Sunnyvale: The Heart of the Silicon Valley
Some of the nation’s most successful business and industrial leaders are located in Sunnyvale, including AMD, Network Appliance and Yahoo!. Residents can drive within an hour to many distinguished educational institutions, including Stanford University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and University of California. Foothill, De Anza, West Valley and Mission Community Colleges and Cogswell College are only minutes away, offering high quality community college classes and programs.
The City is less than an hour from the Pacific Ocean, and close to California’s famous redwood forests and beautiful Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada for summer exploring and winter skiing.
In the greater Sunnyvale area, theaters, concert halls, museums, libraries and art galleries fill the most demanding cultural needs.
The city offers shopping convenience and variety with more than 49 neighborhood and regional centers, including downtown shopping and dining at Murphy Avenue, a unique and historic business district.
Sunnyvale’s history has always been based on its economy. Initially, the area’s vast open space and fertile soil were ideal for the fruit orchards that supported the settlement’s first residents. With the arrival of the railroad in 1864, the economic base of the community was able to expand, as canneries to process the fruit from the surrounding orchards were built near the rail lines. In 1906, the Hendy Iron Works relocated from San Francisco to Sunnyvale, continuing the area’s industrial development.
By 1940, the population had grown to about 4,400 and the Hendy Iron Works was taken over by Westinghouse to support the war effort. After the war, the defense-related industry arrived, capitalizing on the pleasant climate and Moffett Naval Air Station. Lockheed Missiles & Space Company moved to Sunnyvale in 1956, and soon became Sunnyvale’s largest employer. The 1950s and 1960s became the periods of largest growth for the community, resulting in a population of 96,000 in 1970.
The defense era gave way to the high-tech era when the microprocessor was introduced in 1971. During the years that followed, companies with foresight saw the potential of computers and the power of semiconductors. The City became the nexus of research, development and manufacturing that created Silicon Valley, and that legacy continues today in the era of the Internet.
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