California Was Named for a Fictional Island Ruled by a Black Amazon Queen

California state flag flying in the breeze. YangYin / Getty Images

California was admitted to the United States as the 31st state in 1850, but it acquired its unique name much, much earlier. Join Ben and Noel as they trace the strange story behind California's name, from the fiction that inspired it to the loss and rediscovery of the story and, of course, adventures on a legendary Amazonian island.