Long Beach, California
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Long Beach Business Signs
Indigenous people had inhabited the southern coast of California for 10,000 years before the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th century. The dominant group was the Tongva people. However, by the mid-19th century, these people were forced to relocate. Around 1880, 4,000 acres of the Rancho Los Cerritos were bought out by a Los Angeles syndicate going by the name of the ‘Long Beach Land and Water Company.’ Thus the city became ‘Long Beach’. It was officially incorporated as a city in 1897.
Modern day Long Beach, CA has a population of 462,257, according to a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau estimate. This makes it the 36th-largest city in the country and the seventh largest in the state of California. Long Beach is the second largest city in the Greater Los Angeles Area (after Los Angeles herself) and is a principal city of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. This MSA, according to a census estimate, has a population of 12,828,837 people.
The city of Long Beach, CA prides itself on the nickname the ‘Aquatic Capital of America’. The Port of Long Beach, according to a 2013 report, is responsible for the passage of more than $140 billion worth of cargo each year, which makes it the second-busiest seaport in the United States. The port employs more than 30,000 people in the city, 316,000 throughout Southern California, and 1.4 million throughout the country.
Long Beach, CA’s largest employer, after its port, is the Long Beach Unified School District, which is responsible for 11,334 jobs, according to Long Beach’s 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The city’s government employs 5,758 people and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center employs 5,743. The city’s largest private employer is Boeing, employing 5,186 people. Other companies based in the Long Beach, CA area include TABC, Inc., U.S. Epson, Inc., Pioneer Electronics, SCAN Health Plan, Molina Healthcare, Inc., Health Care Property Investors, and the Queen Mary.
Speaking of the Queen Mary, this art-deco ocean liner, launched in 1934, is about 200 ft longer than the infamous Titanic, and was famous for being the fastest in the world from 1936 to 1952. Today, however, (and since 1967) the Queen Mary serves as a permanently moored tourist attraction, which includes restaurants, a museum, and even a hotel. She is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Long Beach, CA boasts another remarkable tourist attraction. The Aquarium of the Pacific, originally known as the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, opened in 1998 and hosts 1.5 million visitors each year. The Aquarium contains a collection of over 11,000 animals spanning 500 different species. The exhibits themselves range in size from a capacity of about 5,000 to 350,000 gallons of water.
The Long Beach Grand Prix has been held in the city since 1975. These days, it is an IndyCar race. During the same weekend, the city also hosts a United SportsCar Series race, a Formula D round, and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. The city is also home to the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, which opened in 2006. Since 1954, the Long Beach State 49ers baseball team has been an active presence in the city. They play at Blair Field, and are known, affectionately, by their fans as the ‘Dirtbags.’
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