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US Immigration

California Timeline

Year Events
1846 Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma; Mexican-American War reaches California
1848 Treat of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends Mexican-American War; Gold discovered at Sutter's Mill along the American River in the Sierra Nevada mountains
1850 California becomes the 31st state of the United States of America; state imposes a foreign miners tax on gold miners coming from outside the U.S.
1851 US Congress passes the Land Act of 1851 to regulate California's rancho lands, resulting in the disenfranchisement of the Californios and redistribution of their lands.
1865 Central Pacific Railroad begins recruiting Chinese workers to build the railroad.
1869 Transcontinental Railroad is completed.
1877 Dennis Kearney founds The Workingmen's Party in San Francisco and works to oppose Chinese labor
1879 California adopts a new state constitution which bars public entities from employing any Chinese laborers and allows local governments to either remove Chinese residents from their municipalities or restrict them to designated locations.
1882 Chinese Exclusion Act passed by US Congress.
1885 Leland and Jane Stanford found Stanford University, one of the first universities in the world to admit women.
1890 John Muir succeeds in establishing Yosemite National Park
1905 San Francisco labor leaders form the Asiatic Exclusion League to advocate for the exclusion of Asian immigrants; the League succeeds in pressuring the San Francisco Board of Education to segregate Asian school children.
1906 April 19: Earthquake razes San Francisco to the ground
1908 Gilbert Anderson founds California's first film house in Northern California
1913 California State Legislature passes law barring any immigrant ineligible for citizenship from owning land; all Asian immigrants were ineligible to become naturalized citizens under federal law prohibiting non-whites from becoming naturalized (however, all individuals born in the US are still citizens by definition).
1916 Labor leader Tom Mooney is convicted of terrorism as the battle against organized labor picks up pace across the country; Mooney is pardoned and released in 1939.
1921 Japanese farm workers driven out of Turlock, CA.
1925 Polish immigrant Schmuel Gelbfisz partners with Russian immigrant Louis B. Mayer to form Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios in Hollywood
1930s The Great Depression hits the entire country; banks and farms fail, wages drop; anti-foreigner sentiment heightens; anti-Filipino riots break out in San Jose and San Francisco, Mexican immigrant laborers are deported by the tens of thousands
1930 Anti-Filipino riot in Watsonville, CA
1932 California unemployment reaches 28%
1934 The International Longshoremen's Association's (ILA) extended strike in San Francisco instigates a general strike throughout the region.
1936 Hoover Dam is completed, providing massive hydroelectric power to Southern California. The Bay Bridge is also completed, becoming the world's longest suspension steel bridge.
1942 Executive Order 9066 authorizes the internment of Japanese Americans at 10 camps located throughout the Western United States, including Tule Lake and Manzanar in California
1946 Tule Lake Camp is last of internment camps to be closed.

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