San Jose, California

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox City San José (officially the City of San José) is a large city in the U.S. state of California and is the county seat of Santa Clara County. On April 3, 1979, the city council adopted San José as the spelling of the city name on the city seal and official stationery. However, it is still more commonly spelled without the diacritic mark.

The city is located at the south end of the San Francisco Bay, within the informal boundaries of Silicon Valley, and is the largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area. As of 2005, it reported an estimated population of 944,857, making it the most populous city in Northern California (it surpassed San Francisco in 1989) and third most populous city in the state, after Los Angeles and San Diego. Census Bureau estimates for 2004 indicate San Jose has overtaken Detroit as the United States' tenth most populous city; according to the formal 2000 count, it is ranked eleventh. All of these figures refer to the area within the city limits, which is the sense in which the word "city" is normally used in the U.S. and not to the urban area. The San Francisco Bay Area, of which San Jose forms part, is the fourth largest in the U.S.

San José was the first town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California (later Alta California), founded in 1777 as a farming community to provide food for nearby military installations. It served as the first capital of California after statehood was granted in 1850. After over 150 years as an agricultural center, increased demand for housing from soldiers and other veterans returning from World War II and starting families, as well as aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s led first to San Jose being a bedroom community for Silicon Valley in the 1970s, then attracting businesses to the city; by 1990 the city was calling itself the Capital of Silicon Valley.



Site chosen by De Anza

For thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers, the area now known as San Jose was inhabited by several groups of Ohlone Native Americans. Permanent European presence in the area came with the 1770 founding of the Presidio of Monterey and Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo by Gaspar de Portolá and Father Junípero Serra, about sixty miles (100 km) to the south. It is likely that Don Pedro Fages, the military governor at Monterey, passed through the area on his 1772 expedition to explore the East Bay. Late in 1775, Juan Bautista de Anza led an expedition to bring colonists from New Spain to California and to locate sites for two missions, one presidio, and one pueblo (town). He left the colonists at Monterey in 1776, and explored north with a small group. He selected the sites of the Presidio of San Francisco and Mission San Francisco de Asís in what is now San Francisco; on his way back to Monterey, he sited Mission Santa Clara de Asís and the pueblo San José in the Santa Clara Valley. De Anza returned to Mexico City before any of the settlements were actually founded, but his name lives on in many buildings and street names.

Early Spanish pueblo

El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe was founded by José Joaquin Moraga on November 29, 1777, the first settlement not associated with a mission or a military post (presidio) in Alta California. (Mission Santa Clara, the closest mission, was founded earlier in 1777, three miles (5 km) from the original pueblo site in neighboring Santa Clara. Mission San José de Guadalupe was not founded until 1797, about 20 miles (30 km) north of San Jose in what is now Fremont.) The town was founded by the colonists led to California by de Anza, as a farming community to provide food for the presidios of San Francisco and Monterey. In 1778, the pueblo had a population of 68. In 1797, the pueblo was moved from its original location, near the present-day intersection of Guadalupe Parkway and Taylor Street, to a location in what is now Downtown San Jose, surrounding Pueblo Plaza (now Plaza de César Chávez).

Early statehood

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San Jose, 1875.

During the Bear Flag Revolt, Captain Thomas Fallon led a small force from Santa Cruz and captured the pueblo without bloodshed on July 11, 1846. Fallon received an American flag from John D. Sloat, and raised it over the pueblo on July 14, as the California Republic agreed to join the United States following the start of the Mexican-American War. Fallon would later become the tenth mayor of San Jose.

During the California Gold Rush period, the New Almaden Mines just south of the city were the largest mercury mines in North America (mercury was used to help separate gold from ore). The cinnabar deposits had been discovered during the Mexican era, and mining operations began in 1845, the first operating mine in the province. The importance of the mercury industry at the time explains why the local newspaper is named the Mercury News.

On March 27, 1850, San Jose became the first incorporated city in the U.S. state of California, the first mayor was Josiah Belden. It also served as the state's first capital with the first and second sessions of the California Legislature, known as the Legislature of a Thousand Drinks, being held there in 1850 and 1851. The legislature was unhappy with the location, as no buildings suitable for a state government were available in the city, and took up State Senator Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo's offer to build a new capital on land he donated to the state in what is now Benicia.

Notable events

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This replica of the Light Tower at the San Jose History Park stands only half of the original tower's 237 feet (72 m).

In 1881, because of a forceful campaign by editor J.J. Owen of the San Jose Mercury News, the city council authorized the construction of the San Jose Electric Light Tower, ostensibly to replace the gas streetlights that had illuminated downtown San Jose since 1861. It didn't provide sufficient illumination, and by 1884 was used only for ceremonial purposes. It collapsed during a gale in 1915. In 1989, the city of San Jose filed suit against France and the Eiffel estate, claiming that the Eiffel Tower was a copyright infringement of the Electric Light Tower; the suit was eventually dismissed.

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake, with its epicenter near Daly City [1] ( between San Jose and San Francisco, devastated the few large buildings in San Jose. The city was still primarily rural and the population much smaller than San Francisco, so houses and businesses were not so closely built, providing no opportunity for a major fire like the one that destroyed the city up the Peninsula. The all-brick Agnews Asylum (later Agnews State Hospital) suffered possibly the worst damage in the San Jose area, killing over 100 people as the walls and roof collapsed. The 8-year-old San Jose High School's three-story stone and brick structure also collapsed, and many other buildings were severely damaged.

The 1933 kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart resulted in mob violence in San Jose. About 10,000 residents (approximately 1/6 of the city's population at the time) stormed the jail and lynched the two men who had confessed to the killing. The case drew international attention to San Jose, for the kidnapping, lynching, and for the praise that Governor James Rolph directed to those who participated. It is also notable as the last public lynching in California's history. Photos of the lynchings were even used as Nazi propaganda.


For nearly two centuries a farming community, San Jose produced a significant amount of fruits and vegetables until the 1960s, and many past and current names of teams, streets, buildings, and so on reflect its agricultural beginnings. Prunes, grapes, and apricots were some of the major crops. In 1922, the first commercial farming of broccoli in the US was started in San Jose, by brothers Stephano and Andrea D'Arrigo. The Del Monte cannery in Midtown was the largest employer in the city for many years. 1 Food Machinery Corporation (FMC) was founded in San Jose as the Bean Spray Pump Company in 1883. [2] (,1478,16,00.html) [3] (,1114,1,00.html?) In 1941 the company received an order from the United States War Department for one thousand LVTs, bringing defense contracts to San Jose for the first time. FMC's military business would later be spun off into United Defense. [4] (

Major growth

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Downtown San Jose looking over The Tech Museum towards Mount Hamilton; hills in the background show their winter green color. Click photo for detailed description.

A. P. Hamann (nicknamed "Dutch") became city manager in 1950. At the time, the city had a population of 95,000 and a total area of only 17 mi². Hamann instituted an aggressive growth program by annexation of adjacent areas, such as Alviso, Cambrian Park, and other neighborhoods, and a program of dispersed urbanization, sometimes called "los angelization". Hamann also spent significant time on the East Coast, selling San Jose as an ideal place for businesses to expand into. Hamann's efforts resulted in an annual population growth rate of over eight percent. When Hamann left office in 1969, San Jose had grown to 495,000 residents and 136 mi². 1

Following Hamann's retirement, anti-growth city councils came to power, cemented with the 1971 election of Norman Mineta as mayor. Under Mineta, the city adopted the "General Plan" that restricted development of land inside the incorporated area of San Jose and banned development in an additional 200 mi² east and south of the city, an area known as San Jose's sphere of influence. To the west, communities such as Campbell and Cupertino had incorporated as cities to avoid being annexed to San Jose, while expansion to the north was impossible because of San Francisco Bay. The result was that there was no land available to build housing. The plan's goal was to bring population growth down to a more manageable level. 2

However, with the boom of the electronics industry, specifically personal computers and integrated circuits, San Jose and the surrounding areas' population continued to grow rapidly. By 1980, the city's population was 630,000; it reached 782,000 by 1990; and 894,943 by 2000—at which point Santa Clara County as a whole had 1,682,585 residents. However, the city council passed another General Plan in 1994 with the original 1974 urban growth boundaries intact. As a result, housing costs in San Jose and the rest of the Bay Area rose faster than the national average in the 1980s and 1990s; between 1976 and 2001, San Jose's housing costs increased by 936 percent, the fastest growth in the nation over that time. The average 2003 home price in Santa Clara County was approximately 330 percent of the national average. 2

Many people's view of San Jose is still formed by the Dionne Warwick hit from the 1960s, "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David (neither of whom had spent time there and chose the name because it suited the tune), it includes the lyrics, "there's a lot of space in San Jose; there'll be a place where I can stay" and "I may go wrong and lose my way," and contrasts it to Los Angeles, "a great big freeway." In 1960, the population of San Jose was only 204,000, just over a fifth of the 2003 population. The only freeway through or near San Jose was U.S. Highway 101, which touched only the outermost edges of the city and was still a rural route or controlled by traffic lights in some areas. A large portion of the Santa Clara Valley still contained commercial orchards.

Law and government

See also Current leaders of San Jose, California, List of Mayors of San Jose, California
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City Logo

San Jose is a charter city under California law, giving it the power to enact local ordinances that may conflict with state law, within the limits provided by the charter. The city has a council-manager government with a city manager nominated by the mayor and elected by the city council.

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New San Jose City Hall, scheduled to open Summer 2005.

The San Jose City Council is made up of ten council members elected by districts, and a mayor elected in an at-large election. During city council meetings, the mayor presides, and all eleven members can vote on any issue. The mayor has no veto powers. Council members and the mayor are elected to four-year terms; the even-numbered district council members beginning in 1994; the mayor and the odd-numbered district council members beginning in 1996. Council members and the mayor are limited to two successive terms in office, although a council member that has reached the term limit can be elected mayor, and vice versa. The council elects a vice-mayor from the members of the council at the second meeting of the year following a council election. This council member has the right to act as mayor during the temporary absence of the mayor, but does not have the right of succession to the mayor's office upon a vacancy.3

The city manager is the chief administrative officer of the city, and must present an annual budget for approval by the city council. The council elects the manager for an indefinite term, and may at any time remove the manager, or the electorate may remove the manager through a recall election. Other city officers elected by the council are the city attorney, city auditor, and city clerk. 3

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San Jose from space, September 1994. Note that north is to the lower right.

Like all California cities except San Francisco, both the levels and the boundaries of what the city government controls is determined by the local county Local Agency Formation Commission ( (LAFCO). The goal of a LAFCO is to try to avoid uncontrolled urban sprawl. The Santa Clara County LAFCO has set boundaries of San Jose's 'Sphere of Influence' (indicated by the blue line in the map near the top of the page) as a superset of the actual city limits (the yellow area in the map), plus parts of the surrounding unincorporated county land, where San Jose can, for example, prevent development of fringe areas to concentrate city growth closer to the city's core. The LAFCO also defines a subset of the Sphere as an 'Urban Service Area' (indicated by the red line in the map), effectively limiting development to areas where urban infrastructure (sewers, electrical service, etc.) already exists.

San Jose has consistently been ranked as one of the safest large cities in the United States. During the 1990s and 2000s, the crime rate has consistently fallen. [5] ( In 2003 and 2004 the city was ranked as the safest American city with a population over 500,000 by the Morgan Quitno Awards. [6] (,000+) However, reports of police brutality have become more common. [7] ( [8] ( [9] (

The Office of Economic Development coordinates the San Jose Sister City Program. As of 2005, there are seven sister cities (aka twinned towns): Okayama, Japan (established in 1957); San José, Costa Rica (1961); Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico (1975); Tainan, Taiwan (1975); Dublin, Ireland (1986); Pune, India (1992); and Ekaterinburg, Russia (1992).


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Location of San Jose, California

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Looking west over northern San Jose (downtown is at far left) and other parts of Silicon Valley. See an up-to-the-minute view of San Jose from the Mount Hamilton web camera.

San Jose is located at 37°18'15" North, 121°52'22" West (37.304051, −121.872734)¹.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 461.5 km² (178.2 mi²)Template:GR. 452.9 km² (174.9 mi²) of it is land and 8.6 km² (3.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.86% water.

San Jose lies near the San Andreas Fault; a major source of earthquake activity in California. The most serious earthquake, in 1906, damaged many buildings in San Jose as described earlier. Earlier significant quakes rocked the city in 1839, 1851, 1858, 1864, 1865, 1868, and 1891. The Daly City Earthquake of 1957 caused some damage. The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 also did some damage to parts of the city. The other faults near San Jose are the Monte Vista Fault, South Hayward Fault, Northern Calaveras Fault, and Central Calaveras Fault.

The Guadalupe River runs from the Santa Cruz Mountains (which separate the South Bay from the Pacific Coast) flowing north through San Jose, ending in the San Francisco Bay at Alviso. Along the southern part of the river is the neighborhood of Almaden Valley, originally named for the mercury mines which produced mercury needed for gold extraction from quartz during the California gold rush as well as mercury fulminate blasting caps and detonators for the U.S. military from 1870 to 1945.

The lowest point in San Jose is at sea level at the San Francisco Bay in Alviso; the highest is 4,372 feet (1,333 m) at Copernicus Peak, Mount Hamilton. Due to the proximity to Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton, San Jose has taken several steps to reduce light pollution, including replacing all street lamps with low pressure sodium lamps. To recognize the city's efforts, the asteroid 6216 San Jose was named after the city. Some residents object to the deep yellow color of the streetlights, saying they are distracting because they are the same shade of yellow as traffic lights and other illuminated traffic warnings--image of the similarity here (


Mount Hamilton range showing summer's golden mantle. Dark green areas in hills are primarily scrub oak and other low-growing shrubs, with possibly a grass-fire burned area on the far right.
Mount Hamilton range showing summer's golden mantle. Dark green areas in hills are primarily scrub oak and other low-growing shrubs, with possibly a grass-fire burned area on the far right.

San Jose, like most of the Bay Area, has a Mediterranean climate tempered by the presence of the San Francisco Bay. Unlike San Francisco, which is exposed to the ocean or Bay on three sides and whose temperature therefore varies relatively little year-round and overnight, San Jose lies more inland, protected on three sides by mountains. This shelters the city from rain and makes it more of a semiarid, near-desert area, with a mean annual rainfall of only 14.4 inches (366 mm), compared to some other parts of the Bay Area, which can get up to four times that amount. It also avoids San Francisco's omnipresent fog most of the year.

Mount Hamilton range in January, with morning fog clearing away.
Mount Hamilton range in January, with morning fog clearing away.

However, temperatures are generally moderate. January's average high is 59 °F (15 °C) and average low is 42 °F (6 °C), with overnight freezes several nights each year; July's average high is 84 °F (29 °C) and average low is 58 °F (14 °C), with heat exceeding 100 °F (38 °C) several days each year. The highest temperature ever recorded in San Jose was 109 °F (42.8°C); the lowest was 21 °F (-6 °C). Temperatures between night and day can vary by 30 or 40 °F (17 to 22 °C).

With the light rainfall, San Jose experiences over 300 days a year of full or significant sunshine. Rain occurs primarily in the months from October through April or May, with hardly any rainfall from June through September. During the winter, hillsides and fields turn green with native grasses and vegetation, although deciduous trees are bare; with the coming of the annual summer dry period, the vegetation dies and dries, giving the hills a golden cover, which some find beautiful but which also provides fuel for frequent grass fires.

The snow level drops as low as 2,000 ft (610 m) above sea level occasionally each winter, coating nearby Mount Hamilton with light snow that seldom lasts a day> This sometimes snarls traffic travelling on State Route 17 towards Santa Cruz. Snow fell on the valley floor in San Jose most recently in January of 1976, about an inch (25 mm) that melted soon after the sun rose.

Again, like most of the Bay Area, San Jose is made up of dozens of microclimates. Downtown San Jose experiences the lightest rainfall in the city, while South San Jose, only 10 miles (16 km) distant, experiences more rainfall and slightly more extreme temperatures.


San Jose considers itself "the Capital of Silicon Valley." As such, its economy rises and falls with high-tech employment in the Bay Area. During the peak of the tech bubble, employment, housing prices, and traffic congestion peaked, but all eased as the economy slowed during the first few years of the 21st century. As of 2003, the city reported 355,000 jobs within the city limits and an unemployment rate of 8.7%.

Adobe Systems headquarters
Adobe Systems headquarters

The city lists 25 companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, Cisco, and eBay, as well as major facilities for Flextronics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Hitachi and Lockheed Martin. Sizable government employers include the city, Santa Clara County, and San José State University. [10] (

The cost of living in San Jose and the surrounding areas is among the highest in California and the nation; in the U.S. only New York City and San Francisco are more expensive. [11] ( Housing costs in the city are the primary reason for the high cost of living, although the costs in all areas tracked by ACCRA are above the national average. Despite the high cost of living, San Jose households have the highest disposable income on any large American city. San Jose residents produce more U.S. patents than any other city, the average worker productivity in San Jose is double the national average, and 35 percent of venture capital funds in the U.S. are invested in San Jose and Silicon Valley companies. [12] (


See also: Maps of San Jose, California
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This thematic map shows the large Asian population in Saratoga, Cupertino, and the North Valley.

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 894,943 people, 276,598 households, and 203,576 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,976.1/km² (5,117.9/mi²). There are 281,841 housing units at an average density of 622.3/km² (1,611.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 47.49% White, 3.50% African American, 0.77% Native American, 26.86% Asian, 0.40% Pacific Islander, 15.94% from other races, and 5.04% from two or more races. 30.17% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 276,598 households out of which 38.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% are married couples living together, 11.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% are non-families. 18.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.20 and the average family size is 3.62.

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Age distribution

In the city the population is spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 102.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $70,243, and the median income for a family is $74,813. Males have a median income of $49,347 versus $36,936 for females. The per capita income for the city is $26,697. 8.8% of the population and 6.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 10.3% of those under the age of 18 and 7.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Related topics: Maps of San Jose, California

Arts and architecture

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San Jose's downtown architecture is noted more for its limited height than for any particular buildings. Because the downtown area is in the flight path to nearby Mineta International Airport, there is a permanent height limit for all buildings.

Municipal building projects have experimented more with architectural styles than have most private enterprises. The Children's Discovery Museum, Tech Museum of Innovation, and the San Jose Repertory Theater building have experimented with bold colors and unusual exteriors. The new City Hall, designed by Richard Meier & Partners opened in 2005 and is a notable addition to the growing collection of municipal building projects.

Public art is an evolving attraction in the city. The City was one of the first to adopt a public art ordinance at 2% of capital improvement building project budgets, and the results of this commitment are beginning to have an impact on the visual landscape of the City. There is a considerable amount throughout the downtown area, and a growing collection in the City's neighborhood newer civic locations including libraries, parks, and fire stations. Of particular note, the Mineta Airport expansion will incorporate a program of Art & Technology into its development.

Within the early efforts at public art, there are notable controversies. Two examples, include the statue of Quetzalcoatl (the plumed serpent) in downtown which was controversial in its planning because some religious groups felt that it was pagan, and controversial in its implementation because many felt that the final statue by Robert Graham did not closely resemble a winged serpent, and was more noted for its expense than its aesthetics. [13] ( And the statue of Thomas Fallon, met strong resistance from those who felt that these people were largely responsible for the decimation of early native populations.

In 2001, the city sponsored SharkByte, an exhibit of decorated sharks, based on the mascot of the hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, and modeled after Chicago's display of decorated cows [14] ( Large models of sharks were decorated in a variety of clever, colorful, or creative ways by local artists and were then displayed for months at dozens of locations around the city. Many displays were removed early because of vandalism. After the exhibition, the sharks were auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity. The sharks can still be found in their new owners' homes and businesses.

The city is home to many performance arts, including Opera San Jose, Symphony Silicon Valley, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, and American Musical Theatre of San Jose. In addition, the annual Cinequest Film Festival in downtown has grown to over 60,000 attendees per year, becoming an important festival for independent films.

The HP Pavilion is one of the most active venues for events in the world. According to Billboard Magazine and Pollstar, the arena sold the most tickets to non-sporting events of any venue in the United States, and third in the world after the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England, and the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for the period from January 1September 30, 2004. [15] ( Including sporting events, the HP Pavilion averages 184 events a year, or roughly one event for every two days, which is significantly higher than the average for NHL arenas. [16] ( (caution, PDF)


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San Jose is the home of the:

Previously, San Jose was home to the:

In addition to professional teams, San Jose hosts several sporting events. The SAP Open (formerly the Sybase Open) is an annual men's tennis tournament held at the HP Pavilion. The San Jose Grand Prix, scheduled to be held in July 2005, will bring Champ Car racing on a temporary road course on Downtown streets. The city has also been selected to be one of five host cities for the inaugural Dew Action Sports Tour season; the San Jose event will be held in September 2005.

In college sports, the San Jose State Spartans are the local college team, but most of the city's population support either the Stanford Cardinal, the Cal Golden Bears, or the Santa Clara Broncos. The Pac-10 Women's Basketball Championship is held at the HP Pavilion as well as either the men's or women's West Regional tournament during the NCAA's March Madness.

In 2004, the San Jose Sports Authority hosted the U.S. Olympic team trials for judo, taekwondo, trampolining and rhythmic gymnastics at the San Jose State Event Center. In August, 2004, the Authority hosted the USA All-Star 7-Aside Rugby Championships at Watson Bowl, east of Downtown.


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A passenger jet flying over Downtown on its approach to Mineta International

The San Jose area has a well-developed freeway system, including three Interstate highwaysI-280, I-880, and I-680—in addition to several federal and state highways, US 101, CA-85, CA-87, CA-17, and CA-237. San Jose contains many expressways of the Santa Clara County expressway system.

Commuter rail service to San Jose is provided by Amtrak, Caltrain (commuter rail service to San Francisco and Gilroy), ACE (commuter rail service to Pleasanton and Stockton), and a local light-rail system connecting downtown to Mountain View, Milpitas, and Almaden Valley, operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). During holidays, historic streetcars from the San Jose History Museum operate on the light rail lines in downtown. The VTA also operates many bus routes in San Jose and the surrounding communities, as well as offering paratransit services to local residents. Over the years, many plans to bring BART to San Jose have been suggested, but none have been built.

San Jose is served by the medium-sized Mineta San Jose International Airport, two miles (3 km) northwest of downtown. San Jose residents also use San Francisco International Airport, a major international hub located 35 miles (56 km) to the northwest, and Oakland International Airport, another medium-sized airport located 35 miles (56 km) to the north.

Although it touches San Francisco Bay, the city has no seaport. The old port at Alviso was never upgraded to handle cargo containers and is now closed. Seagoing container traffic goes through the Port of Oakland. Cargo rail service to San Jose is provided by Union Pacific Railroad.


Potable water is provided primarily by the private-sector San Jose Water Company, with some by the Great Oaks Water Company, and ten percent by the public-sector San Jose Municipal Water System. Great Oaks provides exclusively well water, while the other two provide water from multiple sources, including well water, and surface water from the Los Gatos Creek watershed, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

Garbage, wastewater treatment, and recycling services are overseen by the city of San Jose's Environmental Services Department. The no-sorting convenience and unusually long list of recyclable items has resulted in San Jose being one of very few cities that can boast that it recycles 64% of its waste. The list includes all plastic categories 1 through 7; aerosol cans and paint cans; polystyrene including "packing peanuts" and hard foam packing, such as in electronic and computer products' boxes; aluminum furniture; small metal appliances; metal pots and pans (including cast iron); and clean cotton, linen, polyester, rayon, and wool fabrics (for example, blankets, clothes, cloth diapers, rags, and sheets).

Wastewater treatment happens at the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant, which treats and cleans the wastewater of the more than 1,500,000 people that live and work in the 300 square mile (780 km²) area encompassing San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Monte Sereno.

About ten percent of the treated wastewater is sold for irrigation ("water recycling") in San Jose, Santa Clara, and Milpitas, through local water providers San José Municipal Water System, City of Milpitas Municipal Services, City of Santa Clara Water & Sewer Utility, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose Water Company, and Great Oaks Water Company.

Natural gas and electricity are provided by PG&E. Telephone service is provided primarily by SBC Communications. Cable television is provided by Comcast.


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Tower Hall, San Jose State

Colleges and universities

San Jose is home to several colleges and universities. The largest and most well known is San Jose State University, the original campus of the California State University system. Located in downtown San Jose since 1870, the university's 30,000 students in bachelor's and master's degree programs are primarily commuters from many areas in the South Bay. National Hispanic University, with an enrollment of 600, offers associate and bachelor's degrees and teaching credentials to its students, focusing on Hispanic students. Silicon Valley College offers bachelor's and associate degrees useful for workers in high technology industries. Lincoln Law School of San Jose offers law degrees, catering to working professionals. The San Jose campus of Golden Gate University offers business bachelor and MBA degrees. San Jose's community colleges, San Jose City College and Evergreen Valley College, offer associate degrees, general education units to transfer to CSU and UC schools, and adult and continuing education programs.

The University of California, Santa Cruz operates Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton. In addition, San Jose residents attend several other area universities, including Santa Clara University, De Anza College in Cupertino, Stanford University in Palo Alto, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Primary and secondary education

Most San Jose students go to schools in the San Jose Unified School District. Prior to 1954, California law required cities and school districts to have the same boundaries. When San Jose began expanding, rural school districts became one of the major opponents, as their territory and tax base was taken by the city. The city's legislators pushed a bill through the California Legislature, removing that requirement, and ending much of the opposition. The result is a patchwork of local school districts in the areas annexed after 1954.1 Public education in the city is provided by four high school districts, fourteen elementary districts, and four unified school districts (which provide both elementary and high schools).

In addition to the main San Jose Unified School District, the unified school districts are Milpitas Unified School District, Morgan Hill Unified School District, and Santa Clara Unified School District.

The following districts use the "feeder" system:

Private schools in San Jose are primarily run by religious groups. Many Roman Catholic churches operate schools, including four high schools:

There are two Baptist high schools, Liberty Baptist School and White Road Baptist Academy. [18] ( Valley Christian High School is a protestant high school in the North Valley neighborhood. There is also the nonsectarian K-12 Harker School.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

San Jose library system

The San Jose City Library system is unique, with the main branch, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, combining the collections of the city's system with the San Jose State library when it opened in 2003. The library is the largest (built all at once) west of the Mississippi River, with a 1.5 million item collection. Additionally, the city has 20 neighborhood branches, including the Biblioteca Latinoamericana, specializing in Spanish language works. The East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library, a Carnegie library opened in 1908, is the last Carnegie library in Santa Clara County still operating as a public library, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Calabazas Branch has four primary language-specific collections: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian, in addition to its English texts. [19] (

Notable residents

Some notable people born in San Jose include:

Some notable people who moved to San Jose include:

See also: List of notable residents of San Jose, California


Downtown San JoseBurbankAlviso
JapantownCambrian ParkBerryessa
Rose GardenRancho RinconadaNorth Valley
Sunol-MidtownWest San Jose South
Willow GlenWinchesterAlmaden Valley
Naglee ParkEastBlossom Valley
Alum RockCoyote Valley
East FoothillsEvergreen
King and StorySanta Teresa
Little PortugalSan Felipe Valley
Silver Creek Valley


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A meerkat at the Happy Hollow Zoo

Parks, gardens, and other outdoor recreational sites

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Front of the San Jose Museum of Art; the remaining facade of San Jose's first post office. In the background, from left to right are the Knight Ridder headquarters tower, the Fairmont San Jose Hotel expansion tower, and the entrance to the Fairmont

Museums, libraries, and other cultural collections

Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

Sports and event venues

Other structures

See also attractions in adjacent communities in Santa Clara County.


San Jose is served by local media as well as that of San Francisco and national media. The following lists include only local media.

Print media

In addition to the major English-language newspapers, the daily San Jose Mercury News and the weekly alternative Metro Silicon Valley, San Jose is served by a variety of other local print media. The publisher of the Mercury News, Knight Ridder, also publishes the daily Nuevo Mundo, serving San Jose's large Hispanic community along with other Spanish-speaking residents, and Viet Mercury, serving San Jose's large Vietnamese community. The bilingual weeklies La Oferta and El-Observador have articles and advertisements in both English and Spanish. The glossy, monthly San Jose Magazine focuses more on the people and culture of San Jose than on "hard news", but has won awards for its news coverage from the Bay Area's most prestigious media organization, the Peninsula Press Club.



Most people associate San Jose's technology leadership with computers, but in 1909 Charles D. Herrold started the world's first radio broadcasting station on the corner of First and San Fernando streets in San Jose, as "Station FN". The station eventually became today's San Francisco's KCBS-AM.


See also

External links


Further reading

  • Beilharz, Edwin A.; and DeMers Jr., Donald O.; San Jose: California's First City; 1980, ISBN 0-932986-13-7

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