Thursday, June 9, 2011
US Capitol Cities: Sacramento, California
Sacramento is the capital city of California, and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a 2009 estimated population of 489,676, it is the sixth-largest city in California.
Sacramento is the core cultural and economic center of the Sacramento metropolitan area which includes seven counties; with an estimated population of 2,927,123. Its metropolitan area is the fourth largest in California after the Greater Los Angeles Area, San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Diego metropolitan area as well as the 25th largest in the United States. A city attaining global status, Sacramento was cited by Time magazine as America's most ethnically and racially integrated city in 2002.
Nisenan (Southern Maidu) and Plains Miwok Indians have lived in the area for perhaps thousands of years. Unlike the settlers who would eventually make Sacramento their home, these Indians left little evidence of their existence. Traditionally, their diet was dominated by acorns taken from the plentiful oak trees in the region, and by fruits, bulbs, seeds, and roots gathered throughout the year.
In either 1799 or 1808, the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga discovered and named the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River. A Spanish writer with the Moraga expedition wrote, "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths. The air was like champagne, and (the Spaniards) drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them. “Es como el sagrado sacramento! (This is like the Holy Sacrament.)” The valley and the river were then christened after "the Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ", referring to the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist.
From pioneers to gold fever
The pioneer John Sutter arrived from Liestal, Switzerland in the Sacramento area with other settlers in August 1839 and established the trading colony and stockade Sutter's Fort (as New Helvetia or "New Switzerland") in 1840. Sutter received 2,000 fruit trees in 1847, which started the agriculture industry in the Sacramento Valley. In 1848, when gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma (located some 50 miles (80.5 km), northeast of the fort), a large number of gold-seekers came to the area, increasing the population.
John Sutter, Jr. then planned the City of Sacramento, in association with Sam Brannan against the wishes of his father, naming the city after the Sacramento River for commercial reasons. He hired topographical engineer William H. Warner to draft the official layout of the city, which included 26 lettered and 31 numbered streets (today's grid from C St. to Broadway and from Front St. to Alhambra Blvd.). However, a bitterness grew between the elder Sutter and his son as Sacramento became an overnight commercial success (Sutter's Fort, Mill and the town of Sutterville, all founded by John Sutter, Sr., would eventually fail).
The part of Sacramento originally laid out by William Warner is situated just east and south of where the American River meets the Sacramento River (though over time it has grown to extend significantly north, south, and east of there). A number of directly adjacent towns, cities or unincorporated county suburbs, such as Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Rocklin, West Sacramento, Natomas, Del Paso Heights, Orangevale, and North Highlands extend the greater Sacramento area.
The citizens of Sacramento adopted a city charter in 1849, which was recognized by the state legislature in 1850. Sacramento is the oldest incorporated city in California, incorporated on February 27, 1850. During the early 1850s the Sacramento valley was devastated by floods, fires and cholera epidemics. Despite this, because of its position just downstream from the Mother Lode in the Sierra Nevada, the new city grew, quickly reaching a population of 10,000.
Remnants of downtown
Throughout the early 1840s and 1850s, China was at war with Great Britain and France in the First and Second Opium Wars. The wars, along with endemic poverty in China, helped drive many Chinese immigrants to America. Many first came to San Francisco, which was then the largest city in California, which was known as "Dai Fow" (The Big City) and some came eventually to Sacramento (then the second-largest city in California), which is known as "Yee Fow" (Second City). Many of these immigrants came in hopes for a better life as well as the possibility of finding gold in the foothills east of Sacramento.
Sacramento's Chinatown was located on "I" Street from Second to Sixth Streets. At the time this area of "I" Street was considered a health hazard as, lying within a levee zone it was lower than other parts of the city which were situated on higher land. Throughout Sacramento's Chinatown history there were fires, acts of discrimination, and prejudicial legislation such as the Chinese Exclusion Act that was not repealed until 1943.
The mysterious fires were thought to be set off by those who did not take a liking to the Chinese working class. Ordinances on what was viable building material were set into place to try to get the Chinese to move out. Newspapers such as The Sacramento Union, at the time, wrote stories that portrayed the Chinese in an unfavorable light to inspire ethnic discrimination and drive the Chinese away. As the years passed, a railroad was created over parts of the Chinatown and further politics and laws would make it even harder for Chinese workers to sustain a living in Sacramento. While the east side of the country fought for higher wages and fewer working hours, many cities in the western United States wanted the Chinese out because of the belief that they were stealing jobs from the white working class.
The Chinese remained resilient despite these efforts. They built their buildings out of bricks just as the building guidelines established. They helped build part of the railroads that span the city as well as making a great contribution to the transcontinental railroad that spans the United States. They also helped build the levees within Sacramento and the surrounding cities. As a result, they are a well-recognized part of Sacramento's history and heritage.
While most of Sacramento's Chinatown has now been razed, a small Chinatown mall remains, as well as a museum dedicated to the history of Sacramento's Chinatown and the contributions Chinese Americans have made to the city. Amtrak sits along what was part of Sacramento's Chinatown "I" Street.
The California State Legislature, with the support of Governor John Bigler, moved to Sacramento in 1854. The capital of California under Spanish (and, subsequently, Mexican) rule had been Monterey, where in 1849 the first Constitutional Convention and state elections were held. The convention decided that San Jose would be the new state's capital. After 1850, when California's statehood was ratified, the legislature met in San Jose, Vallejo, and Benicia before moving to Sacramento. In the 1879 Constitutional Convention, Sacramento was named to be the permanent state capital.
Begun in 1860 to be reminiscent of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, the Classical Revival style California State Capitol was completed in 1874. In 1861, the legislative session was moved to the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco for one session because of massive flooding in Sacramento. The legislative chambers were first occupied in 1869 while construction continued. From 1862–1868, part of the Leland Stanford Mansion was used for the governor's offices during Stanford's tenure as the Governor; and the legislature met in the Sacramento County Courthouse.
With its new status and strategic location, Sacramento quickly prospered and became the western end of the Pony Express. Later it became a terminus of the First Transcontinental Railroad, which began construction in Sacramento in 1863 and was financed by "The Big Four" – Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker, Collis P. Huntington, and Leland Stanford.
In 1850 and again in 1861, Sacramentans were faced with a completely flooded town. After the devastating 1850 flood, Sacramento experienced a cholera epidemic and a flu epidemic, which crippled the town for several years. In 1861, Governor Leland Stanford, who was inaugurated in early January 1861, had to attend his inauguration in a rowboat, which was not too far from his house in town on N street. The flood waters were so bad, the legend says, that when he returned to his house, he had to enter into it through the second floor window.
From 1862 until the mid-1870s Sacramento raised the level of its downtown by building reinforced brick walls on its downtown streets, and filling the resulting street walls with dirt. Thus the previous first floors of buildings became the basements, with open space between the street and the building, previously the sidewalk, now at the basement level. Most property owners used screw jacks to raise their buildings to the new grade. The sidewalks were covered, initially by wooden sidewalks, then brick barrel vaults, and eventually replaced by concrete sidewalks. Over the years, many of these underground spaces have been filled or destroyed by subsequent development. However, it is still possible to view portions of the "Sacramento Underground".
The same rivers that earlier brought death and destruction began to provide increasing levels of transportation and commerce. Both the American and especially Sacramento rivers would be key elements in the economic success of the city. In fact, Sacramento effectively controlled commerce on these rivers, and public works projects were funded though taxes levied on goods unloaded from boats and loaded onto rail cars in the historic Sacramento Rail Yards. Now both rivers are used extensively for recreation. The American River is a 5-mph (8-km/h) waterway for all power boats (including jet-ski and similar craft) (Source Sacramento County Parks & Recreation) and has become an international attraction for rafters and kayaking.
The Sacramento River sees many boaters, who can make day trips to nearby sloughs or continue along the Delta to the Bay Area and San Francisco. The Delta King, a paddlewheel steamboat which for eighteen months lay on the bottom of the San Francisco Bay, was refurbished and now boasts a hotel, a restaurant, and two different theaters for nightlife along the Old Sacramento riverfront.
The modern era
The city's current charter was adopted by voters in 1920, establishing a city council-and-manager form of government, still used today. As a charter city, Sacramento is exempt from many laws and regulations passed by the state legislature. The city has expanded continuously over the years. The 1964 merger of the City of North Sacramento with Sacramento substantially increased its population, and large annexations of the Natomas area eventually led to significant population growth throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Sacramento County (along with a portion of adjacent Placer County) is served by a customer-owned electric utility, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Sacramento voters approved the creation of SMUD in 1923. In April, 1946, after 12 years of litigation, a judge ordered Pacific Gas & Electric to transfer title of Sacramento's electric distribution system to SMUD. Today SMUD is the sixth-largest public electric utility in the U.S., and is a leader for innovative programs and services, including the development of clean fuel resources, such as solar power.
The Sacramento-Yolo Port District was created in 1947, and ground was broken on the Port of Sacramento in 1949. On June 29, 1963, with 5,000 spectators waiting to welcome her, the Motor Vessel Taipei Victory arrived. The port was open for business. The Nationalist Chinese flagship, freshly painted for the historic event, was loaded with 5,000 tons of bagged rice for Mitsui Trading Co. bound for Okinawa and 1,000 tons of logs for Japan. She was the first ocean-going vessel in Sacramento since the steamship Harpoon in 1934.
The Port of Sacramento has been plagued with operating losses in recent years and faces bankruptcy. This severe loss in business is due to the heavy competition from the Port of Stockton, which has a larger facility and a deeper channel. As of 2006, the city of West Sacramento took responsibility for the Port of Sacramento. During the Vietnam War era, the Port of Sacramento was the major terminus in the supply route for all military parts, hardware and other cargo going into Southeast Asia.
In 1967, Ronald Reagan became the last Governor of California to live permanently in the city. A new executive mansion, constructed by private funds in a Sacramento suburb for Reagan, remained vacant for nearly forty years and was recently sold by the state.
The 1980s and 1990s saw the closure of several local military bases: McClellan Air Force Base, Mather Air Force Base, and Sacramento Army Depot. Also, in 1980, there was another flood. The flood's damage affected the "boat section" of Interstate 5. The culmination of a series of storms as well as a faulty valve are believed to have caused this damage.
In the early 1990s, Mayor Joe Serna attempted to lure the Los Angeles Raiders football team to Sacramento, selling $50 million in bonds as earnest money. When the deal fell through, the bond proceeds were used to construct several large projects, including expanding the Sacramento Convention Center Complex and refurbishing of the Memorial Auditorium. Serna renamed a city park for migrant worker rights activist Cesar Chavez. Through his effort, Sacramento became the first major city in the country to have a paid municipal holiday honoring Chavez.
In spite of military base closures and the decline of agricultural food processing, Sacramento has continued to experience population growth in recent years. Primary sources of population growth are an influx of residents from the nearby San Francisco Bay Area, as well as immigration from Asia and Latin America. From 1990 to 2000, the city's population grew by 14.7%. The Census Bureau estimates that from 2000 to 2007, the county's population increased by nearly 164,000 residents.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mayor Heather Fargo made several abortive attempts to provide taxpayer financing of a new sports arena for the Maloof brothers, owners of the Sacramento Kings NBA Basketball franchise. In November 2006, Sacramento voters soundly defeated a proposed sales tax hike to finance the plan. The defeat was due in part to competing plans for the new arena and its location.
Despite a devolution of state bureaucracy, the state government remains by far Sacramento's largest employer. The City of Sacramento expends considerable effort to keep state agencies from moving outside the city limits. In addition, many federal agencies have offices in Sacramento.
The population in 2000 was 407,018; the 1980 population was 275,741. The city's current estimated population is approximately 454,330. Depth to groundwater is typically about 30 feet (9 m). Much of the land to the west of the city (in Yolo County) is a flood control basin. As a result, the greater metropolitan area sprawls only four miles (6 km) west of downtown (as West Sacramento, California) but 30 miles (50 km) northeast and east, into the Sierra Nevada foothills, and 10 miles (16 km) to the south into valley farmland.
The city is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River, and has a deepwater port connected to the San Francisco Bay by a channel through the Sacramento River Delta. It is the shipping and rail center for the Sacramento Valley. Food processing is among the major industries in the area.
According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, the racial composition of Sacramento was as follows:
Black or African American: 14.0%
Native American: 1.2%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 1.2%
Some other race: 10.0%
Two or more races: 5.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 24.6%
Colleges and universities
The Sacramento area hosts a wide variety of higher educational opportunities. There are two major public universities, many private institutions, community colleges, and vocational schools.
Sacramento is home to Sacramento State (California State University, Sacramento), founded as Sacramento State College in 1947. In 2004, enrollment was 22,555 undergraduates and 5,417 graduate students in the university's eight colleges. The university's mascot is the hornet, and the school colors are green and gold. The 300 acre (1.2 km²) campus is located along the American River Parkway a few miles east of downtown.
The University of California has a campus, UC Davis, in nearby Davis and also has a graduate center in downtown Sacramento. The UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) is located in downtown Sacramento on One Capital Mall. Many students, about 400 out of 517, at the UC Davis GSM are working professionals and are completing their MBA part-time.
The part-time program is ranked in the top-20 and is well-known for its small class size, world class faculty, and involvement in the business community. UC also maintains the University of California Sacramento Center (UCCS) for undergraduate and graduate studies. Similar to the UC's Washington, DC, program, "Scholar Interns" engage in both academic studies and as well as internships, often with the state government. The UC Davis School of Medicine is located at the UC Davis Medical Center between the neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Tahoe Park, and Oak Park.
The Los Rios Community College District consists of several two-year colleges in the Sacramento area – American River College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento City College, Folsom Lake College, plus a large number of outreach centers for those colleges. Sierra College is also on the outskirts of Sacramento in Rocklin.
The Art Institute of California - Sacramento was established in 2007, and is a branch of The Art Institute of California - Los Angeles. The school is focused on educating students in the field of commercial arts. The school offers both a Bachelors of Science and an Associate of Science degree, as well as diplomas in some areas of study. Some majors the school offers are: Digital Film-making & Video Production, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, and Game Art & Design.
The National University Sacramento regional campus offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees in business, education, health-care and teaching credential programs.
A satellite campus of Alliant International University offers graduate and undergraduate programs of study, and the Professional School of Psychology is also based in Sacramento.
Trinity Life Bible College has been in Sacramento for more than 34 years. It is an accredited college (through TRACS), offering small class sizes with degrees in ministerial studies, Christian studies and certificates in music, biblical counseling, youth ministry and Christian education.
Sacramento is home to an unaccredited private institution, the University of Sacramento, a Roman Catholic university run by the Legionaries of Christ. Currently, the university offers course work in graduate programs.
Nearby Rocklin is home to William Jessup University, an evangelical Christian college.
The University of San Francisco has one of its four regional campuses in Sacramento. At the undergraduate level they offer degrees in Applied Economics, Information Systems, Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and Public Administration. At the graduate level, Master's programs are offered in: Information Security and Assurance, Information Systems, Organization Development, Project Management, Public Administration, Nonprofit Administration, and Counseling.
The University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, a top 100 law school according to U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of U.S. law schools (2006, 2007 & 2008), is located in the Oak Park section of Sacramento.
The private University of Southern California has an extension in downtown Sacramento, called the State Capital Center. The campus, taught by main campus professors, Sacramento-based professors, and practitioners in the State Capitol and state agencies, offers Master of Public Administration, Masters of Public Policy, and Master of Public Health degrees.
Sacramento has a number of private vocational schools as well.
In the PBS KVIE building, there is also an extension of San Francisco's Golden Gate University.
Drexel University opened a satellite Graduate School in Sacramento in 2009. Drexel's Sacramento campus is located at One Capital Mall.
The Sacramento area is served by various public school districts, but mainly by the Sacramento City Unified and Twin Rivers Unified districts. As of 2009, the area's schools employed 9,600 elementary school teachers (not including special education teachers), and 7,410 middle school teachers (not including special education or vocational teachers).
Several public school districts serve Sacramento. Sacramento City Unified School District serves most of Sacramento. Other portions are served by the Center Unified School District, Natomas Unified School District, San Juan Unified School District, Twin Rivers Unified School District (the North Sacramento School District, the Del Paso Heights School District, the Rio Linda Union School District, and the Grant Joint Union High School District merged), Folsom-Cordova Unified School District, and Robla School District.
The Valley Hi/North Laguna area, despite mostly being in the city limits of Sacramento, is served by the Elk Grove Unified School District.
Continuing an educational history that began in the Sacramento region at the time of the Gold Rush, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento operates one diocesan high school within the area, St. Francis High School. Various Roman Catholic religious congregations operate three additional Catholic "private" (i.e., non-diocesan) high schools in the city and suburbs: Christian Brothers High School (sponsored by the Brothers of Christian Schools), Jesuit High School (the Society of Jesus, or "Jesuits"), and, as of the Fall of 2006, Cristo Rey High School Sacramento (co-sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Sisters of Mercy, and the Jesuits).
Sacramento is one of 12 cities in the United States with a Cristo Rey Network High School, the first of which was founded by the Jesuits in Chicago in 1996 on a reduced tuition model designed to be accessible to those otherwise unable to afford conventionally-priced private education.
Additionally within the city and surrounding suburbs are 30 "parochial" schools – i.e., schools attached to a parish. These range from the oldest still operating, St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School (1895), to the newest, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (2000), to yet another experiment in consolidation of the city's once-vast inner-city parochial system – St. Patrick SUCCEED Academy (2010).
As in all large cities across the country, the Diocese of Sacramento's urban schools serving poor and working-class populations have been decimated by a near-total failure to address increasing tuition costs for poor demographics – who are now effectively excluded from area Roman Catholic schools, a trend also firmly in place across the country. In recent years, closures have accelerated, but with enrollment declines now also spreading to areas not classified as poor.
In 1857, almost immediately upon their arrival from Ireland, the Sisters of Mercy opened the first school of any kind in Sacramento. Open to all regardless of religious denomination, St. Joseph Academy continued operation through the late 1960s. The final school site is now a city of Sacramento parking garage. The "St. Joseph Garage" honors the name of the school that marked the arrival of formal education in Sacramento.
While Catholic institutions still dominate the independent school scene in the Sacramento area, in 1964, Sacramento Country Day School opened and offered Sacramentans an independent school that is affiliated with the California Association of Independent Schools. SCDS has grown to its present day status as a learning community for students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Additionally, the suburb of Fair Oaks hosts the expansive riverside campus of the Sacramento Waldorf School, a Steiner school adjacent to the Rudolf Steiner College, and the largest Waldorf school in North America. Sacramento Waldorf School educates students from pre-K through 12th grade on a secluded, pastoral site that incorporates a large, functioning biodynamic farm.
Other religious schools
Shalom School is the only Jewish day school in Sacramento.
Capital Christian School is a pre-school – 12th grade private, Christian school. There is also a small Bible college on campus offering associates degrees in Bible studies or theology. Sacramento Adventist Academy is another religious school in Greater Sacramento. This is a K-12 institution, as well.
There is one Islamic school in Sacramento, Masjid Annur, founded in 1988.
Culture and arts
The B.F. Hastings Building, western terminus of the Pony Express, in Old Sacramento.
The Big Four Building in Old SacramentoThe oldest part of the town besides Sutter's Fort is Old Sacramento, which consists of cobbled streets and many historic buildings, several from the 1850s and 1860s. Buildings have been preserved, restored or reconstructed, and the district is now a substantial tourist attraction, with rides on steam-hauled historic trains and paddle steamers.
The historic buildings also include the Lady Adams Building, built by the passengers and ship's carpenters of the ship Lady Adams. Having survived the Great Conflagration of November 1852, it is the oldest surviving building in Sacramento other than Sutter's Fort.
Another surviving landmark is the B.F. Hastings building, built in 1853. Early home of the California Supreme Court and the location of the office of Theodore Judah, it also was the western terminus of the Pony Express.
The "Big Four Building", built in 1852, was home to the offices of Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Leland Stanford, and Charles Crocker. The Central Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Railroad were founded there. The original building was destroyed in 1963 for the construction of Interstate 5, but was re-created using original elements in 1965. It is now a National Historic Landmark. Also of historic interest is the Eagle Theatre, a reconstruction of California's first permanent theatre in its original location.
There are several major theatre venues for Sacramento. The Sacramento Convention Center Complex governs both the Community Center Theatre and Memorial Auditorium. The Wells Fargo Pavilion is the most recent addition. It is built atop the old Music Circus tent foundations. Next to that is the McClatchy Main stage, originally built as a television studio, which was renovated at the same time the pavilion was built. It is the smallest of the venues and provides seating for only 300. The Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sacramento Opera perform at the Community Center Theatre.
Professional theatre is represented in Sacramento by a number of companies. California Musical Theatre and its Summer stock theatre, Music Circus, lure many directors, performers, and artists from New York to Los Angeles to work alongside a large local staff for their productions at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. During the fall, winter and spring seasons Broadway Sacramento brings bus and truck tours to the Convention Center Theatre. The Sacramento Theatre Company provides non-musical productions as an Equity House Theatre, performing in the McClatchy Main stage. At the B Street Theatre, smaller and more intimate professional productions are performed as well as a children's theatre. The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival provides entertainment under the stars every summer in William Land Park.
The Sacramento area has one of the largest collection of community theatres in California. Some of these include the 24th Street Theatre, Runaway Stage Productions, River City Theatre Company, Flying Monkey Productions, The Actor's Theatre, Fourth Stage, Beyond the Proscenium Productions, KOLT Run Productions, Kookaburra Productions, Big Idea Theatre, Celebration Arts, Lambda Player, Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento, Synergy Stage and the historic Eagle Theatre. Many of these theatres compete annually for the Elly Awards overseen by The Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance or SARTA.
On Wednesday, June 13, 2007, it was announced that a new studio for the performing arts will be built alongside the Sacramento Theatre company and the Wells Fargo Pavilion. The new multi-million dollar complex will be named the "E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts" and will provide rehearsal space for four of the region's principal arts groups—Sacramento Ballet, California Musical Theatre, Sacramento Opera and the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, centralizing most of the city's arts organizations.
The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission is an organization which was established as the Sacramento arts council in 1977 to provide several arts programs for the city. These include Art in Public Places, Arts Education, Grants and Cultural Programs, Poet Laureate Program, Arts Stabilization Programs and Other Resources and opportunities.
Sacramento Second Saturday Art Walk is a program of local art galleries that stay open into the late evenings every second Saturday of each month, providing a unique experience for the local population as well as tourists to view original art and meet the artists themselves.
Sacramento has several major museums. The Crocker Art Museum, the oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi River, is one of the finest. On July 26, 2007, the Museum broke ground for an expansion that will more than triple the buildings' floor space. The Modern architecture will be much different from the Victorian style building it is added to. Construction was completed in 2010.
Also of interest is the Governor's Mansion State Historic Park, a large Victorian Mansion which was home to 13 of California's Governors. The Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, which was completely restored in 2006, serves as the State's official address for diplomatic and business receptions. Guided public tours are available. The California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts, home of the California Hall of Fame, is a cultural destination dedicated to telling the rich history of California and its unique influence on the world of ideas, innovation, art and culture.
The Museum educates tens of thousands of school children through inspiring programs, sharing with world visitors California's rich art, history and cultural legacy through dynamic exhibits, and serving as a public forum and international meeting place. The California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento has historical exhibits and live steam locomotives that patrons may ride. The California Automobile Museum, located just south of Old Sacramento, is filled with automotive history and vehicles from 1880 to 2006 and is the oldest non-profit automotive museum in the West. The mission of it is to preserve, promote, and teach automotive culture and its influence on our lives – past, present and future. In addition, the Sacramento History Museum, located in the heart of Old Sacramento, focuses on the history of Sacramento from the region's pre-Gold Rush history through the present day.
There is a Museum Day held in Sacramento every year , when 26 museums in the greater Sacramento area offer free admission. The 2009 Sacramento Museum Day brought out more than 80,000 people, the largest number the event has gathered. Sacramento Museum Day is held every year on the first Saturday of February.
Classical music is widely available. The Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra, the Sacramento Youth Symphony, the Sacramento Master Singers, the Sacramento Children's Chorus, and the Camellia Symphony each present a full season of concerts.
Each year, the city hosts the Sammies, the Sacramento Music Awards. Sacramento also has a reputation as a center for Dixieland jazz, because of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee which is held every Memorial Day weekend. Events and performances are held in multiple locations throughout the city. Each year thousands of jazz fans from all over the world visit for this one weekend. Sacramento is also home to the Sacramento French Film Festival, a cultural event held every year in July that features U.S. premiers of French films and classic masterpieces of French cinema and the Sacramento Japanese Film Festival also held in July. In addition, Sacramento is home to the Trash Film Orgy, a summer film festival celebrating the absurd, B-movies, horror, monster, exploitation.
Sports and recreation
Sacramento is home to the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association. It was also formerly home to the now defunct Sacramento Monarchs of the Women's National Basketball Association. The Kings came to Sacramento from Kansas City in 1985, and the Monarchs were one of the eight founding members of the WNBA, which started in 1997. The Monarchs won the WNBA Championship in 2005 to become the first major, professional sports team in Sacramento to do so; however the Monarchs team folded in November 2009.
The Sacramento Solons, a minor league baseball team of the Pacific Coast League, played in Sacramento during several periods (1903, 1905, 1909–1914, 1918–1960, 1974–1976), mostly at Edmonds Field. In 2000, AAA minor league baseball returned to Sacramento with the Sacramento River Cats, an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The River Cats play in the recently constructed Raley Field, located in West Sacramento.
Teams in several smaller leagues have been and continue to be in Sacramento. The Sacramento Heatwave of the American Basketball Association currently plays at Folsom High School. In the past, the city hosted three professional football teams, the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football (who won the World Bowl II on June 6, 1992), the Sacramento Gold Miners of the Canadian Football League, and the Sacramento Attack of the Arena Football League.
Sacramento was also home to an indoor soccer team, the Sacramento Knights of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (later called the World Indoor Soccer League). The Sacramento River Rats of Roller Hockey International also played in the city for several years. The Sacramento XSV (pronounced "excessive") of the National Professional Paintball League represents the City but is based in Modesto, CA. The newest sports team to come to Sacramento is the Sacramento Mountain Lions which is part of the United Football League (2009). They currently play at Hornet Stadium which is on the CSUS campus.
Sacramento hosted the 2000 and 2004 USA Olympic Track & Field Trials and has frequently hosted the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship as well as the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. The California International Marathon (est. 1983, runcim.org) finishes in front of the Capitol, and attracts a field of international elite runners who vie for a share of the $50,000 prize purse. The fast point-to-point course begins in Folsom and is also popular for runners seeking to achieve a Boston Marathon qualifying time and fitness runners. The Sacramento Mile is a national flat-track motorcycle racing event. From 1961 to 1980, Sacramento hosted the Camellia Bowl, which selected or helped select ten national champions in college football's lower divisions.
Sacramento is a hotbed for high school rugby. Jesuit High is the recent defending national champion (winning five times in total). Their arch-rival school Christian Brothers came in second nationwide. Burbank, Del Campo and Vacaville have also placed well in the national competition over the years. The Sacramento Valley High School Rugby Conference hosts the largest and arguably deepest preseason youth and high school rugby tournament in America.
Sacramento also hosts some recreational facilities and events. The Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail that runs between Old Sacramento and Folsom Lake grants access to the American River Parkway, a natural area that includes more than 5,000 acres (20 km2) of undeveloped land. It attracts cyclists and equestrians from across the state. The California State Fair is held in Sacramento each year at the end of the summer, ending on Labor Day. In 2010, the State Fair moves to July. More than one million people attended this fair in 2001.
Among other recreational options in Sacramento is Discovery Park, a 275-acre (1.1 km2) park studded with stands of mature trees and grasslands. This park is situated where the American River flows into the Sacramento River.
In amateur sports, Sacramento claims many prominent Olympians such as Mark Spitz, Debbie Meyer, Mike Burton, Summer Sanders, Jeff Float (all swimming), and Billy Mills (track). Coach Sherm Chavoor founded his world famous Arden Hills Swim Club just east of the city and trained Burton, Myer, Spitz and others.