State Motto

Eureka

The State Motto that appears on the State Seal is the Greek word Eureka – which means “I have found it!” These famous words were supposed to have been uttered by the ancient Greek scientist Archimedes (c. 287-212 B.C.E.) when conducting an experiment to measure the specific gravity of gold.

During the 1849 California State Constitutional Convention at Monterey, the delegates had to agree upon a design for the Great Seal of California, which included a representative motto. They were following in the tradition adopted by other states. Since the seal’s design included a gold miner, it seemed most fitting to the delegates to adopt this phrase as the State Motto. It became the official State Motto in 1963. Seventeen California locations bear the name Eureka.

(Added by Statutes, Chapter 1237, 1963)

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