17 UNREAL Facts about the History of Los Angeles!

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Los Angeles feels like it has been on top of the world for years and years and years.  We are here to give you the full scoop on everything that you didn’t know, but always wanted to know, about the city of angels and stars!

Did you know that Los Angeles first name was not LA? It was El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora Reina de los Angeles sobre el Rio Porciuncula, which means: “The town of our lady queen of the angels on the Porciuncula River. Luckily, they shortened it!

From Hollywood to sports to graffiti, you can find all the incredible Los Angeles fun facts that you have been hungering for when you keep reading!

Let’s take a walk with the stars through Tinseltown!

History of Downtown Los Angeles

History of Downtown Los Angeles

Photo credit – kcet

#1 – Olympic Games Anyone?

Downtown Los Angeles is home to a bevy of famous architectural wonders, museums, parks, and sites! Grand Park is a 12-acre beautiful green park right in the middle of the concrete craziness. This park is expected to be one of the venues for the 2028 Olympic Games! We’re talking marathons and road cycling!

#2 – All That Glitters

Tinseltown has more than just stars. It also is filled with platinum, silver, and gold! Downtown LA is home to the Jewelry District which is the biggest jewelry hub in the USA. The first store to make it to Downtown LA was the Laykin Diamond Company and Harry Winston & Co store, which set up shop in 1931. Now there are 5,000 stores crammed and jammed into six city blocks!

Ready to book? Here are our favorite areas to stay in Los Angeles!

 

History of Los Angeles Rams

History of Los Angeles Rams

Photo credit – discoverlosangeles.com

#3 – When Football Feels Like Ping Pong

The Los Angeles Rams were first the Cleveland Rams, founded in 1936 before they moved to LA in 1946. They then were relocated to St. Louis between 1995 to 2015, before coming back to Los Angeles. Talk about a game of ping pong— going back and forth and back and forth! Glad they are now back home in LA.

#4 – Dollar, Dollar Bills Ya’ll!

The LA Rams currently are calling the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum home, but are planning to switch to the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park by 2020. If you’re wondering what a ticket costs to see a Rams’ home game, the 2018 price was $110 per ticket. In 2017, it was $72.71. Everything in LA seems to be on the rise!

Need some inspiration? Check out what you can do in Los Angeles no matter how long your visit is!

 

History of Los Angeles Dodgers

History of Los Angeles Dodgers

Photo credit – La Dodgers

#5 – What’s In A Name?

The LA Dodgers started out as the Brooklyn Dodgers, a Major League baseball team founded back in 1876. It wasn’t until 1957 that they relocated to Los Angeles. However, the team’s name has always been inspired by Brooklyn residents who were skilled ad dodging the city’s trolley streetcar network. Pedestrians would have to dart out of the way, daily! #dodgingskills

#6 – Stadium Pride

The Dodger Stadium is 55 years old, which is pretty old where baseball stadiums are concerned. It is the oldest stadium West of the Mississippi River! And it’s the third oldest Major League Baseball stadium in the USA. Fenway and Wrigley take the cake, but the Dodger Stadium is sitting pretty at spot number three.

Planning your trip to Los Angeles? Have a look at our day trip guide to California!

 

The History of the Los Angeles Graffiti Art

The History of the Los Angeles Graffiti Art

Photo credit – slga.typepad.com

#7 – Tag!

In the 1980s, New York was the graffiti capital of the United States. However, in 1983 in Los Angeles art-based graffiti, not just gang graffiti, became a real thing. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Los Angeles really took the graffiti world by storm. We’re talking about artists like AYER, who changed the game and was one of the most influential graffiti artists in LA history.

Need to move your legs? Take a walking tour in Los Angeles!

 

History of the Los Angeles Lakers

History of the Los Angeles Lakers

Photo credit – www.nba.com

#8 – In Tribute To The Lakes

The Los Angeles Lakers are a professional basketball team that has to be one of the most popular professional sports teams…ever! They were founded in 1946 as the Detroit Gems, but they quickly moved to Minneapolis in 1947. They underwent a name change in honor of the beloved Minnesota nickname: “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

#9 – We Are The Champions!

The LA Lakers have played for three different leagues: the NBL, the BAA, and the NBA. Over the years, they have won 16 league championships, 29 conference titles, and 31 division crowns. They also have had quite a few players who have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, such as Wilt Chamberlain and Magic Johnson! With names like Wilt and Magic, there has to be something special about these guys!

 

Avoid the crowds! Check out our Best Time to Visit San Francisco, California Guide to San Francisco to yourself!

History of the Los Angeles Oil Industry

History of the Los Angeles Oil Industry

Photo credit – www.stand.la

#10 – We Struck Gold! We Mean…Oil!

In 1892, oil was discovered in Los Angeles close to where the Dodger Stadium is located. It didn’t take long, by the year 1923 to be specific, until Los Angeles produced 25% of the world’s oil!

#11 – Making Bank

Los Angeles actually sits just on top of the third largest oil field in the entire continental USA. Whoa! Interestingly, part of the property of Beverly Hills High School produces 400 barrels of oil per day. Of course, the school gets a big check in the mail every year for around $300,000. That school makes bank!

Gay History of Los Angeles

Gay History of Los Angeles

Photo credit – http://somanym.blogspot.com

#12 – LGBT Archives

It was in Los Angeles that the National Gay and Lesbian Archives, ONE, was created that fostered LGBT scholarship. It was founded at the University of Southern California in LA, and is officially the oldest LGBT organization in the USA, with the largest amount of LGBT materials and publications in the world!

#13 – We Got Property!

The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), a church that catered specifically to the LGBT community, was the first gay and lesbian organization in the United States to officially own property in the United States. Today, the MCC is the biggest LGBT ministry in the world with a total of 172 churches in 37 different countries!

Let’s make this simple. These are the best hotels in Los Angeles!

 

Immigrant History of Los Angeles

Immigrant History of Los Angeles

Photo credit – Wikimedia

#14 – By The Numbers

The Immigration Act of 1965 launched a massive wave of immigrants coming to Los Angeles. By 1970, 11.3% of LA residents were foreign-born and by 2000, that percentage rose to 36.2%. It’s also worth noting that in 2000, 4.2 million Latino and Hispanic people lived in LA. Only Mexico City had a bigger population of Latinos and Hispanics!

The History of Los Angeles Film Studios

The History of Los Angeles Film Studios

Photo credit – lafilm.edu

#15 – Lights! Camera! Action!

In the early 1900s, film companies headed down from New York to Los Angeles in droves. The reason was that they needed plenty of natural sunlight to expose film because their electric lights just weren’t strong enough! Some films even were shot on top of roofs to try to capture as much sunlight as possible!

#16 – The First and Foremost

Opening in October 1911, Nestor Studios was, in fact, the very first film studio in Hollywood. In the same year, 15 more film studios came to Hollywood too! Nester just beat them all to the punch. Hats off to Nestor!

Do you want more Art or History? Find museums in Los Angeles that fit your interests!

 

History of the Los Angeles Freeways

History of the Los Angeles Freeways

Photo credit – kcet.org

#17 – Toll-Free: Freeway!

The first freeway in the United States was built in Los Angeles! It was toll-free and was called the Arroyo Seco Freeway. It linked Pasadena and downtown Los Angeles and opened in 1940. Now it has a new name, simply the Pasadena Freeway, also known as Highway 110. Although it was up to modern standards back when it was built, now it’s known for being narrow and a bit outdated.

 

Final Thoughts

La-La-Land is filled to the brim with glitter, glitz, glamour and a whole lot of interesting history. From oil fields to freeways, there sure is more to Los Angeles than just Hollywood.

We hope that we trained a bright spotlight right on the city of Angels and that you learned a thing or two, or maybe even seventeen, new facts about Tinseltown!

We didn’t even get to cover the Zoot Suit Riot of 1943 or anything related to the wonderful world of Disney! Los Angeles is simply too big, bright, and shiny for one article.

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About the Author Lily Allen-Duenas

Lily Allen-Duenas is a wandering yoga instructor, massage therapist, and reiki healer. For the last two years she’s been journeying around the world, teaching yoga on island resorts in Cambodia, surf hostels in Sri Lanka, and wellness centers in the Phillipines. Lily loves building her life around her passions, health, wellness, and travel. You can follow her journey at wildyogatribe.com or get social with her @wildyogatribe

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