Los Angeles

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Los Angeles

geographical name

City (pop., 2000: 3,694,820), southern California, U.S. The second largest city in the U.S., it is situated between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Bisected by the Santa Monica Mountains, which separate the neighbourhoods of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Pacific Palisades from the San Fernando Valley, it is near the San Andreas Fault, and earthquakes are frequent. It began in 1771 as a Spanish mission; in 1781 settlers claimed the land as El Pueblo de la Reyna de los Angeles (the Town of the Queen of the Angels). Taken by U.S. forces in the Mexican War, it prospered in the wake of the 1849 gold rush. Incorporated in 1850, the city grew rapidly after the arrival of the railroads in 1876 and 1885. In 1913 an aqueduct was built to supply it with water from the slopes of the Sierra Nevada. It was struck by a major earthquake in 1994. Sites of interest include early Spanish missions, the Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Educational institutions include the University of Southern California, Occidental College, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Los Angeles, visit Britannica.com.

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