SAN DIEGO, a city, port of entry and the county-seat of San Diego county, in S. California, U.S.A., on the Pacific Ocean, about 10 m. N. of the Mexican border, and about 126 m. (by rail) S.E. of Los Angeles. Pop. (1880) 2637; (1890) 16,159; (1900) 17,700, of whom 3768 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 39,578. It is served by numerous steamship lines and by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Los Angeles & San Diego Beach, the San Diego Southern, and the San Diego, Cuyamaca & Eastern railways. A railway between Yuma, Arizona, and San Diego was under construction in 1910. The harbour, next to that of San Francisco the best in California, has an area of some 22 sq. m. The Federal government has made various improvements in the harbour, building a jetty 7500 ft. long on Zuninga Shoal at the entrance and making a channel 225 ft. wide and 27-28 ft. deep at low tide. The city site, which is a strip of land 25m. long' and 2 to 4 m. wide, is nearly level near the bay. San Diego is the seat of a State Normal School and has a Carnegie library. There is a coaling station of the United States Navy, and the United States government maintains a garrison in Fort Rosecrans. At Coronado (pop. 1900, 935) across the bay are Coronado Beach, and the Hotel del Coronado, with fine botanical and 'Japanese gardens; on the beach people live in tents except in the stormier season. Within the city, on the top of Point Loma, is the Theosophical Institution of the " Universal Brotherhood." San Diego has one of the most equable climates in the world, and there are several sanatoriums here. The economic interests centre in fruit culture, especially the raising of citrus fruits and of raisin grapes. There are also warehouses, foundries, lumber yards, saw-mills and planing-mills logs are rafted here from Washington and Oregon. National City (pop. 1900, 1086), adjoining San Diego on the S. and the S. terminus of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa F6 system, has large interests in lemon packing and the manufacture of oil, citric acid and other lemon by-products. In 1905 the total value of the factory products of the city was $1,974,430 (194-8 % more than in 1900).
San Diego is under the commission form of government; in 1905 the city secured as a charter right the power to " recall " by petition any unsatisfactory city official and to elect another in his place, and the initiative and referendum were incorporated in the charter, but were practically inoperative for several years. By a charter amendment of 1909, the city is governed by a commission of a mayor and five councilmen, elected at large.
About 4 m. N. of the business centre of San Diego is the site of the first Spanish settlement hi Upper California. It was occupied in April 1769; a Franciscan " mission " (the earliest of twenty-one established in California) was founded on the 16th of July, and a military presidio somewhat later. San Diego began the first revolution against Governor M. Victoria and Mexican authority in 1831, but was intensely loyal in opposition to Governor J. B. Alvarado and the northern towns in 1836. It was made a port of entry in 1828. In 1840 it had a population of 140. It was occupied by the American forces in July 1846, and was reoccupied in November after temporary dispossession by the Californians, no blood being shed in these disturbances. In 1850 it was incorporated as a city, but did not grow, and lost its charter in 1852. In 1867 it had only a dozen inhabitants. A land promoter, A. E. Horton (d. 1909), then laid out a new city about 3 m. S. of the old. Its population increased to 2300 in 1870, and this new San Diegojwas incorporated in 1872, and was made a port of entry in 1873. The old town still has many ruined adobe houses, and the old " mission " is fairly well preserved. The prosperity of 1867-1873 was'followed by a disastrous crash in 1873-1874, and little progress was made until 1884, when San Diego was reached by the Santa Fe railway system. After 1900 the growth of the city was again very rapid.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)