The Infamous “City of Lost Angels” a.k.a. “LA” or Spanish for “The City of Angels” is also known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World”. Los Angeles was first settled in September of 1781, later incorporated as a city in April of 1850. The City is a landmass that encompasses of 498 square miles with an urban mass of over 1,668 square miles and sits roughly 233 feet above sea level. Los Angeles, according to the 2009 census, has a 3,833,995 population with an urban population of over 14 million making it the largest city in California and the second largest city in the United States next to New York City and the 12th most populated metropolitan area in the world. It is the third richest city and fifth most powerful and influential of cities in the world. It is a world center for international trade, entertainment, movies, media, fashion, science, culture, business, technology, and education. It is the world’s leader in the creation of video games, motion pictures, television, and recorded music. L.A. has a Mediterranean-like climate with roughly only 35 days of precipitation a year. Due to its geography, vehicles, industry, and airport it is overriden by smog and air pollution being a very bad locale to those with respiratory illnesses. The city is divided into 80 districts and neighborhoods some of the well known areas are Silver Lake, Echoe Park, Los Feliz, Venice Beach, Hollywood, Koreatown, Westwood, Bel Air, Hollywood Hills, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, and the Downtown Financial District. Its most famous landmarks are Griffith Observatory, Universal Studies, Walt Disney Concer Hall, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood sign, Hollywood Blvd, Capital Records, Hollywood Bowl, Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, Olvera Street, Museum of Art, the Coliseum, etc. L.A. and Hollywood are also home to over 841 museums and art galleries, the most notorious being the L.A. County Museum of Art, the Getty Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Originally inhabited by the Tongva and Chumash tribes thousands of years ago, called by them as the “valley of smoke” for it collected smog from their campfires. it was first visited by Europeans in 1542 by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who claimed the area for Spain. Europeans didn’t really stay in the area until the Franciscan missionary Juan Crespi came to the area in 1769 who had dreams for the area to become a large settlement. A friar named Junipero Serra built the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel near Whittier Narrows here in 1771. By 1777 a pueblo was established here. The area was founded by the Spanish governor Felipe de Neve on September 4, 1781 by a group of 44 settlers who called themselves the “Los Pobladores”. With a population of 650, the area was claimed for Mexico in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. By 1848 it was purchased with California through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo as part of the United States after the Mexican American War. By 1850 it achieved statehood. The Railroads came through the area as the “Southern Pacific Line” in 1876. By 1892 the area had a surplus of oil discovered bringing in early oil industry, so much, that the area produced 1/4 of the world’s oil by 1923. Overpopulation of the natural resources taxed the local water supply and by 1913 the Los Angeles Aqueduc had to be built. By the 1920’s the film industry settled, quadrupling the population to over a million by 1932. By 1969 the area became one of the Internet’s birthplaces with the first ARPANET setup here at the University of California. Mixed cultures populated the area, especially Spanish, Mexican, African American, Jewish, Oriental, and Native American populations. By the 20th century, the area was infected by drug trade, police corruption, gang warfare, murders, racial tensions, and crime. By 1994 the area was devastated by the 6.7 Northridge earthquake.
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This page was last updated on 8/16/2015
- Baurley, Thomas 2015 Alternative America: Travel Guide to the U.S.A. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
- McGowan, Leaf 2015 Magical America. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
- Wikipedia 2015 “United States of America” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States referenced 8/16/15.