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California History, Geography and Government

Studying California history can be great fun, especially if you take the opportunity to visit some of the state's historic landmarks. Chances are there is a mission, lighthouse, historical marker, or other California landmark near you. We enjoyed visiting the missions, museums, and national parks and learning about local history at each. There is also a lot to learn about how Latter-day Saints influenced the history of California during the Gold Rush and the Mormon Battalion. We also found a wealth of books at the library including many historical fiction books. Doreen Blanding has put together a short list of books on the gold rush on her unit study website.

Some of our favorite resources have been the PBS programs starring Huell Howser. We've learned a lot from our armchair adventures with him!

California's official website has a section on government that is helpful and the U.S. Census Bureau has a great list of quick facts about our state and the rest of them as well.

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Free Resources


California Facts, Map and State Symbols
Learn California
California History (.net)
California History (.org)
Early California History (Chumash)
Early California History
California State Parks Videos with Huell Howser
Geography Information for California
For Students: California History
4th Grade California History Review
California History Guide and Activities
The California Reader
California as I Saw it!
The History Channel
State Unit Study—California
California's Gold
The U.S. Mormon Batallion
The Mormon Battalion March, 1846-47 By Stanley B. Kimball
Latter-day Saints in San Bernardino, 1851-1857
Voyage of the “Brooklyn”
California Missions Virtual Tour
Terms Related to the California Missions
California Missions Links
California Missions—History and Resources
Gold Rush!
Gold Fever!
Latter-day Saints and the San Francisco Earthquake By William G. Hartley
Historic California Trail
The Donner Party Teacher's Guide
California, Here I Come!
California Coloring Page
Kids Stuff California
Kids Connect California
California—Find Yourself Here
Natural History Museums of California
Oakland Museum of California
California State Parks
California State Capitol
California State and Local Government
California State Senate
California State Assembly
Official California Legislative Information
California Courts—The Judicial Branch
California Law
The Geography of California
Map of California
California Blank Map


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