San Francisco: History
Native Indians have lived along the shore of the San Francisco Bay for centuries. The Europeans first settled the city in the early 16th Century, and the Spanish colonised San Francisco when they established Mission Dolores in 1776.
Following the Mexican-American war in 1846 California (including San Francisco) became a US territory. Three years later gold was discovered in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains with vast numbers of would-be miners heading west to take part in the gold rush.
In 1906 San Francisco was hit by a massive earthquake followed by a devastating fire. The city icon, the Golden Gate Bridge, was built as part of massive civil engineering project during the 1930s, as was the Bay Bridge which links San Francisco with Oakland in the East Bay. In the 1960s hippies (with flowers in their hair) flocked to San Francisco and the Haight –Ashbury district, paving the way for its notoriety as a progressive city.