Los Angeles, CA History: The Birth of the City of Angels

los angeles in the 1700s

The city of Los Angeles was founded in 1781 and was formerly called El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porcincula or, in English, “Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porcincula. The community started out with only a few families but the population soon increased to 315 by the 1800s. The settlement in the city grew steadily and in 1847, it was captured by the US forces.

California Gold & Increased Settlement

In 1848, gold was discovered in California, attracting Americans to come and settle in Los Angeles and other surrounding areas. The city was then incorporated two years later. One year later, the city gained its first publication and the population soon rose to 5,614. Sometime in 1861 to 1862, the city suffered from a great deal of floods during its winter season. Although it was followed by a bad two-year drought, the city was able to stay strong and soon recovered from these natural calamities.

More and more people started to migrate to Southern California sometime in the late 19th century with the belief that the climate would be able to improve, if not heal, many health conditions. The population amounted to past the count of a hundred thousand. Notable signs of progress include the following:

  • In 1870, the orange industry in the state was booming
  • The first streetcar has begun operations
  • A railroad has been built to connect the city of Los Angeles to San Francisco
  • The University of Southern Los Angeles was founded in 1880
  • Oil was discovered in the city in 1892
  • The Bradbury Building was built in 1893

The City in the 20th Century

In the early 20th century, a lot of Japanese and Mexican nationals migrated to Southern California, while many African Americans chose to move to Los Angeles as the First World War period started. Here are other notable points in Los Angeles’ history within the 20th century:

  • The Los Angeles aqueduct was built in 1908 to 1913 to aid the major water supply problem in the city.
  • Hollywood started in 1913 when Cecil B. DeMille hired a barn for use in film making. This soon made the film industry in LA boom.
  • The infamous Hollywood sign was erected in 1923.
  • The City Hall and Union Station was built in 1939.
  • In the 1930s, the city, like the rest of the world, suffered from the Great Depression but soon recovered during World War II.

Despite suffering from a couple of riots, manufacturing declines, and terrible earthquakes, Los Angeles managed to recover and push through with its progress. In the late 20th century, the city’s service industries was booming. Tourism started to flourish and the financial center was thriving. Further progress, ideal climates, and the film industry soon increased the population further, reaching around 3.9 million today.



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