Oakland is a major West Coast port city in the U.S. state of California. The Port of Oakland is the busiest port for San Francisco Bay and all of Northern California. Oakland is the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth-largest city in the state, and the 47th-largest city in the U.S. with a population at the 2010 U.S. Census of 390,724. Incorporated in 1852, Oakland is the county seat of Alameda County. It serves as a major transportation hub and trade center for the entire region and is also the principal city of the Bay Area Region known as the East Bay. The city is situated directly across the bay, six miles east of San Francisco.
Japan's success in spreading the plague and anthrax in Hawaii caused a panic on the United States West Coast, whose inhabitants feared the spread of deadly disease to them as well. The cities of Oakland and Los Angeles instituted Kill-a-Rat Days, assuming that with no rats, plague would not spread. The bodies of dead rats killed by citizens were displayed in big piles at the two cities. Pete McGill believed it was an illusion to assume rats and disease could be entirely eliminated in this way.