Los Angeles has a rich history of both immigrants and migrants hoping for a new life in California. This city is full of people with stories of how and why they chose to move here.
The origin story of Los Angeles began with the Spaniards. Forty-six Spanish settlers founded the pueblo of Los Angeles on September 4, 1781. Named in honor of the Virgin Mary, its full name was “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Rio de Porciúncula, or the Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels by the river of Porciúncula.” Pueblos, or towns, were established along the Alta California coast as farming posts for those immigrating from Spain and what is now called Mexico (Rawls and Bean 30, 44).
By the early 1900s, the Los Angeles Basin had become “the most populous region in the state” (Rawls and Bean 7). Many chose L.A. for a variety of reasons including agriculture, real estate, and in my family’s case, medical treatment (Rawls and Bean 206). Some of my distant relatives migrated from another state in the 1920s after hearing about an orthopedic hospital in Los Angeles. One of their children needed a specialist to treat a serious bone infection. They moved their whole family hoping for a cure.
Los Angeles is now a thriving city made up of people from different cultures, each with their own story. My family found a cure in Los Angeles and settled there. Ask your family members or friends to share their unique stories; you might be surprised by what you learn.
Rawls, James J. and Walton Bean. California: An Interpretive History. Tenth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2012.