Los Angeles, often known as L.A. and nicknamed “The City of Angels,” is the biggest city in California and the second largest in the United States. It has an estimated population of four million, and its seat, Los Angeles County, is the most populated and one of the most diverse counties in the city. In 2008, Forbes.com ranked L.A. the eighth most economically powerful city in the world.
The Chumash Native American and Tongva tribes were the first settlers of the Los Angeles coastal area. In 1542, a Portuguese explorer by the name of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, claimed the area of Southern California for the Spanish Empire, and was recognized to be the first European to arrive in the area. In 1769, Gaspar de Portola, along with a Franciscan missionary named Juan Crespi, reached the present site of Los Angeles and saw its potential to become a large settlement. The area became a town in 1781and was named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels on the Porciúncula River). It became a part of Mexico in 1821, following its independence from Spain. It was then bought as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, making it a part of the United States. It was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months after California became a state.
The city Los Angeles is rich in beauty and originality. It has some of the best art museums in the country, a world-class orchestra, and many other destinations that are as culturally diverse as the city itself. Some of the best places to go to are: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles Philharmonic, A Noise Within, Aquarium of the Pacific, Fowler Museum at UCLA, and Skirball Cultural Center. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a great place to explore the vast collection of the museum, which includes ancient pottery, European masters, and contemporary installations. The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live offers a mixture of high-tech exhibits and memorabilia, such as a collection of Michael Jackson’s infamous beaded jackets and a letter from Buddy Holly. Los Angeles Philharmonic is one of the best orchestras in the city. A Noise Within is an acclaimed theater company in Los Angeles. Aquarium of the Pacific offers a chance to see stingrays and sharks at an aquarium. Fowler Museum at UCLA offers interactive exhibits that focus on art and cultural artifacts from Africa, Asia and the Americas. Skirball Cultural Center showcases exhibits about Jewish history and culture.
Entertainment (such as recorded music, interactive games, motion pictures, and television), tourism, apparel, fashion, petroleum, international trade, technology, and aerospace are some of the driving forces that are shaping the economy of Los Angeles today. Other significant industries also include: transportation, healthcare, law, telecommunications, finance, and media productions. Los Angeles is also the home of six Fortune 500 companies, including: Northrop Grunman, (aerospace contractor), Occidental Petroleum (energy company), Health Net (healthcare provider), Reliance Steel and Aluminum (metals distributor), AECOM (engineering firm), and CB Richard Ellis (real estate group).
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