Parks and Recreation
Libraries and Museums
Holidays and Festivals
For Further Study
Location: Pacific Coast of southern California, United States, North America
Time Zone: 4 am Pacific Standard Time (PST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Flag: Adopted in 1931, flag features the city seal centered on three panels (left to right): green symbolizing olive trees, yellow symbolizing orange groves, and red symbolizing grape vineyards.
Ethnic Composition: White, 75.7%; Black, 14%; Asian/Pacific Islander, 9.8% (1990)
Elevation: Sea level to 1,548 m (5,080 ft) above sea level
Latitude and Longitude: 34°05'N, 118°24'W
Climate: Mild temperatures year round, many sunny afternoons
Annual Mean Temperature: 18.7°C (65.3°F); January 12.6°C (54.5°F); July 20.3°C (68.5°F)
Average Annual Precipitation (rainfall): 37.6 cm (14.8 in)
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 213 (downtown), 323, 310, 562, 626
Postal Codes: 90001–68; 90070–99; 90101
Located on Southern California's Pacific coast, Los Angeles has long been known as a city of dreams, a place for the dispossessed or disillusioned to start over and rebuild their lives. In the course of the twentieth century it grew to be the second-largest city in the United States and the hub of a five-county metropolitan area. A tourist magnet known for its sunny climate, beautiful beaches, and entertainment industry, Los Angeles in recent decades has experienced the downside of urban expansion, with its well-publicized air pollution, traffic congestion, and racial and ethnic tensions. Yet the city remains a colorful, thriving metropolis working to overcome the problems of suburban sprawl as it heads into a new century.
Los Angeles is located in southern California, on the Pacific Coast, with the Santa Monica Mountains to the north and the San Gabriel Mountains to the east.
Los Angeles is known for its crowded, labyrinthine freeway system, which offers access to the city through multiple north-south and east-west routes. The major north-south highways are I-5 (the Golden State and Santa Ana freeways), I-15 (which extends from the Canadian border to San Diego), US Highway 101 (the Ventura and Hollywood freeways), extending south along the Pacific coast from Washington State, and State Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway), stretching along the coast from San Diego to San Francisco and beyond. East-west freeways include I-8, which runs between California and Arizona, I-10 (the San Bernardino and Santa Monica freeways), which traverses the country between Santa Monica and Jacksonville, Florida, and I-40, stretching from California to Tennessee.
Bus and Railroad Service
Amtrak provides service from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. The Sunset Limited travels cross-country between Los Angeles and New Orleans; the Coast Starlight, as its name suggests, follows a coastal route from southern California to Seattle; the San Diegan runs from Los Angeles to San Diego.
Los Angeles International Airport, known locally as LAX, is located on the west side of the city. With flights to over 60 major cities, it is the world's third-busiest airport when it comes to passenger service.
Due in large part to trade with the countries of the Pacific Rim, the Los Angeles/Long Beach Port System is the country's top-ranked shipping port in terms of both volume and value of goods handled. The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is a top shipping facility for air cargo. As the point of termination for several major rail lines, Los Angeles is also a busy rail freight center, and the city is also served by all major interstate trucking companies.
Los Angeles Population Profile
Area: 1,215 sq km (469.3 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 75.7% white; 14% black; 9.8% Asian/Pacific Islander
Nicknames: Tinseltown (Hollywood)
Description: Los Angeles-Long Beach PMSA
Area: 10,515 sq km (4,060 sq mi)
World population rank 1: 8
Percentage of national population 2: 4.7%
Average yearly growth rate: 1.1%
Ethnic composition: 75.2% white; 11.2% black; and 12.9% Asian/Pacific Islander
- The Los Angeles metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
- The percent of the United States' total population living in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
What most people refer to when they say "Los Angeles" is more a sprawling collection of suburbs than a single city laid out according to an orderly plan. Nevertheless, Los Angeles does have a downtown, an area largely bounded by the Harbor Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway, and Alameda street, with numbered streets running northwest to southeast, with several avenues running in the perpendicular direction. Located in this district are the Los Angeles City Hall, the Convention Center, the Los Angeles County Court, the Civic Centre, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Bus and Commuter Rail Service
Due to the sprawling layout of Greater Los Angeles, the city is widely known for its extensive freeway system and dependence on automobiles, rather than for its use of public transportation. However, the California Metropolitan Transit Agency (called the MTA) does run local and express buses, including a shuttle service from downtown called the Downtown Area Short Hop (DASH). L.A.'s MetroRail, largely used by com muters from the more distant suburbs, operates three color-coded rail lines, including a subway system that was launched in 1993.
|City Fact Comparison|
|Population of urban area1||13,129,000||10,772,000||2,688,000||12,033,000|
|Date the city was founded||1781||AD 969||753 BC||723 BC|
|Daily costs to visit the city2|
|Hotel (single occupancy)||$99||$193||$172||$129|
|Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)||$44||$56||$59||$62|
|Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.)||$2||$14||$15||$16|
|Total daily costs||$145||$173||$246||$207|
|Number of newspapers serving the city||5||13||20||11|
|Largest newspaper||Los Angeles Times||Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar||La Repubblica||Renmin Ribao|
|Circulation of largest newspaper||1,067,540||1,159,339||754,930||3,000,000|
|Date largest newspaper was established||1881||1944||1976||1948|
|1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.|
|2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.|
|3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.|
Several companies offer bus tours of Los Angeles that include attractions such as the city's film studios, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, and homes of movie stars; a helicopter tour is also available. Special "theme" tours include a 3 A. M. insomniac's tour that takes in the Los Angeles Times building and the produce markets and Grave Line Tours, which takes visitors to sites associated with the deaths (by foul play and otherwise) of famous Hollywood stars. There are also separate tours of individual attractions, including movie and television studios and the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States, surpassed only by New York. In 1990, the population of Chicago was 3,486,000, with the following racial composition:75.7 percent white, 14 percent black, 9.8 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 0.5 percent American Indian. Hispanics (an ethnic rather than a racial designation) accounted for 39.9 percent of the population. The 1994 population estimate for Chicago was 3,449,000. The population of the Los Angeles Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area was estimated at 9,145,219 as of 1997. The region's racial composition was listed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1996 as 75.2 percent white; 12.9 percent Asian/Pacific Islander; and 11.2 percent black (1996). Hispanics accounted for 43 percent of the metropolitan area population.
Downtown Los Angeles—home to the city's Chinatown, Koreatown, and Little Tokyo, as well as its barrios (Hispanic neighborhoods), and the predominantly black South-Central neighborhood—is known for its ethnically diverse population. Also located in the downtown area are the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic District and a modern commercial and civic center complete with modern high-rise buildings.
Hollywood, famed as the capital of the movie industry, has declined from its peak glamour days, especially around the fabled Hollywood and Sunset boulevards, but it is still the site of such show business shrines as the Walk of Fame, the trendy Melrose Avenue shopping district, and the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of residential and commercial buildings. The area known as the Westside, located between Hollywood and the coast, is a more upscale area and home to such glamorous neighborhoods as Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Brentwood. It is also the site of the famous Rodeo Drive shopping area.
One of the most attractive and popular parts of greater Los Angeles is the coastal area, which stretches from Malibu in the north to the Palos Verdes Peninsula and encompasses over 97 kilometers (60 miles) of beachfront property. Besides Malibu, well-known communities here include Santa Monica, known for its Bohemian atmosphere; Venice, whose famous Ocean Front Walk is the place where skaters and others come to see and be seen; Marina del Rey, known for its excellent small-craft harbor; and Redondo Beach. Also located near the coast is the Los Angeles International Airport.
The remaining region is the San Fernando Valley ("the Valley"), home of the infamous "Valley Girl" image and slang popularized in the 1980s. Universal Studios is located here, in Universal City, and Burbank is nearby.
The area of present-day Los Angeles was first explored and settled by the Spanish in the eighteenth century. The city, originally called El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles ("the pueblo of our lady the queen of angels"), was founded in 1781. Over the next century, Los Angeles was successively under Spanish, Mexican, and American rule. Spanish rule ended in 1821 when Mexico achieved independence, and the young town, then a provincial outpost, came under its jurisdiction. Growing trade with the United States, as well as such marine enterprises as seal hunting and whaling, made Los Angeles California's largest town by the 1840s.
In the wake of the Mexican-American War of 1846, Los Angeles, along with the rest of California, became U.S. territory, and California was admitted to the United States as the thirty-first state in 1850.
The most significant milestone in the development of Los Angeles was the city's selection as the rail terminus for southern California. Rail linkage with San Francisco, completed in 1876, was followed by a population boom, as thousands flocked to the region, drawn by its temperate climate, unspoiled landscape, and available property, as well as cheap transcontinental fares resulting from rail price wars. A real estate boom rapidly drove up the price of land, but it had collapsed by 1887, destroying the hopes of speculators. However, the city continued to thrive, its economy spurred by the discovery of oil in 1892 and the development of agriculture. Its population grew to 50,000 by 1890 and then doubled to 102,000 by the turn of the century.
The film industry came to Los Angeles in the early twentieth century, with the opening of the first movie theater in 1902 and the establishment of Hollywood's first film studio in 1911. The first feature-length movie was directed by Cecil B. DeMille in 1913; the now world-famous "Hollywood" sign was erected in 1923; and the Academy Awards were inaugurated in 1929. The city's growing reputation as "Tinseltown" added yet another dream for newcomers to pursue by going west. The film industry continued to thrive during the 1930s, supplying relief from the woes of the Depression, which also brought a new wave of arrivals to the region, fleeing the dust bowls of the Midwest and seeking to rebuilt their lives. Major infrastructure projects assured a continued supply of water to desert-bound Los Angeles, in some cases triggering bitter and lasting disputes over the rights to water channeled to the region from further north.
A new era—the era of the automobile—opened for Los Angeles with the completion in 1940 of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which laid the groundwork for the sprawling mass of freeways, and the car culture, that were to become an indelible part of the city's image and lifestyle. The growing dominance of the automobile and the spread of the defense-related manufacturing plants during World War II (1939–45) both helped trigger the suburban growth that was to change the physical landscape of L.A. in the postwar decades. Another development of the 1950s—the growth of television—at first was feared as a threat to the movie industry but proved an economic boon as the city became the headquarters of the popular new medium, as well as the growing recording industry, reinforcing its status as the entertainment capital of the world.
By the 1960s the golden image of Los Angeles had began to unravel, as unchecked urban sprawl led to environmental and social problems. Smog and pollution from automobiles and industry were recognized as serious threats to the quality of life in the area, and urban violence erupted in the black Watts neighborhood in August 1965. As the decade neared its end, the assassination of senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy (1925–1968) at the Ambassador Hotel following the 1968 Democratic primary election linked Los Angeles with yet more violence.
Strict air pollution guidelines were instituted in the 1970s, together with attempts to reduce pollution from autos by improving public transportation over the following decades, including the inauguration of a subway system in the early 1990s. In the 1970s and 1980s Southern California became a hub of the human potential and New Age movements, adding yet another facet—otherworldly eccentricity—to its multi-faceted image. At the same time, the region's economy thrived as the real estate, finance, and entertainment industries soared.
The 1990s in Los Angeles were marked by economic recession and recovery, and a series of sensationalistic events highlighting racial divisions in both the city itself and in the nation as a whole. First came the 1991 videotaping of four white police officers beating black motorist Rodney King, the 1992 Simi Valley trial in which the policemen were acquitted, and the ensuing three days of rioting and looting that left 50 persons dead and caused an estimated $1 billion in property damage. The 1994 Brentwood murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman was followed by the 1996 trial of former football star and actor O. J. Simpson, who was tried for and acquitted of the murders. Physically, the city was shaken by the 1994 the Northridge earthquake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, that has required a major rebuilding effort.
The Los Angeles municipal government is headed by a mayor and a 15-member council, both elected to four-year terms. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, which is under the jurisdiction of a board of supervisors consisting of five members. A number of its districts, however, are self-governing.
In 1995, violent crimes reported to police (per 100,000 population) totaled over 2,000 and included 25 murders, 840 robberies, and 1,123 aggravated assaults. Property crimes totaled 5,645 and included 1,192 burglaries, 3,120 cases of larceny/theft, and 1,333 motor vehicle thefts.
Los Angeles is the seat of the top-ranked manufacturing county in the nation, producing a diverse array of items including aircraft and aircraft equipment, games and toys, gas transmissions and distribution equipment, guided missiles, space vehicles and propulsion units, and women's apparel. Service is the major employment sector, employing roughly one-third of the county's nonagricultural wage and salary workers. In 1998 the top employers in the county were county government, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the U.S. government, UCLA, and the U.S. Postal Service.
The economy of the city of Los Angeles is highly diversified, with strong sectors in services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, government, financial service industries, transportation, utilities, and construction. The entertainment and tourism industries also contribute significantly to the economy. The trade volume of its busy port is the highest in the nation and one of the highest in the world.
The Los Angeles economy took a downturn—together with the rest of California—in the early 1990s but rebounded later in the decade.
A booming population has brought nationwide recognition to Los Angeles and the surrounding area, but it has also brought increasing environmental problems, including water shortages and pollution and air pollution. The infamous L.A. smog was sighted by farmers as early as 1940. In 1990 the city was forced to impose water rationing on its residents for the first time, and it was expected to spend billions of dollars during the decade on pollution controls to comply with federal air quality standards.
The many rare wildlife species found within 161 kilometers (100 miles) of the Los Angeles metropolitan area include the California condor, one of the world's rarest birds, and the gray whale, whose annual southward migration to Baja, California, carries it to within 0.8 kilometer (0.5 mile) of L.A.'s Pacific coastline, drawing numerous observers, either in their own as part of organized whale watches.
Southern California's best-known physical feature is probably the San Andreas fault, only one of the geological faults in the state.
The best-known shopping district in Los Angeles is glamorous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Now augmented by the addition of a cobble-stoned walkway called Two Rodeo, or Via Rodeo, the area boasts shops sporting exclusive names, including Chanel, Armani, Ungaro, Christian Dior, Cartier, and Tiffany. Beverly Hills is also home to upscale retailers Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York, all located nearby on Wilshire Boulevard. Other shopping venues include Melrose Avenue, the Westside Pavilion, Montana Avenue (in Santa Monica), and Abbot Kinney Boulevard (in Venice). Chinatown also offers a varied and colorful shopping experience that encompasses ethnic foods, clothing, and household items. A popular shopping destination in the district is the Chungking Mall. Popular malls in the greater Los Angeles area include the Citadel Outlet Collection, Century City, Beverly Center, and Topanga Plaza.
The Los Angeles Unified School District, serving a population of more than four million, is overseen by a seven-member elected school board. In the fall of 1998, the district enrolled a total of 607,143 students in grades K-12—the second-largest enrollment of any district in the country, second only to New York City. The Los Angeles system operated 420 elementary schools, 72 middle schools, and 49 senior high schools. The district's adult community schools, children's centers, and occupational and skills centers enrolled an additional 913,119. The district employed 67,169 persons, including teachers, support staff, and other certified personnel. It is the second-largest employer in Los Angeles County.
The two largest institutions of higher education in Los Angeles are the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC), respected as major research centers (and known locally as sports rivals). In addition to these two universities, the Los Angeles area is home to multiple campuses of both the University of California and the California State University systems, as well as a number of private colleges and universities, including Loyola Marymount University, the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), Pepperdine University, and Claremont College.
13. Health Care
The premier hospital in the Los Angeles area is Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center, which includes General Hospital and Women's and Children's Hospital. In 1998 the complex had a total of 1,330 staffed beds; 45,979 patients were admitted, and 744,933 were seen on an outpatient basis. The centrally located Cedars-Sinai Medical Center also has an outstanding reputation.
In 1995 the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area had 114 community hospitals, with a total of 25,546 beds and 16,681 office-based physicians. The greater Los Angeles area, including Orange County, had 260 hospitals altogether in the mid-1990s, but this number was expected to decline with the growing trend toward hospital mergers. According to some reports, as many as one-third of the region's hospitals would close in the coming years or become part of large multi-hospital networks.
Since 1989 Los Angeles has had only one daily newspaper, the Los Angeles Times (circulation 991,480 weekdays and 1,361,202 Sundays), which has a distinguished history and a reputation as one of the leading newspapers in the nation. A number of regions in the metropolitan area have their own dailies, including the Daily News (San Fernando Valley), the News Pilot (San Pedro), the Daily Breeze (Torrance), the Evening Outlook (Santa Monica), and the Press Telegram (Long Beach). Two free alternative weeklies—the LA Weekly and New Times— cover entertainment and other topics of interest to L.A. locals. Weeklies are also published for the business community and the area's many ethnic communities. The area's two monthly magazines are the older Los Angeles Magazine and its younger rival, Buzz. Among the nationally distributed magazines published in Los Angeles is Bon Appetit.
All the major television networks have affiliated stations in Chicago, which has a total of seven commercial and public television stations, as well as some 30 am and FM radio stations.
Major league teams in most professional sports play in the Los Angeles area, although football fans have been without a home team since the Los Angeles Rams and Raiders departed for other cities in the mid-1990s. In baseball, the National League's Los Angeles Dodgers play at Dodger Stadium, and the American League's Anaheim Angels play at Anaheim Stadium. (Southern Californians can also attend games of the San Diego Padres.) Los Angeles has two NBA teams, the championship-winning Lakers, who play home games at the Staples Center, and the Clippers, who play at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Professional hockey is represented by the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, who play at the Staples Center, and the Disney-owned Mighty Ducks, who play at Arrowhead Pond. College-level sports are also popular, as fans follow the fortunes of the UCLA and USC teams, who field Division I NCAA teams in all major sports. Horse racing is held at Hollywood Park Racetrack and the Santa Anita Racetrack.
Los Angeles's warm weather and sunny climate encourage a wide range of athletic activities, especially water sports—including swimming, surfing, and boating—at its miles of municipal beaches along the Pacific coast. The city's parks offer golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, ball fields, and other facilities.
At more than 1,619 hectares (4,000 acres), Griffith Park is one of the nation's (and the world's) largest municipal parks. It is home to the famed Griffith Observatory and Planetarium, the 46-hectare (113-acre) Los Angeles Zoo, and the Ferndall Nature Museum, as well as a bird sanctuary, a transportation museum (Travel Town), and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. For recreational purposes, the park also boasts an 85-kilometer (53-mile) bridle trail, picknicking and swimming facilities, a golf course, and bicycle rentals.
Hancock Park, near Wilshire Boulevard, is famed for its La Brea Tar Pits, ponds containing subterranean tar in which prehistoric mammoths, mastodons, bears, and other mammals were entombed, and their skeletons preserved for posterity. Today, life-size fiberglass replicas of mammoths, placed in the pond, can be seen not only from the park but also from Wilshire Boulevard, forming a startling contrast to its stores and restaurants. Other Los Angeles-area parks include the 243-hectare (600-acre) Elysian Park, the 13-hectare (32-acre) Westlake Park, and the Lincoln, Exposition, Echo, and Arroyo Seco parks.
In addition to its other parks, Los Angeles is home to the world-famous theme park, Disneyland, located in Anaheim.
17. Performing Arts
Although Los Angeles is best known as the world capital of television and motion-picture production, the traditional performing arts are also well represented. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Finnish-born music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, performs at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion during its regular season and at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer. The L.A. Opera is known for its innovative interpretations of operatic classics, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale performs at the Music Center during the concert season. Popular venues for theatrical performances are the Ahmanson Theatre, the Henry Fonda Theatre, and the Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum.
Los Angeles residents can attend a variety of performances in music, theater, and dance by touring artists at the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, New York's Joffrey Ballet maintains an office and a regular performance schedule in the city.
Founded in 1872, the Los Angeles Public Library System serves close to 3.7 million people, with an annual circulation of 10,964,844. Its book holdings total approximately 5.8 million volumes. The library moved into a new central building downtown in 1993 after its former home was destroyed by fire; the new building is the third-largest library in the country. The library system also operates 67 neighborhood branches. The areas in which it holds special collections include California in Fiction, Film Study, Fiction By and About Blacks, Japanese Prints, Orchestral Scores and Parts, Rare Books, and Automotive Repair Manuals.
The leading art museum in the Los Angeles area is the new J. Paul Getty Museum, which opened in 1997 in a building designed by Richard Meier. The museum, which houses the art collection of the famous tycoon, is noted for its antiquities, paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and contemporary collections. The Museum of Contemporary Art is devoted to art since 1940; the Armand Hammer Museum of Art, attached to the offices of Occidental Petroleum and founded by the company's CEO, has been praised for the quality of its visiting and contemporary exhibits.
Los Angeles is also home to a number of specialty museums. The West Coast branch of New York's Museum of Television and Radio is located in Beverly Hills, where visitors can view episodes of classic programs from the early days of television. The Museum of Tolerance, located in the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is an educational museum dedicated to exposing the evils of prejudice and encouraging open-mindedness toward all groups. Other museums in the region include the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, the Museum of Miniatures, the Petersen Automotive Museum, the California African-American Museum, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage (located in Griffith Park), the Japanese-American National Museum, and the Los Angeles Children's Museum.
The California climate and the glamour associated with the motion-picture and television industries, as well as Disneyland, make Los Angeles one of the nation's top tourist destinations. In 1995 approximately more than three million foreign travelers visited the city, ranking it second nationally in this category.
Martin Luther King Celebration & Parade
Tournament of Roses Parade & Rose Bowl
Chinese New Year's Parade in Chinatown
Golden Dragon Parade
City of Los Angeles Marathon
Los Angeles Bach Festival
Crystal Cathedral Glory of Easter
LA Fiesta Broadway
Renaissance Pleasure Faire
Cinco de Mayo Celebrations
Fiesta de las Artes
Late May-early June
Spring Boat Show
Concours on Rodeo
Great American Irish Fair & Music Festival
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Pride Celebration
Mariachi USA Festival
Playboy Jazz Festival
Los Angeles Classic Jazz Festival
Malibu Art Festival
California Plaza's Moonlight Concerts
Mid-July to mid-September
Page Museum's Fossil Excavation at La Brea Tar Pits
Nisei Week Japanese Festival
African Marketplace & Cultural Faire
Koreatown Multi-Cultural Festival
Los Angeles City's Birthday Celebration
Alpine Village Oktoberfest
Los Angeles County Fair
Los Angeles International Film Festival
South Bay Greek Festival
Hollywood Christmas Parade
Christmas Boat Parade
Griffith Park Light Festival
Las Posadas Candlelight Procession
21. Famous Citizens
Well-known Los Angeles natives include:
Choreographer and director Busby Berkeley (1895–1972).
Child actor Jackie Coogan (1914–1984).
Actor Jackie Cooper (b. 1921).
Figure skater Linda Fratianne (b. 1960).
Academy Award-winning actress Jodie Foster (b. 1962).
Ballerina Cynthia Gregory (b. 1946).
Actor Dustin Hoffman (b. 1937).
Actress Marilyn Monroe (1926–62).
Sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–88).
Conductor Leonard Slatkin (b. 1944).
Baseball players Duke Snyder (b. 1926) and Darryl Strawberry (b. 1962).
Famous residents include countless film stars and directors, of whom some of the earliest were:
Cecil B. DeMille (1881–1959).
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (1883–1939).
Mary Pickford (1893–1979).
CityView Los Angeles. [Online] Available http://www.cityview.com/losangeles (accessed October 14, 1999).
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Los Angeles City Net. [Online] Available http://www.city.net/countries/united_states/california/los_angeles (accessed October 14, 1999).
LosAngeles.TheLinks.com. [Online] Available http://www.losangeles.thelinks.com/. (accessed October 14, 1999).
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Los Angeles Planning Dept.
221 N. Figueroa St., Rm. 1600
Los Angeles, CA 90012
200 N Main St., Rm. 800
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tourist and Convention Bureaus
Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau
633 W. 5th St., Suite 6000
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Los Angeles Business Journal
5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 170
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Los Angeles Magazine
11100 Santa Monica Blvd., 7th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Los Angeles Times Times Mirror Square Los Angeles, CA 90053
Abelmann, Nancy, and John Lie. Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.
Anderson, Donald A. Los Angeles: Realm of Possibility: A Contemporary Portrait. Chatsworth, CA: Windsor Publications, 1991.
Brook, Stephen. L.A. Days, L.A. Nights. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.
Cannon, Lou. Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD. New York: New York Times Books, 1997.
Cini, Zelda, Bob Crane, Peter Brown. Hollywood, Land & Legend. Westport, CN: Arlington House, 1980.
Davis, Mike. Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998.
Kaplan, Sam Hall. L. A. Lost & Found: An Architectural History of Los Angeles. New York: Crown, 1987.
Loh, Sandra Tsing. Depth Takes a Holiday: Essays from Lesser Los Angeles. New York: Riverhead Books, 1996.
Martinez, Rubin. The Other Side: Notes from the new L.A., Mexico City, and Beyond. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.
Miller, John. Los Angeles Stories: Great Writers on the City. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1991.
Rieff, David. Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.
Sonenshein, Raphael. Politics in Black and White: Race and Power in Los Angeles. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993.
Thompson, Frank T. Los Angeles Uncovered. Plano, TX: Seaside Press, 1996.
Thorpe, Edward. Chandlertown: The Los Angeles of Philip Marlowe. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983.
Los Angeles, Hollywood & Southern California. [videorecording] Finley-Holiday Film Corporation. Whittier, CA: Finley-Holiday Film Corp., 1993. 1 videocassette (40 min.)
"Los Angeles." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles
"Los Angeles." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cities. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles
Los Angeles: Economy
Los Angeles: Economy
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
California has always been known as an "incubator" of new ideas, new products and entrepreneurial spirit. Southern California has led the way in celebrating and nurturing that spirit. The people, institutions of knowledge, great climate and infrastructure have enabled the Los Angeles region to emerge as a leading business, trade and cultural center—a creative capital for the twenty-first century. The city is the largest manufacturing center in the West, one of the world's busiest ports, a major financial and banking center, and the largest retail market in the United States.
Los Angeles is the largest major manufacturing center in the United States, with 500,000 workers in manufacturing activities in 2003. The largest components are apparel (68,300 jobs), computer and electronic products (60,000 jobs), transportation products (54,600 jobs), fabricated metal products (49,900 jobs), food products (44,800 jobs), and furniture (27,400 jobs). The last few years have witnessed major economic expansion. The three-tiered, traditional economy (aerospace, entertainment, and tourism) has evolved into a well balanced, multi-tiered economic engine driven by unparalleled access to world markets.
Steel fabrication is the second largest industry in manufacturing, followed closely by fashion apparel. In the United States, only Detroit produces more automobiles than the Los Angeles area, a fitting statistic for the city with more cars per capita than any other in the world. The "big three" U.S. auto manufacturers, along with Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo, have all located design centers in Los Angeles. The manufacture of heavy machinery for the agricultural, construction, mining, and oil industries contributes significantly to the local economy. Los Angeles is also a major producer of furniture and fixtures, as well as petroleum products and chemicals, print material, rubber goods, electronic equipment, and glass, pottery, ceramics, and cement products.
Los Angeles is the nation's largest port in terms of value of goods handled and tonnage. Proximity to the major Pacific manufacturing nations—Japan, Korea, and Taiwan—and easy access to transcontinental rail and truck shipping, plus the large commercial facilities available at Los Angeles International Airport make the Los Angeles Customs District the largest in the nation. The city's prominence in international trade is evidenced by the nearly 50 U.S. headquarters of foreign companies located in the area.
The banking and finance industry in Los Angeles is one of the largest in the United States. More than 100 foreign and countless domestic banks operate branches in Los Angeles, along with many financial law firms and investment banks. Entertainment, in the form of film, television, and music production, is the best known industry in Los Angeles, focusing worldwide attention on the city and making Los Angeles a major tourist destination. Tourism employs more than 468,000 people in the entire metropolitan area.
Other prominent industries in the Los Angeles area include health services, education, high-technology research and development, professional fields such as architecture and engineering, and a large construction business, both commercial and residential.
Items and goods produced: agricultural and seafood products, aircraft and aircraft parts, furniture fixtures, ordnance missiles, electrical and electronic equipment, stone, clay, glass, apparel, textiles, toys, fabricated metals, rubber, plastic, motion pictures, petroleum, coal
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
LA's Business Team, part of the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, is a one-stop shop for business developers. Through strategic industry and government alliances, the Business Team links businesses to a network of opportunities including financing, tax incentives, real estate, low-interest loans, job training programs, permits, and more. It is also working to develop emerging industries in Los Angeles, such as the environmental technology and biomedical industries. The Team will even cross jurisdictional lines to open doors for businesses at the federal, state, and country levels. Financial incentives are available in Federal Empowerment Zones, State Enterprise Zones, and City Tax Free Zones. Businesses wishing to expand or locate in Greater Los Angeles will find assistance through the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
Six business tax reforms were signed into law by the mayor in late 2001. These are designed to enhance the fairness of city tax laws by bringing more businesses into compliance while providing expedited and fair methods to settle tax disputes and assessments. To encourage local entrepreneurs, he has proposed exempting small start-up businesses from paying business taxes for their first two years of operation. The mayor's office also hosted a biomedical industry roundtable with more than twenty biomedical community leaders to discuss action the city can take to make Los Angeles more attractive to the industry.
Small- or medium-sized business may be eligible for technical assistance at one of the six Los Angeles Business Assistance Centers (BACs). The centers are operated by community based organizations and/or local colleges and universities and are funded by the City of Los Angeles Industrial and Commercial Development Division (ICD). Assistance is provided through a combination of in-house counselors, school faculty and private business professionals.
A variety of programs administered by state and federal sources are available to Los Angeles businesses. Those include: Manufacturers' Investment Credit, Partial Sales of Use Tax Exemption, In-Lieu Sales or Use Tax Refund, Research & Development Tax Credit, Net Operating Loss Carryover, Foreign Trade Zones, Recycling Market Development Zone, Childcare Tax Credit, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Enterprise Zones, and others.
Job training programs
Private Industry Council (PIC) members appointed by the mayor encourage economic development through job training. The PIC works cooperatively with the Los Angeles City Council, Mayor's Office of Economic Development, Community Development Department, and California Employment Development Department to arrange for customized job hiring, recruiting, training, and retraining programs.
Greater Los Angeles was bustling with construction activity at the turn of the century. The Los Angeles downtown area has undergone a renaissance, with new museums, entertainment centers, sports venues, and more. Among the many projects were the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since the 2002-2003 concert season, and the New Catholic Cathedral, a $189 million Mother Church for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that was completed in 2002. Los Angeles Center Studios, a $105 million project described as the largest full-service independent film studio to be developed since the 1920s, began an expansion at the end of 2002 that added 900,000 square feet, including a full-service commissary, additional offices and meeting rooms, and eight additional stages.
Hollywood is being refurbished as well, with the famous Mann's Chinese Theatre having undergone a major renovation. A new shopping, dining, and entertainment center located in the heart of Hollywood is designed to mirror a 1916 classic movie set. The five-story, open-air complex, called Hollywood and Highland, includes the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, more than 60 specialty shops, public art exhibitions, six movie screens, restaurants, nightclubs, and the Kodak Theatre.
Economic Development Information: LA's Business Team, telephone (800)472-2278; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, 515 South Flower Street, 32nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071; telephone (888)452-3321; fax (213)622-7100; email email@example.com
International trade is a major component of the Los Angeles area economy. The Los Angeles Customs District (including the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, Port Hueneme, and Los Angeles International Airport) is the nation's largest, based on value of two-way trade. In 2003, this totaled $235 billion. Import and export shipping through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is expected to jump 140 percent by 2015. With its increasingly expanding air cargo system, LAX is set for major expansion in 2006. Several major transcontinental rail systems, used by a number of rail shipping companies, terminate in Los Angeles. The Alameda Corridor, a $2.4-billion, high-speed cargo rail system linked to the Port of Los Angeles and completed in 2002, will make it even easier to ship products across the globe. All of the major interstate truck companies maintain large facilities in the metropolitan area.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Los Angeles offers a diverse employment pool, with a wide range of schooling and skills. A large number of immigrants—international, national, and regional—provide a steady source of labor with strong links to important trading partners like Mexico and Asia. With Los Angeles International Airport serving as the so-called new Ellis Island for foreign immigration to this country, the metropolitan region has achieved a new ethnic and cultural diversity in its workforce.
Services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, government, financial service industries, transportation, utilities, and construction contribute significantly to local employment. The County of Los Angeles is the top ranked county in manufacturing in the united States.
By the end of the 1990s biotechnology emerged as one of California's largest employers at 210,000 jobs, surpassing such traditional strongholds as aerospace and the entertainment industry. Greater Los Angeles already is home to significant biotech manufacturing. More than 2,500 companies in Southern California make pharmaceuticals and other medical products. Other major industries showing growth at the start of the twenty-first century are international trade and tourism.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area nonagricultural labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 3,992,100
Number of workers employed in . . .
natural resources and mining: 3,800
trade, transportation, and utilities: 780,100
financial activities: 243,200
professional and business services: 561,000
educational and health services: 467,600
leisure and hospitality: 373,100
other services: 144,800
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $18.67
Unemployment rate: 5.8% (January 2004)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|Los Angeles County||93,354|
|Los Angeles Unified School District||78,085|
|University of California||36,354|
|City of Los Angeles||35,895|
|State of California (noneducation)||32,300|
|The Boeing Company||23,468|
|Ralph's Grocery Co.||17,211|
Cost of Living
Living costs in the metropolitan area are significantly higher than the national average.
The following is a summary of data regarding key cost of living factors for the Los Angeles area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $704,500
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 155.8 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: Ranges from 1.0% to 9.3%
State sales tax rate: 6.0% (food and prescription drugs are exempt)
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 1.25%
Property tax rate: Varies according to location
Economic Information: Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 South Bixel Street, PO Box 3696, Los Angeles, CA 90051-1696; telephone (213)580-7500; fax (213)580-7511
"Los Angeles: Economy." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-economy
"Los Angeles: Economy." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-economy
LOS ANGELES. Located in Southern California, Los Angeles is a world-class city featuring a diverse economy based on international trade, high-technology production, and the entertainment and tourist industry. As of the 2000 census, Los Angeles had a population of 3,694,820, making it the second largest city in the United States, as well as one of the most culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse places in the world.
The region was originally the home of Native American peoples such as the Tongvas and the Chumashes. A Spanish expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá passed through
the area in late July and early August of 1769. On 2 August they crossed the local river and named it after the Franciscan feast day celebrated on that date: El Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de la Porciúncula (The River of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula). In 1781 the Spanish founded an agricultural pueblo, naming it after the river. By the 1830s the city had become the principal urban center of Mexican California. Los Angeles's dominance was shattered by the discovery of gold in Northern California in 1848 and the subsequent gold rush, events that made San Francisco the leading city in California.
Well into the 1870s Los Angeles retained strong elements of its Hispanic past and a modest economy rooted in cattle raising and viticulture. However, the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1886 sparked explosive development. During the 1880s Los Angeles experienced a speculative land boom. While the initial boom collapsed fairly quickly, it left a solid infrastructure of development that supported the extraordinary population growth of the next few decades. Having only 11,183 residents in 1880, in 1920 Los Angeles boasted a population of 576,673. The largest number of settlers were from the midwestern states, relatively affluent and overwhelmingly native born and Protestant. They were drawn to the city by the promise of a pleasant, temperate climate and a more relaxed lifestyle. Many people also flocked to the region as tourists and health seekers, similarly drawn by the city's unique climate and location. While tourism and demographic growth fueled economic expansion, many civic leaders remained concerned about the lack of industrial diversity and the potential limitations upon continued population expansion.
Economic Expansion in the Twentieth Century
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the city witnessed significant infrastructure development; the city greatly improved its public transportation system through massive federal and local investments in the harbor at San Pedro and the creation of a far-flung system of interurban streetcars. At the same time, the city engaged on an ambitious quest to secure an adequate water supply. Faced with limitations imposed by a relatively arid climate, the municipality sought to exploit the water resources of the Owens Valley, located over two hundred miles to the north. With the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, the city successfully obtained the water needed for future growth. The utilization of the aqueduct as a source of hydroelectric power also gave the city a plentiful supply of cheap electricity.
Continuing population growth and an increasingly diversified economy promoted Los Angeles's emergence as a key urban center for California. The discovery of major petroleum deposits in the 1890s led to the creation of refineries and the spread of drilling operations. At the turn of the century, the burgeoning movie industry took root there and quickly became a major employer. Equally significant were the factories established by national corporations. In 1914 Ford established a branch manufacturing plant in the region and other automobile and tire manufactures soon followed. The Southern California region also became the center of the emerging aircraft industry, including firms such as Hughes, Douglas, Lockheed, and Northrop. Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s Los Angeles continued to grow, with continued supplies of cheap water and power being guaranteed by the completion of Hoover Dam in 1936. To take advantage of these resources, the city helped create the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Government spending associated with World War II and the subsequent Cold War offered even greater opportunities. The growing demand for military airplanes sparked a huge expansion of the aircraft industry. By the 1950s federal monies also flowed into businesses manufacturing rockets and electronics, leading to the evolution of a complex and profitable aerospace and high-technology sector. During this same period the development of an extensive freeway system facilitated the continued suburbanization of population and industry.
Diversity, Conflict, and Modern Problems
Over the course of the twentieth century, Los Angeles increasingly developed a complex social mosaic of cultures and peoples. By the 1930s Los Angeles had 368,000 people of Mexican origin, more than any city except Mexico City. At the same time Los Angeles became home to a large Japanese population, and after World War II, growing numbers of African Americans. While these communities enjoyed the economic opportunities available in the region, they were also often subjected to considerable
discrimination. Residential segregation helped create overcrowded minority communities that suffered from minimal access to basic public services, including education and health care, and limited access to political representation.
The 1940s saw rising levels of social and cultural tension. During the war years the city's Japanese American communities were profoundly disrupted by a 1942 federal order to exclude people of Japanese origin from the West Coast. Forced to abandon or sell their homes and businesses, they were relocated to hastily built inland camps. Wartime tensions were manifested as well in two ugly outbursts that targeted the city's growing Hispanic population, the Sleepy Lagoon Trial and the Zoot Suit Riots. In the postwar years the city's African American community became particularly frustrated by de facto segregation and declining economic opportunities. The growing suburbanization of industry and the lack of public transportation made it difficult for African Americans to find jobs, leading to relatively high levels of unemployment. This was compounded by a hostile relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department. These frustrations exploded in 1965 with the Watts Riots, which left large parts of South Central Los Angeles in ruins.
There were other troubling undercurrents to the city's rapid development. Located in a geologically active region, earthquakes have long been a concern, but increasing population density progressively increased the
possibility for a truly massive disaster. Following the 1933 Long Beach earthquake the city reevaluated local building codes; changes were made that helped limit the destruction caused by the Sylmar earthquake in 1971 and the Northridge earthquake of 1994. However, there remain intrinsic limits to what engineering can accomplish.
Explosive population growth, coupled with a reliance on the automobile and a strong preference for single-family detached homes, contributed to growing problems of air pollution, traffic congestion, and spiraling housing costs. Efforts to cope with these problems have seen mixed results. The creation of the South Coast Air Quality Management District in 1975 undoubtedly helped ease problems of air pollution, but Los Angeles's environment remains seriously contaminated. Beginning in 1990 the city also began an ambitious project to improve its public transportation infrastructure by building a light-rail system, but this project has been repeatedly plagued by delays and cost overruns. The growing strain on public services, particularly on police protection and education, inspired significant civic discontent, highlighted by the efforts of the San Fernando Valley to gain municipal autonomy; a movement that, if successful, could halve the city's population and area.
The 1992 riots in South Central Los Angeles similarly indicate continued social tension within the city's racial and ethnic communities. Compounding these problems have been setbacks to the economy. Declining military spending in the late 1980s forced the downsizing of many aerospace firms, while growing competition from other high-tech manufacturing centers, such as Silicon Valley, and the rising cost of living have discouraged some businesses from locating in Los Angeles and have even prompted their flight to other locales. At the same time, the branch automobile and tire factories established in the 1920s and 1930s have been closed.
Continued Promise and Growth
Despite these persistent problems, Los Angeles still remains a city of opportunity for many people. Since the 1960s the city has become a key gateway for immigrants entering the United States. Much of this migration derives from Latin America and Asia, but it includes people from virtually every corner of the world. In some instances this extraordinary diversity has fueled social tensions, but the city has also benefited from the labor, knowledge, and capital provided by immigrants. The overt discrimination of the early twentieth century has waned and minority groups have gained a greater public voice. Indicative of this was the election of Mayor Tom Bradley in 1973. One of the first African Americans to serve as a mayor of a major U.S. city, Bradley held this position for twenty years until he retired in 1993. Since the late 1940s Mexican Americans have similarly gained increasing recognition in local government although by the 2000s they, like the population of Asian origin, remained somewhat underrepresented.
Economically, high-technology manufacturing continues to play an important role, although it has been supplemented in part by low-tech industries that take advantage of the city's deep pool of immigrant labor. The entertainment and tourism industries also remain important employers in the region, while the city's strategic location has made it a major financial and commercial nexus for the emerging Pacific Rim economy. The volume of container traffic handled by Los Angeles's harbor facilities has steadily grown, making this one of the largest ports in the world. Los Angeles has truly become a world-class city, reflecting both the hopes and frustrations of the age.
Davis, Mike. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.
Fogelson, Robert M. The Fragmented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850–1930. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967.
George, Lynell. No Crystal Stair: African-Americans in the City of Angels. New York: Verso Press, 1992.
Klein, Norman, and Martin G. Schiesel, eds. 20th Century Los Angeles: Power, Promotion, and Social Conflict. Claremont, Calif.: Regina Books, 1990.
Ovnick, Merry. Los Angeles: The End of the Rainbow. Los Angeles: Balcony Press, 1994.
Pitt, Leonard, and Dale Pitt. Los Angeles A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the City and County. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
Reiff, David. Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.
Waldinger, Roger, and Mehdi Bozorgmehr, eds. Ethnic Los Angeles. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1996.
"Los Angeles." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/los-angeles
"Los Angeles." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/los-angeles
Los Angeles: Recreation
Los Angeles: Recreation
The immense size of Los Angeles and the innumerable activities offered by the city make its attractions seem limitless. Different sections of the city offer a wide range of sights and diversions, from the more than 40 miles of city-operated Pacific beaches in the west to the mountains in the east and the vast urban areas in between. The downtown district not only forms one of the nation's most modern skylines, but also preserves many historic buildings. Some of the original structures in the city can be found in El Pueblo de los Angeles State Historic Park. To the east is Olvera Street, a Hispanic district that recreates the atmosphere of old Mexico's open-air markets. Chinatown is just north of the downtown area, and to the south Little Tokyo is the social, cultural, religious, and economic center for southern California's more than 200,000 Japanese American residents, the largest concentration of Japanese people outside of Asia.
Hollywood and other districts devoted to the film and television industry are among the most popular attractions in Los Angeles. Universal Studios Hollywood features guided tours of some of the world's most famous imaginary places, and live tapings of television shows can be viewed at several studios. The world's first psychological thrill ride—the Revenge of the Mummy—opens there in June 2005. Nearby Beverly Hills, an independent community completely surrounded by the city, is home to many film stars, where opulent mansions enjoy proximity to some of the world's most exclusive stores and restaurants. A trip to Los Angeles is not complete without a visit to the newly refurbished Mann's Chinese Theatre and the "Walk of Fame" sidewalk featuring the handprints and footprints of movie legends.
Griffith Park, the city's largest, features the Los Angeles Zoo, with more than 2,000 animals; Griffith Observatory, which contains two refracting telescopes; and the Greek Theater, a natural outdoor amphitheater. Hancock Park contains the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, where prehistoric fossil remains are displayed alongside life-size renditions of the species common to the area in prehistory.
Three of the nation's most popular theme parks are located in the Los Angeles area. Six Flags Magic Mountain is 25 minutes north of Hollywood in Valencia and features 260 acres of rides and family-oriented fun. Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park offers rides, attractions, live entertainment, shops, and restaurants. World-famous Disneyland, located in Anaheim, is home to eight imaginary lands, rides, adventures, and the famous Disney characters.
The Pacific oceanfront provides a variety of attractions, including carnival-like Venice Beach and Muscle Beach, home to hundreds of bodybuilders. Marina Del Ray, known as "L.A.'s Riviera," is the world's largest man-made marina. Catalina Island features island tours and a casino.
Arts and Culture
The performing arts thrive in the city of Los Angeles. Many consider it the entertainment capital of the world, where major television and film projects develop daily. One of America's premier symphony orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, performs during the winter at the new Walt Disney Concert Hall; the orchestra gives summer concerts at Hollywood Bowl, an open-air amphitheater designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Los Angeles Opera and Master Chorale performs at the 3,197-seat Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.
Theater in Los Angeles benefits from the motion picture and television industry. Famous personalities can often be seen in area theaters, including the Henry Fonda Theatre, the Ahmanson Theatre, and the Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum. The internationally acclaimed Joffrey Ballet performs and maintains offices in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles area is filled with museums for every taste. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County features displays of paleontology and history, minerals, animal habitats, and pre-Columbian culture. The Page Museum located at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits is one of the world's most famous fossil localities, recognized for having the largest and most diverse collection of extinct Ice Age plants and animals in the world. The Hollywood Wax Museum houses more than 350 wax figures depicting famous people. The California Museum of Science and Industry, one of the most visited museums in the West, includes the Mitsubishi IMAX Theatre, the Gehry-designed Aerospace Hall, Technology Hall, the Kinsey Hall of Health, and the California Science Center. The Los Angeles Children's Museum is a hands-on museum, designed to help children learn as they experiment with a number of exhibits. The history of California comes alive at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in Griffith Park, the Southwest Museum, the Hollywood History Museum, and the Wells Fargo Museum. The early Spanish colonial history of the region can be experienced by visiting one of nine mission churches located in and around the city. The Museum of Tolerance is a high-tech, hands-on experiential museum that focuses on racism and prejudice in America and the history of the Holocaust through unique interactive exhibits.
The Museum of Contemporary Art houses a large permanent collection of approximately 5,000 objects in all visual media, ranging from masterpieces of abstract expressionism and pop art to recent works by young and emerging artists. Paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs are on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum, which is undergoing a major construction project scheduled for completion in 2006. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art features permanent installations of pre-Columbian, Far Eastern, European, and American artwork, as well as a number of traveling exhibits. Other museums in the region include the California Afro-American Museum, the Armand Hammer Museum of Art at UCLA, and the many museums to be found on "Museum Row" on the city's west side.
Festivals and Holidays
Los Angeles' events calendar begins with the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day, an event featuring floral floats decorated by hand. Chinese New Year is celebrated each February in Chinatown with the Golden Dragon Parade and other celebrations. In March or April Olvera Street is host to a Blessing of the Animals festival on the Saturday before Easter. April features the spectacular Easter Sunrise services at the Hollywood Bowl and the annual Academy Awards event sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican festival in May, is celebrated in a number of places throughout the Southern California area. May also brings the Calico Spring Festival at Calico Ghost Town in Yermo and the elegant Affaire in the Gardens, a fine arts and crafts show in Beverly Hills. June features the Ojai Wine Festival in Ojai and the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. The Fourth of July is celebrated in a variety of ways throughout the city, including fireworks on the oceanfront. July also features the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa and the International Surf Festival on the South Bay. One of the oldest Japanese American festivals, the Nisei Week Japanese Festival occurs each August in Little Tokyo.
Los Angeles celebrates its birthday each September in the downtown Plaza, and Catalina Island hosts the Annual Art Festival, a September tradition since 1958. September also brings the L.A. County Fair in Pomona, a two-week celebration of agriculture and livestock featuring horse races and prize pies. Mexican Independence Day is also celebrated with a fiesta for three days in mid-September in El Pueblo de los Angeles State Historic Park. November features the Dia de Los Muertes, the "Day of the Dead," a traditional Mexican festival on the first of November. The holiday season begins in December with the Christmas Afloat Boat Parade and the L.A. Art Fair, offering for sale museum-quality artworks from around the world. Los Posadas, a traditional Mexican festival recreating the New Testament story of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, takes place each year during the week before Christmas.
Sports for the Spectator
The 21,000-seat Staples Center is home to the National Basketball Association's Clippers and Lakers, and the National Hockey League's Kings. Baseball's National League Dodgers play an April-October season at a refurbished Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles is also home to the Women's National Basketball Association team, the Sparks, and Major League Soccer team, the Galaxy. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim professional baseball team and the Mighty Ducks professional hockey team play in nearby Anaheim.
Collegiate sports are represented by UCLA and USC, both Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) institutions; they field championship caliber teams in every major sport. The annual Rose Bowl, one of the major traditional post-season college football games, is played on New Year's Day in Pasadena. Hollywood Park and Santa Anita Park are both nationally known thorough-bred racing facilities.
Sports for the Participant
The Los Angeles area offers a broad range of activities for the athletically inclined. The miles of city-operated beaches along the Pacific are popular for swimming, surfing, and all forms of boating. Winter skiing areas are less than an hour's drive away from the city. The Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department operates several hundred parks that feature swimming pools, playing fields, golf courses, and tennis courts.
Shopping and Dining
Los Angeles is a shoppers' paradise, with more than 1,500 department stores as well as countless smaller specialty shops, a number of fashionable shopping plazas, and many large urban malls. An exclusive group of stores along Rodeo Drive is the most famous shopping district in the area, but there are a number of others, including Melrose Avenue, offering the latest and wildest trends in fashion. Westwood Village is a collection of interesting boutiques and restaurants that offers a thriving night life. The Beverly Center in West Los Angeles is one of the nation's busiest malls. Celebrity sightings there are not uncommon, and Japanese tourists come by the thousands to shop as part of planned sightseeing tours.
Ethnic specialty shops can be found in Little Tokyo, Koreatown, Chinatown, East Los Angeles, and on Olvera Street. The Farmer's Market and Shopping Village in downtown Los Angeles offers fresh produce, import shops, and elegant cafes. Westwood Village and the neighboring UCLA campus are a cultural and entertainment hub filled with shops, bistros, and architectural landmarks.
The Los Angeles area, home to some of America's finest restaurants, enjoys some 20,000 dining establishments, from fast food chains to exclusive gourmet restaurants frequented by Hollywood stars. Ethnic specialties from nearly every country in the world can be found in Los Angeles. Fresh seafood and beef, as well as produce from the nearby agricultural regions, are served in most of the city's restaurants.
Visitor Information: Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, 633 West Fifth Street, Suite 6000, Los Angeles, CA 90071; telephone (213)624-9746
"Los Angeles: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-recreation
"Los Angeles: Recreation." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-recreation
Los Angeles (lôs ăn´jələs, lŏs, ăn´jəlēz´), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. A port of entry on the Pacific coast, with a fine harbor at San Pedro Bay, it is the second largest U.S. city in population and one of the largest in area. Two mountain ranges, the Santa Monica and Verdugo, cut across the center of the city.
Economy and Transportation
Los Angeles is a shipping, industrial, communication, financial, fashion, and distribution center for the W United States and much of the Pacific Rim. It is also the motion picture, television, radio, and recording capital of the United States, if not the world, housing numerous studios. Once an agricultural distribution center, Los Angeles is a leading producer of clothing and textiles, aircraft, computers and software, paper, toys, glass, furniture, wire, biomedical products, electrical and electronic machinery, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and fabricated metal. Tourism, printing and publishing, food processing, and oil refining are also important.
Los Angeles has one of the busiest ports in the United States, with roughly half of its commerce coming from other nations, and its international airport is one of the world's busiest. The metropolitan area's vast freeway system has made Los Angeles the archetypal auto-dependent urban area. The huge number of motor vehicles, combined with the city's valley location, often creates dangerously high smog levels. A light-rail system (opened in 1990) and buses alleviate freeway congestion only a little; a new subway (completed 2000) also provides insignificant relief.
Maintaining an adequate water supply has long been a problem for Los Angeles. The city obtains most of its water from California's Central Valley to the north. In 1992 the city ended protracted litigation with environmentalists when it agreed to curtail water diversion in certain areas until ecological recovery had been achieved.
Communities of the Metropolitan Area
The vast Los Angeles metropolitan area covers five counties (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura) and encompasses 34,000 sq mi (88,000 sq km) with over 14.5 million people. As Los Angeles rapidly expanded throughout the 20th cent., it absorbed numerous communities and enclosed independent municipalities. Among the communities now part of Los Angeles are Central City, Hollywood, San Pedro, Sylmar, Watts, Westwood, Bel-Air, and Boyle Heights. Independent municipalities surrounded by Los Angeles include Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and San Fernando. Incorporated cities in the broader metropolitan region with populations of 80,000 or more include Alhambra, Anaheim, Burbank, Downey, El Monte, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Glendale, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Inglewood, Lakewood, Long Beach, Moreno Valley, Norwalk, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange, Oxnard, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Torrance, in addition to Los Angeles itself.
Points of Interest
In Los Angeles are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and its Broad Contemporary Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA); the J. Paul Getty Museum and Getty Museum Villa; the Hammer Museum at UCLA; and historical, film, industrial, and science museums. The large Music Center includes the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (1964), with four theaters; the Ahmanson Theater; the Mark Taper Forum; and, across Grand Ave., Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall (2003), home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Also downtown is the monumental Our Lady of the Angels cathedral (2002), designed by Raphael Moneo, and Caltrans District 7 headquarters, designed by Thom Mayne. Los Angeles has botanical gardens and many parks, including Griffith Park, with a zoo and an observatory (including a planetarium), and Angels Gate Park, with the massive Korean Bell of Friendship. The La Brea Tar Pits are famous for Ice Age fossils. Other area attractions include the Santa Anita racetrack, Knott's Berry Farm, and Disneyland (at Anaheim). The motion-picture and television industries, the proximity of many resorts, theme parks, and beaches, and a climate that encourages year-round outdoor recreation attract millions of tourists annually. Among the city's many educational institutions are the Univ. of Southern California; the Univ. of California, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles and Northridge California State Univ. campuses; Occidental College; Loyola Marymount Univ.; Pepperdine Univ.; and the Colburn School of Performing Arts.
In 1982 the Los Angeles area gained its second National Football League franchise (the other being the Rams) when the Oakland Raiders moved to the city. In 1995, however, the Rams moved to St. Louis, and the Raiders subsequently returned to Oakland, Calif., leaving the city without a professional football team. In baseball, the National League's Los Angeles Dodgers and the American League's Anaheim Angels represent the area. The metropolitan area also has two National Basketball Association teams (the Lakers and the Clippers) and two National Hockey League teams (the Kings and Anaheim's Mighty Ducks).
The site of the city was visited by the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolá in 1769, and in 1781 El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Porciuncula (Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula) was founded. Located on the Los Angeles River, the city served several times as the capital of the Spanish colonial province of Alta California and was a cattle-ranching center. In 1846 Los Angeles was captured from the Mexicans by U.S. forces. The arrival of the railroads (Southern Pacific in 1876; Santa Fe in 1885) and the discovery of oil in the early 1890s stimulated expansion, as did the development of the motion-picture industry in the early 20th cent.
During World War II Los Angeles boomed as a center for the production of war supplies and munitions, and thousands of African Americans migrated to Los Angeles to fill factory jobs. After the war massive suburban growth made the city enormously prosperous, but also created or exacerbated a variety of urban problems. In 1965, the African-American community of Watts was the site of six days of race rioting that left 34 people dead and caused over $200 million in property damage. Tom Bradley, the city's first black mayor, was first elected in 1973.
In the 1970s and 1980s Los Angeles experienced dramatic growth through immigration. In 1990 the Hispanic population of metropolitan Los Angeles was almost 5 million (almost 40% of the population) and the area's Asian population was over 1.3 million. In addition to an already well-established Japanese-American community, recent immigration has come from China, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, and other nations.
In the 1980s, violent gang warfare over the illegal drug (especially "crack" cocaine) trade became a serious problem for law enforcement officials. In Apr., 1992, the acquittal of four white Los Angeles police officers on charges of police brutality (they had been videotaped beating a black motorist) touched off race riots in south-central Los Angeles and other areas. Fifty-eight people died, thousands were arrested, and property damage totaled approximately $1 billion. Natural disasters have also taken their toll. Portions of Los Angeles are subject to wildfires and rockslides, and the 1994 earthquake centered in Northridge in N Los Angeles, which killed 72 and cost $25 billion, was only the latest to have caused damage to the city and surrounding areas. Attention was again riveted on Los Angeles during the O. J. Simpson trial, which ended in acquittal in 1995. In 2005, Antonio Villaraigosa was elected mayor, becoming the first Hispanic to hold the post since 1872; Eric Garcetti, elected in 2013 to succeed him, became the city's first Jewish mayor.
See R. M. Fogelson, The Fragmented Metropolis (1967); R. Banham, Los Angeles (1973); R. Steiner, Los Angeles: The Centrifugal City (1982); H. J. Nelson, The Los Angeles Metropolis (1982); S. L. Bottles, Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City (1987); M. Davis, Los Angeles (1991) and Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (1998); B. Gumprecht, The Los Angeles River (1999).
"Los Angeles." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles
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Los Angeles: History
Los Angeles: History
Spanish and Anglos Settle, Trade Industry Thrives
The area around present-day Los Angeles was first explored by Europeans in 1769 when Gaspar de Portola and a group of missionaries camped on what is now called the Los Angeles River. Franciscans built Mission San Gabriel about 9 miles to the north in 1771. In 1781, Felipe de Neve, governor of Alte California, founded a settlement called El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles, which means "the pueblo of our lady the queen of angels." In its early years, the town was a small, isolated cluster of adobe-brick houses and random streets carved out of the desert, and its main product was grain.
Although the Spanish government placed a ban on trading with foreign ships, American vessels began arriving in the early 1800s, and the first English-speaking inhabitant settled in the area in 1818. He was a carpenter named Joseph Chapman, who helped build the church facing the town's central plaza, a structure that still stands. After Mexico, including California, gained its independence from Spain in 1821, trade with the United States became more frequent. The ocean waters off the coast of California were important for whaling and seal hunting, and a number of trading ships docked at nearby San Pedro to buy cattle hides and tallow. By the 1840s, Los Angeles was the largest town in southern California.
City Becomes American Possession; Gold Discovered
During the war between the United States and Mexico in 1846, Los Angeles was occupied by an American garrison, but the citizens drove the fifty-man brigade out of town. The Treaty of Cahuenga, signed in 1847, ended the war in California, adding Los Angeles and the rest of California to American territory. The Sierra Nevada gold strike in 1848 in the mountains to the north of Los Angeles provided the town with a booming market for its beef, and many prospectors settled in the area after the gold rush. Los Angeles was incorporated in 1850 with a reputation as one of the toughest towns in the West. "A murder a day" only slightly exaggerated the town's crime problems, and suspected criminals were often hanged by vigilante groups. Lawlessness reached a peak in 1871, when, after a Chinese immigrant accidentally killed a white man, an angry mob stormed into the Chinatown district, murdering sixteen people. After that, civic leaders and concerned citizens began a successful campaign to bring law and order to the town.
The Southern Pacific Railroad reached Los Angeles in 1876, followed by the Santa Fe Railroad nine years later. The two rival companies conducted a rate war that eventually drove the price of a ticket from the eastern United States down to five dollars. This price slashing brought thousands of settlers to the area, sending real estate prices to unrealistically high levels. By 1887, lots around the central plaza sold for up to one thousand dollars a foot, but the market collapsed in that same year, making millionaires destitute overnight. People in vast numbers abandoned Los Angeles, sometimes as many as three thousand a day. This flight prompted the creation of the Chamber of Commerce, which began a worldwide advertising campaign to attract new citizens. By 1890, the population had climbed back up to fifty thousand residents.
Oil, Agriculture, Moving Pictures, Manufacturing Build City
In the 1890s, oil was discovered in the city, and soon another boom took hold. By the turn of the century almost fifteen hundred oil wells operated throughout Los Angeles. In the early 1900s, agriculture became an important part of the economy, and a massive aqueduct project was completed. The city's growth necessitated the annexation of the large San Fernando Valley, and the port at San Pedro was also added to give Los Angeles a position in the international trade market.
The motion picture industry thrived on the Los Angeles area's advantages after the first decade of the twentieth century, and by 1930 it had earned the city the nickname of "Tinseltown." Large manufacturing concerns also began opening factories during that time, and the need for housing created vast areas of suburban neighborhoods and the beginnings of the city's massive freeway system. The Depression and the midwestern drought of the 1930s brought thousands of people to California looking for jobs.
To accommodate its growing population, the city instituted a number of large engineering projects, including the construction of the Hoover Dam, which channeled water to the city from the Colorado River and provided electricity from hydroelectric power. The area's excellent weather made it an ideal location for aircraft testing and construction, and World War II brought hundreds of new industries to the area, boosting the local economy. By the 1950s, Los Angeles was a sprawling metropolis. It was considered the epitome of everything new and modern in American culture—a combination of super highways, affordable housing, and opportunity for everyone.
City Grapples with Pollution, Racial Unrest
The Los Angeles dream began to fade in the 1960s. Despite the continued construction of new freeways, traffic congestion became a major problem; industry and auto emissions created smog and pollution. Frustration over living conditions came to a head in August 1965, when riots erupted in the African American ghetto of Watts, and more unrest developed in the Hispanic communities of East Los Angeles.
Reacting to these new problems, the city adopted strict air pollution guidelines and took steps to bring minorities into the political process, culminating in the 1973 election of Mayor Tom Bradley, the city's first African American mayor. Over the next two decades, public transportation was improved, and a subway system was funded and began limited operations. The downtown area became a thriving district of impressive glass skyscrapers.
The city's reputation was severely tarnished by a rebellion that broke out in April 1992 following the acquittal of four white police officers accused of beating an African American motorist—a beating that was captured on videotape by a bystander and broadcast worldwide. The ensuing melee left more than 50 people dead and resulted in an estimated 1 billion dollars in damage.
Los Angeles Enters Twenty-First Century
Los Angeles began to emerge from the recession of the mid-1990s, but like much of the country, the city was dealt another blow after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In response to the ensuing economic downturn, the mayor created the Los Angeles Economic Impact Task Force, which brought together business leaders from across the city to develop recommendations for strengthening the local economy. The result has been an increase in tourism, retail sales, and other continuing signs of recovery.
Historical Information: History Division, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007; telephone (213)744-3352
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Los Angeles: Education and Research
Los Angeles: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the country's second largest district, with a K–12 student enrollment of more than 746,800. Geographically, it encompasses 704 square miles, an area that includes the City of Los Angeles and all or parts of 28 other cities, as well as some unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Faced with unprecedented economic downswings and tremendous cuts from the State of California, LAUSD had to find ways to reduce spending in 2003 by more than 360 million dollars.
Los Angeles public schools began operating under the "90-30" system in the early 1990s. To save the costs of building new schools in a district that takes in 15,000 more students each year, students attend school for 90 days, then take 30 days off, year-round.
The following is a summary of data regarding Los Angeles public schools in Los Angeles as of the 2004–2005 school year.
Total enrollment: 904,799 (includes adult schools and childrens' centers)
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 434
junior high schools: 78
senior high schools: 56
other: 14 multilevel; 21 magnet schools; 140 centers; 20 special education; 45 continuation high schools; 7 primary centers; 11 opportunity schools; 6 opportunity high schools; 1 newcomer school; 26 community adult; 5 regional occupation centers; 4 skills centers; 110 early education centers
Student/teacher ratio: 22:1
Spending per pupil: $6,719 (2001–2002)
Public Schools Information: Los Angeles Unified School District, 333 South Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Colleges and Universities
The Los Angeles area is home to three campuses of the University of California system, seven from the California State University system, and twenty private colleges and universities. The two largest are the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of Southern California (USC), nationally known as major research universities. Other prominent colleges and universities in the area include the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), Loyola Marymount University, the Claremont colleges, Pepperdine University, and Mount St. Mary's College.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Los Angeles Public Library System operates 69 branches throughout the metropolitan area with a total of more than 6 million volumes. The main branch is the third largest public library in the country. The system also maintains holdings of maps, audio tapes, films and videos, art reproductions, mobile libraries, and special services for the visually impaired. Its special collections include California history, African American fiction, genealogy, Japanese prints, rare books, and the nation's largest collection of materials on food and drink, including several thousand menus, primarily from California restaurants.
Both UCLA and USC operate major libraries whose holdings number more than 6.2 million and 2.7 million volumes respectively. The Los Angeles County Law Library consists of 9 branches with a collection totaling more than 700,000 volumes in all areas of law and legal issues. More than 150 other specialized and private libraries serve the Los Angeles area.
Some of the most advanced research in the world is conducted at Los Angeles' three major institutions of higher learning (UCLA, USC, and the California Institute of Technology). Between 1923 and 2001, twenty Nobel prize winners came from Los Angeles institutions. Research activities are conducted in such fields as archaeology, oral history, folklore and mythology, international studies, AIDS, cystic fibrosis, schizophrenia, radiology and thalmology manufacturing automation, laser studies, marine sciences, sickle cell anemia, oncology, neonatology, astronomy, seismology, hydraulics, radiation, foreign policy, armament and disarmament, desert studies, and ocean studies. Los Angeles has become a mecca for researchers searching for ways to understand the changing character of America.
Public Library Information: Los Angeles Public Library System, 630 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071-2097; telephone (213)228-7000
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Los Angeles: Transportation
Los Angeles: Transportation
Approaching the City
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), just west of the downtown area, is the fourth largest airport in the world in terms of passengers handled, and the airport is served by dozens of major airlines with thousands of flights each year. Nearby Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport is served by six major airlines. Greyhound carries passengers to a terminal in downtown Los Angeles. Amtrak has invested $100 million in new passenger trains in recent years; its Pacific Surfliner carries passengers from San Diego through Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo.
Three interstate highways converge in the Los Angeles area: I-5 approaching from Canada in the north, I-15 from Las Vegas to the west, and I-10 connecting Los Angeles with Arizona and the Southwest. State Highway 1, the Pacific Coastal Highway, skirts the city along the ocean.
Traveling in the City
Los Angeles is perhaps best navigated by automobile, although the city's massive, complex web of limited-access freeways, one of the most extensive in the nation, still struggles to accommodate heavy commuter traffic. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has implemented a state-ofthe-art computer system to manage the city's street traffic, but Los Angeles is still among the places with the worst traffic in the nation, according to a study by Cambridge Systematics for the American Highway Users Alliance.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit operates frequent local and express bus service throughout the city and to major area attractions. It also operates Metro Blue Line light rail service, the new Metro Red Line light rail service to Hollywood, and the Metro Red Line subway. The Metro Orange Line began with construction of a bridge across the Los Angeles River and is slated for an August 2005 completion. The $880 million Metro Gold Line, which will add 6 miles of track, is scheduled to begin running in 2009. The Mid-City/Exposition Light Rail Transit Project is the newest proposed extension of the 62 station Metro Rail System; preliminary engineering design work began in 2003. The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation operates the DASH shuttle system; downtown DASH lines link major business, government, retail and entertainment centers within downtown. The Convention Center, the Garment and Jewelry districts, Olvera Street, the Metro Blue Line, and Union Station are easily accessible via DASH lines.
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Los Angeles: Population Profile
Los Angeles: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents (PMSA)
Percent change, 1990–2000: 9.4%
U.S. rank in 1980: 2nd (CMSA)
U.S. rank in 1990: 2nd (CMSA)
U.S. rank in 2000: 2nd (CMSA)
2003 estimate: 3,819,338
Percent change, 1990–2000: 5.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 3rd
U.S. rank in 1990: 2nd (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 2nd (State rank: 1st)
Density: 7,876.8 people per square mile (in 2000, based on 1998 land area)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 415,195
American Indian and Alaska Native: 29,412
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 5,915
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 1,719,073
Percent of residents born in state: 50.2% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 285,976
Population 5 to 9 years old: 297,837
Population 10 to 14 years old: 255,604
Population 15 to 19 years old: 251,632
Population 20 to 24 years old: 299,906
Population 25 to 34 years old: 674,098
Population 35 to 44 years old: 584,036
Population 45 to 54 years old: 428,974
Population 55 to 59 years old: 143,965
Population 60 to 64 years old: 115,663
Population 65 to 74 years old: 187,11
Population 75 to 84 years old: 125,829
Population 85 years and over: 44,189
Median age: 31.6 years
Births (2002; Los Angeles County)
Total number: 151,167
Deaths (2002; Los Angeles County)
Total number: 59,586 (of which, 825 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $20,671
Median household income: $36,687
Total households: 1,276,609
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 80,406
$10,000 to $14,999: 59,912
$15,000 to $24,999: 117,692
$25,000 to $34,999: 102,635
$35,000 to $49,999: 117,119
$50,000 to $74,999: 128,202
$75,000 to $99,999: 74,400
$100,000 to $149,999: 67,897
$150,000 to $199,999: 23,631
$200,000 or more: 35,145
Percent of families below poverty level: 18.3% (50.9% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 190,992
"Los Angeles: Population Profile." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-population-profile
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Los Angeles: Communications
Los Angeles: Communications
Newspapers and Magazines
Los Angeles readers are served by the morning Los Angeles Times. More than 100 foreign-language, special-interest, business, alternative, and neighborhood papers are published weekly in Los Angeles. La Opinion is the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, with a daily circulation of 128,495. Los Angeles magazine, a monthly covering events and topics of importance to the metropolitan area, and a number of nationally distributed magazines, such as Guns and Ammo, and Bon Appetit are also published in the city.
Television and Radio
Sixteen television stations broadcast in the Los Angeles area. The 33 AM and FM radio stations broadcasting there feature a wide assortment of music, news, and information programming; stations broadcasting in surrounding communities are also received in Los Angeles.
Media Information: Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053; telephone (213)237-5000.
Los Angeles Online
City of Los Angeles Home Page. Available www.ci.la.ca.us
La Opinion. Available www.laopinion.com
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Available www.lachamber.org
Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.lacvb.com
Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. Available www.laedc.org
Los Angeles Public Library. Available www.lapl.org
Los Angeles Times. Available www.latimes.com
Allende, Isabel, The Infinite Plan (New York: HarperCollins, 1993)
Cameron, Robert W., Above Los Angeles (San Francisco: Cameron and Co., 1990)
Cole, Carolyn Kozo, and Kathy Kobayashi, Shades of Los Angeles: Pictures from Ethnic Family Albums (New York: Norton, 1996)
Gebhard, David, and Robert Winter, Architecture in Los Angeles (Gibbs M. Smith Inc., Peregrine Smith Books, Salt Lake City, UT, 1985)
Hacker, Andrew, Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal (New York: Scribner, 1992)
Moore, Charles, Peter Becker, and Regula Campbell, The City Observed: Los Angeles (Vintage Books, 1984)
Mosley, Walter, White Butterfly (New York: W.W. Norton, 1992)
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Los Angeles: Health Care
Los Angeles: Health Care
Los Angeles is the primary health care and treatment center for the southern California region. It is the second largest health care market in the country and is at the forefront of major changes taking place in the health care industry. In recent years, many community hospitals have closed and overcapacity threatens more closures. In the vast metro Los Angeles area, there are 822 hospitals and clinics. It has been estimated that nearly a third of the hospitals would soon close and others would consolidate so that California's health care industry will eventually be dominated by four or five huge hospital networks, but lawsuits and other problems have led the state's hospital system into uncertainty and turmoil.
With more than 600 beds, UCLA Medical Center is known worldwide as a health care innovator. Its highly experienced staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and 3,500 nurses, therapists, technologists, and support personnel. Offering comprehensive care from the routine to the highly specialized, its physicians are some of the best in the country. Other factors contributing to the Center's top rankings include specialized intensive care units, state-of-the-art in-patient and outpatient operating suites, a Level-1 trauma center, and the latest diagnostic technology. UCLA Medical Center includes UCLA Children's Hospital; the Jules Stein Eye Institute; the Doris Stein Eye Research Center; UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, officially designated by the National Cancer Institute as one of the most comprehensive cancer centers in the country; and a network of health care facilities that brings UCLA-quality care to a growing number of California communities.
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Los Angeles: Geography and Climate
Los Angeles: History
Los Angeles: Population Profile
Los Angeles: Municipal Government
Los Angeles: Economy
Los Angeles: Education and Research
Los Angeles: Health Care
Los Angeles: Recreation
Los Angeles: Convention Facilities
Los Angeles: Transportation
Los Angeles: Communications
The City in Brief
Founded: 1781 (incorporated 1850)
Head Official: Mayor James K. Hahn (D) (since 2001)
2003 estimate: 3,819,951
Percent change, 1990–2000: 5.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 3rd
U.S. rank in 1990: 2nd (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 2nd (State rank: 1st)
Metropolitan Area Population (PMSA)
Percent change, 1990–2000: 9.3%
U.S. rank in 1980: 2nd (CMSA)
U.S. rank in 1990: 2nd (CMSA)
U.S. rank in 2000: 2nd (CMSA)
Area: 469.1 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 340 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 63.9° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 17 inches
Major Economic Sectors: Services; manufacturing; government; finance, insurance, and real estate
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (January 2005)
Per Capita Income: $26,733 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 190,992
Major Colleges and Universities: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC), California Institute of Technology
Daily Newspaper: Los Angeles Times
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Los Angeles: Introduction
Los Angeles: Introduction
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States in terms of population and one of the largest in terms of area. It is the center of a five-county metropolitan area and is considered the prototype of the future metropolis—a city on the cutting edge of all of the advantages and the problems of large urban areas. The glamour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the Sunset Strip, and the famous beaches have added to Los Angeles's reputation as a California paradise and have contributed to the area's phenomenal growth. Los Angeles is a city of fascinating diversity, incorporating one of the largest Hispanic populations in the United States, a major Asian community, and sizable populations of nearly every ethnic background in the world. Los Angeles is also a center of international trade and banking, manufacturing, and tourism. The city offers something for everyone in its large conglomeration of separate and very different districts: a sleek, ultra-modern downtown, miles of beautiful beaches, mansions and stunning canyon homes built with opulent luxury, and some of the world's most glamorous shopping and dining. Beneath the glitter, though, is a troubled, racially divided city, with extremely high unemployment rates for young African Americans and Latinos.
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Los Angeles: Geography and Climate
Los Angeles: Geography and Climate
Los Angeles lies on a hilly coastal plain with the Pacific Ocean as its southern and western boundaries. The city stretches north to the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains and is bounded by the San Gabriel Mountains to the east. Numerous canyons and valleys also characterize the region, making it an area of diverse climatic conditions. The predominant weather influence is the warm, moist Pacific air, keeping temperatures mild throughout the year. Summers are dry and sunny—the city averages 329 days of sun per year—with most of the precipitation occurring during the winter months. Smog and air pollution are common problems, gathering in the coastal basin during periods of little air movement. Other unusual weather phenomena include the Santa Ana winds, which bring hot, dusty winds of up to 50 miles per hour from the surrounding mountains, and the occasional flash floods in the canyon areas, causing mudslides.
Area: 469.1 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 340 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 57.0° F; August, 72.0° F; annual average, 63.9° F
Annual Average Precipitation: 17 inches
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Los Angeles: Convention Facilities
Los Angeles: Convention Facilities
The major convention and meeting facility in Los Angeles is the Los Angeles Convention Center. Situated on 63 landscaped acres, the complex is centrally located within easy access of hotels, restaurants, nightlife, shops, recreational activities, and sightseeing attractions. With 720,000 square feet of exhibition and 147,000 square feet of meeting room space, the center has become the largest convention facility on the West Coast. There are more than 14,000 hotel rooms and two major airports near the convention center.
Convention Information: Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, 633 West Fifth Street, Suite 6000, Los Angeles, CA 90071; telephone (213)624-7300; fax (213)624-9746
"Los Angeles: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-convention-facilities
"Los Angeles: Convention Facilities." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-convention-facilities
Los Angeles: Municipal Government
Los Angeles: Municipal Government
The government of Los Angeles is a complex institution, with many departments operating independently of the central legislative and executive body. The fifteen-member city council and the mayor are elected to four-year terms, as are the city attorney and the controller. The county of Los Angeles is governed by a five-member board of supervisors, although many districts are separate and self-governing.
Head Official: Mayor James K. Hahn (D) (since 2001; current term expires 2005)
Total Number of City Employees: 35,895 (2002)
City Information: City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; telephone (213)485-2121
"Los Angeles: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-municipal-government
"Los Angeles: Municipal Government." Cities of the United States. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/los-angeles-municipal-government
"Los Angeles." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/los-angeles
"Los Angeles." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved January 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/los-angeles