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Levering Act required all state employees to take oath of loyalty

In 1950 the California State Legislature enacted the Levering Act, requiring oaths of loyalty from all its employees. The loyalty oath was suggested by Assemblyman Harold Levering. It required all state employees to swear that they did not belong to or support any organization which wished to overthrow the state or federal government through the use of force or violence. Although the definition was somewhat vague, it was aimed specifically at members of the Communist Party.

During this time period, which later became known as McCarthyism due to the investigations led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, such requirements were frequently made throughout the United States by politicians and business leaders concerned about the spread of communism from the Soviet Union to the U. S. In 1952 the Levering Act was made a part of the California State Constitution; in 1967 the State Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional.

California Governor Earl Warren was appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

In 1953, California governor Earl Warren was named Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Warren was a graduate of the University of California and veteran of World War I. He became attorney general of California, and then was elected governor three times, serving from 1943 until 1953. He was known for his many reforms and his ability to view all sides of issues. He was in constant contact with a variety of citizens groups and advisory bodies, relying on them for advice rather than on political advisors. In 1948 he was Thomas E. Dewey’s vice-presidential running mate on the Republican ticket, but they were defeated.

Warren was a strong voice who shaped the Supreme Court into a liberal body. His most famous decision was in the Brown vs. the Board of Education case. He ruled that segregation of schools that were "separate but equal" was unconstitutional and called for the desegregation of the schools to happen with all possible speed. He also ruled to protect privacy rights and the civil rights of women and minorities. In 1964, following the death of President John F. Kennedy, Warren headed the commission investigating the assassination. He retired from the Supreme Court in 1969, and died in 1974. He is regarded as the most influential Supreme Court Justice of this century.

Disneyland opened in Anaheim

In 1955 Disneyland, the first amusement park of its kind, was opened in Anaheim, California. Cartoonist and studio owner Walt Disney, who was already famous for such animated characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and films such as Pinocchio and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, bought 160 acres of land in Orange County, later adding 25 more acres. Here he built an amusement park which featured not only rides and roller-coasters, but also scaled down versions of themes that correspond to settings of his films.

Disneyland originally contained four sections: Fantasyland, set in a fairy-tale castle; Frontierland, set in the streets of a western U.S. town during the 1890s; Adventureland, set in the days of pirates and explorers; and Tomorrowland, set in an imagined future. Sophisticated technology and original ideas led to the great success of the park. In the first six months after its opening, over 1,000,000 people visited the park, and it remains a leading California tourist attraction. Additional Disney theme parks have opened in Orlando, Florida, in France, and in Japan. The Disney model of a park with themes, technological feats, and rides has become a model for amusement parks worldwide.

New York Giants baseball team moved to San Francisco and Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team moved to Los Angeles

At the end of the baseball season in 1957, the Dodgers and Giants moved from New York to California, becoming the first major league baseball teams to be based on the west coast. The Dodgers, originally from Brooklyn, were one of the oldest and most famous clubs in baseball. Team president Walter O'Malley brought the team to Los Angeles, where it played in the Los Angeles Coliseum until its own stadium was completed in Chavez Ravine. That year it attracted a record-breaking 2,755,184 spectators to its games. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1959, 1963, and 1965.

The Giants, originally from New York, were also one of the oldest teams in baseball. They left the Polo Grounds at the order of team president Horace Stoneham. In 1960 they began to play in Candlestick Park, which quickly became as infamous for its cold, wind, and fog as their previous home, the Polo Grounds, had been famous for its charm. The Giants and Dodgers had already been rivals in New York, where they were both in the National League. Now in the National League West, with the added fuel of the northern California-southern California rivalry, the contests between the two teams are heated.


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