Long Beach, California

From Academic Kids

This article is about Long Beach, California. For other places called "Long Beach", see Long Beach.
Long Beach, California
  Image:Long Beach Sity Seal.gif
Seal of Long Beach
Location of City of Long Beach in Los Angeles County, and in California
County Los Angeles County, California
 - Total
 - Water

170.6 km² (65.9 mi²)
40.0 km² (15.4 mi²) 23.42%

 - Total (2000)
 - Density


Time zone Pacific: UTC-8


33°48'15" N
118°9'29" W

City of Long Beach (http://www.ci.long-beach.ca.us/)

Long Beach is a city located in southern Los Angeles County, California, on the Pacific coast. The Port of Long Beach is one of the busiest sea ports in the world.

Its location is 33°47' North, 118°10' West, about 20 miles (30 km) south of downtown Los Angeles. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 170.6 km² (65.9 mi²). 130.6 km² (50.4 mi²) of it is land and 40.0 km² (15.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 23.42% water. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 461,522. It is the fifth largest city in California and the second largest in Los Angeles County. Long Beach is also the largest U.S. city that is not a county seat.

According to the 2000 US Census, Long Beach is the most ethnically diverse large city in the United States. For example, Long Beach has the largest population of Cambodians outside of Cambodia, and the area along Anaheim St. is sometimes called "Little Phnom Penh". There are also sizable populations of Blacks, Mexicans, Salvadorians and other Central Americans, Filipinos, Vietnamese and other Asians [1] (http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/QTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=16000US0643000&-qr_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_DP1&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-_lang=en&-_sse=on). There is a small population of Pacific Islanders in Long Beach and the surrounding communities, especially Samoans. There is also significant population of gays and lesbians, with many gay-owned businesses along Broadway, 2nd Street and 4th Street between downtown and Belmont Shore.

The R.M.S. Queen Mary has been located in Long Beach since her retirement and now serves as a hotel and tourist attraction. The Aquarium of the Pacific, a world-class research facility, is a popular tourist destination. The Long Beach Grand Prix, an annual Indy Car race, takes place on city streets near the Convention Center and is one of the largest grand prix events in the world. Long Beach is the site of a large community college; California State University, Long Beach; the headquarters of the California State University system; and a Veterans Affairs hospital.

Signal Hill is an incorporated city surrounded entirely by Long Beach.



The area was originally occupied by the Tongva people who lived in a rancheria named Tibahangna. Along with other Tongva villages, it disappeared in the mid-1800s.

The Rancho los Cerritos was divided from the larger Rancho Los Nietos, which had been granted by the King of Spain to a mulatto soldier, Manuel Nieto. Rancho Los Cerritos was bought 1843 by John Temple, a Yankee who had come to California in 1827. Soon after he built what is now known as the "Los Cerritos Ranch House" an adobe which still stands and is a National Historic Landmark. Temple created a thriving cattle ranch and prospered, becoming the wealthiest man in Los Angeles County. Both Temple and his ranch house played important local roles in the Mexican American War.

Meanwhile, on an island in the San Pedro Bay, Mormon pioneers made an abortive attempt to establish a colony (as part of Brigham Young's plan to establish a continuous chain of settlements from the Pacific to Salt Lake).

Jotham Bixby, the "Father of Long Beach", purchased the Rancho Los Cerritos in 1866 and converted it to sheep ranching. In the 1870s Bixby sold an average of 200,000 pounds of wool annually. In 1880, Bixby sold 4,000 acres (16 km²) of the Rancho los Cerritos to William E. Willmore, who subdivided it in hopes of creating a farm community, Willmore City. He failed and was bought out by the "Long Beach Land and Water Company." They changed the name of the community to "Long Beach", which was incorporated as a city in 1888. When Bixby died in 1916 the remaining 3,500 acres (14 km²) of Rancho los Cerritos was subdivided into the neighborhoods of Bixby Knolls, California Heights, North Long Beach and part of the city of Signal Hill.

The town grew as a seaside resort (The Pike was one of the most famous beachside amusement parks on the West coast from 1910 until the 1960's) and then as an oil, Navy, and port town. The town was once referred to as "Iowa by the sea".

The Long Beach earthquake of 1933 was a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that caused significant damage to the city and surrounding areas. Most of the damage occurred in unreinforced masonry buildings, especially schools. 120 people died in this earthquake.

Long Beach used to have a sizable Japanese-American population mostly working in the fish canneries on Terminal Island and small truck farms in the area, but with intermarriage and other factors, it is now less than 1% of the population of Long Beach. There is still a Japanese Community Center and a Japanese Buddhist Church in Long Beach.

The early silent film industry in Long Beach

One of the places where the film industry started in Southern California was in Long Beach. Balboa Amusement Producing Company, also known as Balboa Studios, was located at Sixth Street and Alamitos Avenue, and they used 11 acres (45,000 m) on Signal Hill for outdoor locations. Silent movie stars who lived in Long Beach included Fatty Arbuckle and Theda Bara. The 1917 film Cleopatra, starring Theda Bara, was filmied at the Dominguez Slough just west of Long Beach, and Moses parted the Red Sea for Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 Black & White version of "The Ten Commandments" on the flat seashore of Seal Beach, southeast of Long Beach.

Shipping and transportation

Missing image
Long Beach at night

The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest seaport in the United States . The port serves shipping between the United States and the Pacific Rim. The combined operations of the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles are the busiest in the USA.

Rail shipping is provided by the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads, which carry about half transhipment from the port. Long Beach has contributed to the Alameda Corridor project to increase the capacity of the rail lines, roads, and highways connecting the port to the Los Angeles rail hub. The project, completed in 2002, created a 20 mile (32 km) long, 33 foot (10 m) deep trench in order to eliminate 200 grade crossings and cost about US$2.4 billion.

Long Beach is also the southern terminus for the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line light rail corridor. Blue Line trains run from Long Beach City Hall to Downtown Los Angeles. The MetroRail Blue Line Maintenance Shops, are also located in Long Beach just south of the Del Amo Blue Line station.

There is an Amtrak Thruway bus shuttle starting in San Pedro, with stops at the Queen Mary and downtown Long Beach, that then goes to Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, and ends in Bakersfield. There is also a Greyhound Lines terminal near downtown.

Public transportation bus service in Long Beach is provided by Long Beach Transit. Besides the normal paid bus service, Long Beach has three free routes, one called the "Village Tour D'art" in the East Village area next to Downtown, the "Pine Ave. Link", and the Passport "C" route between Downtown and the Queen Mary. The 49-passenger AquaBus water taxi stops at the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, and four other stops. Thew 75-passenger AquaLink water taxi goes from the Aquarium, the Queen Mary and to Alamitos Bay Landing next to the Long Beach Marina.

There is also limited service to Orange County through the Orange County Transit Authority. Torrance Transit goes from Downtown through the South Bay. The LADOT has service from Downtown LB to San Pedro.

The Long Beach Municipal Airport serves the Long Beach, Los Angeles, California and Orange County areas and is relatively small considering the area population. It is also the site of a major Boeing (formerly Douglas, then McDonnell Douglas) aircraft production facility, which is the city's largest employer.

Several freeways run through Long Beach, connecting it with the greater Los Angeles and Orange areas. The San Diego (405) freeway roughly bisects the city and takes commuters north or south to the Golden State (5) freeway. The Long Beach (710) freeway also runs north-south, starting at the southern end near the Port of Long Beach and terminating at the Santa Monica (10) freeway in Los Angeles. The eastern border of the city is traversed by the San Gabriel River (605) freeway, which joins the 405 at the Long Beach/Los Alamitos border. The Artesia Freeway California State Route 91 runs east-west near the northern border of Long Beach. California State Route 1 (also know as the Pacific Coast Highway or PCH) runs through Long Beach.



The Long Beach Museum of Art is owned by the City of Long Beach, and operated by the Long Beach Museum of Art Foundation, a non-profit organization. Long Beach also features the Museum of Latin American Art, founded in 1996 by Dr. Robert Gumbiner, and is the only museum in the western United States that exclusively features Latin American art.


The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra plays numerous classical and pop music concerts throughout the year. The symphony plays at the Terrace Theater in the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.

KJAZZ 88.1 FM (KKJZ) broadcasts from California State University, Long Beach. The station exclusively features jazz and blues music, and can also be listened to over the Internet.

Long Beach is the host to a number of long-running music festivals. They include the Bob Marley Reggae Festival (February), the Cajun & Zydeco Festival (May), the Aloha Concert Jam (Hawaiian music, June), the Long Beach Jazz Festival (August), and the Long Beach Blues Festival (September, since 1980).

Both Sublime and the Long Beach Dub Allstars (formed by the members of Sublime after their lead singer Brad Nowell died of a heroin overdose) are from Long Beach.

Rappers Snoop Dogg and Zack de la Rocha were born in Long Beach. The city is also home to the VIP Records store which has been featured in music videos by Snoop Dogg and by other rap music artists.


The Long Beach Grand Prix in April is the single largest event in Long Beach. It started in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race on the streets of downtown, and became a Formula One the following year. Since 1984 it has been a CART (now Champ Car) event. During the same week as the Grand Prix, there are also Trans-Am, and Toyota Atlantic races, plus an Historic Grand Prix features pre-1990 cars, and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race.

Long Beach is home to the Long Beach Ice Dogs minor-league (ECHL) hockey team. The Ice Dogs play their home games at the Long Beach Arena. The city is also home to a minor league baseball team called the Long Beach Armada who play in the independent Golden Baseball League. The minor league basketball team nicknamed the Long Beach Jam play in the American Basketball Association (ABA).

The Southern California Summer Pro League is a showcase for current and prospective NBA basketball players, including recent draft picks, current NBA players working on their skills and conditioning, and international professionals hoping to become NBA players. The league plays at the Pyramid (a pyramid-shaped gym) on the Long Beach State campus during July.

Since its inception in August 1964, the Congressional Cup has grown into one of the major international sailing events. Now held in April, it is the only grade 1 match race regatta held in the United States. The one-on-one race format is the same as the America's Cup, and many of the winners of the Congressional Cup have gone on to win the America's Cup as well.

In July, there is the annual Catalina Ski Race, which starts from Long Beach Harbor and goes to Catalina Island and back to complete a 100 km (62 mile) circuit. This race has been held annually since 1948 and features skiers from around the world.

During the two Olympics held in Los Angeles, Long Beach has hosted a number of the competitions, including rowing events in the Marine Stadium, sailing events off the coast of Long Beach, volleyball in the Long Beach Sports Arena, and archery at El Dorado Regional Park. For the 1984 Olympics, Long Beach hosted yachting, volleyball, fencing and archery competitions. For the 1932 Olympics, Long Beach hosted the rowing competition. The Belmont Plaza Pool hosted U.S. Olympic swimming trials in 1968, 1976, and 2004.

Blair Field in Long Beach, besides hosting numerous American Legion baseball, [[Connie Mack baseball], high school, junior college, college, and minor league baseball games, has also been host of six MTV Rock & Jock softball games, and been the filming location for film, TV and commercial productions.

Parks and recreation

The Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine received a Gold Medal award from the National Parks and Recreation Society in 2002, 2003, and 2004, recognizing the Department's "outstanding management practices and programs." The Department manages 92 parks covering over 3,100 acres (13 km²) throughout the city, including the 815 acre (3.3 km²) El Dorado Regional Park, which features fishing lakes, an archery range, youth campground, bike trails, and picnic areas. The Department also operates four public swimming pools, and four launch ramps for boaters to access the Pacific Ocean.

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach.

Other cultural events

The Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade & Festival has been held in May or June since 1984. It is the second largest event in Long Beach, attracting over 125,000 participants over the two day celebration. It is the third largest Gay Pride Parade in the United States.

In October, Long Beach State hosts the CSULB Wide Screen Film Festival, at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. The festival started in 1995 as a showcase for movies filmed in the widescreen format, but has since been transformed into an artist-in-residence event. A major film artist (such as the former CSULB student Steven Spielberg) screens and discusses their own work as well as the ten films that most influenced their cinematic vision.


The top commercial businesses in Long Beach, based upon the number of employees are: Boeing, Verizon, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, and The Bragg Companies (crane and heavy transport sales). Several local hospitals are major employers, including: Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Mary Medical Center, and Pacific Hospital of Long Beach. Major government and educational employers include: Long Beach Unified School District, City of Long Beach, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach City College, United State Postal Service, and Long Beach Transit.


The primary school district that serves Long Beach is Long Beach Unified School District. It is the third largest school district in California. The district is noted for starting a trend to the return to school uniforms for public schools in the 1990s. It has also won several awards in recent years, including the 2003 Broad Prize for Urban Education, as the best urban school district in the US.

Colleges and universities


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 461,522 people, 163,088 households, and 99,646 families residing in the city. The population density is 3,532.8/km² (9,149.8/mi²). There are 171,632 housing units at an average density of 1,313.8/km² (3,402.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 45.16% White, 14.87% African American, 0.84% Native American, 12.05% Asian, 1.21% Pacific Islander, 20.61% from other races, and 5.27% from two or more races. 35.77% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 163,088 households out of which 35.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% are married couples living together, 16.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% are non-families. 29.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.77 and the average family size is 3.55.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $37,270, and the median income for a family is $40,002. Males have a median income of $36,807 versus $31,975 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,040. 22.8% of the population and 19.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 32.7% of those under the age of 18 and 11.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Famous people born in Long Beach

Famous residents of Long Beach


Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan used to regularly fly out of Daugherty Field (which later became the Long Beach Airport). Before his infamous flight from Brooklyn, New York to Ireland in 1938, he had already flown a transcontinental flight from Long Beach to New York. He was supposed to be returning to Daugherty Field after authorities had refused his request to fly on to Ireland, but because of a claimed navigational error, he ended up in Ireland instead. He never publicly acknowledged having flown to Ireland intentionally.

External links


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