The text above is a direct copy from the proceedings of the United States Congress from 1850, courtesy of the Library of Congress. This was the act which made California the 31st state in our federal union on September 9, 1850, 171 years ago yesterday.
The Library of Congress website, loc.gov , is a gold mine of information for researchers, but it can take a little digging which along with other tasks caused me to miss getting this post out on Admission Day itself. But hey, history tells us, quite literally, that folks in San Diego and elsewhere got this news rather belatedly as well. The written notice had to be hand-carried by horsedrawn wagons to a steamship that carried it down the Atlantic to the then-canal-less isthmus of Panama. There it had to be carried overland from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Coast, then placed back on another steamship to be carried to the coast of California. It took over a month and a half, which was why it wasn’t until October 18, 1850, that the mayor and town council of the then-small town of San Diego, according to several historical accounts, “set aside $300 for a ball in honor of the admission of California into the Union.”
Happy Belated Admission Day!
In addition to the Library of Congress, sources for this post included the 1908 book, History of San Diego: 1542-1908, by William E. Smythe, and Patt Morriison’s article, “It’s Time to Celebrate California Admission Day! Wait, what’s Admission Day? in the Los Angeles Times three days ago.