Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 9, Admission Day

On September 9, 1850, California became the thirty-first entry into the Union. Admission Day has been observed on both the state and national stage. On September 9, 1924, President Coolidge ordered the Bear Flag flown over the White House in honor of California’s admittance to the Union. In 1976, Governor Edmund G. Brown vetoed a measure that sought to remove its observance as a state holiday. Admission Day remained an official holiday until 1984, when Governor George Deukmejian signed changed its observance to a “personal” option. On September 9, 2012, the newly re-elected Governor Brown proclaimed the day a legal state holiday.

Shown here are two examples of materials held in the California Historical Society Collection. 

The lettersheet, Grand Admission Celebration, Portsmouth Square, Oct. 29 1850, sold by Cook & Le Count Montgomery St. (Baird-90; Charles O. Brewster papers MS 213), commemorates San Francisco’s impending celebration of California’s statehood, with San Jose as the first capitol city. 

The child’s cap, gift of Mrs. Marie-Desiree Curtis in 1951, was worn by a very young Mary Eliza Davis (1845–1929), the first child born in San Francisco of the newly dominant Euro-Americans, when she was “Queen of the 1850 Admission Day Parade.” Davis’s grandfather was George Yount, the first Euro-American permanent settler in Napa Valley and the namesake for the city of Yountville.

A multitude of materials related to Admission Day and its subsequent anniversaries are available for access to researchers in the NorthBaker Research Library at the Society’s headquarters in San Francisco. 

Cheryl Maslin
Registrar & Collections Manager

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