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Fun Facts About San Diego

By Susan Willner posted 09-06-2018 13:03


Size: Did you know that San Diego is the 8th largest city in the U.S. with a population of 1.5 million?  And that eight percent of its population is made up of military members and their families?  But, if you combine the population with its border city of Tijuana, Mexico, the population jumps to five million. 

Incorporation: The area was first claimed by Spain in 1542.  In 1834 when Mexico won its independence from Spain, San Diego became part of Mexico.  In 1848, under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the land was ceded to the U.S.

Weather:  The average temperature in October is 74 degrees which is only four degrees higher than the annual average temperature of 70 degrees.   And on average, it rains only one day in October so fingers crossed you won't need an umbrella! 

The Zoo: In 1915, the World’s Fair was held in San Diego in Balboa Park.  The exotic and far-flung animals at the Fair stayed after the Fair closed becoming the first collection of what was to become the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

Colleges, Universities and Smart People:

  • There are 23 colleges and universities in San Diego
  • UC San Diego enrolls and graduates the most women STEM students of any school in the country. One in three female students at UC San Diego are STEM majors.  You can read more at:
  • Women scientists: In 2017, women scientists at UC San Diego surpassed men as leading recipients of the campus’ biggest research grants.
  • The brains: There are 111 living National Academy of Science members and more than 2,600 postdocs within San Diego’s research institutes.
  • UC San Diego is also famous for their Geisel Library which houses the largest collection of original Dr. Seuss Manuscripts in the world.
The San Diego County Public Library has:
  • More than 5.3 million books, including e-books and audio-visual materials
  • 1.6 million government documents; and
  • More than 265,295 books in 25 languages other than English
Fun Facts: 
  • You will be fined if you leave Christmas lights up beyond February 2nd 
  • The U.S. Navy is the largest employer in San Diego 
  • The Giant Dipper is a wooden roller coaster at Belmont Park. It is the only roller coaster in the US to be on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • WD-40 was invented in San Diego by the Rocket Chemical Company in 1953.
  • The Hotel Del Coronado, built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, is the oldest wooden structure in the USA, it was the first to feature an electric lit outdoor Christmas Tree in 1904. 
  • It is illegal to shoot jackrabbits from the back of a streetcar.

For more Fun Facts, check out: or check out to learn more about San Diego.