You often hear that immigration just means that California is being repopulated by its rightful owners, so it's interesting to note how minimal Spanish / Mexican settlement of California actually had been. A reader points out that, as far as he can tell, 1910 marks the earliest Census Bureau estimate for "white population of Mexican origin." In California in 1910, only 48,391 people fell into that category, just 2.1 percent of the total population of California. In contrast, they comprised 7.0 percent of the population of Texas in 1910.
California's Hispanic tradition was enthusiastically amplified by romantic Anglos from Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel Ramona onward. For example, Zorro, the comic book superhero Californio, was invented by Johnston McCulley in 1919. The restoration of the 21 California missions was paid for by William Randolph Hearst.