Laboratory in November 1943 formally becoming an Army facility operated under contract by the university.
During JPL's Army years, the laboratory developed two deployed weapon systems, the MGM-5 Corporal and MGM-29 Sergeant intermediate range ballistic missiles. These missiles were the first US ballistic missiles developed at JPL. It also developed a number of other weapons system prototypes, such as the Loki anti-aircraft missile system, and the forerunner of the Aerobee sounding rocket. At various times, it carried out rocket testing at the White Sands Proving Ground, Edwards Air Force Base, and Goldstone, California. A lunar lander was also developed in 1938-39 which influenced design of the Apollo Lunar Module in the 1960s.
In 1954, JPL teamed up with Wernher von Braun’s rocketeers at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, to propose orbiting a satellite during the International Geophysical Year. The team lost that proposal to Project Vanguard, and instead embarked on a classified project to demonstrate ablative re-entry technology using a Jupiter-C rocket. They carried out three successful sub-orbital flights in 1956 and 1957. Using a spare Jupiter-C, the two organizations then launched America’s first satellite, Explorer 1, on February 1, 1958.
JPL was transferred to NASA in December 1958, becoming the agency’s primary planetary spacecraft center. JPL engineers designed and operated Ranger and Surveyor missions to the Moon that prepared the way for Apollo. JPL also led the way in interplanetary exploration with the Mariner missions to Venus, Mars, and Mercury. In 1998, JPL opened the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA; as of 2013, it has found 95% of asteroids that are a kilometer or more in diameter that cross Earth's orbit.
In 1940 65% of aircraft manufacturers were located along or near the east or west coasts. California alone had 44 percent of all aircraft manufacturing. In 1944, 12 states shared 85 percent of airframe floor space, and California's percentage had dropped to 24%. Engine and propeller manufacturing had also decentralized. Most wartime expansion took place inland due to concerns over possible coastal attacks. After the war, massive layoffs occurred as war time orders were cancelled.
Major manufacturers of aircraft in California were/are: Douglas Aircraft Company, Lockheed Corporation, Boeing, Glenn L. Martin Company, North American Aviation and many others. Many of these early companies would disappear or consolidate with other companies. However, a few would grow to become giants in the industry.
Gallery of aircraft and spacecraft built and developed (wholly or in part) in California. Many more could be included.
California Aerospace Museums
During World War II, California's mild climate became a major resource for the war effort. Numerous air-training bases were established in Southern California, where most aircraft manufacturers, including Douglas Aircraft and Hughes Aircraft expanded or established factories in southern California. Major naval, shipyards were established or expanded in San Diego, Long Beach and Mare Island in San Francisco Bay.
Kaiser-Permanente California shipyards
Kaiser Richmond Shipyards, Richmond, California (a Kaiser facility) had four Richmond Shipyards, located in the city of Richmond, California and another shipyard in Los Angeles. Kaiser had still other yards in Washington (state) and other states. They were run by Kaiser-Permanente Metals and Kaiser Shipyards. The Richmond yards were responsible for constructing more Liberty ships during World War II, 747, than any other shipyards in the United States. Liberty ships were chosen for mass production because their somewhat obsolete design was relatively simple and their triple expansion piston steam engine components were simple enough that they could be made by several companies that were not highly needed to manufacture other parts. Ship building was given a high priority for steel and other needed components as the German U-boats till 1944 sunk more ships than could be built by all the shipyards in the United States. The U.S. shipyards built about 5,926 ships in World War II plus over 100,000 more small craft made for the U.S. Army naval components.
Henry J. Kaiser's company had been building cargo ships for the U.S. Maritime Commission in the late 1930s. In 1940 orders for ships from the British government, already at war with Nazi Germany, allowed for growth. Kaiser established his first Richmond shipyard, beginning in December 1940. Eventually building three more in Richmond; each yard with four to eight slips to build ships. Kaiser-Permanente specialized in mass-producing Liberty ships fast and efficiently and that's all they built till 1944 when they switched to the much more complicated Victory ships and built some tugs and Landing Ship, Tank (LSTs) and other specialized ships in the newly built Yard #4.
The following references list individual ships built:
These Liberty ships were completed in two-thirds the amount of time and at a quarter of the cost of the average of all other shipyards. The Liberty ship SS Robert E. Peary was assembled in less than five days as a part of a special competition among shipyards; but by 1944 it was only taking the astonishingly brief time of a little over two weeks to assemble a Liberty ship by standard methods. They pre-assembled major parts of the ship including the hull sections at various locations in the shipyard and then, when needed, moved them with heavy lift cranes to the shipyard launching site where they welded the pre-built sections together. After the ships were launched they were finished to their final configuration while afloat and the launch way was available to start building another ship.
In 1945, the shipyards were shut down as fast as they had started up four years earlier. Much of the shoreline previously occupied by the shipyards is now owned by Richmond, California and has been cleaned up and redeveloped under federally assisted "brownfields" programs. The 'Rosie the Riveter'/Home Front World War II National Historical Park was established on the shipyard site to commemorate and interpret the role of the home front in winning World War II.
California Shipbuilding Corporation
California Shipbuilding Corporation (often called Calship) built 467 Liberty and Victory ships during World War II, including Haskell-class attack transports. The Calship shipyard was created at Terminal Island in Los Angeles as part of the World War II shipbuilding effort. It was initially 8 ways, and increased to 14. After the war, it was liquidated. The ships they built were:
Mare Island, near the city of Vallejo, California, was first Naval Base in California. The Napa River forms its eastern side as it enters the Carquinez Strait juncture with the east side of San Pablo Bay. In 1850, Commodore John Drake Sloat, in charge of a commission to find a California naval base, recommended the island across the Napa River from the settlement of Vallejo; it being "free from ocean gales and from floods and freshets."
On 6 November 1850, two months after California was admitted to statehood, President Millard Fillmore reserved Mare Island for government use. The U.S. Navy Department acted favorably on Commodore Sloat's recommendations and Mare Island was purchased in July 1852, for the sum of $83,410 for the use as a naval shipyard. Two years later, on 16 September 1854, Mare Island became the first permanent U.S. naval installation on the west coast, with Commodore David G. Farragut, as Mare Island's first base commander. For more than a century, Mare Island served as the United States Navy's Mare Island Naval Shipyard. A 508-foot (155 m) drydock was built by the Public Works Department on an excellent rock foundation of cut granite blocks. The work took nineteen years and was completed in 1891. During the Spanish-American War, a concrete drydock on wooden piles, 740 feet (230 m) long, was completed after eleven years of work, in 1910. By 1941, a third drydock had been completed and the drydock number four was under construction. The ammunitions depot and submarine repair base were modern, fireproof buildings. A million dollar, three-way vehicle causeway to Vallejo was completed.
Before World War II, Mare Island had been in a continual state of upbuilding. By 1941, new projects included improvements to the central power plant, a new pattern storage building, a large foundry, machine shop, magazine building, paint shop, new administration building, and a huge storehouse. The yard was expected to be able to repair and paint six to eight large naval vessels at a time. Several finger piers had recently[when?] been built, as well as a new shipbuilding wharf, adding one 500-foot (150 m) and a 750-foot (230 m) berth. It employed 5593 workers at the beginning of 1939, and rapidly increased to 18,500 busily engaged by May 1941, with a monthly payroll of $3,500,000(1941). Then came Pearl Harbor. In 1941, the drafting department had expanded to three buildings accommodating over 400 Naval architects, engineers and draftsmen. The hospital carried 584 bed patients. Mare Island became one of the U.S. Navy's ship building sites in World War II specializing in building diesel engine powered submarines—they eventually built 32 of them. After the war was over Mare Island became a premier site for building nuclear-powered submarines—building 27 of them.
In 1969, the US Navy transferred its (Vietnam War) Brown Water Navy Riverine Training Forces from Coronado, California, to Mare Island. Swift Boats (Patrol Craft Fast-PCF), and PBRs (Patrol Boat River), among other types of riverine craft, conducted boat operations throughout the currently named Napa-Sonoma Marshes State Wildlife Area, which are located on the north and west portions of Mare Island. Mare Island Naval Base was deactivated during the 1995 cycle of US base closures, but the US Navy Reserves still have access to the water portions of the State Wildlife Area for any riverine warfare training being conducted from their new base in Sacramento, California.
In 1996 Mare Island Naval Shipyard was closed.
Naval Base San Diego was started on land acquired in 1920. San Diego has become the home port of the largest naval fleet in the world, and includes two supercarriers, as well as U.S. Marine Corps stations, U.S. Navy ports, and U.S. Coast Guard installations. Naval Base San Diego is the largest base of the United States Navy on the west coast of the United States, in San Diego, California. Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of 54 ships and over 120 tenant commands. The base is composed of 13 piers stretched over 977 acres (3.95 km2) of land and 326 acres (1.32 km2) of water. The total on base population is 20,000 military personnel and 6,000 civilians.
California growth after World War II
After the war, hundreds of land developers bought land cheap, subdivided it, built on it, and got rich. Real-estate development replaced oil and agriculture as Southern California's principal industry. In 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim. In 1958, Major League Baseball's Dodgers and Giants left New York City and came to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively. The population of California expanded dramatically, to nearly 20 million by 1970. This was the coming-of-age of the Baby Boom.
In the late 1960s the baby-boom generation reached draft age, and many risked arrest to oppose the war in Vietnam. There were numerous demonstrations and strikes, most famously on the prestigious Berkeley campus of the University of California, across the bay from San Francisco. In 1965, race riots erupted in Watts, in the South Central area of Los Angeles. The hippie riots on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles were also immortalized by Buffalo Springfield in "For What It's Worth" (1966). Some commentators predicted revolution. Then the federal government promised to withdraw from the Vietnam War, which at last happened in 1974. The radical political movements, having achieved a large part of their aim, lost members and funding.
California still was a land of free spirits, open hearts, easy-going living. Popular music of the period bore titles such as "California Girls," "California Dreamin'," "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and "Hotel California". These reflected the Californian promise of easy living in a paradisaical climate. The surfing culture burgeoned. Many took low-paying jobs and joined the surfers living in trailers at the beach and many others forsook ambition and joined the hippies free living in cities.
The most famous hippie hangout was the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The state's cities, especially San Francisco, became famous for their gentility and tolerance. A distinctive and idyllic Californian culture emerged for a time. The peak of this culture, in 1967, was known as the Summer of Love. California became known elsewhere in the U.S. often derogatorily, as the "land of fruits and nuts."
California as an economic power house
Conversely, during the same period, the Golden State also attracted commercial and industrial expansion of astronomical rates. The adoption of a Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960 allowed the development of a highly efficient system of public higher education in the Community Colleges and the University of California and California State University systems; by creating an educated workforce, it attracted investment, particularly in areas related to high technology. By 1980, California became recognized as the world's eighth-largest economy. Millions of workers were needed to fuel the expansion. The high population of the time caused tremendous problems with urban sprawl, traffic, pollution, and, to a lesser extent, crime.
Urban sprawl created a backlash in many urban areas, with the local governments limiting growth beyond certain boundaries, reducing lot sizes for building homes, and so on. Open Space Districts were created in several parts of the state specifically to obtain, manage, and preserve undeveloped land. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, the open space districts have created a nearly contiguous range of permanently undeveloped land running through the coastal range and hills surrounding the Bay's urban valleys, enabling the creation of huge natural parks and envisioning a hiking trail that will eventually circumnavigate the Bay in an unbroken loop.
The immense problem with air pollution (smog) that had developed by the early 1970s also caused a backlash. With schools being closed routinely in urban areas for "smog days" when the ozone levels became too unhealthy and the hills surrounding urban areas seldom visible even within a mile, Californians were ready for changes. Over the next three decades, California enacted some of the strictest anti-smog regulations in the United States and has been a leader in encouraging nonpolluting strategies for various industries, including automobiles. For example, carpool lanes normally allow only vehicles with two/three or more occupants (whether the base number is two or three depends on what freeway you are on), but electric cars can use the lanes with only a single occupant. As a result, smog is significantly reduced from its peak, although local Air Quality Management Districts still monitor the air and generally encourage people to avoid polluting activities on hot days when smog is expected to be at its worst.
Traffic and transportation remain a problem in urban areas. Solutions are implemented, but inevitably the implementation expense and the time required to plan, approve, and build infrastructure can't keep pace with the population growth. There have been some improvements. Carpool lanes have become common in urban areas, which are intended to encourage people to drive together rather than in individual automobiles. San Jose is gradually building a light rail system (ironically, often over routes of an original turn-of-the-century electric railroad line that was torn out and paved over to encourage the advent of the automobile age). None of the implemented solutions are without their critics. The sprawling nature of the Bay Area and of the Los Angeles Basin makes it difficult to build mass transit that can reach and serve a significant portion of the population.
During the 1960s, under the aegis of Chief Justice Roger J. Traynor, the California Supreme Court became more liberal and progressive. Traynor's term as Chief Justice (from 1964 to 1970) was marked by a number of firsts: California was the first state to create true strict liability in product liability cases, the first to allow the action of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) even in the absence of physical injury to the plaintiff, and the first to allow bystanders to sue for NIED where the only physical injury was to a relative.
Starting in the 1960s, California became a leader in family law. California was the first state to allow true no-fault divorce, with the passage of the Family Law Act of 1969. In 1994, the Legislature took family law out of the Civil Code and created a new Family Code. In 2002, the Legislature granted registered domestic partners the same rights under state law as married spouses. In 2008 California became the second state to legalize same-sex marriage when the California Supreme Court ruled the ban unconstitutional.
Since the mid-1980s, the California Supreme Court has become more conservative, particularly with regard to the rights of criminal defendants. This is commonly seen as a reaction against the strict anti-death penalty stance of Chief Justice Rose Bird in the early 1980s although the funding that eventually brought about her defeat was from corporate and business interests concerned with what they felt was an anti-business stance by the Chief Justice. The state's electorate responded by removing her (and two of her perceived liberal allies) from the court in November 1986.
California High-tech expansion
Starting in the 1950s, high technology companies in Northern California began a spectacular growth that continued through the end of the 20th century. The major products included personal computers, video games, and networking systems. The majority of these companies settled along a highway stretching from Palo Alto to San Jose, notably including Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, California, all in the Santa Clara Valley, the so-called "Silicon Valley," named after the material used to produce the integrated circuits of the era.
This era peaked in 2000, by which time demand for skilled technical professionals had become so high that the high-tech industry had trouble filling all of its positions and therefore pushed for increased visa quotas so that they could recruit from overseas. When the "Dot-com bubble" burst in 2001, jobs evaporated overnight and, for the first time over the next two years, more people moved out of the area than moved in. This somewhat mirrored the collapse of the aerospace industry in southern California some twenty years earlier.
California Post 2000: problems mount
Although air pollution problems have been reduced, health problems associated with pollution have continued. The brown haze known as "smog," has been substantially abated thanks to federal and state restrictions on automobile exhaust.
An energy crisis in 2001 led to rolling blackouts, soaring power rates, and the importation of electricity from neighboring states. With Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company coming under heavy criticism.
Housing bubble bursts
The ongoing demand for well educated workers continued. Housing prices in urban areas continued to increase so that a modest home that, in the 1960s, cost $25,000, cost half a million dollars or more in urban areas by 2005. More people commuted longer hours to afford a home in more rural areas while earning larger salaries in the urban areas. Speculators bought houses they never intended to live in, expecting to make a huge profit in a matter of months then rolling it over by buying more properties. Mortgage companies were compliant, as everyone assumed the prices would keep rising. The bubble burst in 2007-8 as housing prices began to crash and the boom years ended. Hundreds of billions in property values vanished and foreclosures soared as many financial institutions and investors were badly hurt.
On October 7, 2003, Davis was recalled, with 55.4% of the voters supporting the recall (see results of the 2003 California recall). With a plurality of 48.6% of the vote, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was chosen as the new governor. Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante received 31.5% of the vote, and Republican State Senator Tom McClintock received 13.5% of the vote.
Schwarzenegger began his shortened term with a soaring approval rating and soon after began implementing a conservative agenda. This initially resulted in sparring with the heavily Democratic Assembly and Senate over the state budget, battles which provided his infamous "girly men" comment but also began taking their toll on his approval rating. Schwarzenegger then embarked on a campaign to enact several ballot propositions in a 2005 Special Election touted as reforming California's budget system, redistricting powers, and union political fundraising. The union-led campaign spearheaded by the California Nurses Association contributed heavily to the defeat of every proposition in the Special Election.
Since this conspicuous failure, Schwarzenegger made a turn back to the left, criticizing the Bush Administration at many junctures, reviving his environmental agenda, and compromising with the legislature on the traditionally Democratic issue of education spending. His approval rating has also been revived, and he was re-elected in 2006. However, continued paralysis in state government and the inability of the Legislature and Governor to work out the fundamental funding questions resulted in voter disapproval of both the legislators and the Governor whose approval rating was among the lowest ever recorded pending the election of a successor in November 2010.
Environment, transportation, agriculture, water
Scholarly specialty studies