5 Facts about Santa Ana, CA
It’s one of the most exciting cities in Orange County. Containing both some of the best cultural centres, like the Bower’s Museum (which contains an amazing selection of pre-Columbian artefacts) and some of the best restaurants in the O.C., right now it is really a place to be. To learn more statistics about the heritage of the city and its present, read on for these five facts we at SaveOnPaving.com know about Santa Ana!
5. The Founder of Santa Ana is Now a Saint
Although there are a couple of contenders for who founded the city as we know it today, the person who first named this area was the Roman Catholic Priest and Franciscan monk Junípero Serra. In 1769 Serra called the land ‘Vallejo de Santa Ana’, meaning the Valley of Saint Anne, from where it gets its modern name.
Because of Serra’s work in the Americas, and his attempts to establish Catholicism in California through conversions of the Native population, he was made a saint. He was first beatified by Pope John Paul II in the 1980s, only to be canonized by Pope Francis in 2015. This was Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States, and the first time anyone had ever been canonized on American soil!
Serra’s feast day is on July 1st, and he is the patron saint of California and Hispanic Americans, as well as being the first native saint of the Balearic Islands. A lot of firsts from the founder of Santa Ana!
4. It’s Birthed Some Famous Faces
Two very famous actresses of the 20th century grew up in Santa Ana, CA.
Three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeifer, of Scarface and Dangerous Liaisons fame, was born here. Pfeifer attended Fountain Valley High School, after which she won the Miss. Orange County beauty pageant. She entered Miss. California the same year, only to come in third place, but it was after this she found an agent and really began her acting career.
Diane Keaton attended Santa Ana High School, and while studying there she began to master her craft. Keaton eagerly participated in the singing and acting clubs the school had to offer, and while there took the lead role in a Streetcar Named Desire, as the troubled Southern belle Blanche DuBois. After experiencing early success in films like The Godfather trilogy, it is really Keaton’s role in Annie Hall which has made her an icon. Women everywhere have Keaton as Annie Hall to thank (or curse) for making pantsuits cool.
3. It’s the Most Hispanic City in California
Santa Ana is the most Hispanic City in California, and the 7th most Hispanic City in the United States!
The population is 78.2% Hispanic, which is a massive increase from a 65% Hispanic population in 1990. In 2006, when the council first became all Hispanic, one of the first motions they passed was to translate every meeting into Spanish to help increase political participation.
The change in Santa Ana reflects a massive change across California, as California went from being one of the most hostile states for immigrants twenty years ago to one of the most welcoming today.
2. Santa Ana is the Most Populous City in Orange County
Of all the cities in the O.C., ours has the most people. The regeneration project of the 1980's really seemed to work, and the regeneration of the area coupled with migration to the city has meant it is now the most populous.
1. It’s the Youngest City in California
Among the seven largest cities of California, Santa Ana has the lowest average median age. The median age of the population at 30.1 years old and this makes it way younger than the rest of the United States, which has a median age of 37.8!
What keeps the city so young is the 32% of the population who are 20 & younger; a way more reliable method to retain youth than a face-lift.
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