National Geographic : 1966 May
teachers, students, automobiles, superhigh ways, and motorcycles-not to mention more major-league baseball teams (three) and more members of the National Geographic Society (630,000)-than any other state.* What California produces is equally im pressive. Golden State manufacturers in re cent years have obtained almost a quarter of all prime contracts for military equipment; nearly half the money allocated for civilian space research and development is spent here. In addition, California provides a vast portion of the country's food and 80 percent of all the wine consumed in the United States. Blessings Mixed With Problems One thing, contrary to common belief, Cali fornia does not do-produce more oranges than Florida. The Sunshine State still out harvests its rival by more than three to one. Not all California's distinctions are envi able ones. Others include one of the largest prisons in the country (San Quentin, with 5,000 inmates), and the greatest number of traffic deaths among the states, 5,000 a year. Recently, too, California suffered one of the 598 Nation's grimmest riots-when, in a single violent week at Watts, in Los Angeles, more than 30 people lost their lives. California's problems, like many of its blessings, stem mainly from sheer size. In terms of people, the burden falls far more heavily on southern California than on the northern half of the state. Just where the boundary falls between southern and northern California is a matter of opinion; or rather, of 19,000,000 opinions - ev ery Californian has his own. No one dis putes the fact that San Francisco is the center of northern California, or that Los Angeles belongs with the south. Somewhere between -roughly around Fresno, in the San Joaquin *The most recent NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC articles on this diverse and colorful state include: "The Magic Worlds of Walt Disney," August, 1963, and "Los Angeles, City of the Angels," October, 1962, both by Robert de Roos; "California's Wonderful One," by Frank Cameron, November, 1959; "Giant Sequoias Draw Millions to Cali fornia Parks," by John Michael Kauffmann, August, 1959; "Bristlecone Pine, Oldest Known Living Thing," by Edmund Schulman, March, 1958; "Huntington Li brary, California Treasure House," by David S. Boyer, February, 1958; "Californians Escape to the Desert," by Mason Sutherland, November, 1957; and "New Rush to Golden California," by George W. Long, June, 1954.