Governor Earl Warren officially accepted the 350 lb cast bronze bell in a ceremony held at Capitol Park in October of 1949.
The bell had formerly been mounted on the battleship USS California. The Navy decommissioned the battleship in 1949 after its turbulent yet distinguished naval service during World War II.
An inscription on the structure to which the bell was attached in Capitol Park identifies the USS California as the only battleship to be built on the West Coast. Subsequent information reveals that this claim is erroneous; the USS Nebraska, USS Oregon, USS Wisconsin, and the USS Ohio were all built in West Coast shipyards. Despite a resolution sponsored by three Navy Veteran Assembly Members in 1954, the inscription was never corrected.