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San Jose ( ) (meaning St. Joseph in Spanish) or San José is the third-largest city in Californiamarker and the tenth-largest in the United Statesmarker. The county seat of Santa Clara Countymarker, it is located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Areamarker, a region commonly referred to as Silicon Valleymarker. Once a small farming city, San Jose became a magnet for suburban newcomers in new housing developments between the 1960s and 1990s, and is now the largest city in Northern California. Its estimated population by the US Census Bureau as of 2008 is 948,279. The greater metropolitan area contains approximately 7.4 million residents. It is one of the primary cities of the San Francisco Bay Areamarker, and the largest in terms of population, land area, and industrial development.

San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777 as El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, the first town in the Spanish colony of Nueva Californiamarker, which later became Alta Californiamarker. The city served as a farming community to support Spanish military installations at San Franciscomarker and Montereymarker. When Californiamarker gained statehood in 1850, San Jose served as its first capital. After more than 150 years as an agricultural center, San Jose experienced increased demand for housing from soldiers and other veterans returning from World War II, as well as aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s by annexing more land area. By the 1990s, San Jose's location within the booming local technology industry earned the city the nickname Capital of Silicon Valley.


Prior to European settlement, the area was inhabited by several groups of Ohlone Native Americans The first lasting European presence began with a series of Franciscan missions established from 1769 by Father Junípero Serra. On orders from Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, Spanish Viceroy of New Spain, San Jose was founded by Lieutenant José Joaquín Moraga as Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe (in honor of Saint Joseph) on November 29, 1777, to establish a farming community. The town was the first civil settlement in Alta Californiamarker.

In 1797, the pueblo was moved from its original location, near the present-day intersection of Guadalupe Parkway and Taylor Street, to a location in what is now Downtown San Josemarker. San Jose came under Mexican rulemarker in 1825 after Mexico broke with the Spanish crown. It then became part of the United States, after it capitulated without bloodshed in 1846 and California was annexed. Soon afterwards, on March 27, 1850, San Jose became the second incorporated city in the state (after Sacramento), with Josiah Belden its first mayor. The town was the state's first capital, as well as host of the first and second sessions (1850-1851) of the California Legislature. Today the Circle of Palms Plazamarker in downtown is the historical marker for the first state capital.

Though not impacted as severely as San Franciscomarker, San Jose suffered damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Over 100 people died at the Agnews Asylum (later Agnews State Hospital) after its walls and roof collapsed, and the San Jose High School's three-story stone was also destroyed. During World War II many Japanese were sent to internment camps and, following the Los Angelesmarker zoot suit riots, anti-Mexican violence took place in the summer of 1943.

As World War II started, the city's economy shifted from agriculture (the Del Monte cannery was the largest employer) to industrial manufacturing with the contracting of the Food Machinery Corporation (FMC) by the United States War Department to build 1000 Landing Vehicle Tracked. After World War II, FMC (later United Defense, and currently BAE Systemsmarker) continued as a defense contractor, with the San Jose facilities designing and manufacturing military platforms such as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and various subsystems of the M1 Abrams. IBM established its West Coast headquarters in San Jose in 1943 and opened a downtown research and development facility in 1952. Both would prove to be harbingers for the economy of San Jose, as Reynold Johnson and his team would later invent RAMAC, as well as the disc drive, and the technological side of San Jose's economy grew.

During the 1950s and 1960s, city manager Dutch Hamann led the city in a major growth campaign. The city annexed adjacent areas, such as Alvisomarker and Cambrian Parkmarker, providing large areas for suburbs. An anti-growth reaction to the effects of rapid development emerged in the 1970s championed by mayors Norman Mineta and Janet Gray Hayes. Despite establishing an urban growth boundary, development fees, and incorporations of Campbellmarker and Cupertinomarker, development was not slowed, but rather directed into already incorporated areas. San Jose's position in Silicon Valleymarker triggered more economic and population growth, which led to the highest housing costs increase in the nation, 936% between 1976 and 2001. Efforts to increase density continued into 1990s when an update of the 1974 urban plan kept the urban growth boundaries intact and voters rejected a ballot measure to ease development restrictions in the foothills. Sixty percent of the housing built in San Jose since 1980 and over three-quarters of the housing built since 2000 have been multifamily structures, reflecting a political propensity toward Smart Growth planning principles.


On April 3, 1979, the San Jose City Council adopted San José as the spelling of the city name on the city seal, official stationery, office titles and department names. Also, by city council convention, the spelling of San José is used when the name is stated in both uppercase and lowercase letters, but not when the name is stated only in uppercase letters. The name is still more commonly spelled without the diacritical mark as San Jose. The official name of the city remains City of San Jose with no diacritical mark, according to the City Charter.


As of the census of 2000, there were 894,943 people, 276,598 households, and 203,576 families residing in the city.

The population density was 5,117.9 people per square mile (1,976.1/km²). There were 281,841 housing units at an average density of 1,611.8 per square mile (622.3/km²). Of the 276,598 households, 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.20 and the average family size was 3.62.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was the highest in the US for any city with more than a quarter million residents with $76,963 annually. The median income for a family was $86,822. Males had a median income of $49,347 versus $36,936 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,697. About 6.0% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.3% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 49.3% of San Jose's population; of which 31.7% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 3.2% of San Jose's population; of which 3.1% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.5% of San Jose's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 30.7% of San Jose's population; of which 30.5% were non-Hispanic. Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.4% of San Jose's population. Individuals from some other race made up 12.6% of San Jose's population; of which 0.4% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 3.2% of San Jose's population; of which 2.2% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 31.3% of San Jose's population.

According to the United States Census Bureau, San Jose's population on July 1, 2008 was 948,279, third in the state behind Los Angelesmarker and San Diegomarker, and tenth in the country. The estimate indicated a growth of 1.66 percent from the previous year. The California Department of Finance estimated the 2009 population at 1,006,892 residents as of January 1.

San Jose and the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area is home to many Christian congregations including large, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox church, Mormon and Jehovah's Witnesses alongside centers of Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist and Sikh faiths among numerous other religious communities.

When it comes to dealing with such an ethnically diverse demographic, San Jose has a relatively easy situation with race relations . A high percentage of foreign-born live in the city; representing 39.0% of the city's population, including many high-tech workers from East and South Asia. The people from these countries have settled in the city and across the Santa Clara Valley during the last three decades. Many Central American, Southeast Asian and Eastern European immigrants have lived in San Jose since the late 1970s and early 1980s . A large, multi-generational Hispanic barrio is in the Alum Rock district. San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population of any city in the world outside of Vietnammarker.


San Jose is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 178.2 square miles (461.5 km²), of which 3.3 square miles (8.6 km²; 1.86%) is water.

San Jose lies near the San Andreas Faultmarker, a major source of earthquake activity in California. The most serious earthquake, in 1906, damaged many buildings in San Jose as described earlier. Earlier significant quakes rocked the city in 1839, 1851, 1858, 1864, 1865, 1868marker, and 1891. The Daly Citymarker Earthquake of 1957 caused some damage. The Loma Prieta earthquakemarker of 1989 also did some damage to parts of the city. The other faults near San Jose are the Monte Vista Fault, South Hayward Fault, Northern Calaveras Fault, and Central Calaveras Fault.

The Guadalupe Rivermarker runs from the Santa Cruz Mountainsmarker (which separate the South Bay from the Pacific Coast) flowing north through San Jose, ending in the San Francisco Bay at Alvisomarker. Along the southern part of the river is the neighborhood of Almaden Valleymarker, originally named for the mercury mines which produced mercury needed for gold extraction from quartz during the California Gold Rush as well as mercury fulminate blasting caps and detonators for the U.S. military from 1870 to 1945.

The lowest point in San Jose is 13 feet (4 m) below sea level at the San Francisco Bay in Alviso; the highest is 4,372 feet (1,333 m) at Copernicus Peak, Mount Hamiltonmarker, which is technically outside the city limit. Due to the proximity to Lick Observatorymarker atop Mount Hamilton, San Jose has taken several steps to reduce light pollution, including replacing all street lamps and outdoor lighting in private developments with low pressure sodium lamps. To recognize the city's efforts, the asteroid 6216 San Jose was named after the city.


Mount Hamilton in January, with morning fog clearing away.
Jose, like most of the Bay Area, has a Mediterranean climate. Unlike San Franciscomarker, which is exposed to the ocean or Bay on three sides and whose temperature therefore varies relatively little year-round and overnight, San Jose lies farther inland, protected on three sides by mountains. This shelters the city from rain and makes it more of a semiarid, near-desert area, with a mean annual rainfall of 14.4 inches (366 mm), compared to some other parts of the Bay Area, which can get up to four times that amount. It also avoids San Francisco's omnipresent fog most of the year.

However, temperatures are generally moderate. January's average high is 61 °F (16 °C) and average low is 41 °F (5 °C), with overnight freezes several nights each year; July's average high is 84 °F (29 °C) and average low is 57 °F (14 °C), with heat exceeding 100 °F (38 °C) several days each year when winds blow from inland, usually in late summer. The highest temperature ever recorded in San Jose was 109 °F (42.8 °C) on June 14, 2000; the lowest was 19 °F (-8.3 °C) in December, 1990. Temperatures between night and day can vary by 30 or 40 °F (17 to 22 °C). Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on an average of 18.3 days annually, and drop to 32 °F (0 °C) or lower on an average of 4.6 days annually. High temperatures are almost always without high humidity. Temperatures drop below 40°F on average of 17.6 days annually.

With the light rainfall, San Jose and its suburbs experience over 300 days a year of full or significant sunshine. Rain occurs primarily in the months from October through April or May, with hardly any rainfall from June through September. During the winter, hillsides and fields turn green with grasses and vegetation, although deciduous trees are bare; with the coming of the annual summer dry period, the vegetation dies and dries, giving the hills a golden cover, which also provides fuel for frequent grass fires.

Measurable precipitation falls in downtown San Jose on an average of 50 days a year, many times only for part of the day. Annual precipitation has ranged from in 1953 to in 1983. The most precipitation in one month was in February 1998. The maximum 24-hour rainfall was on January 30, 1968. Although the summer is normally quite dry in San Jose, a very heavy thunderstorm on August 21, 1968, brought 1.92 inch of rain, causing some localized flooding.

The snow level drops as low as 2,000 ft (610 m) above sea level, or lower, occasionally each winter, coating nearby Mount Hamiltonmarker, and less frequently the Santa Cruz Mountainsmarker, with snow that normally lasts a few days. This sometimes snarls traffic traveling on State Route 17 towards Santa Cruzmarker. Snow occasionally falls in San Jose, but until recently, the most recent snow to remain on the ground was on February 5, 1976, when many residents around the city saw as much as 3 inches (7.6 cm) on car and roof tops. The official observation station measured only of snow. However, in March 2006, a smaller amount, up to one inch (2.5 cm) of snow fell in downtown San Jose as well as other areas around the city at elevations of only 90 feet (27 m) to 200 feet (61 m) above sea level.

Like most of the Bay Area, San Jose is made up of dozens of microclimates. Downtown San Jose experiences the lightest rainfall in the city, while South San Jose, only 10 miles (16 km) distant, experiences more rainfall and slightly more extreme temperatures.



A view of Downtown San Jose as seen from East Foothills

The city is divided into many neighborhoods, many of which were incorporated places or communities that were annexed by the city. There are also several independent cities around San Jose, but they are popularly grouped with the city of San Jose, either due to being completely engulfed as enclaves by San Jose, or lying within its immediate vicinity. Generally, the city is divided into the following areas: Downtown San Josemarker, Central, West San Jose, North San Josemarker, East San Jose, and South San Josemarker.

Some well-known communities within San Jose include Downtown San Josemarker, Japantown, Rose Garden, Sunol-Midtownmarker, Willow Glenmarker, Naglee Parkmarker, central,Burbankmarker, Cambrian Parkmarker, West San Jose, Winchester to the west, Alvisomarker, Berryessamarker to the north, Evergreenmarker, Alum Rockmarker, East Foothillsmarker, King and Storymarker, Little Portugalmarker to the east, Almaden Valleymarker, Blossom Valley, Coyote Valleymarker, Santa Teresa, Silver Creek Valley, Edenvale, Seven Treesmarker to the south.


Important landmarks in San Jose include Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, History Park at Kelley Parkmarker, Cathedral Basilica of St. Josephmarker, Plaza de César Chávezmarker, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Mexican Heritage Plazamarker, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, Lick Observatorymarker, Hayes Mansionmarker, HP Pavilion at San Josemarker, De Anza Hotelmarker, San Jose Improv, San Jose Municipal Stadiummarker, Spartan Stadiummarker, Japantown San Jose, Winchester Mystery Housemarker, Raging Waters, Circle of Palms Plazamarker, King and Storymarker, San Jose City Hall, San Jose Flea Market, and The Tech Museum of Innovationmarker.

Image:Hotel De Anza San Jose Palms.jpg|De Anza HotelmarkerImage:HP Pavilion.jpg|HP Pavilion at San JosemarkerImage:USA-San Jose-Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph-18.jpg|Cathedral Basilica of Saint JosephmarkerImage:Lick Observatory Shane Telescope.jpg|Lick ObservatorymarkerImage:Dolce Hayes Mansion at dusk.jpg|Hayes MansionmarkerImage:Plaza de Cesar Chavez 01.jpg|Plaza de César ChávezmarkerImage:Rc egyptian museum.jpg|Rosicrucian Egyptian MuseumImage:Winchester Mystery House San Jose 01.jpg|Winchester Mystery Housemarker


Adobe Systems headquarters
The large concentration of high-technology engineering, computer, and microprocessor companies around San Jose has led the area to be known as Silicon Valleymarker. As the largest city in the valley, San Jose has billed itself "the capital of Silicon Valley." Area schools such as the University of California, Berkeleymarker, University of California, Santa Cruzmarker, San José State Universitymarker, San Francisco State Universitymarker, California State University, East Baymarker, Santa Clara Universitymarker, and Stanford Universitymarker pump thousands of engineering and computer science graduates into the local economy every year.

High economic growth during the tech bubble caused employment, housing prices, and traffic congestion to peak in the late 1990s. As the economy slowed in the early 2000s, employment and traffic congestion diminished somewhat. In the mid-2000s, traffic along major highways again began to worsen as the economy improved. San Jose had 405,000 jobs within its city limits in 2006, and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. In 2000, San Jose residents had the highest median household income of any city with a population over 300,000, and currently has the highest median income of any city with over 280,000 people.

San Jose lists 25 companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, Cisco, SunPower and eBay, as well as major facilities for Flextronics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Hitachi and Lockheed Martin. Sizable government employers include the city government, Santa Clara Countymarker, and San José State Universitymarker. Acer's United States division has its offices in San Jose.

The cost of living in San Jose and the surrounding areas is among the highest in California and the nation. Housing costs are the primary reason for the high cost of living, although the costs in all areas tracked by ACCRA are above the national average. Despite the high cost of living in San Jose, households in city limits have the highest disposable income of any city in the U.S. with over 500,000 residents.

San Jose residents produce more U.S. patents than any other city. Thirty-five percent of all venture capital funds in the U.S. are invested in San Jose and Silicon Valley companies.

Law and government


San Jose is a charter city under California law, giving it the power to enact local ordinances that may conflict with state law, within the limits provided by the charter. The city has a mayor council government with a city manager nominated by the mayor and elected by the city council.

The San José City Council is made up of ten council members elected by districts, and a mayor elected by the entire city. During city council meetings, the mayor presides, and all eleven members can vote on any issue. The mayor has no veto powers. Council members and the mayor are elected to four-year terms; the even-numbered district council members beginning in 1994; the mayor and the odd-numbered district council members beginning in 1996. Council members and the mayor are limited to two successive terms in office, although a council member that has reached the term limit can be elected mayor, and vice versa. The council elects a vice-mayor from the members of the council at the second meeting of the year following a council election. This council member acts as mayor during the temporary absence of the mayor, but does not succeed to the mayor's office upon a vacancy.

The City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the city, and must present an annual budget for approval by the city council. When the office is vacant, the Mayor proposes a candidate for City Manager, subject to council approval. The council appoints the Manager for an indefinite term, and may at any time remove the manager, or the electorate may remove the manager through a recall election. Other city officers appointed by the council are the City Attorney, City Auditor, City Clerk, and Independent Police Auditor.

Like all California cities except San Franciscomarker, both the levels and the boundaries of what the city government controls are determined by the local county Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). The goal of a LAFCO is to try to avoid uncontrolled urban sprawl. The Santa Clara County LAFCO has set boundaries of San Jose's "Sphere of Influence" (indicated by the blue line in the map near the top of the page) as a superset of the actual city limits (the yellow area in the map), plus parts of the surrounding unincorporated county land, where San Jose can, for example, prevent development of fringe areas to concentrate city growth closer to the city's core. The LAFCO also defines a subset of the Sphere as an 'Urban Service Area' (indicated by the red line in the map), effectively limiting development to areas where urban infrastructure (sewers, electrical service, etc.) already exists.

San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara Countymarker. Accordingly, many county government facilities are located in the city, including the office of the County Executive, the Board of Supervisors, the District Attorney's Office, eight courthouses of the Superior Court, the Sheriff's Office, and the County Clerk.

State and federal

In the state legislature San Jose is located in the 10th, 11th, 13th, and 15th Senate Districts, represented by Democrats Ellen Corbett, Joe Simitian, and Elaine Alquist, and Republican Abel Maldonado respectively, and in the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 27th, and 28th Assembly Districts, represented by Democrats Alberto Torrico, Ira Ruskin, Paul Fong, Joe Coto, Jim Beall, Bill Monning, and Anna M. Caballero respectively. Federally, San Jose is located in California's 14th, 15th, and 16th congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of D +18, D +14, and D +16 respectively and are represented by Democrats Anna Eshoo, Mike Honda, and Zoe Lofgren respectively.

Several state and federal agencies maintain offices in San Jose. The city is the location of the Sixth District of the California Courts of Appeal. It is also home to one of the courthouses of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.


During the 1990s and 2000s, the crime rate fell, but not as quickly as crime rates in most American cities during that time period. Recently, however, crime rates have risen. Despite the rising crime, it is still ranked as one of the safest cities in the entire country with a population over 500,000 people. The designation is based on crime statistics reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft. Current mayor Chuck Reed is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York Citymarker mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bostonmarker mayor Thomas Menino.

Sister cities

The Office of Economic Development coordinates the San Jose Sister City Program which is part of Sister Cities International. As of 2008, there are seven sister cities:

Arts and architecture

Because the downtown area is in the flight path to nearby Mineta San Jose International Airportmarker (also evidenced in the above panoramic), there is a height limit for buildings in the downtown area, which is under the final approach corridor to the airport. The height limit is dictated by local ordinances, driven by the distance from the runway and a slope defined by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Core downtown buildings are limited to approximately but can get taller farther from the airport. There has been broad criticism over the past few decades of the city's architecture. Citizens have complained that San Jose is lacking in aesthetically pleasing architectural styles. Blame for this lack of architectural "beauty" can be assigned to the re-development of the downtown area from the 1950s onward, in which whole blocks of historic commercial and residential structures were demolished. Exceptions to this include the Downtown Historic Districtmarker, the De Anza Hotelmarker, and the Hotel Sainte Clairemarker, both of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places for their architectural and historical significance.

Municipal building projects have experimented more with architectural styles than have most private enterprises. The Children's Discovery Museum, Tech Museum of Innovation, and the San Jose Repertory Theater building have experimented with bold colors and unusual exteriors. The new City Hall, designed by Richard Meier & Partners opened in 2005 and is a notable addition to the growing collection of municipal building projects.

Public art is an evolving attraction in the city. The city was one of the first to adopt a public art ordinance at 2% of capital improvement building project budgets, and the results of this commitment are beginning to have an impact on the visual landscape of the city. There are a considerable number of public art projects throughout the downtown area, and a growing collection in the newer civic locations in neighborhoods including libraries, parks, and fire stations. Of particular note, the Mineta Airport expansion is incorporating a program of Art & Technology into its development.

Within the early efforts at public art, there are notable controversies. Two examples include the statue of Quetzalcoatl (the plumed serpent) in downtown which was controversial in its planning because some religious groups felt that it was pagan, and controversial in its implementation because many felt that the final statue by Robert Graham did not closely resemble a winged serpent, and was more noted for its expense than its aesthetics. This has resulted in a common "inside" joke among locals, who insist it closely resembles a pile of feces.

The statue of Thomas Fallon also met strong resistance from those who felt that people like him were largely responsible for the decimation of early native populations and Chicano/Latino activists protested he captured San Jose by violent force in the Mexican-American war (1846) as well "repressed" historic documents of Fallon ordered the expulsion of most of the city's Californio (early Spanish or Mexican) residents. In October 1991 after protests in part of Columbus Day and Dia de la Raza celebrations, the Fallon statue plan was scrapped and the statue was stored in a warehouse in Oaklandmarker for more than a decade. The statue was returned to public display in 2002, albeit in a less conspicuous location: Pellier Park, a small triangular patched formed by the merge of West Julian and West St. James streets.

In 2001, the city sponsored SharkByte, an exhibit of decorated sharks, based on the mascot of the hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, and modeled after Chicagomarker's display of decorated cows. Large models of sharks were decorated in a variety of clever, colorful, or creative ways by local artists and were then displayed for months at dozens of locations around the city. Many displays were removed early because of vandalism. After the exhibition, the sharks were auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity. The sharks can still be found in their new owners' homes and businesses.

In 2006, Adobe Systems in commissioned an art installation titled San Jose Semaphore by Ben Rubin, which is located at the top of its headquarters building. Semaphore is composed of four LED discs which "rotate" to transmit a message. The content of the San Jose Semaphore’s message remained a mystery until it was deciphered in August 2007. The visual art installation is supplemented with an audio track, transmitted from the building on a low-power AM station. The audio track provides clues to decode the message being transmitted.

The city is home to many performing arts companies, including Opera San José, Symphony Silicon Valley, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, Children's Musical Theater of San Jose (recognized as the largest and most talented youth theatre company in the nation), the San Jose Repertory Theatre, and the now-defunct American Musical Theatre of San Jose. San Jose also is home to the San Jose Museum of Art, one of the nation's premiere Modern Art museums. In addition, the annual Cinequest Film Festival in downtown has grown to over 60,000 attendees per year, becoming an important festival for independent films.

The HP Pavilion at San Josemarker is one of the most active venues for events in the world. According to Billboard Magazine and Pollstar, the arena sold the most tickets to non-sporting events of any venue in the United States, and third in the world after the Manchester Evening News Arenamarker in Manchestermarker, Englandmarker, and the Bell Centremarker in Montreal, Quebecmarker, Canadamarker, for the period from January 1 September 30, 2004. Including sporting events, the HP Pavilion averages 184 events a year, or roughly one event for every two days, which is significantly higher than the average for NHL arenas.


Club Sport Founded League Venue
San Jose Sharks Hockey 1991 National Hockey League: Western Conference HP Pavilion at San Josemarker
San Jose Earthquakes Soccer 1995 Major League Soccer: Western Conference Buck Shaw Stadiummarker
San Jose Giants Baseball 1988 California League San Jose Municipal Stadiummarker
San Jose SaberCats Arena Football 1995 Arena Football League HP Pavilion at San Josemarker
Mixed Martial Arts 2006 Strikeforce HP Pavilion at San Josemarker

The only two "Big Five" teams to play in San Jose are the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the San Jose Earthquakes of the Major League Soccer (MLS). The Sharks began play as an expansion team in 1991. As of the 2007–08 NHL season, the Sharks have become extremely popular in San Jose and are one of the top draws in the NHL, selling out nearly all of their home games. However, the team still has yet to win the Stanley Cup. The closest it ever came was in 2004 when it lost in the Western Conference Final to the Calgary Flames. The Sharks play home games at the HP Pavilion at San Josemarker (also referred to as the Shark Tank or the Tank) and are a member of the NHL's Pacific Division in the Western Conference. The Sharks have won the Pacific Division four times, most recently in 2008-2009. They have intense rivalries with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, and Dallas Stars, as well as geographic rivalries with the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.

San Jose has had previous attempts to draw teams from Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA by offering stadium deals or attracting relocating sports teams. In 1991 the San Francisco Giants baseball team nearly closed the deal to play in San Jose. In November 2007, MLB's Oakland Athletics (A's) submitted plans to the neighboring city of Fremont in Alameda County for a 32,000 seat stadium with a planned opening for the 2011 season. Since the mid-1990s, numerous attempts to move the team to San Jose or Santa Clara never materialized due to territorial restrictions that places San Jose into neighboring National League's San Francisco Giants territory. Nevertheless, the proposed Cisco Fieldmarker (naming rights were purchased in 2006 by San Jose-based networking company Cisco Systems) was to be five to eight miles (8 to 13 kilometers) north of San Jose's city limits via Interstate 880. This was possible because the A's own territorial rights for Alameda County, which borders much of San Jose to the north. Since the team would have been located closer to San Jose than its current home in Oaklandmarker if the plan went through, speculation on a name change to more closely identify with San Jose and its more affluent population and businesses was rife according to the San Jose Mercury-News. In February 2009, local opposition from Fremont businesses and residents in the area forced the A's to terminate the project. Oakland A's lead owner Lew Wolff announced plans a few days to pursue a new stadium in San Jose. In May 2009, the San Jose city council (mindful of the community opposition that killed the Fremont stadium proposal) voted to approve a set of principles to guide attempts to pursue the Oakland Athletics. The proposed site of the new stadium would be near Diridon Train Station and HP Pavilion just west of downtown San Jose . The San Francisco Giants still own territorial rights to San Jose so this issue will also need resolving for the A's to relocate to San Jose.

San Jose has been home to the Earthquakes in the North American Soccer League (1974–1984), Western Soccer Alliance (1985–1988) and Major League Soccer (1996–2005; 2008– ). The players of the San Jose Earthquakes moved to Houston, Texasmarker after the 2005 season to become the Houston Dynamo. In July 2007, it was announced that San Jose Earthquakes would rejoin MLS for the 2008 season in the Western Conference. Now back in the league, the team is officially a continuation of the one that went on hiatus in 2005 and has kept its 1996-2005 records and accomplishments, including its MLS Cup wins in 2001 and 2003 and its MLS Supporters' Shield win in 2005.

The Major League Lacrosse team, the San Francisco Dragons, play at Spartan Stadiummarker. Though after moving from San Francisco's Kezar Stadiummarker in 2008, the team decided to remain being called the San Francisco Dragons so to represent the Bay Area as a whole. They share the stadium with the San José State Spartans, who play football there.

In 1997, due to the renovation of the Oakland Arena, the Golden State Warriors basketball team played their entire season home games at the San Jose Arena. Neighboring Santa Claramarker recently announced (2006) a New 49ers Stadium deal. The stadium would be the new home of the San Francisco 49ers football team. As of 2009, the 49ers are still in negotiations with the city and the new proposal will soon put on the ballot for a public vote. The new stadium is now set to open in 2014. The team will keep it's current name. San Jose may also soon house the practice facilities for the Oakland Raiders.

Previously, San Jose was home to the San Jose Bees (1962-1976; 1983-1987) of the minor league baseball California League, the San Jose Missions (1977-1981) of the minor league baseball Pacific Coast League (from 1977-1978) and the California League (from 1979-1981), the San Jose Rhinos of Roller Hockey International (1994–1997;1999),the San Jose Grizzlies (1993–1995) of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, the San Jose Golddiggers (1987–1989) of Major League Volleyball (women's), the San Jose Jammers (1989–1991) of the Continental Basketball Association, the San Jose Lasers of the American Basketball League, the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (while Oakland Arena was being renovated, 1996–1997), the San Jose CyberRays of the Women's United Soccer Association (2001–2002), the San Jose Frogs of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (2006-2008) and the San Jose Ballers of the International Basketball League, now the Tri City Ballers.

In addition to professional teams, San Jose hosts several sporting events. The SAP Open (formerly the Sybase Open) is an annual men's tennis tournament held at the HP Pavilion. San Jose was the host of ArenaBowl XVI on August 18, 2002 in which the San Jose SaberCats defeated the Arizona Rattlers, 52-14. The San Jose Grand Prixmarker, first held in July 2005, brought Champ Car racing on a temporary road course on Downtown streets. Downtown San Jose hosted the finish for daily stage of the Amgen Tour of California in February 2006, 2007, and 2008, and hosted the individual time trial in 2006. The city is also one of five host cities for the Dew Action Sports Tour season; the San Jose event is held in September.

Located in downtown San Jose, San José State Universitymarker fields a total of 16 NCAA Division I men's and women's athletics teams. The SJSU football team is one of only 120 collegiate football teams nationwide to compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formally known as Division 1-A). The San José State Spartans compete in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The Pac-10 Women's Basketball Championship is held at the HP Pavilion at San Josemarker as well as either the men's or women's West Regional tournament during the NCAA's March Madness.

In 2004, the San Jose Sports Authority hosted the U.S. Olympic team trials for judo, taekwondo, trampolining and rhythmic gymnastics at the San José State Event Center. In August 2004, the Authority hosted the USA All-Star 7-Aside Rugby Championships at Watson Bowl, east of Downtown. San Jose is also home to the St Joseph's Hurling Club. In 2008, around 90 percent of the members of the United States Olympic team were processed at San José State University prior to traveling to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The 2009 Junior Olympics for trampoline will also be held here.


Public transportation

Rail service to and within San Jose is provided by Amtrak (the Sacramento-San Jose Capitol Corridor and the Seattlemarker-Los Angelesmarker Coast Starlight), Caltrain (commuter rail service between San Franciscomarker and Gilroymarker), ACE (commuter rail service to Pleasantonmarker and Stocktonmarker), and a local light-rail system connecting downtown to Mountain Viewmarker, Milpitasmarker, Campbellmarker, and Almaden Valleymarker, operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Historic streetcars from History Park operate on the light rail lines in downtown during holidays. Long-term plans call for BART to be expanded into the San Jose area via the East Bay. Diridon Stationmarker (formerly Cahill Depot, 65 Cahill Street) is the meeting point of all regional commuter rail service in the area. It was built in 1935 by the Southern Pacific Railroad, and was refurbished in 1994.

VTA also operates many bus routes in San Jose and the surrounding communities, as well as offering paratransit services to local residents. Additionally, the Highway 17 Express bus line connects central San Jose with Santa Cruzmarker.

Air transportation

San Jose is served by Norman Y.marker Mineta San José International Airportmarker , two miles (3 km) northwest of downtown, and by Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara Countymarker another airport located in the eastern part of San Jose. San Jose residents also use San Francisco International Airportmarker , a major international hub located 35 miles (56 km) to the northwest, and Oakland International Airportmarker , another major international airport located 35 miles (56 km) to the north. The airport is also near the intersections of three major freeways, U.S. Route 101, Interstate 880, and State Route 87.

Freeways and highways

The San Jose area has a freeway system, including three Interstate freewaysI-280, I-880, and I-680—in addition to several state and one US Highway, US 101, SR 85, SR 87, SR 17, and SR 237. It is, however, the largest city in the country not served by a primary, "two-digit" interstate. Additionally, San Jose contains many expressways of the Santa Clara County Expressway System, including the Almaden Expressway, Capitol Expressway, San Tomas Expressway, and Lawrence Expressway.

Several regional transportation projects have been undertaken in recent years to deal with congestion on San Jose freeways. This includes expansion of State Route 87 including more lanes near the downtown San Jose area. The interchange for I-280 connecting with I-680 and US 101, a rush-hour spot where the three freeways meet has been known to have high-density traffic similar to Los Angeles County interchanges.

Major highways


San Jose Water Works at West Santa Clara St.
Potable water is provided primarily by the private-sector San Jose Water Company, with some by the Great Oaks Water Company, and ten percent by the public-sector San Jose Municipal Water System. Great Oaks provides exclusively well water , while the other two provide water from multiple sources , including well water, and surface water from the Los Gatos Creek watershed, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's Hetch Hetchy Reservoirmarker.

Garbage, wastewater treatment, and recycling services are overseen by the city of San Jose's Environmental Services Department. San Jose recycles 64% of its waste, an has an exceptionally high percentage that is attributed to the recycling program's accepting an unusually long list of recyclable items without requiring that materials be sorted. Among the items accepted are all types of plastic, aerosol cans and paint cans, foam packing materials, aluminum furniture, small metal appliances, pots and pans, and clean fabrics.

Wastewater treatment happens at the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant, which treats and cleans the wastewater to more than 1,500,000 people that live and work in the 300 square mile (780 km²) area encompassing San Jose, Santa Claramarker, Milpitas, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatosmarker, Saratogamarker, and Monte Serenomarker.

About ten percent of the treated wastewater is sold for irrigation ("water recycling") in San Jose , Santa Clara, and Milpitas, through local water providers San Jose Municipal Water System, City of Milpitas Municipal Services, City of Santa Clara Water & Sewer Utility, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose Water Company, and Great Oaks Water Company.

Natural gas and electricity are provided by PG&E. Telephone service is provided primarily by AT&T. Cable television is provided by Comcast.


San Jose State University's Tower Hall

Colleges and universities

San Jose is home to several colleges and universities. The largest and most well known is San José State Universitymarker, which was founded by the California legislature in 1862 as the California State Normal School, and is the founding campus of the California State University (CSU) system. Located in downtown San Jose since 1870, the university enrolls approximately 30,000 students in over 130 different bachelor's and master's degree programs. The school enjoys a good academic reputation, especially in the fields of engineering, business, art and design and journalism, and consistently ranks among the top public universities in the western region of the United States. San José State is one of only three Bay Area schools that fields a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Division I college football team; Stanford Universitymarker and U.C. Berkeley are the other two.

National Hispanic Universitymarker, with an enrollment of 600, offers associate and bachelor's degrees and teaching credentials to its students, focusing on Hispanic students.

Lincoln Law School of San Jose offers law degrees, catering to working professionals.

The San Jose campus of Golden Gate University offers business bachelor and MBA degrees.

San Jose's community colleges, San José City College and Evergreen Valley Collegemarker, offer associate degrees, general education units to transfer to CSU and UC schools, and adult and continuing education programs. The West campus of Palmer College of Chiropractic is also located in San Jose.

The University of California, Santa Cruzmarker operates Lick Observatorymarker atop Mount Hamiltonmarker.

Additionally, San Jose residents attend several other area universities, including Santa Clara Universitymarker, Stanford Universitymarker in Palo Altomarker, Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley in Mountain Viewmarker and the University of California, Berkeleymarker. Additionally, San Jose and South Bay residents comprise large sections of the student population at both the University of California, Santa Cruzmarker and the University of California, Davismarker.

Primary and secondary education

Most San Jose students go to schools in the San José Unified School District. Prior to 1954, California law required cities and school districts to have the same boundaries. When San Jose began expanding, rural school districts became one of the major opponents, as their territory and tax base was taken by the city. The city's legislators pushed a bill through the California Legislature, removing that requirement, and ending much of the opposition. The result is a patchwork of local school districts in the areas annexed after 1954. Public education in the city is provided by four high school districts, fourteen elementary districts, and four unified school districts (which provide both elementary and high schools).

In addition to the main San José Unified School District, the unified school districts are Milpitas Unified School District, Morgan Hill Unified School District, and Santa Clara Unified School District.

The following districts use the "feeder" system:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Private schools in San Jose are primarily run by religious groups. The Catholic Diocese of San Jose has the second largest student population in the Santa Clara County, behind only SJUSD; the diocese and its parishes operate several schools in the city, including six high schools: Archbishop Mitty High Schoolmarker, Bellarmine College Preparatorymarker, Notre Dame High Schoolmarker, Saint Francis High School, St. Lawrence High School, and Presentation High Schoolmarker. There are two Baptist high schools, Liberty Baptist School and White Road Baptist Academy. [8575] Valley Christian High School is a Protestant high school in the North Valley neighborhood. There is also the nonsectarian K-12 Harker School.

San Jose library system

The San José Public Library System is unique in that the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library combines the collections of the city's system with the San José State University main library. The building of the library in 2003 was the largest single library construction project west of the Mississippi. It has more than 1.5 million items. The building has eight floors that result in more than of space with a capacity for 2 million volumes.

The city has 21 neighborhood branches (17 of them open and not currently undergoing renovation or reconstruction) including the Biblioteca Latinoamericana which specializes in Spanish language works. The East San José Carnegie Branch Librarymarker, a Carnegie library opened in 1908, is the last Carnegie library in Santa Clara County still operating as a public library and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As the result of a bond measure passed in November 2000, a number of brand new or completely reconstructed branches have been completed and opened. The four branches currently undergoing reconstruction are the Calabazas Branch, the Educational Park Branch, the Santa Teresa Branch, and the Seventrees Branch. The yet-to-be-named brand new branch on Bascom Avenue is currently under construction, and a future Southeast Branch is also planned, bringing the bond library project to its completion.

The San Jose system (along with the University system) were jointly named as "Library of the Year" by the Library Journal in 2004.


View of Circle of Palms Plaza
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
Church of the Five Wounds on East Santa Clara St.

Parks, gardens, and other outdoor recreational sites


San Jose's trail network offers over of recreational and commute trails throughout the City. The major trails in the network include:

This large urban trail network is linked to trails in surrounding jurisdictions and many rural trails in surrounding open space and foothills. Additional information is available at the City of San José trail network website.

Museums, libraries, and other cultural collections

Sports and event venues

Other structures


San Jose is served by local media as well as that of the Greater Bay Area and national media. Media outlets based in San Jose include the San Jose Mercury News and various smaller newspapers and magazines, five television stations, six AM radio stations, and sixteen FM radio stations.

In April 1909, Charles David Herrold, an electronics instructor in San Jose, constructed a radio station to broadcast the human voice. The station "San Jose Calling" (call letters FN, later FQW), was the world's first radio station with scheduled programming targeted at a general audience. The station became the first to broadcast music in 1910. Herrold's wife Sybil became the first female "disk jockey" in 1912. The station changed hands a number of times before eventually becoming today's KCBSmarker in San Francisco.

Cultural references to San Jose

  • Do You Know the Way to San Jose, lyrics, Hal David – music, Burt Bacharach; Grammy-winning 1968 hit single (Pop #10, R&B #23) for Dionne Warwick, Scepter Records 12216; more than 100 other recordings.
  • Michaela Roessner. Vanishing Point. Tor, New York, 1993. ISBN 0-3128-5213-4. Post-apocalyptic novel, largely set in San Jose; many South Bay survivors have gathered to live in the Winchester Mystery Housemarker and the nearby Century Theatres dome.
  • British studio quartet The First Class had a 1974 Billboard #4 hit "Beach Baby", containing the lyric "We couldn't wait for graduation day, we took the car and drove to San Jose. That's where you told me that you'd wear my ring, I guess you don't remember anything."
  • Some key scenes for the Bollywood film, "My Name Is Khan" were filmed at the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose and in and around San Jose. The main lead, Shahrukh Khan, visited San José on July 3, 2009 while filming.

See also

Notes and references

  2. Winslow, Ward (editor); The Making of Silicon Valley: a One Hundred Year Renaissance; 1995; ISBN 0-9649217-0-7
  3. City of San Jose City Charter
  7. San Jose Churches
  10.; San Francisco Chronicle, August 22, 1968
  11. " Contact Us." Acer America. Retrieved on August 10, 2009.
  12. [1]
  13. America's most livable:San Jose, California
  14. San Jose City Charter
  15. Local Agency Formation Commission
  16. San Jose Crime Statistics
  17. Males, Mike. Scapegoat Generation
  18. 2007 Morgan Quitno and Khoa Le Award City Crime Rankings by Population Group (To verify the "Since 2002" claim, change the 07 in the URL to see previous year's results.)
  19. City Crime rankings by Population group
  20. Chicago cows on parade exhibit
  22. San Jose Museum of Art
  24. SJ Library MLK Fast Facts page (Mentions joint university/city status, collection size and size of construction project.)
  25. Locations page at SJ Library site(See BL article for its references.)
  26. Bond Projects for Branch Libraries page at the SJ Library site
  27. San Jose 2003-2004 Annual Report "In 2004, San José Public Library and San José State University Library were jointly named Library of the Year by the Library Journal."

  • Peck, Willys I., "When Ma Bell Spoke With a Human Voice," Saratoga Stereopticon: A Magic Lantern of Memory, (Cupertino, California: California History Center and Foundation, 1998, pp. 41–42.
  • Map: Mobile Communications: Reaching the World by Mobile Telephone Service, (San Francisco: Pacific Telephone Co., 1983.)
  • Undated San Jose Mercury News article describing exchange names possibly written by Patricia Loomis or Clyde Arbuckle.

Further reading

  • Beilharz, Edwin A.; and DeMers Jr., Donald O.; San Jose: California's First City; 1980, ISBN 0-932986-13-7
  • The California Room, the San Jose Library's collection of research materials on the history of San Jose and Santa Clara Valley.

External links

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