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7 Pieces Of History Near Riverside, CA

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Riverside, California, is a city rich in history. From the first Indian settlements to the arrival of the Spanish explorers, followed by the growth of citrus fruit orchards, the city has seen many significant historical events. Here are seven of the most notable events that have taken place near Riverside, CA.

1. The Founding of Mission Inn

The Spanish-style Mission Inn, located in the heart of downtown Riverside, is one of the most impressive historical landmarks in the city. The Mission Inn began as a small boarding house in 1876 and gradually expanded into a grand hotel, consisting of several buildings, courtyards, and towers. The Inn has hosted many famous guests, including presidents and movie stars, and is a must-visit attraction in Riverside for its breathtaking architecture and artistic treasures.

2. Origin of Riverside's Citrus Industry

Riverside is famous for its citrus industry, which began in 1873 when Eliza Tibbets, a horticulturist, planted two navel orange trees from Brazil in the area. Her experiment was a huge success, and soon the area's fertile soil and conducive climate led to rapid citrus orchard cultivation. The citrus boom brought prosperity to Riverside, with many citrus farming families having made significant contributions to the area's development.

3. California's First Airplane Flight

On February 12, 1913, a small crowd gathered to witness the first powered airplane flight in California, which took place on a field in Riverside. Aviator Glenn Martin piloted a biplane that had been designed and built by him and his team, taking off from the field on a short but successful flight. The grand event marked an important milestone in the history of aviation in California.

4. Rise of Sigma Chi Fraternity

In 1876, a group of college students from Miami University in Ohio founded Sigma Chi Fraternity, the second fraternity ever to be created on U.S. soil. The first chapter of the fraternity to be established outside of Ohio was founded in Riverside in 1887. The fraternity's traditions and values have since grown to thousands more across the U.S., ensuring its status as one of the most prestigious fraternities nationwide.

5. California's Gold Rush

In the mid-1800s, California underwent one of its most significant historical events – the Gold Rush. Tens of thousands of people from across the world flocked to California to seek their fortunes after gold was discovered in the Sierra Nevada mountains. While Riverside is not typically considered part of the Gold Rush territory, it did experience an influx of gold seekers who passed through the city on their way to the northern part of California.

6. Birth of NASA's Space Shuttle Program

In 1972, NASA began searching for a new space shuttle program contractor, and several corporations submitted bids. After careful consideration, NASA selected the Rockwell International Corporation, which had a plant in Riverside. The plant became a principal contractor in the design, development, and manufacture of the space shuttle orbiter, and dozens of key space shuttle parts were designed and built in the Riverside plant. The space shuttle program continued until 2011 when the final shuttle mission was completed.

7. Establishment of the March Air Reserve Base

March Air Reserve Base (MARB) was initially established as an Army Air Corps base in 1918, serving as a critical element of America's military strength throughout the ages. It became MARB, now its current name, a re-designation for an Air Force Reserve Base in 1979, providing vital logistical support to America's defense needs, as well as crucial assistance in times of national crisis.

In conclusion, Riverside's history is rich, and the city has witnessed many noteworthy events throughout the ages. Each event has undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping the city's present-day landscape and culture.
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