History of Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California, was originally founded by developers who viewed the land as a prime area for tourists. The land was given to the investors from the Rancho San Antonio land grant in 1820 for use to develop a new community.

When the area was settled in 1853, it was given the name, Ocean View. In 1878, the city became incorporated as Berkeley. The name Berkeley was given to the city for the contributions made by the Irish philosopher, George Berkeley.

The city has experienced numerous economic fluctuations throughout its history, but some industries have remained. A few of them include pharmaceuticals, food products, camping equipment, and metal products.

Berkeley, located next door to Albany, is home to many several educational institutions. They include the University of California at Berkeley, Armstrong University, the Graduate Theological Union, the Jesuit School of Theology, and the Pacific School of Religion. The city also is home to research institutes, notably the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

J. Robert Oppenheimer took a position as a physicist U.C. Berkeley in 1929, then built its physics department into one of the best. Later the chief scientist for the Manhattan Project, Oppenheimer's work with Edward Teller led to the hydrogen bomb.

A hot spot of controversy, Berkeley was the site of one of the first peace protests that led to the Free Speech Movement of the Sixties and Seventies.

Over the years, this California city has become a major tourist destination. Attractions in Berkeley include numerous bookshops, restaurants known throughout the world, the Berkeley Rose Garden, Botanical Garden, and the University Art Museum. Berkeley is home to water sports and fishing championships, owing to excellent marinas and crystal-clear waters.

Celebrating its cultural diversity, Berkeley is home to museums, technology and science centers, and parks. Highlights include the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology; People's Park, Lawrence Hall of Science; U.C. Berkeley Museum of Palentology; and Habitot Children’s Museum.

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