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Following World War II, San Jose experienced an economic boom, with a rapid population growth and aggressive annexation of nearby cities and communities carried out in the 1950s and 60s. Census indicated that San Jose had officially surpassed San Francisco as the most populous city in Northern California.The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center to an urbanized metropolitan area. San Jose's location within the booming high tech industry, as a cultural, political, and economic center has earned the city the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley".Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Ohlone people.San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as the Pueblo of San José de Guadalupe, the first city founded in Alta California.Also, by city council convention, this spelling of San José is used when the name is stated in mixed upper- and lower-case letters, but not when the name is stated only in upper-case letters.The accent reflects the Spanish version of the name, and the dropping of accents in all-capital writing was typical in Spanish.Today the Circle of Palms Plaza in downtown is the historical marker for the first state capital.
Major global tech companies including Cisco Systems, e Bay, Cadence Design Systems, Adobe Systems, Pay Pal, Brocade, Samsung, Acer, and Western Digital maintain their headquarters in San Jose, in the center of Silicon Valley.
In 1940, the Census Bureau reported San Jose's population as 98% white.
After World War II, FMC (later United Defense, and currently BAE Systems) continued as a defense contractor, with the San Jose facilities designing and manufacturing military platforms such as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and various subsystems of the M1 Abrams battle tank.
Over 100 people died at the Agnews Asylum (later Agnews State Hospital) after its walls and roof collapsed, and San Jose High School's three-story stone-and-brick building was also destroyed.
The period during World War II was a tumultuous time.