A frequently ignored holiday, California Admission Day is the legal holiday in our great state of California that is celebrated as a way to commemorate the anniversary of the 1850 admission of California into the United States Union as the 31st state.
Leading up to this day, in 1848, Mexico and the United States had signed a treaty that ended the Mexican War and gave over a significant portion of the Pacific Southwest to the United States. This included California. Just days before the signing of this treaty, gold was discovered along the American River near Sacramento, which pushed forward our state’s admittance into the Union. With the ensuing increase in population from the goldrush, California was in dire need of a civil government presence.
In 1849, California sought out statehood as a part of the United States Union. After heated debate among our Congress due to the discussion of slavery, California was entered into the Union. It was soon entered proudly in as the 31st state, a free and non-slavery state, under the Compromise of 1850. There has been some contention as to the date that Admission Day is celebrated, with multiple past Governors attempting to move the original September 9th to later in the month. It was eventually eliminated as a traditionally observed state holiday, and instead observed as a ‘personal’ holiday.
Nowadays, this holiday is rarely celebrated outside of administrative purposes. At the state capital, state officials have been known to serve up free birthday cake and ice cream on the State Capitol building’s front steps. Others, like the Columbia State Historic Park, host parades in our state’s honor. So, if you’d like to celebrate, do something that you feel celebrates our lovely state of California today!
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