Index | California

California: Most authorities derive it from the two Spanish words, caliente fornalia, i.e., "hot furnace," given by Cortez in the year 1535 to the peninsula now known as Baja or Lower California, of which he was the discoverer, on account of its hot climate. H. H. Bancroft, in his History of California, says the name was first given to the Gulf, then to Lower California.