On Feb. The people of Los Angeles County on April 1, asserted their newly won right of self-government and elected a three-man Court of Sessions as their first governing body. A total of votes were cast in this election. In the Legislature dissolved the Court of Sessions and created a five-member Board of Supervisors.
In the citizens of Los Angeles County approved a charter recommended by a board of freeholders which gave the County greater freedom to govern itself within the framework of state law. Los Angeles had a reputation as one of the toughest towns in the West. Lawlessness reached a peak in , when, after a Chinese immigrant accidentally killed a white man, an angry mob stormed into the Chinatown district, murdering 16 people.
After that, civic leaders and concerned citizens began a successful campaign to bring law and order to the town.
Los Angeles and its surrounding territories were built by immigrants. The village of Los Angeles was a fairly cosmopolitan place early on.
During the late s and early 20th Century, foreign immigration to Los Angeles County was varied but continued to be steady. Distinctive ethnic communities of Japanese, Chinese, Russians, and East European Jews had developed throughout the county by the s. When the Immigration Act of opened the door to new immigrants, it initiated dramatic changes in the area.
According to the U. Census, by The census showed the area was home to 4. A survey taken by the Los Angeles Unified School District that year counted more than different languages represented among school-age children. People of African descent were prominent in the first Spanish settlement of Los Angeles in Twenty-six of the 44 original settlers pobladores were black or mixed ancestry mulattos.
History of Los Angeles - Wikipedia
Most came from Sinaloa, Mexico, where two-thirds of the residents were people of mixed African and Spanish heritage. The number of blacks was eclipsed by new immigrants in the early American years.
Only about a dozen of the 1, county residents listed in the census were black. During the next 80 years the influx of blacks grew, and by Los Angeles was home to the largest black community on the Pacific Coast. The first Chinese-Americans in the city were laborers recruited in China by Chinese contractors and unknowingly brought to Los Angeles in By their numbers grew to more than 4, The Chinese dominated the agricultural business as growers, vendors and market proprietors.
Others worked swinging picks and shovels laying the tracks for the Southern Pacific railroad, including carving out the San Fernando railroad tunnel through the mountains. During this time the Chinese endured racial hatred due in part to intense economic rivalries with whites, which resulted in the Chinese Exclusionary Acts in the s. Mexican-Americans—people largely of mixed Spanish and Indian descent—came to Southern California under the flag of Spain, having been recruited from Sonora and Sinaloa in New Spain Mexico beginning in Although their numbers were small, their language and culture prevailed over those of the local Indian inhabitants.
Mexico ruled California from , when Mexican rebels overthrew Spanish rule, until the end of the Mexican-American War in The Mexicans remained in the majority after the war but lost political and social dominance. Their numbers increased markedly after the Mexican revolution in The coming of the railroads changed everything. With a huge investment in their new coast-to-coast rail lines and large Los Angeles land holdings, the railroads set forth a long-term plan for growth. Southern California citrus farming was born. Tourism and the building of towns were promoted to attract investors, to raise land values, and to increase the value of railroad shipments.
Thousands of tourists and land speculators hurried to Los Angeles County. The boom proved to be a speculative frenzy that collapsed abruptly in Many landowners went broke. People in vast numbers abandoned the Los Angeles area, sometimes as many as 3, a day. This flight prompted the creation of the chamber of commerce, which began a worldwide advertising campaign to attract new citizens. The county as a whole, however, benefited.
The build-up had created several local irrigation districts and numerous civic improvements. In addition, the Los Angeles population had increased from about 11, in to about 60, in In the first salable petroleum in California was the oil found at Pico Canyon near San Fernando.
But the real boom began in the s, when Edward L. Los Angeles became a center of oil production in the early 20th Century. By the area had derricks, and in the area near Santa Monica Boulevard and Vermont Avenue was an unruly oil shantytown. Drilling activity in the county reached new heights in the s when major finds were made in Whittier, Montebello, Compton, Torrance, and Inglewood.
These three huge fields upset national oil prices and glutted existing storage facilities. By the turn of the century almost 1, oil wells operated throughout Los Angeles. The county also encompasses two of the Channel Islands , Santa Catalina and San Clemente; Mount San Antonio, familiarly known as Mount Baldy or Old Baldy, 10, feet 3, metres high; more than square miles 2, square km of desert; and 75 miles km of seacoast.
Since the city and the county are interwoven geographically, culturally, and economically, any consideration of Los Angeles must, to some degree, involve both entities. Population density around the metropolitan area varies greatly—as low as one person per square mile in mountainous areas and as high as 50, per square mile near downtown Los Angeles.
Historical Timeline of Los Angeles
Area city, square miles 1, square km ; county, 4, square miles 10, square km. Los Angeles, the heart of southern California, became a world-class city very recently. Yet it overcame natural deficiencies and established itself as an important centre of commerce, agriculture, tourism, and industry.
For more than a century it has been indelibly associated with a benign climate, extensive leisure, and outdoor recreation, as well as the special aura of celebrity associated with Hollywood. The lifestyle of Los Angeles residents who are called Angelenos relies on the automobile, idealizes the single-family dwelling, and favours informality. With notable exceptions, the skyline is primarily horizontal rather than vertical. Los Angeles is a place of extraordinary ethnic and racial diversity , owing largely to immigration, and, like other world cities, it reflects a growing gap between rich and poor.
Los Angeles has endured the barbs of many detractors. They claim that its major social problems are similar to those of all big cities and are perhaps even less severe there than elsewhere.
Related Los Angeles: A Brief History
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