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Fascinating Facts about San Francisco

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#15: Fifteen Things You May not Know about San Francisco
Fascinating Facts about San Francisco

San Francisco Skyline from the Bay

©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.
The original town that became San Francisco huddled on the edge of Yerba Buena Cove, named for wild mint (good herb) growing nearby, where the first European resident pitched his tent in 1835. The first mayor changed the town's name in 1848 and San Francisco was born, its 469 residents including Ohlone Indians, Americans, Spanish Californians, Hawaiians, Europeans, South Americans and New Zealanders.

After James Marshall found gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848, the world poured into San Francisco. By 1852, the city swelled to almost 35,000 inhabitants. The gold rush transformed a fishing village into the internationally-famous city of San Francisco almost overnight and today, San Francisco's 49 square miles are home to more than 800,000 people.

For more than 150 years, San Francisco has been a magnet for fortune-seekers, immigrants, artists and poets. Guarded by the famous bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the city by the bay is famous for its diverse citizenry, Victorian architecture, iconic San Francisco cable cars and scenic views - and for its fog. San Francisco's summer fog rushes in on ocean breezes as the city's cool air moves toward warmer places inland. San Franciscans make friends with the fog, and when the Coast Guard removed the bay's last foghorn, cries of protest soon brought it back.

Click the numbers below or "Next" at the top of the page to find out some fun facts about San Francisco that you may not have known, or if you're looking for all the numbers, facts and figures, this will take you straight there.

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