Palm Trees over Hollywood, circa 1930's

Who doesn’t love this crazy town? The movie stars. The sunshine. The insane Mansions. Just about the best Mexican food anywhere. Angelyne! From one minute to the next, you never know what might happen. One morning you’re sitting in DuPar’s having pancakes next to Leonardo DeCaprio, the next you’re trapped in traffic for so long they have to fly in food supplies.

You can live here your whole life, and still not know all the city’s secrets and hidden treasures. And when we say secrets, we’re not talking about taking Beverly Glen during rush hour. Oh no, there’s far more interesting and esoteric stuff than that.

  1. The economy of the County of Los Angeles is larger than that of forty-six of the fifty states in the United States of America.
  2. Hollywood was given its name by the real estate developer Hobart Johnstone Whitley while on his honeymoon in 1886.
  3. Like New York? Well hang in there. The City of Los Angeles moves approximately one-quarter of an inch to the east every year.
  4. Los Angeles has nearly 100 stage theaters and more than 300 museums, which is greater than any other city in the United States.
  5. LAX? Third largest airport in the world.
  6. In 1904, the voters of Hollywood decided, by a majority of 113 to 96, to banish the sale of alcohol in the town, except for medicinal purposes.
  7. Los Angeles has 6 area codes—213, 310, 323, 424, 626, 818—more than any other American city.
  8. The Beatles “Blue Jay Way,” Crosby Stills & Nash’s “Our House,” and the Doors’ “Love Street” were all written about the Hollywood Hills. Harrison’s song is about the “bird streets”, like Warbler Way. Oriole Drive, Skylark Lane, Mockingbird Place, et al. Graham Nash sang about the house he shared with Joni Mitchell in Laurel Canyon. And Jim Morrison’s classic was about the hippie scene in Laurel Canyon in the 60s.
  9. The first film to be made entirely in Hollywood was the 17-minute short In Old California directed by D.W. Griffith, released in 1910.
  10. Speaking of movies, the first film ever to have synchronized sound, The Jazz Singer, is an LA movie to the core. Its location was in the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, and it premiered at the Tower Theatre in downtown.
  11. The iconic ‘Hollywood’ sign was erected in 1923 and originally spelt out the word ‘Hollywoodland’. it was only supposed to last four years. In 1932, Broadway actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping off the letter H.
  12. Beverly Hills began life as a lima bean ranch.
  13. The world-famous stretch of Wilshire in Beverly Hills, with some of the highest housing prices in the world and Auber-fancy shops, was originally a race car track.
  14. In 1892, oil was discovered near what is now Dodger Stadium.And by 1923, Los Angeles produced one quarter of the world’s oil. It still sits atop the third-largest oil field in the country. That oil derrick on the property of Beverly Hills High School? It produces about 400 barrels a day, bringing the school about $300,000 a year in royalties.
  15. Looking for a unique gift? LA’s your place. Where else does the Coroner’s office have a gift shop?
  16. How did Hollywood become the center of the film industry? It was all about patents. Filmmakers wanted to get as far away from Thomas Edison as possible, for it was he who held most of the country’s film patents. By moving west, filmmakers could avoid Edison’s intellectual property claims.
  17. The Santa Monica Pier was originally built to protect a sewage pipe that dumped treated waste into the ocean.
  18. You’re not the only one who loves it here. So did dinosaurs. In 2006 a new tar pit was discovered that contained the remains of saber-toothed cats, giant sloths, American lions, and a mammoth affectionately named Zed.
  19. If Los Angeles were its own country, its economy would be bigger than Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Sweden’s.
  20. Angel’s Flight is only 320 feet long, making it one of the shortest incorporated railways in the world.
  21. Each spring, The Getty Museum brings in goats to maintain the scrub around its beautiful grounds.
  22. Sadly, it’s illegal to lick a toad within the City of Los Angeles. For some reason, it’s also illegal to lead more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard. Or to manufacture pickles inside the industrial zone of downtown. We can see it now: “Law and Order: Pickle Patrol”.
  23. LA is home to the largest boulder ever transported—340 tons of our granite, now decorating the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
  24. The Hall of Justice, built in 1925, has quite the history. It has been home to Bugsy Siegel, Charles Manson, and Sirhan Sirhan. The autopsies of Robert F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were also conducted there.
  25. When LA doctors went on strike in 1976, daily deaths dropped by 20%.
  26. When the Walt Disney Concert Hall was built, workers were hired to sand its steel walls—the reflection was heating the sidewalks up to 140 degrees.
  27. The Chateau Marmont Hotel is completely earthquake proof, surviving every major earthquake since its construction.
  28. Approximately 100,000 women in Los Angeles get breast implants every year.
  29. The Great Wall mural, at 2,754 feet long, is one of the longest murals in the world.
  30. Los Angeles has the largest Thai population anywhere outside of Thailand.
  31. The average driver spends two and a half days per year sitting in traffic.
  32. Tally’s Electric Theatre in Los Angeles was the first movie theater to open 112 years ago.
  33. We here in Los Angeles travel 41,372,940 miles a day.
  34. The city’s longest street, Sepulveda Boulevard, is 40 miles, whereas the city’s shortest street, Powers Place, is just 13 feet long.
  35. .The 90 Freeway, which you probably know as the Marina Freeway, was once called the Richard Nixon Freeway.
  36. There are 135 languages spoken in Los Angeles.
  37. First Entertainment Credit Union, founded here in Los Angeles, is widely considered to be the best credit union in the world. We’re pretty sure that’s true.