This day in history: San Jose, CA’s incorporation

On March 27, 1850, the first California legislature incorporated San Jose as an official city. Let’s take a look at the significance of this date.

Downtown San Jose during sunrise.

Can you believe we’re already at the end of the year?

Photo via Jed Record

It may be an ordinary Monday, but exactly 170 years ago today — March 27, 1850 — San Jose was incorporated as an official city of California.

Technically, we were founded in November 1777 as the first California civic settlement named Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. But, after California was established as the 31st state of the US in 1850, San Jose quickly followed to become one of the first incorporated cities.

At the time, our city:

  • Had been serving as the state’s capital since 1849, before it was moved to Vallejo in 1852.
  • Had a population of ~500, which was just as diverse as it is now — hosting residents from Mexico, Peru, Chile, India, and America.
  • Served as a trade depot for the goldfields in Sacramento (hey, SACtoday).

San Jose’s roots are so deeply woven into the state of California’s history — we definitely have first-child bragging rights.

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