Who Discovered Los Angeles and Its History?

Discover who was the first person to find Los Angeles and learn about its history from Governor Downey to Harry Chandler to Rodney King.

Who Discovered Los Angeles and Its History?

Los Angeles is a city with a rich and complex history. It was founded in 1781 when 44 colonists from New Spain established a permanent settlement in what is now downtown Los Angeles. The city was originally called Yang-Na, and its coat of arms is surrounded by images of olives, grapes and oranges, which represent the three main crops in Los Angeles in history. During the first half of the 20th century, an extensive system of local (“yellow cars”) and interurban (“red cars”) streetcars made traveling around Los Angeles quick and easy.

In 1910, Hollywood merged with Los Angeles, with 10 film companies already operating in the city at that time. The first person to find Los Angeles was Governor Downey, who was born and raised in Castlesampson, Roscommon County, Ireland. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1850 and his influence helped to promote development near the mouth of the aqueduct. In addition to Governor Downey, there are numerous other people who have contributed to the history of Los Angeles.

An influential strike was the Los Angeles textile worker strike of 1933, one of the first strikes in which Mexican immigrant workers played a prominent role in favor of union recognition. The reaction to police brutality led to the Watts riots of 1965 and the Los Angeles riots of 1992, following the beating of Rodney King. Today, Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, its ethnic and cultural diversity, the Hollywood film industry and its extensive metropolitan area. There are numerous additional colleges and universities outside the city limits in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, including the Claremont Colleges Consortium.

The city directly contracts local and commuter bus service through the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). The inauguration of the Los Angeles Aqueduct provided the city with four times more water than it needed, and the supply of water service became a powerful attraction for neighboring communities. Los Angeles is a city with a long and fascinating history that has been shaped by many different people over time. From Governor Downey to Harry Chandler to Rodney King, each person has left their mark on this vibrant city.

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