San Francisco

Facts about San Francisco

We found 15 facts about San Francisco

Oro en Paz, Fierro en guerra

San Francisco is located on the west coast of the United States at the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula. It began to develop dynamically in the mid-19th century when immigrants from all corners of the world began to arrive in these areas to quickly get rich due to the gold rush that broke out at that time. In 1848, the city's population was 1000 inhabitants, and at the end of 1849 it was 25.000.

San Francisco
A human settlement in the area of today’s city was there already 3000 BC.
The city was founded on June 29, 1776 by Spanish colonists.

At first, the fort El Presidio Real de San Francisco was built here. The settlement gained independence from Spain in 1821 and was incorporated into the United States in 1848 after the Mexican-American War.

San Francisco gained popularity in 1849 when the gold rush broke out in the area.

In a short period, about 100.000 seekers from all over the world flocked to the small settlement. It is estimated that by 1855 at least 300.000 gold prospectors, traders, and other immigrants came to California from all over the world.

During the Great Depression in San Francisco, not a single bank failed.

Moreover, one of the most significant investments - the Golden Gate Bridge - was built during this period. The city coped very well with growing unemployment, primarily thanks to the solidarity and mutual assistance of its residents. When asked about the period of the Great Depression, older citizens of the city often mentioned how important and important mutual help was.

The richer shared food with the poorer, and the more enterprising, simply changed their business profile to survive. Fred Lautze, who was a local Ford dealer, unable to sell a single car, turned to vehicle servicing and tire repair.

Jeans were invented for gold diggers.

Every prospector needed comfortable and durable clothing in which he could search for nuggets for hours. The need was met by entrepreneur Oskar Levi Strauss, who in 1853 founded the Levi Strauss & Co. brand, which is still known today in San Francisco.

In 1867, San Francisco passed America's first "restrictive ugliness law."

Under it, ugly and disabled people were banned from appearing in public. The main assumption of the act was to eliminate street begging, but, as with every regulation, it was over-interpreted and abused. The idea quickly spread throughout the United States and in some parts of the country it was in force until 1974.

Construction of the famous Golden Gate Bridge began on January 5, 1933.

The bridge was opened on April 19, 1937. It was then the longest and highest suspension bridge in the world. Currently, approximately 112.000 vehicles pass through it daily.

From 1934 to 1963, there was a famous maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island.

Before Alcatraz became a federal prison, there was a US Army base, forts, and, from the 1860s, a prison for soldiers and traitors of the nation.

During the 29 years of operation of the federal penitentiary, there was not a single successful escape, although some convicts made such attempts. A total of 34 prisoners tried to get off the island, two of whom succeeded, although they were later captured by the police. Al Capone was imprisoned in Alcatraz prison as prisoner 85 and spent 4.5 years there. Due to the convict's exemplary behavior, he received permission to play the banjo and joined the prison band of convicts who performed on the premises of the facility many times. Al. Capone left Alcatraz on January 6, 1939.

The famous Japanese fortune cookies were first served at the Benkyodo bakery in San Francisco.

Although they are commonly considered a Chinese invention, they were born in Kyoto, Japan during the Edo period. They appeared in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century thanks to the Japanese immigrant Makoto Hagiwara, who was responsible for the maintenance and development of the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco.

The city experienced a powerful earthquake and huge fires.

The earth shook on April 18, 1906, in the morning. As a result of the vibrations, many buildings collapsed, and leaking gas installations started a fire in the city that lasted several days. Since the earthquake cut off the city's water supply, the raging element was dealt with using dynamite, which was used to blow up buildings, thus creating firebreaks. Several thousand people lost their lives as a result of the disaster. More than half of the 400.000 inhabitants lost their homes and ¾ of the city turned into ruins.

After the earthquake, the city was quickly rebuilt. The idea of redesigning the street layout was abandoned and construction was carried out according to old urbanization plans. The newly constructed buildings were larger, taller, and more impressive than the previous ones.

The Charter of the United Nations was drafted and ratified in San Francisco.

The document was signed by 50 of 51 member states on June 26, 1945. Poland signed it a few months later, on October 16.

San Francisco is the only city in the world where a cable tram system still operates today.

The wagons are powered by a rope that runs under the track. They move at a constant speed of 15 km/h. To move, the wagon must grab the rope using special grips; loosening the clamps cuts it off from the rope drive and stops the wagon. Due to the high friction of the clamps, they wear out very quickly and need to be replaced every three days. The service was launched in 1878 and, at its peak, it served twenty-three lines, three of which remain to this day. The trams are one of the city's greatest tourist attractions and the only movable national historical monument. About 20.000 passengers use the cable tram daily.

San Francisco has over 850.000 inhabitants.

It is the 16th most populous city in the United States.

The tallest building in the city is the Salesforce Tower.

The skyscraper was completed in 2018 and has 61 floors and 326 meters in height. The building was designed to withstand powerful earthquakes, which are not uncommon in California. The state is hit by two to three strong quakes above 5.5 on the Richter scale every year.

San Francisco is a birthplace of several famous and talented people.

Among them are: Clint Eastwood, Courtney Love, Carlos Santana, Jack London, Danny Glover, Steve Jobs, and Bruce Lee.

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