Fun Facts About San Jose, CA

March 16th, 2016

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Originally home to the Ohlone people, San Jose is one of the most populous cities in California. Surrounded by rolling hills, San Jose has transformed from a sleepy farming community to the center of the high-tech industry. Made famous by the 1968 Dionne Warwick hit single, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” the city features a state-of-the-art light rail system, museums, heritage architecture and a thriving restaurant and music scene. The following is a list of fun facts about San Jose.

1. Founded in 1777 as San Jose de Guadalupe by Jose Joaquin Moraga, it was the first European settlement in Alta California. When California was admitted into the Union in 1850, San Jose was the state capital, which was moved permanently to Sacramento four years later. Today, the city is considered the “Capital of Silicon Valley.”

2. Boasting the highest median income in the country, half of San Jose’s residents have a college degree. The city is home to more than 6,600 technology companies making it the highest concentration of technology expertise in the world. San Jose also generates more patents than any other city in the United States. Approximately 35 percent of all venture capital funds invested in U.S. companies is allocated to San Jose researchers and developers.

3. San Jose State University (SJSU), the largest institution of higher learning in Silicon Valley, has over 30,000 students. One of the most popular cheers performed by fans at sporting events, “the wave,” was created by SJSU cheerleader Crazy George Henderson in 1981. The university’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library is the largest public library west of the Mississippi River.

4. In addition to the Winchester Mystery House with its more than 160 rooms, San Jose is home to several iconic landmarks. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the western U.S. Built in 1888, the Lick Observatory has the world’s third-largest optical refracting telescope. Alum Rock Park is California’s oldest municipal park. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph is the Golden State’s oldest parish. The 30-square-foot Monopoly board in Guadalupe River Park holds the world’s record for the largest version of the game.

5. San Jose has pioneered many commonly accepted environmental activities. Among the nation’s major cities, it is the country’s largest recycler. The city has prohibited grocery stores from using plastic bags. San Jose is also the third safest large city in America.

6. The diverse city boasts one of the country’s largest authentic Japanese neighborhoods. Along with Japanese-themed festivals, the community hosts a year-round farmers market, authentic eateries and a museum dedicated to the legacy of Japanese-Americans.

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