Modern history of Los Angeles
|History of California|
The modern history of Los Angeles begins in 1847, when the U.S. military first occupied the city following the Battle of Rio San Gabriel and the Treaty of Cahuenga ended the conquest of California resulting in a ceasefire between . About a year later, in early 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo officially ended the Mexican-American War and Mexico formally ceded California to the United States. Soon after that, the discovery of gold in California brought a flood of hundreds of thousands of people to California and a demand of beef from Los Angeles ranchos, boosting the economy and population of Los Angeles.
Old Los Angeles
Early United States era: 1847-1870
According to historian Mary P. Ryan, "The U.S. army swept into California with the surveyor as well as the sword and quickly translated Spanish and Mexican practices into cartographic representations." Under colonial law, land held by grantees was not disposable. It reverted to the government. It was determined that under U.S. property law, lands owned by the city were disposable. Also, the diseños (property sketches) held by residents did not secure title in an American court.
California's new military governor Bennett C. Riley ruled that land could not be sold that was not on a city map. In 1849, Lieutenant Edward Ord surveyed Los Angeles to confirm and extend the streets of the city. His survey put the city into the real-estate business, creating its first real-estate boom and filling its treasury. Street names were changed from Spanish to English. Further surveys and street plans replaced the original plan for the pueblo with a new civic center south of the Plaza and a new use of space.
The fragmentation of Los Angeles real estate on the Anglo-Mexican axis had begun. Under the Spanish system, the residences of the power-elite clustered around the Plaza in the center of town. In the new U.S. system, the power elite resided in the outskirts. The emerging minorities, including the Chinese, Italians, French, and Russians, joined with the Mexicans near the Plaza.
In 1848, the gold discovered in Coloma first brought thousands of miners from Sonora in northern Mexico on the way to the gold fields. So many of them settled in the area north of the Plaza that it came to be known as Sonoratown.
During the Gold Rush years in northern California, Los Angeles became known as the "Queen of the Cow Counties" for its role in supplying beef and other foodstuffs to hungry miners in the north. Among the cow counties, Los Angeles County had the largest herds in the state followed closely by Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties.
With the temporary absence of a legal system, the city quickly was submerged in lawlessness. Many of the New York regiment disbanded at the end of the war and charged with maintaining order were thugs and brawlers. They roamed the streets joined by gamblers, outlaws, and prostitutes driven out of San Francisco and mining towns of the north by Vigilance Committees or lynch mobs. Los Angeles came to be known as the "toughest and most lawless city west of Santa Fe."
Some of the residents resisted the new powers by resorting to banditry against the gringos. In 1856, Juan Flores threatened Southern California with a full-scale revolt. He was hanged in Los Angeles in front of 3,000 spectators. Tiburcio Vasquez, a legend in his own time among the Mexican-born population for his daring feats against the Anglos, was captured in present-day Santa Clarita, California, on May 14, 1874. He was found guilty of two counts of murder by a San Jose jury in 1874, and was hanged there in 1875.
Los Angeles had several active "Vigilance Committees" during that era. Between 1850 and 1870, mobs carried out approximately 35 lynchings of Mexicans—more than four times the number that occurred in San Francisco. Los Angeles was described as "undoubtedly the toughest town of the entire nation." The homicide rate between 1847 and 1870 averaged 158 per 100,000 (13 murders per year), which was 10 to 20 times the annual murder rates for New York City during the same period.
The fear of Mexican violence and the racially motivated violence inflicted on them further marginalized the Mexicans, greatly reducing their economic and political opportunities.
John Gately Downey, the seventh governor of California was sworn into office on January 14, 1860, thereby becoming the first governor from Southern California. Governor Downey was born and raised in Castlesampson, County Roscommon, Ireland, and came to Los Angeles in 1850. He was responsible for keeping California in the Union during the Civil War.
Plight of the Indians
Los Angeles was incorporated as a U.S. city on April 4, 1850. Five months later, California was admitted into the Union. Although the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo required the U.S. to grant citizenship to the Indians of former Mexican territories, it did not happen for another 80 years. The Constitution of California deprived Indians of any protection under the law, considering them as non-persons. As a result, it was impossible to bring an Anglo to trial for killing an Indian or forcing Indians off their properties. Anglos concluded that the "quickest and best way to get rid of (their) troublesome presence was to kill them off, (and) this procedure was adopted as a standard for many years."
With the coming of the U.S. citizens, disease took a great toll among Indians. Self-employed Indians were not allowed to sleep over in the city. They faced increasing competition for jobs as more Mexicans moved into the area and took over the labor force. Those who loitered or were drunk or unemployed were arrested and auctioned off as laborers to those who paid their fines. They were often paid for work with liquor, which only increased their problems.
When New England author and Indian-rights activist Helen Hunt Jackson toured the Indian villages of Southern California in 1883, she was appalled by the racism of the Anglos living there. She wrote that they treated Indians worse than animals, hunted them for sport, robbed them of their farmlands, and brought them to the edge of extermination. While Indians were depicted by Whites as lazy and shiftless, she found most of them to be hard-working craftsmen and farmers. Jackson's tour inspired her to write her 1884 novel Ramona, which she hoped would give a human face to the atrocities and indignities suffered by the Indians in California, and it did. The novel was enormously successful, inspiring four movies and a yearly pageant in Hemet, California. Many of the Indian villages of Southern California survived because of her efforts, including Morongo, Cahuilla, Soboba, Temecula, Pechanga, and Warner Springs.
Remarkably, the Tongva also survived. in 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that there were 2,000 of them still living in Southern California. Some were organizing to protect burial and cultural sites. Others were trying to win federal recognition as a tribe to operate a casino.
Industrial expansion and growth
In the 1870s, Los Angeles was still little more than a village of 5,000. By 1900, there were over 100,000 occupants of the city. Several men actively promoted Los Angeles, working to develop it into a great city and to make themselves rich. Angelenos set out to remake their geography to challenge San Francisco with its port facilities, railway terminal, banks and factories. The Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles was the first incorporated bank in Los Angeles, founded in 1871 by John G. Downey and Isaias W. Hellman. Wealthy Easterners who came as tourists recognized the growth opportunities and invested heavily in the region. During the 1880s and 1890s, the central business district (CBD) grew along Main and Spring streets towards Second Street and beyond.
Much of Los Angeles County was farmland, with an emphasis on cattle, dairy products, vegetables and citrus fruits. After 1945, most of the farmland was converted into housing tracts.
The town continued to grow at a moderate pace. Railroads finally arrived to connect with the Central Pacific and San Francisco in 1876. The impact was small. Much greater was the impact of the Santa Fe system (through its subsidiary California Southern Railroad) in 1885. The Santa Fe and Southern Pacific lines provided direct connections to the East, competed vigorously for business with much lower rates, and stimulated economic growth. Tourists poured in by the thousands every week, and many planned on returning or resettling.
The city still lacked a modern harbor. Phineas Banning excavated a channel out of the mud flats of San Pedro Bay leading to Wilmington in 1871. Banning had already laid track and shipped in locomotives to connect the port to the city. Harrison Gray Otis, founder and owner of the Los Angeles Times, and a number of business colleagues embarked on reshaping southern California by expanding that into a harbor at San Pedro using federal dollars.
This put them in conflict with Collis P. Huntington, president of the Southern Pacific Company and one of California's "Big Four" investors in the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific. (The "Big Four" are sometimes numbered among the "robber barons" of the Gilded Age). Southern Pacific had initially supported the San Pedro port, and when in 1875 a potential rival emerged in a Santa Monica wharf connected to downtown by the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad, Southern Pacific bought the railroad and demolished the wharf. However, by the 1890's Southern Pacific favored a location for the Port of Los Angeles in Santa Monica because of their control of the land there, and opened the Long Wharf in 1894. The Wharf extended 4,600 feet into the ocean, and was the longest wharf in the world at the time. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce feared Southern Pacific controlling the port, and so attempted to favor the San Pedro location, sparking the Free Harbor Fight. Congress authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to choose the location, and in 1897 they chose San Pedro.
In 1876 the Newhall railroad tunnel located 27 miles (43 km) north of Los Angeles between the town of San Fernando and Lyons Station Stagecoach Stop (now Newhall) was completed, providing the final link from San Francisco to Los Angeles for the railroad. The 6,940-foot-long railroad tunnel (2,115.3 m) took a year and a half to complete. More than 1,500 mostly Chinese laborers took part in the tunnel construction, which began at the south end of the mountain on March 22, 1875. Many of them had prior experience working on Southern Pacific's located tunnels in the Tehachapi Pass. Due to the sandstone composition of the mountain that was saturated with water and oil, frequent cave-ins occurred and the bore had to be constantly shored up by timbers during excavation. The initial location for the north end of the tunnel near Newhall was abandoned due to this. The north end of the tunnel excavation commenced in June 1875. Water was a constant problem during construction and pumps were utilized to keep the tunnel from flooding. Workers digging from both the north and south ends of the tunnel came face to face on July 14, 1876. The bores from each end were only a half inch out of line with dimensions of 22 feet (6.7 m) high, 16.5 feet (5.0 m) wide at the bottom and over 18 feet (5.5 m) at the shoulders. Track was laid in place soon after the tunnel dig was completed and the first train passed through on August 12, 1876. On September 4, Charles Crocker notified Southern Pacific that the track had been completed on the route between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The San Pedro forces eventually prevailed (though it required Banning and Downey to turn their railroad over to the Southern Pacific). Work on the San Pedro breakwater began in 1899 and was finished in 1910. Otis Chandler and his allies secured a change in state law in 1909 that allowed Los Angeles to absorb San Pedro and Wilmington, using a long, narrow corridor of land to connect them with the rest of the city. The debacle of the future Los Angeles harbor was termed the Free Harbor Fight.
Streetcar service in Los Angeles began with horsecars (1874-1897), cable cars (1885-1902) and electric streetcars starting in 1887-1963). In 1898, Henry Huntington and a San Francisco syndicate led by Isaias W. Hellman purchased five trolley lines, consolidated them into the Los Angeles Railway (the 'yellow cars') and two years later founded the Pacific Electric Railway (the 'red cars'). Los Angeles Railway served the city and the Pacific Electric Railway served the rest of the county. At its peak, Pacific Electric was the largest electrically operated interurban railway in the world. Over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of tracks connected Los Angeles with Hollywood, Pasadena, San Pedro, Long Beach, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, even as far as Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Ana, and Newport Beach. The Guardian concluded that at their peak, the Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway (itself with 642 miles of track) "made the region's public transportation the best in the country, if not the world".
Oil was discovered by Edward L. Doheny in 1892, near the present location of Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles City Oil Field was the first of many fields in the basin to be exploited, and in 1900 and 1902, respectively, the Beverly Hills Oil Field and Salt Lake Oil Field were discovered a few miles west of the original find. Los Angeles became a center of oil production in the early 20th century, and by 1923, the region was producing one-quarter of the world's total supply; it is still a significant producer, with the Wilmington Oil Field having the fourth-largest reserves of any field in California.
With the growth of Los Angeles, came conflicts and a high crime rate. Some of the conflicts were racial.
The Chinese Massacre of 1871
For a fuller account, see Chinese massacre of 1871.
Although there had been some anti-Chinese behavior in the preceding decades, editorial attacks in the local press beginning just before 1870 was followed by increased attacks. In 1871, following a shoot-out involving rival huignans, a policeman was wounded and a popular white citizen was killed. In reprisal, eighteen Chinese men and boys were hanged by a mob, though only one of those lynched had been involved in the shootings.
At the same time that the Los Angeles Times was spurring enthusiasm for the expansion of Los Angeles, the newspaper was also trying to turn it into a union-free or open shop town. Fruit growers and local merchants who had opposed the Pullman strike in 1894 subsequently formed the Merchants and Manufacturers Association (M & M) to support the Times's anti-union campaign.
The California labor movement, with its strength concentrated in San Francisco, largely had ignored Los Angeles for years. However, in 1907, the American Federation of Labor decided to challenge the open shop.
In 1909, the city fathers placed a ban on free speech from public streets and private property except for the Plaza. Locals had claimed that it had been an Open Forum forever. The area was of particular concern to Harrison Grey Otis and his son-in-law Harry Chandler.
This conflict came to a head with the bombing of the Times in 1910.[failed verification] Two months later, the Llewellyn Iron Works near the plaza was bombed. A meeting hastily was called of the Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association. The L.A. Times wrote: "radical and practical matters (were) considered, and steps taken for the adaption of such as are adequate to cope with a situation tardily recognized as the gravest that Los Angeles has ever been called upon to face."
The authorities indicted John and James McNamara, both associated with the Iron Workers Union, for the bombing; Clarence Darrow, famed Chicago defense lawyer, represented them.
At the same time the McNamara brothers were awaiting trial, Los Angeles was preparing for a city election. Job Harriman, running on the socialist ticket, was challenging the establishment's candidate.
Harriman's campaign, however, was tied to the asserted innocence of the McNamaras. But the defense was in trouble: The prosecution not only had evidence of the McNamaras' complicity, but had trapped Darrow in a clumsy attempt to bribe one of the jurors. On December 1, 1911, four days before the final election, the McNamaras entered a plea of guilty in return for prison terms. Harriman lost badly.
On Christmas Day, 1913, police attempted to break up an IWW rally of 500 taking place in the Plaza. Encountering resistance, the police waded into the crowd attacking them with their clubs. One citizen was killed. In the aftermath, the authorities attempted to impose martial law in the wake of growing protests.
Seventy-three people were arrested in connection with the riots. The city council introduced new measures to control public speaking. The Times called onlookers and taco vendors "cultural subversives."
The open shop campaign continued from strength to strength, although not without meeting opposition from workers. By 1923, the Industrial Workers of the World had made considerable progress in organizing the longshoremen in San Pedro and led approximately 3,000 men to walk off the job. With the support of the Los Angeles Times, a special "Red Squad" was formed within the Los Angeles Police Department and arrested so many strikers that the city's jails were soon filled.
Some 1,200 dock workers were corralled in a special stockade in Griffith Park. The Times wrote approvingly that "stockades and forced labor were a good remedy for IWW terrorism." Public meetings were outlawed in San Pedro, Upton Sinclair was arrested at Liberty Hill in San Pedro for reading the United States Bill of Rights on the private property of a strike supporter (the arresting officer told him "we'll have none of 'that Constitution stuff'") and blanket arrests were made at union gatherings. The strike ended after members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Legion raided the IWW Hall and attacked the men, women and children meeting there. The strike was defeated.
Los Angeles developed another industry in the early 20th century when movie producers from the East Coast relocated there. These new employers were likewise afraid of unions and other social movements: During Upton Sinclair's campaign for governor of California under the banner of his "End Poverty In California" (EPIC) movement, Louis B. Mayer turned MGM's Culver City studio into the unofficial headquarters of the organized campaign against EPIC. MGM produced fake newsreel interviews with whiskered actors with Russian accents voicing their enthusiasm for EPIC, along with footage focusing on central casting hobos huddled on the borders of California waiting to enter and live off the bounty of its taxpayers once Sinclair was elected. Sinclair, however, lost the election.
Los Angeles also acquired another industry in the years just before World War II: the garment industry. At first devoted to regional merchandise such as sportswear, the industry eventually grew to be the second largest center of garment production in the United States.
The immigrants arriving in the city to find jobs sometimes brought the revolutionary zeal and idealism of their homelands. These included anarchists such as Russian Emma Goldman and Ricardo Flores Magón and his brother Enrique of the Partido Liberal Mexicano. They later were joined by the socialist candidate for mayor Job Harriman, Chinese revolutionaries, the novelist Upton Sinclair, "Wobblies" (members of the Industrial Workers of the World, the IWW), and Socialist and Communist labor organizers such as the Japanese-American Karl Yoneda and the Russian-born New Yorker Meyer Baylin. The socialists were the first to set up a soapbox in the Plaza, which served as the location of union rallies and protests and riots as the police attempted to break up meetings.
Unions began to make progress in organizing these workers as the New Deal arrived in the 1930s. An influential strike was the Los Angeles Garment Workers Strike of 1933, one of the first strikes in which Mexican immigrant workers played a prominent role for union recognition. The unions made even greater gains in the war years, as Los Angeles grew further.
Today, the ethnic makeup of the city and the dominance of progressive political views among its voters have made Los Angeles a strong union town. However, many garment workers in Central L.A., most of whom are Mexican immigrants, still work in sweatshop conditions.
Battle of the Los Angeles River
The Los Angeles River flowed clear and fresh all year, supporting 45 Tongva villages in the area. The source of the river was the aquifer under the San Fernando Valley, supplied with water from the surrounding mountains. The rising of the underground bedrock at the Glendale Narrows (near today's Griffith Park) squeezed the water to the surface at that point. Then, through much of the year, the river emerged from the valley to flow across the floodplain 20 miles (32 km) to the sea. The area also provided other streams, lakes, and artesian wells.
Early settlers were more than a little discouraged by the region's diverse and unpredictable weather. They watched helplessly as long droughts weakened and starved their livestock, only to be drowned and carried off by ferocious storms. During the years of little rain, people built too close to the riverbed, only to see their homes and barns later swept to sea during a flood. The location of the Los Angeles Plaza had to be moved twice because of previously having been built too close to the riverbed.
Worse, floods changed the river's course. When the settlers arrived, the river joined Ballona Creek to discharge in Santa Monica Bay. A fierce storm in 1835 diverted its course to Long Beach, where it stays today.
Early citizens could not even maintain a footbridge over the river from one side of the city to the other. After the American takeover, the city council authorized spending of $20,000 for a contractor to build a substantial wooden bridge across the river. The first storm to come along dislodged the bridge, used it as a battering ram to break through the embankment, and scattered its timbers all the way to the sea.
Some of the most concentrated rainfall in the history of the United States has occurred in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. On April 5, 1926, a rain gauge in the San Gabriels collected one inch in one minute. In January, 1969, more water fell on the San Gabriels in nine days than New York City sees in a year. In February 1978, almost a foot of rain fell in 24 hours, and, in one blast, an inch and a half in five minutes. This storm caused massive debris flows throughout the region, one of them unearthing the corpses in the Verdugo Hills Cemetery and depositing them in the town below. Another wiped out the small town of Hidden Springs in a tributary of the Big Tujunga Creek, killing 13 people.
The greatest daily rainfall recorded in California was 26.12 inches on January 23, 1943 at Hoegees near Mt. Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. Fifteen other stations reported over 20 inches in two days from the same storm. Forty-five others reported 70% of the average annual rainfall in two days.
Quibbling between city and county governments delayed any response to the flooding until a massive storm in 1938 flooded Los Angeles and Orange counties. The federal government stepped in. To transfer floodwater to the sea as quickly as possible, the Army Corps of Engineers paved the beds of the river and its tributaries. The corps also built several dams and catchment basins in the canyons along the San Gabriel Mountains to reduce the debris flows. It was an enormous project, taking years to complete.
Today, the Los Angeles River functions mainly as a flood control. A drop of rain falling in the San Gabriel Mountains will reach the sea faster than an auto can drive. During today's rainstorms, the volume of the Los Angeles River at Long Beach can be as large as the Mississippi River at St. Louis.
The drilling of wells and pumping of water from the San Fernando Valley aquifer dried up the river by the 1920s. By 1980, the aquifer was supplying drinking water for 800,000 people. In that year, it was discovered that the aquifer had been contaminated. Many wells were shut down, as the area qualified as a Superfund site.
Water from a distance
For its first 120 years, the Los Angeles River supplied the town with ample water for homes and farms. It was estimated that the annual flow could have support a town of 250,000 people—if the water had been managed right. But Angelenos were among the more profligate users of water in the world. In the semi-arid climate, they were forever watering their lawns, gardens, orchards, and vineyards. Later, they needed more to support the growth of commerce and manufacturing. By the beginning of the 20th century, the town realized it quickly would outgrow its river and would need new sources of water.
Legitimate concerns about water supply were exploited to gain backing for a huge engineering and legal effort to bring more water to the city and allow more development. The city fathers had their eyes on the Owens River, about 250 miles (400 km) northeast of Los Angeles in Inyo County, near the Nevada state line. It was a permanent stream of fresh water fed by the melted snows of the eastern Sierra Nevada. It flowed through the Owens River Valley before emptying into the shallow, saline Owens Lake, where it evaporated.
Sometime between 1899 and 1903, Harrison Gray Otis and his son-in-law successor, Harry Chandler, engaged in successful efforts at buying cheap land on the northern outskirts of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. At the same time, they enlisted the help of William Mulholland, chief engineer of the Los Angeles Water Department (later the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power or LADWP), and J.B. Lippencott, of the United States Reclamation Service.
Lippencott performed water surveys in the Owens Valley for the Service while secretly receiving a salary from the City of Los Angeles. He succeeded in persuading Owens Valley farmers and mutual water companies to pool their interests and surrender the water rights to 200,000 acres (800 km²) of land to Fred Eaton, Lippencott's agent and a former mayor of Los Angeles. Lippencott then resigned from the Reclamation Service, took a job with the Los Angeles Water Department as assistant to Mulholland, and turned over the Reclamation Service maps, field surveys and stream measurements to the city. Those studies served as the basis for designing the longest aqueduct in the world.
By July 1905, the Times began to warn the voters of Los Angeles that the county would soon dry up unless they voted bonds for building the aqueduct. Artificial drought conditions were created when water was run into the sewers to decrease the supply in the reservoirs and residents were forbidden to water their lawns and gardens.
On election day, the people of Los Angeles voted for $22.5 million worth of bonds to build an aqueduct from the Owens River and to defray other expenses of the project. With this money, and with an Act of Congress allowing cities to own property outside their boundaries, the City acquired the land that Eaton had acquired from the Owens Valley farmers and started to build the aqueduct. On the occasion of the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct on November 5, 1913 Mulholland's entire speech was five words: "There it is. Take it."
Boom town: 1913–1941
Hollywood has been synonymous worldwide with the film industry for over a hundred years. It was incorporated as the City of Hollywood in 1903 but merged into LA in 1910. In the 1900s movie makers from New York found the sunny, temperate weather more suitable for year-round location shooting. It boomed into the cinematic heart of the United States, and has been the home and workplace of actors, directors and singers that range from small and independent to world-famous, leading to the development of related television and music industries.
Swimming pool desegregation An end to racial segregation in municipal swimming pools was ordered in summer 1931 by a superior court judge after Ethel Prioleau sued the city, complaining that she as a Negro was not allowed to use the pool in nearby Exposition Park but had to travel 3.6 miles to the designated "negro swimming pool."
Summer Olympics Los Angeles hosted the 1932 Summer Olympics. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which had opened in May, 1923 with a seating capacity of 76,000, was enlarged to accommodate over 100,000 spectators for Olympic events. Olympic Boulevard, a major thoroughfare, honors the occasion. It is still in use by the USC Trojans football team.
Annexations and consolidations
The City of Los Angeles mostly remained within its original 28 square-mile (73 km²) land grant until the 1890s. The original city limits are visible even today in the layout of streets that changes from a north–south pattern outside of the original land grant to a pattern that is shifted roughly 15 degrees east of the longitude in and closely around the area now known as Downtown. The first large additions to the city were the districts of Highland Park and Garvanza to the north, and the South Los Angeles area. In 1906, the approval of the Port of Los Angeles and a change in state law allowed the city to annex the Shoestring, or Harbor Gateway, a narrow and crooked strip of land leading from Los Angeles south towards the port. The port cities of San Pedro and Wilmington were added in 1909 and the city of Hollywood was added in 1910, bringing the city up to 90 square miles (233 km²) and giving it a vertical "barbell" shape. Also added that year was Colegrove, a suburb west northwest of the city near Hollywood; Cahuenga, a township northwest of the former city limits; and a part of Los Feliz was annexed to the city.
The opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct provided the city with four times as much water as it required, and the offer of water service became a powerful lure for neighboring communities. The city, saddled with a large bond and excess water, locked in customers through annexation by refusing to supply other communities. Harry Chandler, a major investor in San Fernando Valley real estate, used his Los Angeles Times to promote development near the aqueduct's outlet. By referendum of the residents, 170 square miles (440 km²) of the San Fernando Valley, along with the Palms district, were added to the city in 1915, almost tripling its area, mostly towards the northwest. Over the next 17 years. dozens of additional annexations brought the city's area to 450 square miles (1,165 km²) in 1932. (Numerous small annexations brought the total area of the city up to 469 square miles (1,215 km²) as of 2004.)
Most of the annexed communities were unincorporated towns but 10 incorporated cities were consolidated with Los Angeles: Wilmington (1909), San Pedro (1909), Hollywood (1910), Sawtelle (1922), Hyde Park (1923), Eagle Rock (1923), Venice (1925), Watts (1926), Barnes City (1927), and Tujunga (1932).
Civic corruption and police brutality
The downtown business interests, always eager to attract business and investment to Los Angeles, were also eager to distance their town from the criminal underworld that defined the stories of Chicago and New York. In spite of their concerns, massive corruption in City Hall and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)—and the fight against it—were dominant themes in the city's story from early 20th-century to the 1950s.
In the 1920s, for example, it was common practice for the city's mayor, councilmen, and attorneys to take contributions from madams, bootleggers, and gamblers. The top aide of the mayor was involved with a protection racket. Thugs with eastern-Mafia connections were involved in often violent conflicts over bootlegging and horse-racing turf. The mayor's brother was selling jobs in the Los Angeles Police Department.
In 1933, the new mayor Frank Shaw started giving contracts without competitive bids and paying city employees to favor crony contractors. The city's Vice Squad functioned citywide as the enforcer and collector of the city's organized crime, with revenues going to the pockets of city officials right up to the mayor.
In 1937, the owner of downtown's Clifton's Cafeteria, Clifford Clinton led a citizen's campaign to clean up city hall. He and other reformers served on a Grand Jury investigating the charges of corruption. In a minority report, the reformers wrote:
A portion of the underworld profits have been used in financing campaigns [of] ... city and county officials in vital positions ... [While] the district attorney's office, sheriff's office, and Los Angeles Police Department work in complete harmony and never interfere with ... important figures in the underworld.
The police Intelligence Squad spied on anyone even suspected of criticizing the police. They included journalist Carey McWilliams, the District Attorney, Judge Fletcher Bowron, and two of the county supervisors.
The persistent courage of Clinton, Superior Court Judge and later Mayor, Fletcher Bowron, and former police detective Harry Raymond turned the tide. The police became so nervous that the Intelligence Squad blew up Raymond's car and nearly killed him. The public was so enraged by the bombing that it quickly voted Shaw out of office, one of the first big-city recalls in the country's history. The head of the intelligence squad was convicted and sentenced to two years to life. Police Chief James Davis and 23 other officers were forced to resign.
Fletcher Bowron replaced Shaw as mayor in 1938 to preside over one of the more dynamic periods in the history of the city. His 'Los Angeles Urban Reform Revival' brought major changes to the government of Los Angeles.
In 1950, he appointed William H. Parker as chief of police. Parker pushed for more independence from political pressures that enabled him to create a more professionalized police force. The public supported him and voted in charter changes that isolated the police department from the rest of government.
Through the 1960s, the LAPD was promoted as one of the more efficient departments in the world. But Parker's administration increasingly was charged with police brutality—resulting from his recruiting of officers from the South with strong anti-black and anti-Mexican attitudes.
Reaction to police brutality resulted in the Watts riots of 1965 and in the Los Angeles riots of 1992, after the Rodney King beating. Charges of police brutality dogged the department through the end of the 20th century. In the late 1990s, as a result of the Rampart scandal involving misconduct of 70 officers, the federal government was forced to intervene and assumed jurisdiction of the department with a consent decree. Police reform has since been a major issue confronted by the city's mayors.
Social critic Mike Davis argued that attempts to "revitalize" downtown Los Angeles decreases public space and further alienates poor and minority populations. This enforced geographical separation of diverse populations goes back to the city's earliest days.
LAX: Los Angeles International Airport
Mines Field opened as the private airport in 1930, and the city purchased it to be the municipal airfield in 1937. The name became Los Angeles Airport in 1941 and Los Angeles International Airport in 1949. In the 1930s, the main airline airports were Hollywood Burbank Airport (then known as Union Air Terminal, and later Lockheed) in Burbank and the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. In 1940, the airlines were all at Burbank except for Mexicana's three departures a week from Glendale; in late 1946 most airline flights moved to LAX, but Burbank always retained a few. Since then, there has been relentless expansion and the spinoff of hotels and warehouses nearby.
World War II: 1941–1945
During World War II, Los Angeles grew as a center for production of aircraft, ships, war supplies, and ammunition. Aerospace employers headquartered in the Los Angeles metropolitan area like Hughes Aircraft Company, Northrop Corporation, Douglas Aircraft Company, Vultee Aircraft (later merged into Convair in 1943), and Lockheed Corporation, were able to provide the nation's demand for the war effort in producing strategic bombers and fighter aircraft like B-17s, B-25s, A-36s, and P-51 Mustangs needed to bomb the war machine of the Axis powers. As a result, the Los Angeles area grew faster than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S. and experienced more of the traumas of war while doing so. By 1943, the population of Los Angeles County was larger than 37 states, and was home to one in every 40 U.S. citizens, as millions across the U.S. came to Southern California to find employment in the defense industries.
The Japanese-American community in Los Angeles was greatly impacted since Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor pulled the U.S. into World War II, and America feared that the fifth column was widespread among the community. In response, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing military commanders to exclude "any or all persons" from certain areas in the name of national defense. The Western Defense Command began ordering Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast to present themselves for "evacuation" from the newly created military zones. This included many Los Angeles families, of which 80,000 were relocated to the Japanese-American internment camps throughout the duration of the war.
The war also lured a large number of African Americans from the rural impoverished Southern states to the Los Angeles area in the second chapter of the Great Migration, due to manpower industrial shortages and Executive Order 8802, which prohibited discrimination in wartime defense industries. Lonnie Bunch, a longtime historian with the Smithsonian Institution, wrote, "Between 1942-1945, some 340,000 Blacks settled in California, 200,000 of whom migrated to Los Angeles." Most of these migrants to Los Angeles came from South Central states like Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. African Americans particularly benefited from defense jobs created in Los Angeles County during the war, especially Terminal Island, where it was one of the first places of integrated, defense-related work on the West Coast. Though Jim Crow laws did not exist in Los Angeles as it had in the South, black migrants continued to face racial discrimination in most aspects of life, especially widespread housing segregation and redlining due to overcrowding and perceived lower property value during and after the war, in which they were restricted from advanced opportunities in affluent white areas and confined to an exclusive-black majority area of South Central Los Angeles.
As with a few other wartime industrial cities in the U.S., Los Angeles experienced a racial-related conflict stemming from the Zoot Suit Riots in June 1943, in which American servicemen and local Whites attacked young Mexican-Americans in zoot suits. Many military personnel regarded the zoot suits as unpatriotic and flamboyant in time of war, as they had a lot of fabric, coupled with widespread racism against Mexicans and Mexican-Americans as unintelligent and inferior. The Los Angeles Police Department stood by as the rioting happened, arresting hundreds of Hispanic residents instead of the attackers. Riots against Latinos in Los Angeles also erupted in a similar fashion in other cities in California, Texas, and Arizona as well as northern cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit.
While Los Angeles County never faced enemy bombing and invasion, it nevertheless became an integral part of the American Theater on the night of February 24–25, 1942, during the false Battle of Los Angeles, which occurred a day after the Japanese naval bombardment of Ellwood in Santa Barbara, California, 80 miles from Los Angeles. Reacting to a report that enemy planes had been spotted over Los Angeles, anti-aircraft gunners in the area fired on the approaching aircraft what was later known to be a U.S. Army weather balloon. Lasted for two hours, five people died in the "Battle of Los Angeles", from car crashes in the confusing darkness to people having heart attacks due to loud anti-aircraft gun bursts. In spite of this, the Japanese had plans to actually bomb Los Angeles with giant seaplanes in anticipation of the proposed large-scale invasion of the continental United States. Those raids never came about, but the Japanese had the planes and wherewithal to accomplish such a raid throughout the war.
Postwar: Baby boomers
After the war, hundreds of land developers bought land cheap, subdivided it, built on it, and got rich. Real-estate development replaced oil and agriculture as Southern California's principal industry. In July 1955, Walt Disney opened the world's first theme park called Disneyland in Anaheim. Nine years later, Universal Studios opened its first theme park with the public studio tour tram at Universal City. This later touched off a theme park war between Disney and Universal that continue on to the present day. In 1958, Major League Baseball's Dodgers and Giants left New York City and came to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively. The population of California expanded dramatically, to nearly 20 million by 1970. This was the coming-of-age of the baby boom. By 1950, Los Angeles was an industrial and financial giant created by war production and migration. Los Angeles assembled more cars than any city other than Detroit, made more tires than any city but Akron, Ohio, made more furniture than Grand Rapids, Michigan, and stitched more clothes than any city except New York. In addition, it was the national capital for the production of motion pictures, Army and Navy training films, radio programs and, within a few years, television shows. Construction boomed as tract houses were built in ever expanding suburban communities financed by the GI Bill for veterans and the Federal Housing Administration. Popular music of the period bore titles such as "California Girls", "California Dreamin'", "San Francisco", "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" and "Hotel California". These reflected the Californian promise of easy living in a paradisiacal climate. The surfing culture burgeoned.
Los Angeles continued to spread, particularly with the development of the San Fernando Valley and the building of the freeways launched in the 1940s. When the local street car system went out of business due to the gas/automobile industry, Los Angeles became a city shaped around the automobile, with all the social, health and political problems that this dependence produces. The famed urban sprawl of Los Angeles became a notable feature of the town, and the pace of the growth accelerated in the first decades of the 20th century. The San Fernando Valley, sometimes called "America's Suburb", became a favorite site of developers, and the city began growing past its roots downtown toward the ocean and towards the east. The immense problem with air pollution (smog) that had developed by the early 1970s also caused a backlash: Schools were closed routinely in urban areas for "smog days" when the ozone levels became too unhealthy, and the hills surrounding urban areas were seldom visible even within a mile, Californians were ready for changes. Over the next three decades, California enacted some of the strictest anti-smog regulations in the United States and has been a leader in encouraging nonpolluting strategies for various industries, including automobiles. For example, carpool lanes normally allow only vehicles with two/three or more occupants (whether the base number is two or three depends on what freeway you are on), but electric cars can use the lanes with only a single occupant. As a result, smog is significantly reduced from its peak, although local Air Quality Management Districts still monitor the air and generally encourage people to avoid polluting activities on hot days when smog is expected to be at its worst.
Beginning November 6, 1961, Los Angeles suffered three days of destructive brush fires. The Bel-Air—Brentwood and Santa Ynez fires destroyed 484 expensive homes and 21 other buildings along with 15,810 acres (64 km²) of brush in the Bel-Air, Brentwood, and Topanga Canyon neighborhoods. Most of the homes destroyed had wooden shake roofs, which not only led to their own loss but also sent firebrands up to three miles (5 km) away. Despite this, few changes were made to the building codes to prevent future losses.
The repeal of a law limiting building height and the controversial redevelopment of Bunker Hill, which destroyed a picturesque though decrepit neighborhood, ushered in the construction of a new generation of skyscrapers. Bunker Hill's 62-floor First Interstate Building (later named Aon Center) was the highest in Los Angeles when it was completed in 1973. It was surpassed by the Library Tower (now called the U.S. Bank Tower) a few blocks to the north in 1990, a 310 m (1,018 ft) building that is the tallest west of the Mississippi. Outside of Downtown, the Wilshire Corridor is lined with tall buildings, particularly near Westwood. Century City, developed on the former 20th Century Fox back lot, has become another center of high-rise construction on the Westside.
During the latter decades of the 20th century, the city saw a massive increase of street gangs. At the same time, crack cocaine became widely available and dominated by gangs in the 1980s. Although gangs were disproportionately confined to lower-income inner-city sections, fear knew no boundaries citywide. Since the early 1990s, the city saw a decrease in crime and gang violence with rising prices in housing, revitalization, urban development, and heavy police vigilance in many parts of the city. With its reputation, it had led to Los Angeles being referred as "The Gang Capital of America".
A subway system, developed and built through the 1980s as a major goal of mayor Tom Bradley, stretches from North Hollywood to Union Station and connects to light rail lines that extend to the neighboring cities of Long Beach, Norwalk, and Pasadena, among others. Also, a commuter rail system, Metrolink, has been added that stretches from nearby Ventura and Simi Valley to San Bernardino, Orange County, and Riverside. The funding of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority project is funded by a half cent tax increase added in the mid-1980s, which yields $400 million every month. Although the regional transit system is growing, subway expansion was halted in the 1990s over methane gas concerns, political conflict, and construction and financing problems during Red Line Subway project, which culminated in a massive sinkhole on Hollywood Boulevard. As a result, the original subway plans have been delayed for decades as light rail systems, dedicated busways, and limited-stop "Rapid" bus routes have become the preferred means of mass transit in LA's expanding series of gridlocked, congested corridors.
Racially restrictive housing covenants
This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2021)
Racially restrictive housing covenants were a major part of Los Angeles housing development and selling of real estate. Racially restrictive covenants were court private agreements included in title deeds that prohibited the selling of property to certain races. The first racially restrictive covenant in Los Angeles dates to 1902 and used the term non-Caucasians to restrict people of color from dwelling in that home. Other language used in covenants excluded specific ethnic groups and sometimes only allowed “non-Whites” to occupy a property if they were domestic workers. There was a tendency to exclude Mexican Americans, despite they were legally "White" due to Spanish ancestry, Mexican immigrants tend to be indigenous people or mestizo.
Racially restrictive covenants were implemented by housing developers, real estate agencies, and homeowners associations for the purpose of creating racial and class segregated neighborhoods. Racially restrictive covenants were also implemented in housing developments to secure homogeneous and economically stable neighborhoods. The Janss Investment Company built the community of Westwood. They included racial restrictions in all of their properties that specifically excluded “any person who is not of the White or the Caucasian race”. Examples of communities in Los Angeles that were built with racial restrictions in deeds are Thousand Oaks, Palos Verdes, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Westchester, Panorama City, Westside Village, and Toluca Woods among others.
In 1892, the federal courts ruled that neither state nor city governments could discriminate but upheld the right to enter into racial and class restrictive covenants. In the period between 1900 and 1920 Los Angeles experienced a boom in housing development during which racially restrictive covenants became widespread. By 1939, almost 47% of Los Angeles County residential neighborhoods included racially restrictive covenants.
Restricting people of color from many neighborhoods across Los Angeles resulted in the formation of multiracial neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were notably poor and composed of Blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans, Jews, and Italians. Among multiracial neighborhoods in Los Angeles are Boyle Heights, Watts, Belvedere, and South Los Angeles. In the 1930s, Okies from the Central United States settled in the Northern ends of Downtown Los Angeles, mainly they were White, but a large percentage were Cherokee (Native Americans) from Oklahoma.
Racially restrictive covenants were finally overturned in two landmark cases. Shelley V. Kraemer in 1948 prohibited racially restrictive covenants and invalidated their use in court. The 1956 Barrows V. Jackson case the Supreme Court ruled that racially restrictive covenants were unconstitutional under the 14th amendment. It stated that “The enforcement of a covenant forbidding use and occupancy of real estate by non-Caucasians, by an action at law in a state court to recover damages from a co-covenantor for a breach of the covenant, is barred by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution.” In 1964, California voters approved Proposition 14 which attempted to validate housing discrimination. However, the proposition was repealed and deemed unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court. While many home deeds in Los Angeles still contain restrictive covenant clauses, they are not legally enforceable.
Economic and demographic changes
The last of the automobile factories shut down in the 1990s; the tire factories and steel mills left earlier. Most of the agricultural and dairy operations that were still prospering in the 1950s have moved to outlying counties while the furniture industry has relocated to Mexico and other low-wage nations. Aerospace production has dropped significantly since the end of the Cold War or moved to states with better tax conditions, and movie producers sometimes find cheaper places to produce films, television programs and commercials. However, the film, television and music industries are still based in LA, which is home to large numbers of well-paid stars, executives and technicians. Many studios still operate in Los Angeles, such as CBS Television City at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard and 20th Century Fox in Century City. The manufacture of clothing began on a large scale in the early 20th century. The fashion industry emerged in the 1920s with an emphasis on sportswear and leisure clothing, and expanded after 1945 to second place behind New York. Toyota opened its first overseas office in Hollywood in 1957, and sold 257 cars in the U.S. It moved operations to Torrance in 1982 because of easy access to port facilities and the LAX airport. In 2013 it sold 2.2 million vehicles in the U.S. In 2014, it announced it would move 3000 of its employees to Plano, Texas, near Dallas, to be closer to its American factories.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach make up the largest harbor complex in the U.S., handling 44% of all goods imported by cargo container. In 2007, the equivalent of 7.85 million 40-foot shipping containers poured through the ports, with most then moving along the region's highways to massive rail yards and warehouses before heading to the nation's interior. International trade has generated hundreds of thousands of jobs in Southern California. Moving goods is now one of the larger industries in the region, one that helps provide low-cost imports to consumers across the country. The ports are among the region's more valuable economic engines.
The overall metropolitan L.A. economy was healthy, and in one five-year boom period (1985 to 1990), it attracted 400,000 working immigrants (mostly from Asia and Mexico) and about 575,000 workers from elsewhere in the U.S. The jobs offered depended largely on educational qualifications. Half of the immigrants from abroad owed their employment to the immigrant economy with Asian entrepreneurs employing Latino workers. Large-scale economic changes have brought major social changes with them. While unemployment dropped in Los Angeles in the 1990s, the newly created jobs tended to be low-wage jobs filled by recent immigrants; the number of poor families increased from 36% to 43% of the population of Los Angeles County during this time. At the same time, the number of immigrants from Mexico, Central America and Latin America has made Los Angeles a "majority minority" city that will soon (perhaps in the 2020s) be majority Latino, the first time since California statehood in 1850 before Anglo-American settlers came to the city. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.9% to 6.8% in 2002, jumped during the recession of 2008, and hovered around 11-12% in 2011.
The desire for residential housing in the downtown area has led to gentrification. Historic commercial buildings have been renovated as condos (while maintaining the original outside design), and many new apartment and condominium towers and complexes are being built.
By the end of the 20th century, some of the annexed areas began to feel cut off from the political process of the megalopolis, leading to a particularly strong secession movement in the San Fernando Valley and weaker ones in San Pedro and Hollywood. The referendums to split the city were rejected by voters in November 2002.
Many communities in Los Angeles have changed their ethnic character over this period of time. For many decades, the population was predominantly White and mostly American-born until the late 20th century. South L.A. was mostly White until the 1950s, but then became predominantly black until the 1990s, and is now mainly Latino. While the Latino community within the City of Los Angeles was once centered on the Eastside, it now extends throughout the city. The San Fernando Valley, which represented a bastion of white flight in the 1960s and provided the votes that allowed Sam Yorty to defeat the first election run by Tom Bradley, is now as ethnically diverse as the rest of the city on the other side of the Hollywood Hills.
The population of Los Angeles reached more than 100,000 with the 1900 census, more than a million in 1930, more than two million in 1960, and more than 3 million in 1990. Los Angeles surpassed Chicago to become the nation's second largest city between 1980-82, with a population estimated to be 3.022 million in 1982.
The current estimated population for Los Angeles in 2020 is 4.1 million.
Some of the best history appears in the appropriate chapters of the multivolume history of California by Kevin Starr, including Americans and the California Dream, 1850–1915 (1973), focuses on novelists; Inventing the Dream: California through the Progressive Era (1986); Material Dreams: Southern California through the 1920s(1991).
Other articles which contain relevant history sections.
- History of Southern California freeways
- Los Angeles Times
- History of the Los Angeles Police Department
- Los Angeles Fire Department History
- History of the San Fernando Valley to 1915
- Port of Los Angeles
- History of Santa Monica
- History of Glendale
- History of Beverly Hills
- History of Long Beach
Articles on specific events in Los Angeles history
- "Historical Timeline of Los Angeles | Discover Los Angeles". www.discoverlosangeles.com. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
- "Our Documents - Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)". www.ourdocuments.gov. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
- "California Gold Rush Population Growth | Finest Known". finestknown.com. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
- Ryan, Mary P. 2006. "A Durable Center of Urban Space: The Los Angeles Plaza." Urban History, 33, part 3, December, p. 464
- "Robinson, William Wilcox. 1966. Maps of Los Angeles; From Ord's Survey of 1849 to the Boom of the Eighties. Los Angeles: Dawson's Book Shop.
- Estrada, William David. 2008. The Los Angeles Plaza: Sacred and Contested Space. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press.
- Robert Glass Cleland, A History of California: The American Period, The Macmillan company, 1922. Chapter XXI
- Robinson, William Wilcox. 1981. Los Angeles from the Days of the Pueblo: A Brief History and Guide to the Plaza Area. San Francisco: California Historical Society.
- Charles Dwight Willard, The Herald's History of Los Angeles City (Los Angeles: Kingsley-Barnes & Neuner Co., 1901), 280.
- Eric Monkkonen, "Western Homicide: The Case of Los Angeles, 1830–1870", Pacific Historical Review, 74 (Nov. 2005), 609.
- Villa, Raúl Romero. 2002. Barrio Logos: Place and Space in Urban Chicano Culture and Literature. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press
- Cook, Sherburne F. 1971. "The Aboriginal Population of Upper California." In The California Indians: A Sourcebook. ed. R.F. Heizer and M.A. Whipple, 2nd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press
- Robinson, William Wilcox. 1952. The Indians of Los Angeles: Story of a Liquidation of a People. Los Angeles: Glen Dawson Press.
- Mathes, Valerie Sherer. 1997. Helen Hunt Jackson and Her Indian Reform Legacy. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.
- Garrison, Jessica. 2006. "Battle over a Casino Divides Gabrielino Indians." Los Angeles Times, November 26.
- Guinn, James Miller (1915). A History of California and an Extended History of Los Angeles and Environs: Also Containing Biographies of Well Known Citizens of the Past and Present (Public domain ed.). Historic Record Company. p. 407. ISBN 9780598508874.
- Timothy Tzeng, "Eastern Promises: The Role of Eastern Capital in the Development of Los Angeles, 1900-1920," California History (2011) 88#2 pp 32-53.
- Jess Gilbert and Kevin Wehr, "Dairy Industrialization in the First Place: Urbanization, Immigration, and Political Economy in Los Angeles County, 1920-1970," Rural Sociology (2003) 68#4 pp 467-49
- Nathan Masters (January 17, 2013). "Lost Train Depots of Los Angeles". Socal Focus. KCET. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
- Gregory Lee Thompson (1993). The Passenger Train in the Motor Age: California's Rail and Bus Industries, 1910-1941. Ohio State University Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 9780814206096.
- Hoyt, Franklyn (1950-12-01). "The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad". The Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly. 32 (4): 293–308. doi:10.2307/41168274. ISSN 2162-9366. JSTOR 41168274.
- "How Santa Monica Almost Became a Commercial Harbor". KCET. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
- Harrington, Marie. "A Golden Spike: The Beginning". SCV History. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- Queenan, Charles F. (May 10, 1992). "'Great Free Harbor Fight' : At Stake Was the Port Site for the Growing City of L.A." Los Angeles Times.
- Creason, Glen (April 29, 2015). "CityDig: This 1938 Map Captures the Charm of L.A.'s Under-Appreciated Yellow Cars". Los Angeles magazine.
- Marshall, Colin (April 25, 2016). "Story of cities #29: Los Angeles and the 'great American streetcar scandal'". The Guardian.
At the peak of their combined coverage and accessibility, they made Los Angeles’ public transportation the best in the country, if not the world.
- "Oil and Gas Statistics: 2007 Annual Report" (PDF). California Department of Conservation. December 31, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
- "Dynamite Bomb Fails to Cripple Llewellyn Plant," Los Angeles Times, December 26, 1910, page I-1 Library card required.
- Los Angeles Times. 1913. "Rioters Must Face the Law." December 28.
- Vicki L. Ruiz and Virginia Sánchez Korrol, eds. (2006). Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. Indiana University Press. pp. 408–10. ISBN 0253111692.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Gumprecht, Blake. 1999. The Los Angeles River: It's Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- McPhee, John. 1989. "Los Angeles Against the Mountains." In The Control of Nature. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.
- Goodridge, James D. 1982. Historic Rainstorms in California: A Study of 1,000-year Rainfalls. Sacramento: State of California Department of Natural Resources.
- Gregory Paul Williams, The Story of Hollywood: An Illustrated History. (2006)
- "City Swimming Pools Opened to All Races", Los Angeles Times, June 26, 1931, page A1
- Municipal Secession Fiscal Analysis Scoping Study www.valleyvote.net Archived 2004-11-28 at the Wayback Machine, Annexation and Detachment Map (PDF) lacity.org.
- Rayner, Richard. 2009. A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age. New York: Doubleday
- Domanick, Joe (January 25, 1998). "Public Corruption, L.A.-Style: Where Have the Notorious Gone?". Los Angeles Times. pp. M-6.
- Sitton, Tom. 2005. Los Angeles Transformed: Fletcher Bowron's Urban Reform Revival, 1938–1953. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press
- Davis, M. 1999. "Fortress Los Angeles: The militarization of public space." In M. Sorkin ed., Variations on a theme park: The new American city and the end of public space. pp. 154–180. New York: Hill and Wang.Online
- William A. Schoneberger, Ethel Pattison, and Lee Nichols, Los Angeles International Airport (2009).
- California and the Second World War: Los Angeles Metropolitan Area during World War II
- "Historic Resources Associated with African Americans in Los Angeles". National Park Service.
- Mike Sonksen (September 13, 2017). "The History of South Central Los Angeles and Its Struggle with Gentrification". KCET.
- Dan Kopf (January 28, 2016). "The Great Migration: The African American Exodus from The South". Priceonomics.
- The Second Great Migration
- Cameron McCoy (December 5, 2012). "L.A. City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present by Josh Sides (2003)". NotEvenPast.
- "Child killing sparks action against Los Angeles gangs." The Christian Science Monitor. September 25, 1995. Volume 87, Issue 210. Page 4.
- Pelisek, Christine. "Avenues of Death." LA Weekly. July 14, 2005.
- Sanchez, George J. “Why Are Multiracial Communities so Dangerous? A Comparative Look at Hawai'i; Cape Town, South Africa; and Boyle Heights, California.” Pacific Historical Review, vol. 86, no. 1, 2017, pp. 6.
- Janss Investment Company v. Walden, 196 Cal. 753 (1925)
- Avila, Eric. Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles. University of California Press, 2004. pp. 40
- Deverell, William, and Greg. Hise. A Companion to Los Angeles. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. pp. 57
- Redford, Laura. “The Intertwined History of Class and Race Segregation in Los Angeles.” Journal of Planning History, vol. 16, no. 4, 2017, pp. 305–322.
- Avila, Eric. Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles. University of California Press, 2004.
- Sides, Josh. L.A. City Limits. University of California Press, 2003. pp. 95
- Barrows v. Jackson, 346 U.S. 249 (1953)
- Sarah Williams and Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, "The Emergence of Los Angeles as a Fashion Hub: A Comparative Spatial Analysis of the New York and Los Angeles Fashion Industries," Urban Studies (2011) 48#14 pp 3043-3066.
- Fujita, Akiko (May 16, 2014). "Toyota built Torrance into the second-largest home of Japanese Americans. Now, it's leaving". The World. Public Radio International. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- Hirsch, Jerry (April 28, 2014). "Toyota to uproot from California, move to 'macho' Texas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- Mark Ellis and Richard Wright, "The Industrial Division of Labor Among Immigrants and Internal Migrants to the Los Angeles Economy," International Migration Review (1999) 33#1 pp 26-54.
- Ivan Light et al. "Immigrant Incorporation in the Garment Industry of Los Angeles," International Migration Review (1999) 33#1 pp 5-25.
- Gibbs Smith, 2006. Picturing Los Angeles, ISBN 978-1-58685-733-2
- California – Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990
- John Buntin, L.A. Noir, 2009 ISBN 978-0-307-35207-1.
- "October 1900: Population at 100,000". Los Angeles Evening Express. October 1, 1900. Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
- AP (1984-04-08). "Los Angeles Replaces Chicago as Second City". New York Times. Retrieved 2021-09-16.
- Paris Inn history
- public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Los Angeles". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 12–14. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
- Spanish and Mexican history Source: University of Southern California Project: Los Angeles: Past, Present, and Future, 1996. Adopted by the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to History of Los Angeles.|
- Los Angeles in the 1900s, a collection of newspaper articles and illustrations from 1900 through 1909
- Historical archives of the Los Angeles Fire Department
- LA as Subject (KCET.org)
- 1947 project about a range of Los Angeles history
- City streets that existed in 1903–4 but may exist no longer
- Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, UCLA Library Digital Collections