History of Long Beach
Modern history of long beach begins with a Spanish land grant in 1784. Manuel Nieto started a rancho which quickly sprawled and at one point the area was divided into the Rancho Los Cerritos and the Rancho Los Alamitos. In 1866, Rancho Los Cerritos was sold to Lewellyn Bixby, whose family soon became prominent ranchers and developers of Long Beach. A new town began to emerge in the 1882, founded by William Willmore. It was initially going to be called Willmore City but as its founder failed to create a new farming community, which was his original intention, he was bought out of the land and left town. The community was named Long Beach.
Long Beach was in the center of a competition between Southern Pacific Railroad and the young Santa Fe Railroad, which attracted a lot of visitors and caused a real estate boom in 1885.
The City of Long Beach was officially incorporated in 1897. In the first decade of the 20th century Long Beach was among the fastest-growing cities in the USA. The Port of Long Beach was established in 1911 and ten years later oil was discovered on Signal Hill.
In 1933, Long beach was hit by a devastating earthquake, after which Downtown Long Beach was reconstructed mainly in Art Deco style. Before the World War II, Long Beach had a sizeable Japanese-American population, However, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, most of them were sent to internment camps across California and after the war many of them moved elsewhere and never came back to the city.
After the war, Long Beach continued to grow both as a seaside resort and as a major maritime and oil center. The luxury cruise liner “Queen Mary” was purchased in 1967 and permanently docked in Long Beach harbor, where it continues to be a major tourist attraction. Aquarium of the Pacific, another notable tourist attraction, opened in 1998.
Geography and Climate
Long beach occupies an area of 51,473 square miles. It completely surrounds the city of Signal Hill.
The climate in Long Beach is Mediterranean, with strong influences of semi-arid climate. The weather is mild throughout the year and the humidity rarely coincides with heat, which makes heat waves more tolerable. In the summer, the city is often covered in low clouds and fog. Rainfall occurs mostly during winter months.
Long beach suffers some of the worst air pollution in Southern California, which is probably because of the proximity of the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as the South Bay oil refineries.
Population of Long Beach
According to the U.S. Census, in 2010 Long Beach had a population of 462,257. The racial makeup in the city was 40.8% Hispanics or Latinos of any race, 29.4% non-Hispanic Whites, 13.5% African American, 12.9% Asian, 1.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% Native American, 20.3% some other race and 5.3% two or more races.
Until the 1950s, Long Beach was a predominantly white city and the majority of the population was European-Americans. Today, the situation is quite different and in 2000 USA Today ranked Long Beach as the most ethnically diverse large city in the USA. It has a large Pacific Islander population and also a significant American Indian population.
Cambodian population in Long Island is the largest one in the USA and the second-largest outside of Asia (after Paris).
In 2000, the median household income was $37,270 and the per capita income was $19,040.
The economy in Long Beach is based mostly on the maritime industries and activities related to the Port of Long Beach, as well as on oil and oil-related industries and tourism.
The largest employers in the city are Long Beach Unified School District, Boeing, California State University, Long Beach, City of Long Beach, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach City College, United States Postal Service, St. Mary Medical Center and Verizon California.
Some of the companies that have headquarters in Long Beach include U.S. Epson, Inc., Pioneer Electronics, Scan Health Plan, Molina Healthcare and Healthcare Property Investors.
Tourist Attractions and Culture
The historic Queen Mary ship and the Aquarium of the Pacific are the major tourist attractions in Long Beach. Recreation Park, El Dorado Nature Center, Long Beach GreenBelt, Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos also attract many visitors.
In addition, the city offers a number of excellent museums for the art lovers, most notably the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Museum of Latin American Art and the University Art Museum, as well as the galleries and shops in the East Village Arts District and a number of murals and street art throughout the city.
The city is home to the Long Beach Symphony and the Long Beach Opera. One of the most popular venues is the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.
A number of popular music groups and musicians have their origins in Long Beach, most notably Snoop Dogg, Sublime, T.S.O. L. and Crystal Antlers.
Theatre scene is also very strong in Long Beach, with companies and venues such as Musical Theatre West, International City Theatre, the Long Beach Playhouse and Long Beach Shakespeare Company, as well as many smaller, independent and “black-box” theatres.
Long Beach is home to the California State University, Long Beach, the largest campus of the California State University System and the second largest university in California by enrollment. Other institutions of higher education in the city include Long Beach City College (with two campuses - Liberal Arts Campus and Pacific Coast Campus) and DeVry University, Long Beach.