|— City —|
|City of Los Angeles|
|Downtown Los Angeles, Venice, Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Sign|
|Nickname(s): L.A., the City of Angels, the Entertainment Capital of the World|
|Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California|
|County||Los Angeles County|
|Settled||September 4, 1781|
|Incorporated||April 4, 1850|
|- Body||Los Angeles City Council|
|- Mayor||Antonio Villaraigosa|
|- City Attorney||Carmen Trutanich|
|- City Controller||Wendy Greuel|
|- City||dunams (1290.6 km2 / 498.3 sq mi)|
|Population (July 1, 2009)|
|- Urban density|
|- Rural density|
|- Metro density|
|- CSA Density|
|- Demonym Density|
|(2nd US, 45th World)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|- Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC−7)|
|ZIP code||90001–90068, 90070–90084, 90086–90089, 90091, 90093–90097, 90099, 90101–90103, 90174, 90185, 90189, 90291-90293, 91040–91043, 91303–91308, 91342–91349, 91352–91353, 91356–91357, 91364–91367, 91401–91499, 91601–91609|
|Area code(s)||213, 310/424, 323, 661, 747/818|
Los Angeles ( ; , Spanish for "The Angels") is the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States, with a population of 3.83 million on a land area of . It is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside combined statistical area, which contains nearly 17.8 million people. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most multicultural counties in the United States. The city's inhabitants are referred to as "Angelenos" (English pronunciation: /ændʒɨˈliːnoʊz/).
Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781 by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. 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. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.
Often known by its initials, LA, and nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a world center of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology, and education. It 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. Los Angeles has been ranked the fifth most powerful and influential city in the world, behind only New York City in 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 economic center in the world, after the Greater Tokyo Area and the New York metropolitan area. As the home base of Hollywood, it is known as the "Entertainment Capital of the World", leading the world in the creation of motion pictures, television production, video games, and recorded music. The importance of the entertainment business to the city has led many celebrities to call Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs home. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics. Los Angeles is also home to renowned universities such as the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabrieleños) and Chumash Native American tribes thousands of years ago. The first Europeans arrived in 1542 in an expedition organized by the viceroy of New Spain and commanded by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese-born explorer who claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire. However, he continued with his voyage up the coast and did not establish a settlement. The next contact would not come until 227 years later, when Gaspar de Portolà, along with Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. Crespí noted that the site had the potential to be developed into a large settlement.
In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra built the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel near Whittier Narrows, in what is now called San Gabriel Valley. In 1777, the new governor of California, Felipe de Neve, recommended to Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, viceroy of New Spain, that the site noted by Juan Crespí be developed into a pueblo. The town was officially founded on September 4, 1781, by a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores". Tradition has it that on this day they were escorted by four Spanish colonial soldiers, two priests from the Mission and Governor de Neve. The town was named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels on the Porciúncula River). These pueblo settlers came from the common Hispanic culture that had emerged in northern Mexico among a racially mixed society. Two-thirds of the settlers were mestizo or mulatto, and therefore, had African, Amerindian, and European ancestry. More importantly, they were intermarrying. The settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820 the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles.
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.
Railroads arrived with the completion of the Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876. Oil was discovered in 1892, and by 1923 Los Angeles was producing one-quarter of the world's petroleum.
By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000 people, putting pressure on the city's water supply. 1913's completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city.
In the 1920s, the movie and aviation industries flocked to Los Angeles, with continuing growth ensuring that the city suffered less during the Great Depression. In 1932, with population surpassing one million, the city hosted the Summer Olympics.
The post-war years saw an even greater boom, as urban sprawl expanded the city into the San Fernando Valley. In 1960, non-Hispanic whites made up 82% of the population of Los Angeles County. 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.
In 1984, the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games for the second time. Despite being boycotted by 14 Communist countries, the 1984 Olympics became the most financially successful in history, and only the second Olympics to turn a profit – the other being the 1932 Summer Olympics, also held in Los Angeles.
During the remaining decades of the 20th century, the city was plagued by increasing gang warfare, drug trades, and police corruption[dubious ]. Racial tensions erupted again in 1992 with the Rodney King controversy and the large-scale riots that followed the acquittal of his police attackers. In 1994, the 6.7 Northridge earthquake shook the city, causing $12.5 billion in damage and 72 deaths.
Voters defeated efforts by the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood to secede from the city in 2002.
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The city is divided into many neighborhoods, many of which were incorporated places or communities that were annexed by the city. There are also several independent cities around Los Angeles, but they are popularly grouped with the city of Los Angeles, either due to being completely engulfed as enclaves by Los Angeles, or lying within its immediate vicinity. Generally, the city is divided into the following areas: Downtown Los Angeles, The Eastside and Northeast Los Angeles, South Los Angeles (still often colloquially referred to as South Central by locals), the Harbor Area, Greater Hollywood, Wilshire, the Westside and the San Fernando and Crescenta Valleys.
Some well-known communities within Los Angeles include West Adams, Watts, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Venice Beach, the Downtown Financial District, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Hollywood, Koreatown, Westwood and the more affluent areas of Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Hollywood Hills, Hancock Park, Pacific Palisades, Century City, and Brentwood.
Important landmarks in Los Angeles include Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Kodak Theatre, Griffith Observatory, Getty Center, Getty Villa, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Boulevard, Capitol Records Tower, Los Angeles City Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Theme Building, Watts Towers, Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, and La Placita Olvera/Olvera Street.