San Francisco officially celebrates statehood

Even as Governor Burnett and Jared Crandell raced south to San Jose with the news of California’s admission into the union, preparations were underway for a grand celebration in San Francisco. It took place eleven days after the news arrived, on October 29, 1850, and was a tremendous event. Buildings were adorned with festive decorations and ships in the harbor covered in flags and streamers.

Admission Celebration

There was a procession of all the town’s public figures, both civil and military, accompanied by banners and flags, and a large number of Chinese, with all the pomp and regalia of their own, marched with them to Portsmouth Square. Here, among other festivities, they listened to a speech specially prepared for this occasion by Chief Justice Nathaniel Bennett of the Supreme Court.

Statehood Celebration

Throughout the day there were salutes and salvos of artillery and many discharges from small arms. That evening the people were awed by a display of fireworks, and bonfires were lit atop the surrounding hills and on the islands in the bay. Later that night there took place the grandest public ball ever seen in California.



  1. Those were the days. Celebrations were special and I have always liked that in the stories we read of those times.

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