1820s -1850s

Clash of Cultures & the Discovery of Gold

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  • Gays and Lesbians

    Gay men and lesbians have been part of every society, whether or not they were recognized as such, and large numbers of them came to California with every major wave of migration. But it wasn't until the decades between 1950 and 1980 that a strong gay rights movement was established in San Francisco and the city came to be seen as a beacon of hope for gay men and lesbians around the world.
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    Gays and Lesbians
  • Vietnamese

    In 1964 the United States Congress gave President Lyndon B. Johnson legal power to wage war in Vietnam. At the time there were only 603 Vietnamese living in the United States. Most of them were diplomats or students on temporary visas. Learn More

  • Pakistanis

    The South Bay region of Northern California known as Silicon Valley is home to large numbers of workers from Pakistan and India. For more than three decades, the remarkable success of the Silicon Valley high-tech computer and scientific industries has attracted a highly educated and skilled immigrant workforce from these countries. Learn More

  • Salvadoreans

    Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s the nation of El Salvador was ripped apart by civil war. The war was a direct result of more than half a century of repressive military dictatorships, poverty, and human rights abuses. Learn More

  • Retirees

    California has long been a destination for those seeking to retire in a warm, sunny climate. Many of the well-to-do who arrived in Southern California after the completion of the Santa Fe railroad in the 1880s fit this description. But another 70 years would pass before the concept of retirement itself became a national phenomenon.
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  • Punjabi Sikhs

    Sikhism is one of the world’s largest religions. It is thought to have evolved from Hinduism over the past 500 years. An estimated 250,000 Sikhs call California home. Most are immigrants from the rural Punjab region of India, where the economy is largely agricultural. Learn More

    Punjabi Sikhs
  • Mexicans and the Chicano Movement

    Mexico is a large and diverse nation of more than 100 million people. Its unique terrain stretches from the arid deserts of Baja California to the lush tropical forests of the Yucatan peninsula. The contrast between rich and poor in Mexico is as dramatic as the landscape.  Learn More

    Mexicans and the <br/>Chicano Movement
  • California Indians

    In the late 1950s and 1960s, government-sponsored relocation programs brought thousands of tribal people from other states to California cities. This made California ripe territory for the American Indian political and cultural movements that emerged in the late 1960s and swept across the country. Learn More

    California Indians