(Photo: Alexis Fam Photography / Flickr)

10. The first step to getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Work in entertainment. The second: Pay a $30,000 nomination fee. Living celebrities are required to appear at their star's unveiling. (Barbra Streisand is the only person who got away with missing the event.) All of the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz—122 adults and 12 children—share one star.

11. California is the only state that's hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

12. More of the U.S. athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympics came from California than from any other state. But take that with a grain of salt—one out of every eight Americans is from California.

13. The fortune cookie was inspired by the Japanese cookie o-mikuji and invented in California.

14. Except for Alaska, California contains more forest land than any other state.

15. Despite living in Los Angeles for 78 years, writer Ray Bradbury never learned to drive.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

16. The mineral benitoite can be found in California, Japan, and Arkansas, but only San Benito County, Calif., has it in gemstone-quality deposits. The California State Gem Mine in Coalinga allows the public to dig and take home a quart-sized bag of treasure.

17. I can haz state recognition? In 1973, the saber-tooth cat, Smilodon californicus, became California's state fossil. A year earlier, Assemblyman W. Craig Biddle had nominated the cockroach-like trilobite for the honor. Nearly 2,000 museum curators and fossil experts backed him, but the bill never made it to a vote. A year later, the saber-tooth cat made it to the floor and passed. The one no-vote? Senator W. Craig Biddle.

18. Thousands of U.S. banks failed after the 1929 stock market crash—by 1933, only 11,000 were left. All of San Francisco's banks survived.

19. The highest point in the contiguous U.S., 14,494-foot Mt. Whitney, is only 76 miles from the lowest point in the U.S., Death Valley. They're both in Cali— well, you know.


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