Los Angeles?population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621?is the most populous city in California and second most populous in the United States, on a land area of 468.67 square miles. Often known by its initials LA, the city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area, which contains 12,828,837 people as of 2010, and which is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world and the second largest in the United States. Los Angeles is also the county seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated in the United States. Los Angeles inhabitants are referred to as "Angeleno."
Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.
Nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a world center of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology, and education. Home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. Los Angeles has been ranked the third richest city and fifth most powerful and influential city in the world, behind only New York City in the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion, making it the third largest economic center in the world. As the home base of Hollywood, it is known as the "Entertainment Capital of the World", leading the world in the creation of motion pictures, television production, video games, and recorded music. The importance of the entertainment business to the city has led many celebrities to call Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs home. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics. Los Angeles is also home to renowned universities such as the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabriele?os) and Chumash Native American tribes thousands of years ago. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese-born explorer, claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542. Gaspar de Portola and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespo, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769.
In 1771, Franciscan friar Junipero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the town named El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles del Rio de Porci?ncula (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the Porci?ncula River). Two-thirds of the settlers were mestizo or mulattoid with African, Amerindian, and European ancestry. The settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820 the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles.
New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, and the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico. During Mexican rule, Governor Pio Pico, made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican-American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga. Railroads arrived with the completion of the Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876. Oil was discovered in 1892, and by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000 people, taxing the city's water supply. The Los Angeles Aqueduct built under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city.
In 1910, Los Angeles had just annexed Hollywood, and there were already at least ten movie companies operating in the city. By 1921, more than 80% of the world's film industry was concentrated in L.A. Money generated by the industry kept the city insulated from much of the economic pain suffered by the rest of the country during the Great Depression. By 1930, the population surpassed one million. In 1932, the city hosted the Summer Olympics. After the second world war, the city grew more rapidly than ever, sprawling into the San Fernando Valley.In 1969, Los Angeles became one of the birthplaces of the Internet, as the first ARPANET transmission was sent from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to SRI in Menlo Park. In 1984, the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games for the second time. Despite being boycotted by 14 Communist countries, the 1984 Olympics became vastly more financially successful than any previous, and only the second Olympics to turn a profit until then the other, according to an analysis of contemporary newspaper reports, being the 1932 Summer Olympics, also held in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is irregularly shaped and covers a total area of 502.7 square miles, comprising 468.7 square miles of land and 34.0 square miles of water. The city extends for 44 miles longitudinally and for 29 miles latitudinally. The perimeter of the city is 342 miles. Los Angeles is both flat and hilly. The highest point in the city is 5,074 ft Mount Lukens, located at the northeastern end of the San Fernando Valley. The eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains stretches from Downtown to the Pacific Ocean and separates the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley. Other hilly parts of Los Angeles include the Mt. Washington area north of Downtown, eastern parts such as Boyle Heights, the Crenshaw district around the Baldwin Hills, and the San Pedro district.
The Los Angeles River, which is largely seasonal, is the primary drainage channel. It was straightened and lined in 51 miles of concrete by the Army Corps of Engineers to act as a flood control channel. The river begins in the Canoga Park district of the city, flows east from the San Fernando Valley along the north edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, and turns south through the city center, flowing to its mouth in the Port of Long Beach at the Pacific Ocean. The smaller Ballona Creek flows into the Santa Monica Bay at Playa del Rey.
Los Angeles is rich in native plant species due in part to a diversity in habitats, including beaches, wetlands, and mountains. The most prevalent botanical environment is coastal sage scrub, which covers the hillsides in combustible chaparral. Native plants include: California poppy, matilija poppy, toyon, Coast Live Oak, and Giant Wildrye. Many of these native species, such as the Los Angeles sunflower, have become so rare as to be considered endangered. Though it is not native to the area, the official tree of Los Angeles is the Coral Tree (Erythrina caffra) and the official flower of Los Angeles is the Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae). Mexican Fan Palms, California Fan Palms, and Canary Island Palms can be seen throughout the Los Angeles, despite the latter being non-indigenous to Southern California. Los Angeles is subject to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The geologic instability has produced numerous faults, which cause approximately 10,000 earthquakes annually. One of the major faults is the San Andreas Fault. Located at the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, it is predicted to be the source of Southern California's next big earthquake. Major earthquakes to have hit the Los Angeles area include the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, the 1971 San Fernando earthquake near Sylmar, and the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Nevertheless, all but a few quakes are of low intensity and are not felt. The Los Angeles basin and metropolitan area are also at risk from blind thrust earthquakes. Parts of the city are also vulnerable to tsunamis; harbor areas were damaged by waves from the Valdivia earthquake in 1960.
The Los Angeles area is also subject to phenomena typical of a microclimate, causing extreme variations in temperature in close physical proximity to each other. For instance, the average July maximum temperature at the Santa Monica Pier is 75 F whereas it is 95 F in Canoga Park. The city, like much of the southern California coast, is subject to a late spring/early summer weather phenomenon called "June Gloom." This involves overcast or foggy skies in the morning which yield to sun by early afternoon.
Downtown Los Angeles averages 15.14 inches of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November - April) with generally moderate rain showers, but usually as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms during Winter storms. The coast gets slightly less rainfall, while the mountains get slightly more. However the San Fernando Valley Region of Los Angeles can get between 16 and 20 inches of rain per year. Years of average rainfall are rare; the usual pattern is bimodal, with a short string of dry years (perhaps 7-8 inches/180-200 millimetres) followed by one or two wet years that make up the average. Snowfall is extremely rare in the city basin, but the mountains within city limits typically receive snowfall each winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in downtown Los Angeles was 2 inches (5 cm) in 1932. The highest recorded temperature in downtown Los Angeles is 113 F on September 27, 2010 and the lowest recorded temperature is 24 F on December 22, 1944.
The city is divided into over 80 districts and neighborhoods, many former incorporated places or communities annexed by the city. Greater Los Angeles includes a number of enclaves and nearby communities. Generally, the city is divided into the following areas: Downtown Los Angeles, East Los Angeles and Northeast Los Angeles, South Los Angeles (still often colloquially referred to as South Central by locals), the Harbor Area, Greater Hollywood, Wilshire, the Westside and the San Fernando and Crescenta Valleys.
Los Angeles is often comically billed as the "Creative Capital of the World", due to the fact that one in every six of its residents works in a creative industry. According to the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, "there are more artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers and musicians living and working in Los Angeles than any other city at any time in the history of civilization."
Los Angeles is home to Hollywood, globally recognized epicenter of the motion picture industry. Testament to its preeminence in film, the city hosts the Academy Awards, oldest and one of the most prominent award ceremonies in the world. Los Angeles is home to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, oldest film school in the United States. Performing arts play a major role in Los Angeles' cultural identity. According to the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, "there are more than 1,100 annual theatrical productions and 21 openings every week." The Los Angeles Music Center is "one of the three largest performing arts centers in the nation," with more than 1.3 million visitors per year. The Walt Disney Concert Hall, centerpiece of the Music Center, is home to the prestigious Los Angeles Philharmonic. Notable organizations such as Center Theatre Group, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the Los Angeles Opera are also resident companies of the Music Center. Talent is locally cultivated at premier institutions such as the Colburn School and the USC Thornton School of Music.
The major daily English-language newspaper in the area is the Los Angeles Times. La Opinion is the city's major daily Spanish-language paper, and The Korea Times is the city's major daily Korean-language paper. Investor's Business Daily is distributed from its L.A. corporate offices, which are headquartered in Playa Del Rey. There are also a number of smaller regional newspapers, alternative weeklies and magazines, including the Daily News (San Fernando Valley), LA Weekly, Los Angeles CityBeat, L.A. Record (music scene in the Greater Los Angeles Area), Los Angeles magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Daily Journal (legal industry paper), The Hollywood Reporter and Variety (entertainment industry papers), and Los Angeles Downtown News. In addition to the major papers, numerous local periodicals serve immigrant communities in their native languages, including Armenian, English, Korean, Persian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, and Arabic. Many cities adjacent to Los Angeles also have their own daily newspapers whose coverage and availability overlaps into certain Los Angeles neighborhoods. Examples include The Daily Breeze (South Bay), and The Long Beach Press-Telegram. ? The economy of Los Angeles is driven by international trade, entertainment (television, motion pictures, video games, recorded music), aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion, apparel, and tourism. Los Angeles is also the largest manufacturing center in the western United States. The contiguous ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach together comprise the fifth-busiest port in the world and the most significant port in the Western Hemisphere and is vital to trade within the Pacific Rim. Other significant industries include media production, finance, telecommunications, law, healthcare, and transportation. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $735.7?billion (as of 2010), making it the third largest economic center in the world, after the Greater Tokyo Area and the New York-Newark-Bridgeport CSA. If counted as a country, the surrounding CSA has the 15th largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP. Los Angeles has been classified an "Alpha world city" according to a 2010 study by a research group at Loughborough University in England.