City (pop., 2000: 461,522), southwestern California, U.S. The site was originally an Indian trading camp, and Spanish ranches were located there in the 18th century. Laid out as Willmore City in 1880 and incorporated in 1888, it was renamed for its 8.5-mi (13.5-km) beach. The discovery of oil nearby in 1921 led to rapid growth. An earthquake in 1933 caused extensive damage. It is connected to the Los Angeles harbour by the Cerritos Channel. The British ocean liner Queen Mary has been moored in the harbour since 1969.