The History of Los Angeles: From its Founding to the Present Day

The history of Los Angeles dates back to 1781, when 44 settlers from New Spain established a permanent settlement in what is now the center of the city. This was done under the instructions of the Spanish governor of Las California, Felipe de Neve, and with the authorization of Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli. The area was originally home to the Chumash and Tongva indigenous peoples, and was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542.Today, Los Angeles is a bustling metropolis with a diverse economy and a vibrant culture. It is home to the annual Academy Awards, the Primetime Emmys, the Grammy Awards and many other entertainment industry awards.

The city is also known for its car-centric lifestyle, its idealization of single-family housing, and its informal atmosphere. The eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains separates the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley. This area is rich in native plant species, including the rare Los Angeles sunflower. In 1907, construction began on an aqueduct that would carry water from Owens Lake to Los Angeles.

This aqueduct was completed in 1913 and is still in use today. In 1910, two film companies – Biograph and Selig-Polyscope – began shooting in Los Angeles. This marked the beginning of Hollywood's golden age, which was cemented with the arrival of director Cecil B. DeMille in 1913.In 1923, a giant Hollywood sign was erected on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills.

Made of wood, steel and telephone poles, it had 4,000 light bulbs so potential homeowners could see it from all over Los Angeles. The city also has a strong connection to its Spanish roots. This is symbolized by a rosary of 77 beads that surrounds the fruits on the official seal of Los Angeles. These beads represent the role played by the Spanish missions in the early years of Los Angeles.

The city has also been shaped by its residents – known as Angelenos – who are descended from many different cultures and backgrounds. One example is Eugene Biscailuz, great-grandson of one of Los Angeles' original settlers, who served as sheriff of Los Angeles from 1932 to 1958.The port of Los Angeles is located in San Pedro Bay, approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of downtown Los Angeles. The city also contracts directly for local and commuter bus service through the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT).

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