|Santa Monica, California|
|City of Santa Monica|
|Downtown Santa Monica, as seen from the Santa Monica Pier.|
|Motto: Populus felix in urbe felice (Latin) (English: "Fortunate people in a fortunate land")|
|Location in Los Angeles County and the state of California|
|Coordinates: 34°01?19?N 118°28?53?W / 34.02194°N 118.48139°W / 34.02194; -118.48139Coordinates: 34°01?19?N 118°28?53?W / 34.02194°N 118.48139°W / 34.02194; -118.48139|
|Country||United States of America|
|Spanish encampment||August 3, 1769|
|Incorporated||November 30, 1886|
|o Mayor||Pam O'Connor|
|o Total||8.416 sq mi (21.80 km2)|
|o Land||8.415 sq mi (21.79 km2)|
|o Water||0.001 sq mi (0.003 km2)|
|Elevation||105 ft (32 m)|
|o Density||10,663.8/sq mi (4,117.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|o Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|Area code(s)||310, 424|
|GNIS feature IDs||1652792, 2411825|
Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language. The first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769. There are two different versions of the naming of the city. One says that it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica (mother of Saint Augustine), but her feast day is actually May 4. Another version says that it was named by Father Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs (Serra Springs), that were reminiscent of the tears that Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety.
The Californios valiantly defended their territories against the Manifest Destiny expansion of the United States westward during the Mexican-American War. In Los Angeles, several battles were fought by the Californios. However in the end, the US came out victorious. Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave Mexicans and Californios living in state certain unalienable rights. US government sovereignty in California began on February 2, 1848.
In the 1870s the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad, connected Santa Monica with Los Angeles, and a wharf out into the bay. The first town hall was a modest 1873 brick building, later a beer hall, and now part of the Santa Monica Hostel. It is Santa Monica's oldest extant structure. By 1885, the town's first hotel, the Santa Monica Hotel.
Amusement piers became enormously popular in the first decades of the 20th century and the extensive Pacific Electric Railroad brought people to the city's beaches from across the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Around the start of the 20th century, a growing population of Asian Americans lived in or near Santa Monica and Venice. A Japanese fishing village was located near the Long Wharf while small numbers of Chinese lived or worked in both Santa Monica and Venice. The two ethnic minorities were often viewed differently by White Americans who were often well-disposed towards the Japanese but condescending towards the Chinese. The Japanese village fishermen were an integral economic part of the Santa Monica Bay community.
Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. built a plant in 1922 at Clover Field (Santa Monica Airport) for the Douglas Aircraft Company. In 1924, four Douglas-built planes took off from Clover Field to attempt the first aerial circumnavigation of the world. Two planes made it back, after having covered 27,553 miles in 175 days, and were greeted on their return September 23, 1924, by a crowd of 200,000 (generously estimated). The Douglas Company (later McDonnell Douglas) kept facilities in the city until the 1960s.
The Great Depression hit Santa Monica deeply. One report gives citywide employment in 1933 of just 1,000. Hotels and office building owners went bankrupt. In the 1930s, corruption infected Santa Monica (along with neighboring Los Angeles).The federal Works Project Administration helped build several buildings in the city, most notably City Hall. The main Post Office and Barnum Hall (Santa Monica High School auditorium) were also among several other WPA projects.
Douglas's business grew astronomically with the onset of World War II, employing as many as 44,000 people in 1943. To defend against air attack set designers from the Warner Brothers Studios prepared elaborate camouflage that disguised the factory and airfield. The RAND Corporation began as a project of the Douglas Company in 1945, and spun off into an independent think tank on May 14, 1948. RAND eventually acquired a 15 acre (61,000 m²) campus centrally located between the Civic Center and the pier entrance.
The completion of the Santa Monica Freeway in 1966 brought the promise of new prosperity, though at the cost of decimating the Pico neighborhood that had been a leading African American enclave on the Westside.
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. The city is named after the Christian saint, Monica. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles - Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles and Mar Vista on the east, and Venice on the southeast. Santa Monica is home to many Hollywood celebrities and executives and is a mixture of affluent single-family neighborhoods, renters, surfers, professionals, and students. The Census Bureau 2010 population for Santa Monica is 89,736.
Partly because of its agreeable climate, Santa Monica had become a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core and significant job growth and increased tourism.
The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome (carousel) is a National Historic Landmark. It sits on the Santa Monica Pier, which was built in 1909. The La Monica Ballroom on the pier was once the largest ballroom in the US and the source for many New Year's Eve national network broadcasts. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was an important music venue for several decades and hosted the Academy Awards in the 1960s. McCabe's Guitar Shop is still a leading acoustic performance space as well as retail outlet. Bergamot Station is a city-owned art gallery compound that includes the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The city is also home to the California Heritage Museum and the Angels Attic dollhouse and toy museum.
Santa Monica has three main shopping districts, Montana Avenue on the north side of the city, the Downtown District in the city's core, and Main Street on the south end of the city. Each of these districts has its own unique feel and personality. Montana Avenue is a stretch of luxury boutique stores, restaurants, and small offices that generally features more upscale shopping. The Main Street district offers an eclectic mix of clothing, restaurants, and other specialty retail.
The Downtown District is the home of the Third Street Promenade, a major outdoor pedestrian-only shopping district that stretches for three blocks between Wilshire Blvd. and Broadway (not the same Broadway in downtown and south Los Angeles). Third Street is closed to vehicles for those three blocks to allow people to stroll, congregate, shop and enjoy street performers. Santa Monica Place, featuring Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom in a three-level outdoor environment, is located at the south end of the Promenade. After a period of redevelopment, the mall reopened in the fall of 2010 as a modern shopping-entertainment complex with more outdoor space.
Santa Monica hosts the annual Santa Monica Film Festival.
The oldest movie theater in the city is the Majestic. Also known as the Mayfair Theatre, the theater which opened in 1912 has been closed since the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The Aero Theater (now operated by the American Cinematheque) and Criterion Theater were built in the 1930s and still show movies. The Santa Monica Promenade alone supports more than a dozen movie screens.
The city of Santa Monica rests on a mostly flat slope that angles down towards Ocean Avenue and towards the south. High bluffs separate the north side of the city from the beaches.
Classified as a moderate Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb), Santa Monica enjoys an average of 310 days of sunshine a year. Because of its location, nestled on the vast and open Santa Monica Bay, morning fog is a common phenomenon in May, June and early July (caused by ocean temperature variations and currents). Locals have a particular terminology for this phenomenon: the "May Gray" and the "June Gloom". Overcast skies are common for June mornings, but usually the strong sun burns the fog off by noon. In the late winter/early summer, daily fog is a phenomenon too. It uses to happens suddenly and it may last some hours or past sunset time. Nonetheless, it will sometimes stay cloudy and cool all day during June, even as other parts of the Los Angeles area enjoy sunny skies and warmer temperatures. At times, the sun can be shining east of 20th Street, while the beach area is overcast. As a general rule, the beach temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 6 degrees Celsius) cooler than it is inland during summer days, and 5-10 degrees warmer during winter nights.
It is also in September that highest temperatures tend to be reached. It is winter, however, when the hot, dry winds of the Santa Anas are most common. In contrast, temperatures exceeding 10 degrees below average are rare.
The rainy season is from late October through late March. Winter storms usually approach from the northwest and pass quickly through the Southland. There is very little rain during the rest of the year. Yearly rainfall totals are unpredictable as rainy years are occasionally followed by droughts. There has never been any snow or frost, but there has been hail.
Santa Monica usually enjoys cool breezes blowing in from the ocean, which tend to keep the air fresh and clean. Therefore, smog is less of a problem for Santa Monica than elsewhere around Los Angeles. However, in the autumn months of September through November, the Santa Ana winds will sometimes blow from the east, bringing smoggy inland air to the beaches.