Los Angeles History

Los Angeles was founded as a Spanish pueblo in 1781. It was passed to Mexico and then to the United States. It is now the second-largest U.S. city. Via Hollywood, it has long served as America's cultural beacon to the world.

The Gay Bars and Vice Squads of 1950's Los Angeles

In Los Angeles throughout the 1950s, gay men lived under constant harassment by the police. They risked ostracism and loss of employment if outed.

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  • c.5000 B.C. - The Gabrielino-Tongva arrive in what is now Los Angeles, living on the mainland and also amongst San Catalina and the other offshore islands.
  • 1769 - A Spanish colonization effort results in the founding of San Diego. San Francisco follows in 1776, and Los Angeles is founded in 1781 by forty-four settlers.
  • 1848 - California becomes part of the United States after the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo is signed. It becomes a state in 1850.
  • 1850s - Los Angeles becomes a notorious outlaw town with one of the highest murder rates in the United States.
  • 1871 - The Chinese Massacre of 1871: 19 Chinese are lynched on October 24.
  • 1913 - The first Los Angeles Aqueduct is completed, running for over 200 miles and tying the Owens River to the city.
  • 1914 - Cecil DeMille and Oscar Apfel's The Squaw Man becomes the first feature film to be made in Hollywood.
  • 1932 - Los Angeles hosts the 1932 Summer Olympics. The city would also win the bidding for the 1984 Olympics.
  • 1940s - East Los Angeles becomes increasingly Mexican-American as other groups move out. Los Angeles in general becomes a center of the Mexican community in the United States.
  • 1965 - The Watts Riots become the first major riots of the 1960s. Lasting six days, they kill 32 people and cause over $40 million in property damage.
  • 1965 - Increased Mexican and Asian immigration is spurred by the US Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, having a particular effect on the demographics of the West Coast.
  • 1973 - Enter the Dragon is released less than a month after the untimely death of Bruce Lee, a martial arts icon.
  • 1975 - Over 100,000 Vietnamese refugees flee to the United States after the victory of Ho Chi Minh and North Vietnam.
  • c.1980 - Widespread cases of the AIDS virus begin to appear in the United States.
  • 2000s - Mexican immigration to the United States reaches around 750,000 people per year at its peak, before declining after 2007.
  • 2009 - Asians contribute a plurality of immigrants to the United States for the first time.