San Francisco is known for the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay, and spectacular scenery. However, there is so much more to San Francisco that you probably didn’t know! Here are some little known fun facts about the Golden Gate City.
And it is amazing to note that during the Depression era, not a single bank in San Francisco failed or closed down.
Construction of the bridge began in 1932. The bridge was designed by engineer Joseph Strauss who received enough financial backing to go on with his project. It was opened May 27, 1937.
If you think the fortune cookie originated in China, then you’re wrong! The precursor of the fortune cookie we know today was made in Kyoto, Japan. It was similar in some ways albeit otherwise different in terms of its color and ingredients.
Makoto Hagiwara from the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is often credited to have come up with the fortune cookie. Some reports say over 3 billion fortune cookies are made each year.
Although the origins of the Irish coffee came from County Limerick, Ireland, the familiar variation of Irish coffee — with sugar cubes, whiskey, and light whipped heavy cream — was actually popularized in San Francisco. The Buena Vista Cafe is said to have served the first famous Irish coffee in the country in 1952.
During his imprisonment in Alcatraz, Al Capone regularly performed along with his band the Rock Islanders every Sunday. He also played the banjo. Alcatraz is known to be the toughest prison in the world. Even Capone himself was not able to control the authorities at the prison nor could he buy influence or friends there. Since he was sent to Alcatraz he had no knowledge about what was going on in the outside world. Capone was released from Alcatraz in 1939.
The San Francisco bubonic plague outbreak from 1900 to 1904 centered in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It was contracted via a ship sailing from Hong Kong in 1899. A cleaning campaign and medical solutions finally brought the plague under control in 1904. A total of 121 cases, including 113 deaths, were confirmed.
The dahlia was voted as the city’s official flower by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors under Mayor James Rolph’s administration in 1926.
The Human Be-In, which was the prelude to the Summer of Love, occurred at the Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967, during the counterculture movement. Artist Michael Bowen first created and organized this event which he called a “gathering of tribes.”
The Starfleet HQ is the administrative hub of the Starfleet Command whose location is being described as Fort Baker, just across Golden Gate from the city. Starfleet Command shares its territory with Starfleet Academy.
By the 18th century, a Spanish settlement, which is today’s San Francisco, had been named Yerba Buena. The name was derived from the plant yerba buena, which is related to the mint family. “Yerba buena” itself is an alternate variation of the Spanish hierba buena (“good herb”).
According to San Francisco Almanac‘s “Hills” section, San Francisco has a total of 43 hills after the addition of the recently-named Cathedral Hill. However, the same almanac’s “Places” section also lists additional hills, some of them have yet to be named.
San Francisco and much of California experience massive and destructive wildfires. However, residents homes made from redwood trees can thank the tree for their home remaining. In fact, fires had been stopped during the great earthquake of 1906 when they came in contact with constructions made of redwood.
Redwood trees have a longstanding reputation of excellent resistance to fire. Unlike any other type of commercial wood, redwoods never need any costly fire retardants.
And as of 2014, the city’s population ballooned further to 852,469! San Francisco is also the second-most densely populated American city, with 17,160 people per square mile.