Founded on November 29, 1777, San Jose was the first town in the Spanish colony Nueva California. At the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, it took California two more years (and a gold rush to prove its worth) to become a state, in 1850. San Jose was the first incorporated city in the new state and served as the first state capital. Throughout the late 1800s and into the first half of the 20th century, San Jose grew on agriculture, producing orchard fruits, berries, tree nuts and vegetables, as well as packaging, canning and shipping them. The valley’s bounty was famous nationwide, earning it the nickname, “The Valley of Heart’s Delight.” As the Capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose has always attracted a special type of entrepreneurial spirit. In the July 22, 2006 Wall Street Journal, Reed Albergotti called San Jose the most inventive town in America, based on its 3,911 patents filed in 2005, alone. Today, San Jose continues to draw the interest and people of the world with its new and “vintage” technologies, from software and services to traditional wine production.
San Jose is rich in cultural history and the diverse ethnic make-up of its population reflects that history. According to Trulia’s 2012 findings, among the 100 largest metros, San Jose was identified as the most diverse, with 35% of its population White, 31% Asian, 28% Hispanic, 3% two or more races and 2% Black.
As one might expect, the San Jose City Council represents the city’s diversity. The current council is comprised of the first Chinese American and the first Indian-American to be elected to the council as well as the first Vietnamese American to serve on the city council of any major metropolitan area in the United States.
The 2012 US Census, American Community Survey reports San Jose’s self-identified Race/Ethnicity as 33.2% Hispanic, 32.8% Asian, 27.6 White, 2.8% African American and 3.6 % other. English is spoken at 43% of homes in San Jose, Asian/Pacific Island in 26%, Spanish in 24% and 7% speak another language.