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The City The guide was updated:Millennia before the first settlements, San Jose was home to the Ohlone Native Americans. The year 1770 brought with it a European presence in the form of Spanish explorers. Seven years later on November 29, 1777, California’s first white settlement was established in the form of El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. The township would shift from Spanish to Mexican influence until 1848, when the United States gained California in the annex.
San Jose became a substantial agricultural community for close to two centuries. The Del Monte cannery was the city’s primary employer for quite some time, and the first commercial broccoli farm in the United States started in San Jose. Numerous orchards around the Santa Clara Valley even filled the air with a sweet smell of fruit—drawing the moniker “The Valley of Heart's Delight.” Both these delightful orchards and San Jose’s farming role would wither by the 1970s, however, when urban sprawl would rein in the burgeoning technology industry.
The growth campaigns began in the 1950s and 1960s under the helm of city manager Dutch Hamann, who annexed areas of the city to create suburbs. Such rapid growth was contested by locals to little avail, and San Jose soon became a hub of economic development. Countless high-technological businesses sprang up in the city in the 1990s, and San Jose became the “Capital of Silicon Valley.”
With San Jose’s emergence as a national center for business and tourism, the city’s residents and visitors give San Jose a distinct culture. A tight-knit sense of community is extended from every street and building, from San Jose itself to the surrounding Santa Clara Valley.