The original inhabitants of Oakland were the Ohlone Indians,
a hunting and gathering tribe.
The Spanish first explored the area that is now Oakland
in the 1770's. In 1820, Don Luis Maria Peralta received a huge land grant
from the Spanish crown in recognition of his long and loyal service as a
Oakland was granted a charter on May 4, 1852, and two
years later became an incorporated city with an elected Mayor and Council.
In 1870, Lake Merritt was declared America's first state
game refuge and today is the only natural salt-water lake located in the
heart of a city. The "Necklace of Lights" rings the lake's 3.5-mile
perimeter. The lights were restored in 1987 following over 40 years of darkness
as a result of World War II blackouts.
The shores of Lake Merritt have been the site of the
nation's first three-dimensional theme park for children, Children's Fairyland,
for over four decades. Inspired by Children's Fairyland, Walt Disney went
on to construct Disneyland.
Following a devastating earthquake in 1873, the Alameda
County seat was moved to Oakland where it has remained for the last 120
The Central Pacific Railroad selected Oakland as the
terminus of the new transcontinental railroad, which was completed in 1869,
providing a vital link to the East.
Founded in 1907, California College of Arts and Crafts
is the fourth largest independent art school in the United States and the
largest on the West Coast.
Since 1883, Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon has
been in the same location and in continuous operation.
The Art Deco Paramount Theatre opened on December 16,
1931, and underwent a full and authentic restoration in 1973.
Preservation Park, a thriving "village" of
16 refurbished Victorian homes which house non profit organizations, won
the 1991 Gold Nugget Award as the best restoration project in the West.
Mother's Cake & Cookie Company, the largest cookie
producer in the U.S., has been located in Oakland since 1914.
Oakland is the seventh largest city in the state of California
and covers 54 square miles.
Oakland's population is about 400,000 people. The population
age is 25.0% under 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from
45 to 64, and 10.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is
Forbes Magazine listed Oakland in the Top 10 of its rankings
of the Best Places for business and careers in 2001 and 2002.
Oakland International Airport served 13.5 million passengers
and handled more than 600,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2003.
According to a University of Wisconsin study, Oakland
is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States. At least 100 different
languages and dialects are spoken in Oakland.
The Port of Oakland is one of the five largest container
ports in North America and one of the top 20 worldwide. The Port of Oakland
controls over 19 miles of shoreline and owns the Oakland International Airport.
The internationally acclaimed Oakland Museum, with its
tiered Babylonian style roof gardens, is the only attraction of its kind
totally devoted to the natural sciences, history, and art of California.
Prentice Hall's Places Rated Almanac ranks Oakland number
one in the United States for climate.
The 24,000 square-foot Oakland Asian Cultural Center
is the largest and most modern facility of its kind in North America.
Oakland is the only city in California with three professional
sports teams: the Oakland Raiders, the Oakland Athletics, and the Golden