San Jose (sănəzāˈ, săn hōzāˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850. Along with San Francisco and Oakland the city comprises the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States. San Jose lies in a rich fruit-growing area and has wineries and many food-processing industries. Computers; electronic and electrical equipment; machinery; metal, rubber, plastic, and paper products; medical, communications, and transportation equipment; and chemicals are among its manufactures. Aerospace and commercial-supply industries are nearby, as is the Silicon Valley high-technology center. Industrial production developed significantly after World War II and growth has since been rapid. However, San Jose was affected by the decline in high-technology production at the end of the 20th cent. The first state legislature (1849) met there, and San Jose was the state capital from 1849 to 1851.
Among the city's parks are Alum Rock Park, with mineral springs; Kelley Park, with a zoo and a Japanese garden and tea house; and Rosicrucian Park, with its Egyptian museum and planetarium. The Tech Museum of Innovation and the city's repertory theater are located in striking new buildings, and the sprawling, bizarrely constructed Winchester Mystery House is also noteworthy. San Jose State Univ., The National Hispanic Univ., Lincoln Law School of San Jose, and a campus of Golden Gate Univ. are in San Jose. The National Hockey League's Sharks play there. To the north lies Mission San Jose de Guadalupe (1797) and to the west is Mission Santa Clara de Asís (1777).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.