Los Angeles or LA stands for the city of angels. And, its temperate weather, palm trees, blue skies and golden sunshine is known the world over. It is the largest city in California and the second-largest city in the United States, after New York City. The city is situated along the Pacific Ocean, in a basin in South California. It extends through the Santa Monica Mountains into the San Fernando Valley.
Some facts about LA that we have picked for you:
By 1930, Los Angeles produced a quarter of the world’s oil. Yes, that’s true! The Los Angeles City oil field was first discovered in 1893. Edward L. Doheny and Charles A. Canfield first unearthed this oil field.This proved to be an auspicious start because the resulting oil boom generated 45 barrels of oil per day. Within 4 years, there were 500 wells and LA was leading the country in oil production. And in four decades, LA was producing a quarter of the entire world’s oil.
Hollywood Film Industry
We have to thank the famous inventor Thomas Edison for the LA film industry. The film industry moved to LA to flee his patents. The story goes that Harvey and Daeida Wilcox bought land and named it Hollywood in 1886. But they wanted to farm figs here originally. Unable to find success, they eventually divided and sold the property.
During this time, Thomas Edison was busy turning the East Coast into the world’s film capital. He was armed with several patents (including one for the kinetograph, AKA the first, ever video camera). He opened America’s first movie studio, Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey.
But competition grew. Edison demonstrated his acumen to squelch it. After weaponizing his patents, any movie made during this time had to go through Edison. And to avoid this monopoly, filmmakers turned west. Thus the film industry got a kick-start.
Los Angeles’ ‘HOLLYWOOD’ sign originally said ‘HOLLYWOODLAND’. The iconic landmark and tourist attraction was built in 1923. It originally read HOLLYWOODLAND.
The reason was that the sign was originally intended to advertise a segregated housing development. It wasn’t until 1949 that the ‘LAND’ portion was cut.
Los Angeles has the most diverse population of Buddhist sects in the world. According to reports, there are 184 Buddhist centers in Los Angeles County. These can be traced back to the early 20th century, when Japanese immigrants erected the first Buddhist temple in 1905.
There are 11 miles of tunnels under Los Angeles. The best part is that their origins are pretty remarkable.
One tunnel for instance was used to transport prisoners from a jail to a county courthouse. Others were used to traffic mobsters, murderers, and over one billion dollars in cash money. These days, the tunnels have been repurposed by LA’s metro system.
Los Angeles was the first city to measure the speed of light. In 1926, acclaimed scientist, Dr. Albert A. Michelson devised a plan to bounce light between distant points. He was able to measure the speed of light with accuracy. In fact, even the great Albert Einstein has acknowledged Michelson’s work.
Los Angeles is the birthplace of the Internet. On 26 October 1969, the Internet was born there. On this day, the first message ever transmitted between the first two computers connected on a new network design.
Did you know that Santa Monica’s Pacific Wheel is the world’s first and only solar-powered Ferris wheel? In a world where environmental concerns are on the rise, this is truly remarkable!
Los Angeles is one of only 2 megacities in the world that has (wild) big cats living in its city limits. They are mostly found in remote, open areas. The other megacity is none other than Mumbai in India!
Another interesting fact about Los Angeles is that over 100 mountain lions too reside within the city limits. No doubt, it is a unique concrete jungle.
The city of Los Angeles uses goats to prevent wildfires. Yes, yes you heard it right!
Goats are an unlikely resource for Los Angeles. They graze on invasive grasses and dried brush and help prevent wildfires.
Car chases are a citywide pastime in Los Angeles. If Pamplona in Spain has the running of the bulls, Los Angeles has car chases. And, observing car chases have emerged as something of a citywide tradition.