Today Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the nation and easily one of the most instantly recognizable. LA has become synonymous with Hollywood and today is the most powerful city on the West Coast. However, the city was once the home of several indigenous tribes. It wasn’t until 1542 that the region was explored by a sailor from Portugal and then it was another two years before Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola officially founded an outpost within what is today the LA boundary.
Spanish Settlers Move-In
Over time, the outpost became more popular. In 1781 a group of 44 settlers started a farming village named El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula. Translated this means “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula which was obviously shortened eventually to just Los Angeles. Soon after a variety of Spanish missions settled in the area, soon after in 1821 Mexico became independent from Spain and California became controlled by Mexico.
Los Angeles Joins the USA
In 1846 the Mexican American War began and eventually the US gained control of California which was great timing given soon after in 1848 gold was found and before too long the great Gold Rush was underway. For a long time, LA was separate from the rest of the US separated by the desert land, but in 1881 the Pacific Railroad finally connected Los Angeles to the rest of the US which tempted many settlers of the East who saw sunshine and orange groves as the perfect escape from the harsh winters and hard land.
Hollywood Finds Its Home
While the environment itself drove people to settle in it, the population quickly grew when in 1913 D.W. Griffith started directing movies in the LA area. Soon Cecil B. de Mille joined him and a small area known as Hollywood became part of LA and the rest quickly became history.
Today LA is the epicenter of the film and movie industry and is home to a population of almost four million. It is a very diverse city known worldwide as the home of Hollywood, the rich and famous, and one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world.