1. About two-thirds of Oakland is in the flatlands while the remaining one-third is in the hills. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the flatlands were a rich agricultural region and the oaks and redwood timber of its hills were a resource for building and rebuilding San Francisco. Lake Merritt, east of the downtown region, was the first official wildlife refuge in the United States.
2. During the 20th century, immigrants and war-industry workers from the southern United States made Oakland one of the country's most ethnically diverse major cities. Historically, wealthier residents have tended to live in the hills.
3. Oakland's population doubled in 1906 due to refugees from San Francisco's earthquake and fire.
|photo by Tim Stafford. Thanks, Tim!|
4. In 2013, Oakland had the most movie theaters, theater companies and museums per square mile of any U.S. city. It was also recently the top city in the U.S. for using renewable resources for electricity. However, lead contamination is still a problem in portions of the city.
5. The Port of Oakland's shipping port is the busiest in the San Francisco Bay and the fifth busiest in the United States. The Port includes Jack London Square and Oakland International Airport, as well as 665 acres devoted to maritime activities.