Known worldwide for the Golden Gate bridge, the Great Earthquake of 1906, and having one of the world’s best natural harbors, San Francisco is also home to a thriving Chinatown. The city is known as one of the best but most expensive cities to live in or visit anywhere in the world.
The first European to locate the long rumored harbor was Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. But as is true even today, a heavy fog hid the harbor entrance from view. In 1579, Englishman Sir Francis Drake, another famous explorer, was also searching for the harbor for the crown of England. He too missed the harbor and its entrance from the Pacific Ocean. Just imagine what the future of San Francisco would be if it had been found and established by the crown of England instead of Spain.
San Francisco officially became part of the United States when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in 1848. That same year, the Gold Rush started and 1849 saw a huge increase in population for the area.
The subsequent discovery of silver in 1859 saw even more prospectors and settlers come to the area. Other major milestones in San Francisco history include the building of the railroad, and the immigration of workers from China to work on the railroad. These workers are the reason the San Francisco of today has one of the most vibrant and thriving Chinatowns in the entire country.
One little known bit of history about San Francisco was its’ being the first known location of plague in the United States. In 1900, a ship docked in the harbor that was infected with rats. This was the start of a four year plague outbreak. The Great Earthquake of 1906 and the subsequent burning of San Francisco also had a major impact on the area. The re-building of the city brought even more growth and prosperity to the city.
San Francisco today is a one of the most beautiful, vibrant and multi-cultural cities in the world and is visited by tourists year round. The natural beauty of the area, as well as the international cuisine and world class shopping, keeps both tourists and residents happy and content.
Following are additional sources of information about other San Francisco resources: