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History of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, the biggest economic powerhouse of the West Coast and the second-largest city in America, was initially settled by indigenous tribes in 8000 B.C. including the Tongva and Chumash hunter-gatherers. Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, a Portuguese sailor, was the first European to travel through the area in 1542, yet the Los Angeles area's Spanish outpost wasn't established until 1769 by Gaspar de Portola;.


In 1781, the Spanish outpost grew larger when a batch of 44 settlers of Native American, European, and African backgrounds voyaged from northern Mexico to build a farming village on the Rio Por banks. The settlement was named "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of Porciuncula" or El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los �ngeles de Porciuncula by the Spanish government. Soon after, Spanish missions were established in the region, including Mission San Gabriel Arcangel which was initiated by Junipero Serra and Mission San Fernando which was called for Ferdinand III of Spain. California regions fell under the control of Mexico as they announced their independence from Spain in 1821.


Two years after the Mexican American War in 1846, California was incorporated by the United States. The adjustment was fortunate since rich gold deposits were discovered in 1848 in Sacramento Valley triggering the Gold Rush. The crowd of '49ers gathering in California depended on foods from farms and ranches such as beef in the area of Los Angeles. After years of "manifest destiny" expansions of America, a track was completed by Southern Pacific Railroad into Los Angeles in 1881 which linked the city with other cities in the United States.


The track sparked a swirling land of speculation and the winter-weary Easterners were soon tempted by the civic boosters with promises of boundless sunshine and lush orange grooves. However, people and oranges need water, and Los Angeles looked several miles away towards the Owens Valley to slake its dryness. After years of shenanigans, bribery, and backroom deals, superintendent William Mulholland inaugurated the Los Angeles Aqueduct with the phrase, "There it is. Take it." in 1913.


Among the first directors to shoot in the area of Los Angeles attracted by the non-union, low-wage workers and mild weather were D.W. Griffith. Cecil B. de Mille was filming in the area by 1913. Shortly, Hollywood that was once known as a small town was adjoined by Los Angeles to create the heart of the entertainment industry within the city. Additionally, the city is also known as the oil industry's center: Edward Doheny who was notorious for his Teapot Dome Scandal's involvement hit a gusher in 1892 near the Los Angeles downtown, and within several years over 500 oil wells were spurting across the basin of Los Angeles. The population of the city topped one million by 1924 and the city proudly host the 1932 and 19484 Summer Olympics.


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Approximately 100,000 workers were earning in warplane manufacturing and shipbuilding all over the Port of Los Angeles during World War II. Considerable tensions were brought by the multiethnic metropolis' rapid growth. Violent mobs of servicemen of the United States brutally bombarded Latinos during the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943. In 1965, racial unrest erupted again in the Watts Riots and at the center of Rodney King beating in 1991 following the Los Angeles Riots. O.J. Simpson was apprehended in 1994 for the murder of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, only to be acquitted the following year.


Los Angeles' calm was also disrupted by natural disasters. The Northbridge earthquake in 1994 caused over $20 billion worth of damages and killed 57 people. Other disasters such as the Long Beach earthquake in 1933, Sylmar earthquake in 1971, and the Woolsey wildfire in 2018 have ruined the city. The City of Los Angeles' population was over 4 million as of 2017 and the whole metropolitan area houses more than 12 million people.

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