Los Angeles : U.S City

Los Angeles (Listeni/lɔːs ˈændʒələs/, /lɔːs ˈæŋɡələs/ or Listeni/lɒs ˈændʒəliːz/; Spanish: [los ˈaŋxeles], which is written Los Ángeles, Spanish for The Angels), officially the City of Los Angeles, often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621.[5] It has an area of 469 square miles (1,215 km2), and is located in Southern California.

The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area and Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 12,828,837 and nearly 18 million people respectively as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world[6] and the second largest in the United States.[7] Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most ethnically diverse counties[8] in the United States, while the entire Los Angeles area itself has been recognized as the most diverse of the nation's largest cities.[9] The city's inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos.[10]

Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve.[11] It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence.[12] In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States.[13] Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.[14]

Nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a leading world center of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research and has been ranked sixth in the Global Cities Index and 13th in the Global Power City Index. The city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas.[15] Los Angeles includes Hollywood and leads the world in the creation of television productions, video games, and recorded music; it is also one of the leaders in motion picture production.[16] Additionally, Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.
 History
Historical affiliations

Spanish Empire 1781 – 1821
First Mexican Empire 1821 – 1823
Mexico United Mexican States 1823 – 1848
California Republic 1846
 United States 1848 – present
Main article: History of Los Angeles
The old city plaza, 1869
Los Angeles City Hall, shown here in 1931, was built in 1928 and was the tallest structure in the city until 1964, when height restrictions were removed.

The Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabrieleños) and Chumash Native American tribes thousands of years ago. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese-born explorer, claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542.[17] Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769.[18]

In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, the first mission in the area.[19] On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo called "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles", in English it is "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels". The Queen of Angels is an honorific of the Virgin Mary.[20] Two-thirds of the settlers were mestizo or mulatto with a mixture of African, indigenous and European ancestry.[21] The settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820 the population had increased to about 650 residents.[22] Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles.[23]

New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, and the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico. During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847.[24]

Railroads arrived with the completion of the Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876.[25] Oil was discovered in 1892, and by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output.[26]

By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000,[27] putting pressure on the city's water supply.[28] The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city.[29]

In 1910, not only had the city of Los Angeles annexed Hollywood, but there were already at least 10 movie companies operating in the city. By 1921, more than 80 percent of the world's film industry was concentrated in L.A.[30] The money generated by the industry kept the city insulated from much of the economic pain suffered by the rest of the country during the Great Depression.[31] By 1930, the population surpassed one million.[32] In 1932, the city hosted the Summer Olympics.
The Los Angeles Coliseum hosted the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.

Following the end of World War II, Los Angeles grew more rapidly than ever, sprawling into the San Fernando Valley.[33] In 1969, Los Angeles became one of the birthplaces of the Internet, as the first ARPANET transmission was sent from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to SRI in Menlo Park.[34]

In 1984, the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games for the second time. Despite being boycotted by 14 Communist countries, the 1984 Olympics became more financially successful than any previous,[35] and the second Olympics to turn a profit until then – the other, according to an analysis of contemporary newspaper reports, being the 1932 Summer Olympics, also held in Los Angeles.[36]

Racial tensions erupted on April 29, 1992, with the acquittal by a Simi Valley jury of the police officers captured on videotape beating Rodney King, culminating in large-scale riots.[37] In 1994, the 6.7 Northridge earthquake shook the city, causing $12.5 billion in damage and 72 deaths.[38] The century ended with the Rampart scandal, one of the most extensive documented cases of police misconduct in American history.[39]

In 2002, voters defeated efforts by the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood to secede from the city.[40]
Geography
See also: Los Angeles Basin, San Fernando Valley, Greater Los Angeles Area, and Los Angeles County, California
Topography
The Los Angeles Basin

Los Angeles is irregularly shaped and covers a total area of 502.7 square miles (1,302 km2), comprising 468.7 square miles (1,214 km2) of land and 34.0 square miles (88 km2) of water.[4] The city extends for 44 miles (71 km) longitudinally and for 29 miles (47 km) latitudinally. The perimeter of the city is 342 miles (550 km).

Los Angeles is both flat and hilly. The highest point in the city is 5,074 ft (1,547 m) Mount Lukens,[41][42] located at the northeastern end of the San Fernando Valley. The eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains stretches from Downtown to the Pacific Ocean and separates the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley. Other hilly parts of Los Angeles include the Mt. Washington area north of Downtown, eastern parts such as Boyle Heights, the Crenshaw district around the Baldwin Hills, and the San Pedro district.
Mallards on the Los Angeles River

The Los Angeles River, which is largely seasonal, is the primary drainage channel. It was straightened and lined in 51 miles of concrete by the Army Corps of Engineers to act as a flood control channel.[43] The river begins in the Canoga Park district of the city, flows east from the San Fernando Valley along the north edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, and turns south through the city center, flowing to its mouth in the Port of Long Beach at the Pacific Ocean. The smaller Ballona Creek flows into the Santa Monica Bay at Playa del Rey.
MacArthur Park

The Los Angeles area is rich in native plant species due in part to a diversity in habitats, including beaches, wetlands, and mountains. The most prevalent botanical environment is coastal sage scrub,[44] which covers the hillsides in combustible chaparral. Native plants include: California poppy, matilija poppy, toyon, Coast Live Oak, and Giant Wildrye. Many of these native species, such as the Los Angeles sunflower, have become so rare as to be considered endangered. Though it is not native to the area, the official tree of Los Angeles is the Coral Tree (Erythrina caffra)[45] and the official flower of Los Angeles is the Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae).[46] Mexican Fan Palms, Canary Island Palms, and California Fan Palms are common in the Los Angeles area, although only the last is native.
Geology

Los Angeles is subject to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The geologic instability has produced numerous faults, which cause approximately 10,000 earthquakes annually.[47] One of the major faults is the San Andreas Fault. Located at the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, it is predicted to be the source of Southern California's next big earthquake.[48] Major earthquakes to have hit the Los Angeles area include the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, the 1971 San Fernando earthquake near Sylmar, and the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Nevertheless, all but a few quakes are of low intensity and are not felt.[47] The Los Angeles basin and metropolitan area are also at risk from blind thrust earthquakes.[49] Parts of the city are also vulnerable to tsunamis; harbor areas were damaged by waves from the Valdivia earthquake in 1960.[50]
Climate
Main article: Climate of the Los Angeles Basin
Echo Park as seen with palm trees

Los Angeles has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csa inland), and receives just enough annual precipitation to avoid either Köppen's BSh or BSk (semi-arid climate) classification. Los Angeles has plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.[51]

The average annual temperature in downtown is 66 °F (19 °C): 75 °F (24 °C) during the day and 57 °F (14 °C) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature typically ranges from 59 to 73 °F (15 to 23 °C) during the day and 45 to 55 °F (7 to 13 °C) at night. In the warmest month – August – the temperature typically ranges from 79 to 90 °F (26 to 32 °C) during the day and around 64 °F (18 °C) at night.

Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on a dozen or so days in the year, from one day a month in April, May, June and November to three days a month in July, August, October and to five days in September.[51] Temperatures are subject to substantial daily swings; in inland areas the difference between the average daily low and the average daily high is over 30 °F (17 °C).[52] The average annual temperature of the sea is 63 °F (17 °C), from 58 °F (14 °C) in January to 68 °F (20 °C) in August.[53] Hours of sunshine total more than 3,000 per year, from an average of 7 hours of sunshine per day in December to an average of 12 in July.[54]

The Los Angeles area is also subject to phenomena typical of a microclimate, causing extreme variations in temperature in close physical proximity to each other. For instance, the average July maximum temperature at the Santa Monica Pier is 75 °F (24 °C) whereas it is 95 °F (35 °C) in Canoga Park.[55] The city, like much of the southern California coast, is subject to a late spring/early summer weather phenomenon called "June Gloom." This involves overcast or foggy skies in the morning which yield to sun by early afternoon.[56]

Downtown Los Angeles averages 15.14 inches (384.6 mm) of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November through April), generally in the form of moderate rain showers, but often as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms during winter storms. The coast gets slightly less rainfall, while the mountains get slightly more. However the San Fernando Valley Region of Los Angeles can get between 16 and 20 inches (410 and 510 mm) of rain per year. Years of average rainfall are rare; the usual pattern is bimodal, with a short string of dry years (perhaps 7–8 inches or 180–200 millimetres) followed by one or two wet years that make up the average. Snowfall is extremely rare in the city basin, but the mountains within city limits typically receive snowfall every winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in downtown Los Angeles was 2 inches (5 cm) in 1932.[57] The highest recorded temperature in downtown Los Angeles is 113 °F (45 °C) on September 27, 2010[58] and the lowest recorded temperature is 24 °F (−4 °C) on December 22, 1944.

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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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