Oakland’s original inhabitants, the Huchiun tribe of Ohlone Indians lived here before Spanish explorers arrived in 1772. In 1797, Mission San Jose was built south of Oakland, its lands extending north as far as today’s city. After Mexican independence, the land passed into the hands of Luis Maria Peralta.
The California Gold Rush began in 1848, and by 1869, Oakland was the western terminus of the Intercontinental Railroad. In 1906, Oakland’s population doubled as refugees from San Francisco’s earthquake and fire moved there.
During World War II, Oakland provided a home for Navy shipbuilding, and many people moved here for work. After the war, the jobs disappeared and the city’s prosperity declined.
In the 1960s and 70s, many activist groups spring up in Oakland, including the Black Panther Party. The city also produced well-known funk musical groups including Sly & the Family Stone and Tower of Power.
In today’s Oakland many redevelopment projects are starting to take hold. Forbes Magazine ranked Oakland in the top 10 best places for business and careers in 2001.