|Nickname||The Golden State|
California is a U.S. state on the West Coast. California is the second largest state by area and the most populous, with 38 million people. California became a state in the 1850s, after the California gold rush. California was part of the Union during the American Civil War, although it saw little action. California overtook New York as the most populous state in the 1960s and 1970s. California borders Oregon to the north, and Nevada and Arizona to the east. California has a long Pacific coastline, and its beaches are a major tourist destination. The backbone of California is the Sierra Nevada, the tallest range in the Lower 48, with Mount Whitney peaking out at around 14,500 feet. California has the largest economy of any U.S. state, with considerable agricultural, technology, and industrial sectors. California's capital is Sacramento, although the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose are all larger.