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Sacramento is the capital of the U.S.marker state of Californiamarker, and the county seat of Sacramento Countymarker. Located along the Sacramento River and just south of the American River's confluence in California's expansive Central Valleymarker. With a 2007 estimated population of 502,743, it is the seventh-largest city in California. Sacramento is the core cultural and economic center of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area which includes El Doradomarker, Placermarker, Sacramentomarker, and Yolo counties and has a combined population of approximately 2,136,604. The region has also been cited as one of the ten "most livable" regions in America in 2004, and the city was cited by Time magazine as America's most integrated in 2002.

Sacramento became a city due to the efforts of John Sutter, a Swiss immigrant, and James W. Marshall. Sacramento grew faster due to the protection of Sutter's Fortmarker, which was established by Sutter in 1839. During the California Gold Rush, Sacramento was a major distribution point, a commercial and agricultural center, and a terminus for wagon trains, stagecoaches, riverboats, the telegraph, the Pony Express, and the First Transcontinental Railroad.

California State University, Sacramentomarker, more commonly known as Sacramento State or Sac State, is the major local university. It is one of the twenty-three campuses of the California State University system. In addition, the University of California, Davismarker is located in nearby Davismarker, 15 miles west of the capital. The UC Davis Medical Centermarker, a world-renowned research hospital, is located in the city of Sacramento.


Indigenous culture

Nisenan (Southern Maidu) and Plains Miwok Indians have lived in the area for perhaps thousands of years. Unlike the settlers who would eventually make Sacramento their home, these Indians left little evidence of their existence. Traditionally, their diet was dominated by acorns taken from the plentiful oak trees in the region, and by fruits, bulbs, seeds, and roots gathered throughout the year.

In either 1799 or 1808, the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga discovered and named the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River. A Spanish writer with the Moraga expedition wrote, "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths. The air was like champagne, and (the Spaniards) drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them. “Es como el sagrado sacramento! (This is like the Holy Sacrament.)” The valley and the river were then christened after "the Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ", referring to the Christian sacrament of the Eucharist.

From pioneers to gold fever

Inside the historical Sutter's Fort.
Main building housing John Sutter's offices.
The pioneer John Sutter arrived from Liestalmarker, Switzerlandmarker in the Sacramento area with other settlers in August 1839 and established the trading colony and stockade Sutter's Fortmarker (as New Helvetia or "New Switzerland") in 1840. Sutter's Fort was constructed using labor from local Native American tribes. Sutter received 2,000 fruit trees in 1847, which started the agriculture industry in the Sacramento Valley. In 1848, when gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Millmarker in Colomamarker (located some , northeast of the fort), a large number of gold-seekers came to the area, increasing the population. John Sutter, Jr. then planned the City of Sacramento, in association with Sam Brannan against the wishes of his father, naming the city after the Sacramento River for commercial reasons. He hired topographical engineer William H. Warner to draft the official layout of the city, which included 26 lettered and 31 numbered streets (today's grid from C St. to Broadway and from Front St. to Alhambra Blvd.). However, a bitterness grew between the elder Sutter and his son as Sacramento became an overnight commercial success (Sutter's Fort, Mill and the town of Sutterville, all founded by John Sutter, Sr., would eventually fail).
Sacramento in 1849

The part of Sacramento originally laid out by William Warner is situated just east and south of where the American River meets the Sacramento River (though over time it has grown to extend significantly north, south, and east of there). A number of directly adjacent towns, cities or unincorporated county suburbs, such as Fair Oaksmarker, Carmichaelmarker, Citrus Heightsmarker, Elk Grovemarker,Folsommarker, Rancho Cordovamarker, Rosevillemarker, Rocklinmarker, West Sacramentomarker,Natomas, Del Paso Heights,Orangevalemarker, and North Highlandsmarker extend the greater Sacramento area.

The citizens of Sacramento adopted a city charter in 1849, which was recognized by the state legislature in 1850. Sacramento is the oldest incorporated city in California, incorporated on February 27, 1850. During the early 1850s the Sacramento valley was devastated by floods, fires and cholera epidemics. Despite this, because of its position just downstream from the Mother Lode in the Sierra Nevada, the newly founded city grew, quickly reaching a population of 10,000.

Remnants of Downtown Sacramento's Chinatown

Throughout the early 1840s and 1850s, Chinamarker was at war with Great Britainmarker and Francemarker during what was known as the First and Second Opium Wars , along with endemic poverty in China, many Chinese immigrants were driven to America. They first came to San Franciscomarker, which was known as "Dai Fow"(The Big City) and eventually to Sacramento, which is known as "Yee Fow"(Second City). Many of these immigrants came in hopes for a better life as well as the possibility of finding gold in the Sacramento foothills.

Sacramento's Chinatown was located on "I" Street from Second to Sixth Streets. At the time this area of "I" Street was considered a health hazard; within a levee zone as it was lower than other parts of the city which were situated on higher land. Throughout Sacramento's Chinatown history, there were fires, acts of discrimination, and eventually the Chinese Exclusion Act that was not repealed until 1943. The mysterious fires were thought to be set off by those who did not take a liking to the Chinese working class. Ordinances on what was a viable building material were set into place to try to get the Chinese to move out. Newspapers such as The Sacramento Union, at the time, wrote stories about how bad the Chinese were to inspire ethnic discrimination and eventually drive the Chinese out. As the years passed, a railroad was created over parts of the Chinatown and further politics and laws would make it even harder for Chinese workers to sustain a living in Sacramento. While the east side of the country fought for higher wages and lower working times, many cities in the western United States wanted the Chinese out because of the belief that they were stealing jobs from the white working class.

The Chinese, resilient, remained, despite these efforts. They built their buildings out of bricks just as the building guidelines established. They helped build part of the railroads that span the city as well as making a great contribution to the transcontinental railroad that spans the United States. They also helped build the levees within Sacramento and the surrounding cities. As a result, they are well recognized part of Sacramento's history and heritage.

While most of Sacramento's Chinatown has now been razed, today, what remains is a small Chinatown mall and a possible museum dedicated to the history of Sacramento's Chinatown and the contributions Chinese Americans have made to the city. Amtrak sits along what was part of Sacramento's Chinatown "I" Street.

Sacramento now prides itself on its ethnic diversity and excellent race relations, and has a well established Chinese American population living throughout the city.

Capital city

California's State Capitol Building

The California State Legislature, with the support of Governor John Bigler, moved to Sacramento in 1854. The capital of California under Spanish (and, subsequently, Mexican) rule had been Montereymarker, where in 1849 the first Constitutional Convention and state elections were held. The convention decided that San Josemarker would be the new state's capital. After 1850, when California's statehood was ratified, the legislature met in San Jose, Vallejomarker, and Beniciamarker before moving to Sacramento. In the 1879 Constitutional Convention, Sacramento was named to be the permanent state capital.

Begun in 1860 to be reminiscent of the United States Capitolmarker in Washington, DCmarker, the Classical Revival style California State Capitolmarker was completed in 1874. In 1861, the legislative session was moved to the Merchants Exchange Building in San Francisco for one session due to massive flooding in Sacramento. The legislative chambers were first occupied in 1869 while construction continued. From 1862-1868, part of the Leland Stanford Mansionmarker was used for the governor's offices during Stanford's tenure as the Governor; and the legislature met in the Sacramento County Courthouse.

With its new status and strategic location, Sacramento quickly prospered and became the western end of the Pony Express, and later the First Transcontinental Railroad (which began construction in Sacramento in 1863 and was financed by "The Big Four" – Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker, Collis P. Huntington, and Leland Stanford) Leland Stanford is known as the man who hammered in the last (golden) spike into the transcontinental railroad and also, the man who founded Stanford Universitymarker in honor of his fifteen-year old son, who had died.

In 1850 and again in 1861, Sacramentans were faced with a completely flooded town. After the devastating 1850 flood, Sacramento experienced a cholera epidemic and a flu epidemic, which crippled the town for several years. In 1861, the legend has it that Governor Leland Stanford, who was inaugurated in early January 1861, had to attend his inauguration in a rowboat, which was not too far from his house in town on N street. The flood waters were so bad, the legend says, that when he returned to his house, he had to enter into it through the second floor window. In 1862 Sacramento raised the level of the city by landfill. Thus the previous first floors of buildings became the basements, which were later connected by tunnels under the streets of Old Sacramento. The tunnels became a network of opium dens, which were also mostly filled in. However, it is still possible to view portions of the "Sacramento Underground."

The same rivers that earlier brought death and destruction began to provide increasing levels of transportation and commerce. Both the American and especially Sacramento rivers would be key elements in the economic success of the city. In fact, Sacramento effectively controlled commerce on these rivers, and public works projects were funded though taxes levied on goods unloaded from boats and loaded onto rail cars in the historic Sacramento Rail Yardsmarker.
Sacramento City Hall

Now both rivers are used extensively for recreation. The American River is a 5-mph (8-km/h) waterway for all power boats (including jet-ski and similar craft) (Source Sacramento County Parks & Recreation) and has become an international attraction for rafters and kayakers. The Sacramento River sees many boaters, who can make day trips to nearby sloughs or continue along the Delta to the Bay Areamarker and San Franciscomarker. The Delta King, a paddlewheel steamboat which for eighteen months lay on the bottom of the San Francisco Bay, was refurbished and now boasts a hotel, a restaurant, and two different theatres for nightlife along the Old Sacramento riverfront.

The Modern Era

The city's current charter was adopted by voters in 1920, establishing a city council-and-manager form of government, still used today. As a charter city, Sacramento is exempt from many laws and regulations passed by the state legislature. The city has expanded continuously over the years. The 1964 merger of the City of North Sacramento with Sacramento substantially increased its population, and large annexations of the Natomas area eventually led to significant population growth throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Sacramento County (along with a portion of adjacent Placer Countymarker) is served by a customer-owned electric utility, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Sacramento voters approved the creation of SMUD in 1923. In April, 1946, after 12 years of litigation, a judge ordered Pacific Gas & Electric to transfer title of Sacramento's electric distribution system to SMUD. SMUD today is the sixth-largest public electric utility in the U.S., and has a worldwide reputation for innovative programs and services, including the development of clean fuel resources, such as solar power.

West America Bank Building

The Sacramento-Yolo Port District was created in 1947, and ground was broken on the Port of Sacramento in 1949. On June 29, 1963, with 5,000 spectators waiting to welcome her, the Motor Vessel Taipei Victory arrived. The port was open for business. The Nationalist Chinese flag ship, freshly painted for the historic event, was loaded with 5,000 tons of bagged rice for Mitsui Trading Co. bound for Okinawamarker and 1,000 tons of logs for Japanmarker. She was the first ocean-going vessel in Sacramento since the steamship Harpoon in 1934. The Port of Sacramentomarker has been plagued with operating losses in recent years and faces bankruptcy. This severe loss in business is due to the heavy competition from the Port of Stocktonmarker, which has a larger facility and a deeper channel. As of 2006, the city of West Sacramentomarker took responsibility for the Port of Sacramento. During the Viet Nam era, the Port of Sacramento was the major terminus in the supply route for all military parts, hardware and other cargo going into Southeast Asia.

In 1967, Ronald Reagan became the last Governor of California to live permanently in the city. A new executive mansion, constructed by private funds in a Sacramento suburb for Reagan, remained vacant for nearly forty years and was recently sold by the state.

The 1980s and 1990s saw the closure of several local military bases: McClellan Air Force Basemarker, Mather Air Force Basemarker, and Sacramento Army Depot. Sacramento is the capital of Californiamarker and the Government sector remains the largest employer. Also, in 1980, there was another flood. The flood's damage affected the Boat Section of Interstate 5. The culmination of a series of storms as well as a faulty valve are believed to have caused this damage.

In the early 1990s, Mayor Joe Serna attempted to lure the Los Angeles Raiders football team to Sacramento, selling $50 million in bonds as earnest money. When the deal fell through, the bond proceeds were used to construct several large projects, including expanding the Convention Center and refurbishing of the Memorial Auditorium. Serna renamed a city park for migrant worker rights activist Cesar Chavez. Through his effort, Sacramento became the first major city in the country to have a paid municipal holiday honoring Chavez.

In spite of major military base closures and the decline of agricultural food processing, Sacramento has continued to experience population growth in recent years. Primary sources of population growth are an influx of residents from the San Francisco Bay Areamarker seeking lower housing costs, as well as immigration from Asia and Latin America. From 1990 to 2000, the city's population grew by 14.7%. The Census Bureau estimates that from 2000 to 2007, the county's population increased by nearly 164,000 residents.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mayor Heather Fargo made several abortive attempts to provide taxpayer financing of a new sports arena for the Maloof brothers, owners of the Sacramento Kings NBA Basketball franchise. In November 2006, Sacramento voters soundly defeated a proposed sales tax hike to finance this, due in part to competing plans for the new arena and its location.

Sacramento has become a major influence in northern California culture. Sacramento has as much influence on citizens as the Bay Area and the Los Angeles area. Sacramento has been recognized as the number one diverse city in California. Racism is at an all time low, every part of the city is proudly mixed.

Despite a devolution of state government in recent years, the state government remains by far Sacramento's largest employer. The City of Sacramento expends considerable effort to keep state agencies from moving outside the city limits. In addition, many federal agencies have offices in Sacramento.

The California Supreme Courtmarker normally sits in San Franciscomarker.

Geography and climate


  • Elevation: 25 feet (8 m) above mean sea level.
  • Latitude: 38° 31' N; Longitude: -121° 30' W
The Sacramento River near the old pumping station
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which is land and water; 2.1% of the area is water. The population in 2000 was 407,018; the 1980 population was 275,741. The city's current estimated population is approximately 454,330. Depth to groundwater is typically about . Much of the land to the west of the city (in Yolo County) is a flood control basin. As a result, the greater metropolitan area sprawls only four miles (6 km) west of downtown (as West Sacramento, Californiamarker) but 30 miles (50 km) northeast and east, into the Sierra Nevada foothills, and 10 miles (16 km) to the south into valley farmland.

The city is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River, and has a deepwater port connected to the San Francisco Baymarker by a channel through the Sacramento River Deltamarker. It is the shipping and rail center for the Sacramento Valley, fruit, vegetables, rice, wheat, dairy goods, and beef. Food processing is among the major industries in the area.


Sacramento has a Mediterranean climate that is characterized by cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers (Koppen climate classification Csa). The "wet season" is generally October through April, though precipitation does occasionally fall as late as June or as early as September. The mean annual temperature is 61 °F (16 °C), with daily means ranging from 46 °F (8 °C) in December and January to 76 °F (24 °C) in July. Average daily high temperatures range from 55 °F (13 °C) in December and January to 93 °F (34 °C) in July and August. Daily low temperatures range from 41 °F in winter to 61 °F in summer (5 to 16 °C).

On average, there are 73 days on which the daily maximum temperature exceeds 90 °F (32 °C) each year, and the all-time record high temperature is 115 °F (46 °C), which occurred on July 25, 2006. On average, the daily minimum temperature drops below 32 °F (0 °C) on 18 days each year, and the all-time minimum temperature of 17 °F (-8 °C) occurred on December 11, 1932. Even on the coldest winter days, temperatures generally rise above 40 °F and always above freezing. Summer heat waves often bring triple-digit heat, and consecutive days with temperatures above 100 °F occur virtually every summer but the summer heat is often moderated by a sea breeze known as the "Delta Breeze" which comes through the Sacramento/San Joaquin delta from the San Francisco Baymarker.

The average annual precipitation is . On average, precipitation falls on 58 days each year in Sacramento, and nearly all of this falls during the winter months. Average January rainfall is , and measurable precipitation is rare during the summer months. In February 1992, Sacramento had 16 consecutive days of rain, resulting in an accumulation of 6.41 inches for the period (163 mm). A record 7.24 inches (184 mm) of rain fell on April 20, 1880. On rare occasions, monsoonal moisture surges from the Desert Southwest can bring upper-level moisture to the Sacramento region, leading to increased summer cloudiness, humidity, and even light showers and thunderstorms.

On average, 96 days in the year experience some degree of fog, which usually occurs in the morning (tule fog). The foggiest months are December and January. Tule fog can get extremely dense, lowering visibility to less than 100 feet (30 m) and making driving conditions extremely hazardous. Chilling Tule Fog events have been known to last for several consecutive days.

Snowfall is exceptionally rare in Sacramento (at an elevation of only above sea level). The all-time record snowfall was 3.5 inches (9 cm) and occurred on January 4, 1888. Dustings occur every 5–10 years, with up to an inch accumulation in outlying areas. During especially cold winter and spring storms, intense showers do occasionally produce a significant amount of hail, which can create hazardous driving conditions. Significant snow accumulations occur each year in the foothills located 40 miles (65 km) east of the city.


City neighborhoods

The city groups its neighborhoods into four areas:

Area one (Central/Eastern)

Alkali Flat, Boulevard Park, Campus Commons, Sacramento Statemarker, Dos Rios Triangle, Downtown, East Sacramento, Mansion Flats, Marshall School, Midtown, New Era Park, Newton Booth,Old Sacramentomarker, Poverty Ridge, Richards, Richmond Grove, River Park, Sierra Oaks, Southside Park., Arden-Arcade

Area two (Southwestern)

Airport, Freeport Manor, Golf Course Terrace, Greenhaven, Curtis Park, Hollywood Park, Land Park, Little Pocket, Mangan Park, Meadowview, Parkway, Pocket, Sacramento City Collegemarker, South Land Park, Valley Hi / North Laguna, Z'Berg Park

Area three (Southeastern)

Alhambra Triangle, Avondale, Brentwood, Carleton Tract, College Greens, Colonial Heights, Colonial Village,Colonial Village North, Curtis Park, Elmhurst, Fairgrounds, Florin-Fruitridge, Industrial Park, Fruitridge Manor, Glen Elder, Glenbrook, Granite Regional Park, Lawrence Park, Med Center, North City Farms, Oak Park, Packard Bell, South City Farms, Southeast Village, Tahoe Parkmarker, Tahoe Park East, Tahoe Park South, Tallac Village, Woodbine

Area four (North of the American River)

Natomas (north, south, west), Valley View Acres, Gardenland, Northgate, Woodlake, North Sacramento, Terrace Manor, Hagginwood, Del Paso Heights, Robla, McClellan Heights West, Ben Ali, and Swanston Estates.


As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 49.5% of Sacramento's population; of which 38.3% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 14.4% of Sacramento's population; of which 14.2% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 1.2% of the city's population; of which 0.8% were non-Hispanic. Asian made up 17.4% of the city's population; of which 17.1% were non-Hispanic. Pacific Islanders made up 1.2% of the city's population. Individuals from other races made up 11.6% of the city's population; of which 0.4% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 4.8% of the city's population; of which 3.2% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 24.8% of Sacramento's population.

As of the census of 2000, there are 407,018 people (2004 Est. 454,330), 154,581 households, and 91,202 families residing in the city. The population density is 4,189.2 people per square mile (1,617.4/km²). There are 163,957 housing units at an average density of 1,687.5/sq mi (651.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 48.3% White, 15.5% Black or African American, 1.3% Native American, 16.6% Asian, 0.9% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, 11.0% from other races, and 6.4% from two or more races. 21.6% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. There are 154,581 households out of which 30.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% are married couples living together, 15.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.0% are non-families. 32.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.57 and the average family size is 3.35.

In the city the population is spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $37,049, and the median income for a family is $42,051. Males have a median income of $35,946 versus $31,318 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,721. 20.0% of the population and 15.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 29.5% of those under the age of 18 and 9.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Factors such as mild climate, a location at the crossroads of major interstate highways and railroads, and the availability of campsites along the rivers, as well as an outlook of tolerance, attract homeless people.

Sacramento is notably diverse racially, ethnically, and by household income, and has a notable lack of interracial disharmony. In 2002, Time magazine and the Civil Rights Project of Harvard Universitymarker identified Sacramento as the most racially/ethnically integrated major city in America. The U.S. Census Bureau also groups Sacramento with other U.S. cities having a "High Diversity" rating of the diversity index.

Government and politics

The city government consists of a mayor and city council. The Mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The city council consists of eight members all of which are elected from districts.In the state legislature Sacramento is located in the 6th Senate District, represented by Democrat Darrell Steinberg, and in the 5th, 9th, and 10th Assembly Districts, represented by Republican Roger Niello, and Democrats Dave Jones, and Alyson Huber respectively. Federally, most of Sacramento is located in California's 5th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +14 and is represented by Democrat Doris Matsui. A portion of Sacramento is located in California's 3rd congressional district, represented by Republican Dan Lungren.


Colleges and universities

The Sacramento area hosts a wide variety of higher educational opportunities. There are 2 major public universities, many private institutions, community colleges, and vocational schools available.


Sacramento is home to Sacramento State marker, founded as Sacramento State College in 1947. In 2004, enrollment was 22,555 undergraduates and 5,417 graduate students in the university's eight colleges. The university's mascot is the hornet, and the school colors are green and gold. The 300 acre (1.2 km²) campus is located along the American River Parkway a few miles east of downtown.

The University of California has a campus, UC Davismarker, in nearby Davismarker and also has a graduate center in downtown Sacramento. The UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) is located in downtown Sacramento on One Capital Mall. Many students, about 400 out of 517, at the UC Davis GSM are working professionals and are completing their MBA part-time. The part-time program is ranked in the top-20 and is well-known for its small class size, world class faculty, and involvement in the business community. UC also maintains the University of California Sacramento Center (UCCS for undergraduate and graduate studies. Similar to the UC's Washington DC program, "Scholar Interns" engage in both academic studies and as well as internships, often with the state government. The UC Davis School of Medicine is located at the UC Davis Medical Centermarker between the neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Tahoe Parkmarker, and Oak Park.

The Los Rios Community College District consists of several two-year colleges in the Sacramento area – American River Collegemarker, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento City Collegemarker, Folsom Lake Collegemarker, plus a large number of outreach centers for those colleges.


National University of California maintains a campus in the city.

A satellite campus of Alliant International University offers graduate and undergraduate programs of study.

Trinity Life Bible College has been in Sacramento for over 34 years. It is an accredited college (through TRACS), offering small class sizes with degrees in ministerial studies, Christian studies and certificates in music, biblical counseling, youth ministry and Christian education.

Sacramento is home to an unaccredited private institution, University of Sacramentomarker, a Roman Catholic university run by the Legionaries of Christ. Currently, the university offers course work in graduate programs. Nearby Rocklin, CAmarker is home to William Jessup University, an evangelical Christian college.

University of San Franciscomarker has one of its four regional campuses in Sacramento. At the undergraduate level they offer degrees in Applied Economics, Information Systems, Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and Public Administration. At the graduate level, Master's programs are offered in: Information Security and Assurance, Information Systems, Organization Development, Project Management, Public Administration, Nonprofit Administration, and Counseling.

University of the Pacificmarker, McGeorge School of Law, a top 100 law school according to U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings of U.S. law schools (2006, 2007 & 2008), is located in the Oak Park section of Sacramento.

The private University of Southern Californiamarker has an extension in downtown Sacramento, called the State Capital Center. The campus, taught by main campus professors, Sacramento-based professors, and practitioners in the State Capitol and state agencies, offers Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Health degrees.

Universal Technical Institute (UTI), a nationwide provider of technical education training for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians has a campus located in Sacramento.

Sacramento has a number of private vocational schools as well.

In the PBS KVIE building, there is also an extension of San Franciscomarker's Golden Gate University.

K-12 Schools

Sacramento is served by many public school districts, mainly by the Sacramento City Unified and Twin Rivers Unified, but also private schools.

Public schools

Several public school districts serve Sacramento. Sacramento City Unified School District serves most of Sacramento. Other portions are served by the Center Unified School District, Natomas Unified School District, San Juan Unified School District, Twin Rivers Unified School District (the North Sacramento School District, the Del Paso Heights School District, the Rio Linda Union School District, and the Grant Joint Union High School District merged), Folsom-Cordova Unified School District, and Robla School District.

The Valley Hi/North Laguna area is served by the Elk Grove Unified School District, despite being in the city limits of Sacramento and not in Elk Grove.

Private schools

Catholic schools
Continuing an educational history that began in the Sacramento region at the time of the Gold Rush, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento operates 1 diocesan high school within the city and surrounding suburbs, St. Francis High Schoolmarker. Various Roman Catholic religious congregations operate three additional Catholic "private" (i.e., non-diocesan) high schools in the city and suburbs: Christian Brothers High Schoolmarker (sponsored by the Brothers of Christian Schools), Jesuit High School (the Society of Jesus, or "Jesuits"), and, as of the Fall of 2006, Cristo Rey High School Sacramentomarker (co-sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Sisters of Mercy, and the Jesuits). Sacramento is one of 12 cities in the United States with a Cristo Rey Network High School, the first of which was founded by the Jesuits in Chicago in 1996 on a reduced tuition model designed to be accessible to those otherwise unable to afford conventionally-priced private education.

Additionally within the city and surrounding suburbs are 30 "parochial" schools – i.e., schools attached to a parish. These range from the oldest still operating, St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School (1895), to the newest, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (2000), to the recently consolidated, John Paul II School (2005), combining All Hallows (1948) and St. Peter (1955) Schools at the All Hallows Parish site.

In 1857, almost immediately upon their arrival from Ireland, the Sisters of Mercy opened the first school of any kind in Sacramento. Open to all regardless of religious denomination, St. Joseph Academy continued operation through the late 1960s. The final school site is now a city of Sacramento parking garage. The "St. Joseph Garage" honors the name of the school that marked the arrival of formal education in Sacramento.

Independent schools
While Catholic institutions still dominate the independent school scene in the Sacramento area, in 1964, Sacramento Country Day School opened and offered Sacramentans an independent school that is affiliated with the California Association of Independent Schools. SCDS has grown to its present day status as a learning community for students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Additionally, the suburb of Fair Oaks hosts the expansive riverside campus of the Sacramento Waldorf Schoolmarker, a Steiner school adjacent to the Rudolf Steiner College, and the largest Waldorf school in North America. Sacramento Waldorf School educates students from pre-K through 12th Grade on a secluded, pastoral site that incorporates a large, functioning biodynamic farm.

Other religious schools
There is one Islamic school in Sacramento, Masjid Annur founded in 1988. Shalom School is the only Jewish day school in Sacramento.Capital Christian School is a pre school - 12 grade private, Christian school. It currently has roughly 1100 students enrolled. There's also a small bible college on campus where you can get an associates degree in bible or theology.

Culture and arts

The Big Four Building in Old Sacramento

The oldest part of the town besides Sutter's Fortmarker is Old Sacramentomarker, which consists of cobbled streets and some historic buildings, some from the 1860s. Buildings have been preserved, restored or reconstructed, and the district is now a substantial tourist attraction, with rides on steam-hauled historic trains and paddle steamers.

The "Big Four Building", built in 1852, was home to the offices of Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Leland Stanford, and Charles Crocker. The Central Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Railroad were founded there. The original building was destroyed in 1963 for the construction of Interstate 5, but was re-created using original elements in 1965. It is now a National Historic Landmark. Also of historic interest is the Eagle Theatre, a reconstruction of California's first permanent theatre in its original location.

Theatre Arts

The Community Center Theatre
The Wells Fargo Pavilion, Music Circus
Main Stage of the Sacramento Theatre Company
There are several major theatre venues for Sacramento. The Sacramento Convention Center Complexmarker governs both the Community Center Theatremarker and Memorial Auditoriummarker. The Wells Fargo Pavilionmarker is the most recent addition. It is built atop the old Music Circus tent foundations. Next to that is the McClatchy Main stage, originally built as a television studio, which was renovated at the same time the pavilion was built. It is the smallest of the venues and provides seating for only 300. The Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sacramento Opera perform at the Community Center Theatre.

Professional theatre is represented in Sacramento by a number of companies. California Musical Theatre and its Summer stock theatre, Music Circus, lure many directors, performers, and artists from New York to Los Angeles to work alongside a large local staff for their productions at the Wells Fargo Pavilionmarker. During the fall, winter and spring seasons Broadway Sacramento brings bus and truck tours to the Convention Center Theatre. The Sacramento Theatre Company provides non-musical productions as an Equity House Theatre, performing in the McClatchy Main stage. At the B Street Theatre, smaller and more intimate professional productions are performed as well as a children's theatre. The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival provides entertainment under the stars every summer in William Land Park.

The Sacramento area has one of the largest collection of smaller Community Theatres in California. Some of these include the 24th Street Theatre, River City Theatre Company, Runaway Stage Productions, Magic Circle Theatre, Fourth Stage, Beyond the Proscenium Productions, KOLT Run Productions, Kookaburra Productions, Big Idea Theatre, Celebration Arts, Flying Monkey Productions, Lambda Player, Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento, Synergy Stage and the historic Eagle Theatre. Many of these theatres compete annually for the Elly Awards overseen by The Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance or SARTA.

On Wednesday, June 13, 2007, a new studio for the performing arts was announced to be built alongside the Sacramento Theatre company and the Wells Fargo Pavilion. The new multi million dollar complex will be named the "E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts" and will provide rehearsal space for 4 of the region's principal arts groups— the Sacramento Ballet, California Musical Theatre, Sacramento Opera and the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, centralizing most of the city's Arts organizations.

Visual Arts

The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission is an organization which was established as the Sacramento arts council in 1977 to provide several arts programs for the city. These include Art in Public Places, Arts Education, Grants and Cultural Programs, Poet Laureate Program, Arts Stabilization Programs and Other Resources and opportunities.

Sacramento Second Saturday Art Walk is a program of local art galleries that stay open into the late evenings every second Saturday of each month providing a unique experience for the local population as well as tourists to view original art and meet the artists themselves.


Sacramento has several major museums. The Crocker Art Museum, the oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi River, is one of the finest. On July 26, 2007, the Museum broke ground for an expansion that will more than triple the buildings' floor space. The Modern architecture will be much different from the Victorian style building it is added to. Construction is to be completed by 2010.

Also of interest is the Governor's Mansion State Historic Parkmarker, a large Victorian Mansion which was home to 13 of California's Governors. The Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Parkmarker, which was completely restored in 2006, serves as the State's official address for diplomatic and business receptions. Guided public tours are available. The California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts, home of the California Hall of Fame, is a cultural destination dedicated to telling the rich history of California and its unique influence on the world of ideas, innovation, art and culture. The Museum educates tens of thousands of school children through inspiring programs, sharing with world visitors California's rich art, history and cultural legacy through dynamic exhibits, and serving as a public forum and international meeting place. The California State Railroad Museummarker in Old Sacramento has historical exhibits and live steam locomotives that patrons may ride. The California Automobile Museum, located just south of Old Sacramento, is filled with automotive history and vehicles from 1880 to 2006 and is the oldest non-profit automotive museum in the West. The mission of it is to preserve, promote, and teach automotive culture and its influence on our lives – past, present and future. In addition, the Sacramento History Museum, located in the heart of Old Sacramento, focuses on the history of Sacramento from the region's pre-Gold Rush history through the present day.

There is a Museum Day held in Sacramento every year , where 26 museums in the greater Sacramento area have free admission. The 2009 Sacramento Museum Day brought over 80,000 people, the largest the event has gathered. The Sacramento Museum Day is held every year on the first Saturday of February.


Classical music is widely available in usual and unusual venues. The Sacramento Philharmonic, the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra, the Sacramento Youth Symphony, the Sacramento Master Singers, the Sacramento Children's Chorus, and the Camellia Symphony each present a full season of concerts. One local church features an unusually sophisticated classical music program. All Hallows Church, serving working class south-central Sacramento, is host to the nation's only parish-based full symphony orchestra, which presents a full range of performances each season. Sections of the orchestra also perform at significant parish school events, and orchestra members teach a complete curriculum of choral music at the inner-city school. The parish also features periodic individual recitals, including on its Yamaha Concert Grand Piano and Italian-built Viscount Digital Pipe Organ, one of only nine four-manual Viscounts in the world. All Hallows promotes its vast music programs around the theme "Transforming the Inner-city Through the Beauty of Art."

Each year the city hosts the Sammies, the Sacramento Music Awards. Sacramento also has a reputation as a center for Dixieland jazz, because of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee which is held every Memorial Day weekend. Events and performances are held in multiple locations throughout the city. Each year thousands of jazz fans from all over the world visit for this one weekend. Sacramento is also home to the Sacramento French Film Festival, a cultural event held every year in July that features U.S. premiers of French films and classic masterpieces of French cinema. In addition, Sacramento is home to the Trash Film Orgy, a summer film festival celebrating the absurd, B-movies, horror, monster, exploitation.

A growing number of hardcore and metal bands hail from the Sacramento area, including Deftones and Far. Other bands such as Dance Gavin Dance hail from Sacramento. Famous alternative rock band Cake hails from Sacramento as do rock bands Papa Roach, Tesla, Oleander and Steel Breeze.

Sports and Recreation

ARCO Arenamarker is home to two professional level basketball teams: the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association and the Sacramento Monarchs of the Women's National Basketball Association. The Kings came to Sacramento from Kansas Citymarker in 1985, and the Monarchs are one of the eight founding members of the WNBA, which started in 1997. The Monarchs won the WNBA Championship in 2005 to become the first major, professional sports team in Sacramento to do so, however the Monarchs were folded November, 2009.

The Sacramento Solons, a minor league baseball team of the Pacific Coast League, played in Sacramento during several periods (1903, 1905, 1909-1914, 1918-1960, 1974-1976), mostly at Edmonds Field. In 2000, AAA minor league baseball returned to Sacramento with the Sacramento River Cats, an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The River Cats play in the recently constructed Raley Fieldmarker, located in West Sacramento.

Teams in several smaller leagues have been and continue to be in Sacramento. The Sacramento Heatwave of the American Basketball Association currently plays at Folsom High School. In the past, the city hosted three professional football teams, the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football, the Sacramento Gold Miners. Sacramento will also host a UFL team in the upcoming "premiere" season of the UFL. of the Canadian Football League, and the Sacramento Attack of the Arena Football League. Sacramento was also home to an indoor soccer team, the Sacramento Knights of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (later called the World Indoor Soccer League). The Sacramento River Rats of Roller Hockey International also played in the city for several years. The Sacramento XSV (pronounced "excessive") of the National Professional Paintball League represents the City but is based in Modestomarker, CA.

View of the city skyline from Raley Field

Sacramento hosted the 2000 and 2004 USA Olympic Track & Field Trials and has frequently hosted the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship as well as the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. The California International Marathon (est. 1983, finishes in front of the Capitol, and attracts a field of international elite runners who vie for a share of the $50,000 prize purse. The fast point-to-point course begins in Folsom and is also popular for runners seeking to achieve a Boston Marathon qualifying time and fitness runners. The Sacramento Mile is a national flat-track motorcycle racing event. From 1961 to 1980, Sacramento hosted the Camellia Bowl, which selected or helped select ten national champions in college football's lower divisions.

Sacramento is a hotbed for developing talented high school rugby clubs. Jesuit High is defending National Champs (winning 5 times in total). Last May their arch rival Christian Brothers came in 2nd nationwide. Burbank, Del Campo and Vacaville have also placed well in the nationals over the years. This talent feeds strong University clubs at Cal, St. Mary's UC Davis, Cal Poly, San Diego St. and others, and makes its way up to the Collegiate All American and Men's National team squad (the Eagles) in strong numbers each year. The Sacramento Valley High School Rugby Conference hosts the largest and argueably deepest preseason Youth and High School Rugby Tournament in America. The 26th Annual will fall on January 30/31, 2010. to be held at Granite Regional Park.

Sacramento also hosts some recreational facilities and events. The Jedediah Smith Memorial Trailmarker that runs between Old Sacramentomarker and Folsom Lakemarker grants access to the American River Parkway, a natural area that includes over 5,000 acres of undeveloped land. It attracts cyclists and equestrians from across the State. The California State Fairmarker is held in Sacramento each year at the end of the summer, ending on Labor Day. Over one million people attended this fair in 2001. Sacramento residents play softball more than any city except Detroit, Michiganmarker.

Among other recreational options in Sacramento is Discovery Park, a park studded with stands of mature trees and grasslands. This park where the American River flows into the Sacramento River. It is a destination for fisherman and travelers alike.

In amateur sports Sacramento claims many prominent Olympians such as Mark Spitz, Debbie Meyer, Mike Burton, Summer Sanders, Jeff Float (all swimming), and Billy Mills (track). Coach Sherm Chavoor founded his world famous Arden Hills Swim Club just east of the city and trained Burton, Myer, Spitz and others.

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Sacramento Kings NBA Basketball ARCO Arenamarker 1945 (1985) 1 NBA Championship, 2 NBL Championships (as Rochester Royals)
Sacramento Monarchs WNBA Basketball ARCO Arenamarker 1997 1 WNBA Championship
Sacramento River Cats PCL Baseball Raley Fieldmarker 1978 (2000) 2 Triple-A Titles, 4 League Titles
Sacramento Capitals WTT Tennis Allstate Stadium 1987 5 Championships
Sacramento Heatwave ABA Basketball Natomas H.S. Event Center 2003
Sacramento Knights NPSL Soccer Cosumnes River College 2003 1 Championship
Sacramento Sirens IWFL Football Foothill High School 2001 1 WAFL Title, 3 IWFL Titles
F.C. Sacramento Pride WPSL Soccer Lincoln High School 1995
Mandarins DCI Drum & Bugle Corps DCI members tour nationally 1963 Class A-60/Division III Champions (1987, 1988, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999), Division II Champions (2001)

Notable residents

Notable people with ties to Sacramento include Rodney King, whose beating by police (caught on film) sparked the Los Angeles riots of 1992, designer architect Ray Eames, retired USMC Lieutenant General John F. Goodman, painter Wayne Thiebaud, photographer Michael Williamson, videographer Justin Carter, philosopher Cornel West, author J. Maarten Troost, astronaut Stephen Robinson, U.S. Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, record producer Charlie Peacock, War Hero COL Greg Reilly and writer Joan Didion. Journalist Mary K. Shell, the mayor of Bakersfieldmarker from 1981-1985, and her husband, the then petroleum lobbyist Joe Shell, lived in Sacramento during the 1970s.

In addition to Huntington, Hopkins, Stanford, and Crocker, the city's more successful entrepreneurs have included Russ Solomon (Tower Records), Frank Fat, and Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson (Shakey's Pizza).

Actors, singers, rap artists, bands, and other performers with ties to the city can be found under Sacramento entertainers. For sports figures with ties to Sacramento see Sacramento sports figures.


The Sacramento region is served by I-5, I-80, Business 80 (Capital City Freeway), Highway 50 (El Dorado Freeway), Highway 99, Highway 160 (Downtown Sacramento), and Highway 65. The freeways that serve Sacramento dominate life in the city.

Some Sacramento neighborhoods, such as Downtown Sacramento and Midtown Sacramento are bicycle friendly. As a result of litigation, Sacramento has undertaken to make all city facilities and sidewalks wheelchair accessible. In an effort to preserve its urban neighborhoods, Sacramento has constructed traffic-calming measures in several areas.

Amtrak service

Amtrak provides passenger rail service to the city of Sacramento. The Sacramento Valley Rail Stationmarker is located on the corner of 5th and I streets near the historic Old Town Sacramento and as of April, 2007, is currently undergoing extensive renovations. The station also serves as an RT light rail terminus.

Amtrak California operates the Capitol Corridor, a multiple-frequency service providing service from the capital city to its northeastern suburbs and the San Francisco Bay Areamarker.

Sacramento is also the northern terminus of the Amtrak San Joaquins route which provide direct multiple-frequency passenger rail service to California's Central Valley as far as Bakersfieldmarker; Thruway Motorcoach connections are available from the trains at Bakersfield to Southern California and Southern Nevadamarker.

Sacramento is also a stop along Amtrak's Coast Starlight route which provides scenic service to Seattlemarker via Klamath Fallsmarker and Portlandmarker to the north and to Los Angelesmarker via San Luis Obispomarker and Santa Barbaramarker to the south.

Amtrak's California Zephyr also serves Sacramento daily and provides service to the east serving Renomarker, Salt Lakemarker, Denvermarker, Omahamarker, Chicagomarker and intermediate cities.

The Sacramento Valley Rail Stationmarker also provides numerous Thruway Motorcoach routes. One route serves the cities of Marysvillemarker, Orovillemarker, Chicomarker, Corningmarker, Red Bluffmarker and Reddingmarker with additional service to Yrekamarker and even Medford, Oregonmarker. A second serves the cities of Rosevillemarker, Rocklinmarker, Auburnmarker, Colfaxmarker, Truckeemarker, Reno and Sparksmarker. The third and final thruway motorcoach route serves Placervillemarker, Lake Tahoemarker, Statelinemarker Casinos, and Carson City, Nevadamarker. Each of these routes provides multiple frequencies each day.

On March 15, 2007 around 5:40 p.m. a rail trestle along the American River set fire and left an Amtrak train stuck on the track for over 5 hours until Amtrak buses arrived to help the stranded travelers.

Sacramento is the 2nd busiest Amtrak station in California and the 10th busiest in the country.

Other transportation options

Regional Transit (RT) lightrail train pulls onto K Street
Sacramento Regional Transit's bus and light-rail system provide service within the city and nearby suburbs. Light-rail lines have recently been expanded east as far as the city of Folsommarker. Sacramento's light rail system goes to the Sacramento Valley Rail Stationmarker, Meadowview RD. in south Sacramento and north to Watt/I-80 where I-80 and Business 80 meet.

The Sacramento International Airportmarker handles flights to and from various United Statesmarker destinations (including Hawaiimarker) as well as Mexicomarker and Canadamarker.

Bicycling is an increasingly popular transportation mode in Sacramento, which enjoys a mild climate and flat terrain. Bicycling is especially common in the older neighborhoods of Sacramento's center, such as Alkali Flat, Midtown, McKinley Park, Land Park, and East Sacramento. Many employees who work downtown commute by bicycle from suburban communities on a dedicated bicycle path on the American River Parkway. Sacramento was designated as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists in September 2006. The advocacy organization Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates co-sponsors the Sacramento Area Council of Governments' May is Bike Month campaign.

Sister cities

Sacramento has eight sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:



Channel Call Sign Network
3 KCRA-TVmarker NBC
6 KVIEmarker PBS
10 KXTVmarker ABC
13 KOVRmarker CBS
19 KUVS-TVmarker Univision
29 KSPXmarker ION
31 KMAX-TVmarker CW
32 KSTV-LP Azteca America
33 KCSO-LP Telemundo
40 KTXLmarker Fox
58 KQCAmarker MyNetworkTV
64 KTFKmarker Telefutura

Sacramento newspapers

The primary newspaper is The Sacramento Bee, founded in 1857 by James McClatchy. Its rival, the Sacramento Union, started publishing six years earlier in 1851; it closed its doors in 1994. Writer and journalist Mark Twain wrote for the Union in 1866. In late 2004, a new Sacramento Union returned with bimonthly magazines and in May 2005 began monthly publication, but does not intend to return as a daily newspaper. In 2006, The McClatchy Company purchased Knight Ridder Inc. to become the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States. The Sacramento Bee has won five Pulitzer Prizes in its history. It has won numerous other awards, including many for its progressive public service campaigns promoting free speech (the Bee often criticized government policy, and uncovered many scandals hurting Californiansmarker), anti-racism (the Bee supported the Union during the American Civil War and publicly denounced the Ku Klux Klan), worker's rights (the Bee has a strong history of supporting unionization), and environmental protection (leading numerous tree-planting campaigns and fighting against environmental destruction in the Sierra Nevada).



See also: List of radio stations in Sacramento

See also


  1. America's Most Livable Communities - Most Livable Program 2004. America's Most Livable Communities. Retrieved on 2008-02-27.
  2. Welcome to America's Most Diverse City - TIME. Time Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-03-27.
  4. City of Sacramento Municipal Homepage
  9. A 'sacred' city - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial | Sacramento Bee
  10. Sure, we're diverse -- now let's make it work - Sacramento Business Journal:
  12. Area One (Central/Eastern)
  13. Area Two (Southwestern)
  14. Area Three (Southeastern)
  15. Area Four (North of the American River)
  18. Fact Sheet : Sacramento city, California, U.S. Census Bureau.
  19. Stodghill, Ron; Bower, Amanda (2002-08-25). Welcome to America's Most Diverse City. Time. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  20. The Geography of U.S. Diversity (PDF). United States Census. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  21. UC Davis Graduate School of Management: About Us
  22. University of San Francisco, Sacramento Regional Campus
  23. USC SPPD in Sacramento

External links

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