As the second largest city in the nation, Los Angeles and the surrounding metropolitan area are home to over 13 million people. The Southern California city has a rich history that has led to that staggering growth since it was originally established.
A Spanish explorer by the name Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed the land in 1542 though it wasn’t officially founded until 1781. Though it had been home to the Chumash and Tongva tribes, the land became property of Mexico when it won independence from Spain in 1821.
The Mexican-American War that took place in the 1840’s resulted in the sale of modern-day California to the United States of America. Soon, railroads hit the city and oil was discovered. The Los Angeles Aqueduct was constructed in the early 1910’s to provide water to the citizens of the city and encourage outlying communities to annex themselves in order to enjoy the refreshing water too.
While those things helped to give the city a boost in the early years, it was joining with already growing Hollywood that made a big impact. By the early 1920’s more than three-quarters of the films made worldwide were produced in this one little section of the nation. The popularity of the budding industry kept LA buffered from the harshest effects of the Great Depression. To this day the entertainment industry is heavily invested in the area.
As faithful Americans the citizens of Los Angeles rallied around the troops during World War Two. Several manufacturing outfits operated in the city producing ships, aircraft, and related components for the war. At the same time many of the popular entertainers went overseas in order to entertain the troops and keep boost morale.
Once the war was over the population soared. People of all walks of life flocked to the growing area, fueled in part by the growing highway system criss-crossing the nation.
Twice the city has seen racially fueled riots destroy lives and communities within the city. The first, Watts, occurred in 1965 and cost almost three dozen people their lives. Over one thousand more were injured. Twenty seven years later more than fifty people died after a jury acquitted white police officers who had assaulted an African-American man while being video taped.
The City of Angels continues to be home to a diverse and interesting population of people. Countless new artists move to LA every year in hopes of pursuing their creative dreams and contributing to the evolution of this amazing place!