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5 Fun Facts About April 8 In California History

---Learn Every Day: CA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ca To: 618-270-4005---

1. California State Flag Adopted
On April 8, 1911, California officially adopted its state flag. The flag features a grizzly bear, a symbol of strength and unyielding resistance, walking on a field of deep blue. Red bands along the top and bottom symbolize courage and bravery.

2. Tragedy at the Donner Party
In 1846, the ill-fated Donner Party left Independence, Missouri, for California. After encountering various obstacles, including blizzards and shortages of food, the group became stranded in the Sierra Nevada Mountains over the winter. On April 8, a member of the group named James Reed returned to the camps after being banished for murder, only to find that many of his companions had perished.

3. The Earthquake of 1906
On the morning of April 8, 1906, a massive earthquake struck San Francisco. The quake, which had a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, caused widespread devastation and led to massive fires that burned out of control for days afterward.

4. Huey Lewis Born in New York, Raised in California
Huey Lewis, the lead singer of Huey Lewis and the News, was born in New York on April 5, 1950, but grew up in Marin County, California. The band enjoyed a string of hits in the 1980s, including "The Power of Love" from the "Back to the Future" soundtrack.

5. California Gold Rush Begins
On April 8, 1848, John Sutter, a Swiss immigrant and owner of a sawmill in Coloma, California, discovered gold while digging a millrace. News of the discovery quickly spread, leading to the California Gold Rush, which drew tens of thousands of prospectors to the region over the next few years.
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