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brownhistory.jpgGov. Jerry Brown's interest in history is expansive, but there are two things he appears to enjoy more than most.

The first is quizzing schoolchildren about California's earliest explorers, as he has done since before taking office in 2011. The second is mule meat.

Happening by a group of fourth graders on the Capitol steps this afternoon, Brown asked if anyone had heard of the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, and if anyone knew what year he came to California.

The students and the Democratic governor settled on 1769, and Brown went on to recount a story he told in his State of the State address in January about the fortitude of explorers who were "forced to eat the flesh of emaciated pack mules."

Brown toned it down slightly for the students, saying "they ate mule meat, and the mules weren't very healthy."

Brown, who was returning to his office from having his portrait taken on the Capitol grounds, went on to discuss how long it took for settlements to take hold in California.

As he left, he said, "That's it. That's the history lesson for the day."

PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to students outside the Capitol Wednesday. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders



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