A Look Back: California in 1893

California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850. Thanks to the gold rush and the railroad reaching the Pacific Ocean, many people were making their way to the West Coast in 1893.

According to the 1890 census, the population of California was only 1,208,130. There were three “cities” of over 25,000 in  California.

According to the 2010 census, the population of California was 37,253,956. Both Los Angeles (3,792,621) and San Diego (1,307,402)  had populations larger than the state’s 1893 total in 2010.

Leland Stanford, who founded the university that still bears his last name, died at his home in Palo Alto in 1893. He and his wife, Jane, donated $40 million to found the university, which would open its doors in 1891. (Fun Fact: the first student admitted at Stanford: future US President Herbert Hoover.)

Across the bay from Stanford in Berkeley, the University of California Press was founded in 1893. UC Press remains one of the largest scholarly publishers in the country today.

California saw a women’s suffrage bill won approval in the state legislature in 1893, but it was vetoed by the governor who thought it was unconstitutional. Women would finally receive the right to vote in 1911, when California became the sixth state to pass a bill allowing women that democratic right.

Also, Riverside County was founded in 1893.

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