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10 Interesting Facts About Los Angeles

1. The City of Angels

Originally, the Los Angeles was called “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles,” which translates to “The Town of Our Lady, Queen of Angels.” However, the name was too long and was shortened to Los Angeles or L.A.

2. Los Angeles was part of Mexico

You probably already guessed it, but Los Angeles used to be part of Mexico. The strong Mexican cultural influences in Los Angeles are not only due to its geographical proximity. 

On September 4, 1781, the municipality of Los Angeles was founded by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve with 44 settlers on Tongva Indian land. Which later became part of Mexico after independence from Spain.

3. LA is huge

With a population of around 3.9 million, Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the USA, after New York City.  In addition, LA’s area is massive at 503 square miles. Compared to 303 square miles, which is the size of New York City.

4. Beverly Hills is not in Los Angeles

Beverly Hills is part of Hollywood, but not part of Los Angeles. It is considered a separate community. However, since it is completely surrounded by LA, it is often referred to as a neighborhood. 

5. The expensive walk of fame

The Walk of Fame was created in the late 1950s by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Theoretically, anyone can nominate a movie star for this honor. However, the star must give his or her consent when applying. In addition, the applicant agrees to pay a steep fee of $40,000 for the installation of the star.

6. From New York to Hollywood

Thomas Edison, who lived in New Jersey, held most of the country’s film patents. To escape his intellectual property claims, filmmakers moved west to LA, now the capital of the film industry.

7. Hollywoodland

Yes, the famous “Hollywood” sign originally read “Hollywoodland”. It was built in 1923 to advertise a new housing development in Los Angeles. The letters, which were 15 meters high at the time (today: 13.7 meters), were illuminated by 4,000 light bulbs. The lettering was actually only supposed to hang for a year, but it quickly became a symbol of the emerging film industry. In the meantime, the “land” addition disappeared, as did the lighting. The high cost of restoring the sign was the main reason for its shortening.

8. Hugh Heffner saved the Hollywood sign

To save the landmark, Hugh Hefner held a charity event at the Playboy Mansion. Individual letters of the Hollywood sign were ceremoniously “auctioned off” for $27,700 per letter. A colorful mishmash of celebrities participated in the auction: Alice Cooper “bought” an “O”, Gene Autry bought an “L,” and Andy Williams sponsored the “W.”

Thanks to the help of these and other donors, the sign was reworked.

9. Los Angeles is waiting for "The Big O"

The city of millions is located in an active earthquake zone. Small tremors are almost a daily occurrence. In the last century, hundreds of people lost their lives in California during stronger quakes. 

Experts expect a giant earthquake of catastrophic dimensions, which they believe is already overdue. This giant earthquake is also called “The Big O.”

10. Its economy is booming

If Los Angeles were its own country, its economy would be larger than Saudi Arabia’s, Switzerland’s, and Sweden’s, with a GDP of about 960 billion in 2019.

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