The Fascinating History of Los Angeles

Discover how El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciuncula became known as Los Angeles! Learn about its fascinating history from its founding to its current state.

The Fascinating History of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city with a fascinating history. It was founded in 1781 by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve, who named it El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciuncula. This translates to The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula. In 1984, Los Angeles surpassed Chicago in population, becoming the second largest city in the United States.

The Los Angeles City Charter, ratified by voters in 1999, created a system of consultative neighborhood councils to represent the diversity of stakeholders. These councils are autonomous and spontaneous, as they identify their own boundaries, establish their own statutes and elect their own officials. There are around 90 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles. Residents elect supervisors for the first, second, third and fourth oversight districts.

In addition to the rail service offered by Metrolink and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles has Amtrak intercity passenger trains. The city's main train station is Union Station, located just north of the city center. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) directly contracts local and commuter bus service. During World War II, Los Angeles was an important center for wartime manufacturing such as shipbuilding and aeronautics.

There are numerous colleges and universities outside the city limits in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, including the Claremont Colleges Consortium which includes some of the most selective liberal arts universities in the United States. African-Americans have been the predominant ethnic group in South Los Angeles since the 1960s. In 1910, Hollywood merged with Los Angeles, with 10 film companies already operating in the city at that time. As part of the creative industry in the region, the four major broadcast television networks ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC have production facilities and offices in several areas of Los Angeles.

Many cities adjacent to Los Angeles also have their own daily newspapers whose coverage and availability overlap those of certain neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Latino street gangs such as Los Sureños (a Mexican-American street gang) and Mara Salvatrucha (which has mainly members of Salvadoran descent) originated in Los Angeles. The port of Los Angeles is located on San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro neighborhood approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of the city center. Despite its congestion, travelers in Los Angeles have an average daily commute time that is shorter than other major cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. The city of Los Angeles and its metropolitan area are home to eleven top-tier professional sports teams, several of which play in neighboring communities but use Los Angeles in their name. The city has a diverse economy and is home to companies in a wide range of professional and cultural fields. Also known as Port of Los Angeles or WORLDPORT LA, this port complex covers 7500 acres (30 km) of land and water along 43 miles (69 km) of coastline.

Immediately to the north are the San Gabriel Mountains which are a popular recreational area for Angelenos.

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