Portal:San Francisco Bay Area
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Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

California Bay Area county map
SF Bay area USGS.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world with 8.80 million people.

The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500 companies in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, after the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties. (more...)

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Portchicago.jpg

The Port Chicago disaster was a deadly munitions explosion that occurred on July 17, 1944, at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Port Chicago, California, United States. Munitions detonated while being loaded onto a cargo vessel bound for the Pacific Theater of Operations, killing 320 sailors and civilians and injuring 390 others. Most of the dead and injured were enlisted African-American sailors.

A month later, continuing unsafe conditions inspired hundreds of servicemen to refuse to load munitions, an act known as the Port Chicago Mutiny. Fifty men--called the "Port Chicago 50"--were convicted of mutiny and sentenced to long prison terms. Forty-seven of the 50 were released in January 1946; the remaining three served additional months in prison.

During and after the trial, questions were raised about the fairness and legality of the court-martial proceedings. Due to public pressure, the United States Navy reconvened the courts-martial board in 1945; the court affirmed the guilt of the convicted men. Widespread publicity surrounding the case turned it into a cause célèbre among African Americans and white Americans; it and other race-related Navy protests of 1944-1945 led the Navy to change its practices and initiate the desegregation of its forces beginning in February 1946. In 1994, the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial was dedicated to the lives lost in the disaster. more...

Selected biography

Luis Walter Alvarez, 1961

Luis W. Alvarez (June 13, 1911 - September 1, 1988) was an American experimental physicist and inventor, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1968. The American Journal of Physics commented, "Luis Alvarez (1911-1988) was one of the most brilliant and productive experimental physicists of the twentieth century."

After receiving his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1936, Alvarez went to work for Ernest Lawrence at the Radiation Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. Alvarez devised a set of experiments to observe K-electron capture in radioactive nuclei, predicted by the beta decay theory but never observed. He produced 3
H
using the cyclotron and measured its lifetime. In collaboration with Felix Bloch, he measured the magnetic moment of the neutron. (more...)

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ConcordSquare.JPG
Concord ( KON-k?rd; formerly Todos Santos) is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067. Founded in 1869 as the community of Todos Santos by Salvio Pacheco, the name was changed to Concord within months. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area, and is 31 miles (50 km) east of San Francisco. (more...)

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US Navy 051009-N-7559C-001 The Navy's Flight Demonstration team, the Blue Angels lead solo, performs the sneak pass.jpg
San Francisco, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2005) - The Navy's Flight Demonstration team, the Blue Angels lead solo, performs the sneak pass, a maneuver that demonstrates the F/A-18 Hornet's ability to sneak into a target area undetected at speeds approaching 700 mph. The Blue Angels perform more than 70 shows at 34 different locations throughout the country each year.
image credit: U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerUs Mate 2nd Class Ryan Courtade


The Bay Area by year

1974
Patty Hearst with gun

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Did you know...

San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds
San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds

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Clipper ship Andrew Jackson sailing card.jpg

July - September 2010

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Christopher Goodwin in character at the opening of the Tales of the City musical

Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon is America's longest-running musical revue. The show began its run in 1974, at Club Savoy Tivoli and has since moved to the larger Club Fugazi in the North Beach district of San Francisco. The show was created by Steve Silver (1944-1995) and continues under the direction of his widow, Jo Schuman Silver, with frequent changes and spoofs of pop and political culture. Performers wear disproportionately large hats/wigs and gaudy costumes while performing satirical renditions of popular songs. (Christopher Goodwin in character at the opening of the Tales of the City musical, pictured)

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~ Cecil Beaton

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