One of the United States’ most interesting cities both culturally and topographically, the city by the bay has a long and storied history. Originally a Spanish mission and pueblo, it was conquered by the United States in 1846 and by an invading army of prospectors following the 1848 discovery of gold.
The great 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed much of the city, but barely slowed its momentum. San Francisco was also the main point of embarkation for World War II’s Pacific theater, and the region became a major arms production center. After Pearl Harbor the city’s Japanese residents were forced into internment camps far inland, and their abandoned neighborhoods were soon filled by African-Americans arriving from the South to work in the war related industries.
After the war, the city became a center of cultural bohemianism for the 1950s beat poets and for the Haight-Ashbury hippie counterculture that peaked with the 1967 “Summer of Love.”
With the 70’s came a turbulent period of environmental, labor and women’s rights activism, as well as a reputation ...