1781 Los Angeles is founded.
1821 Spain grants independence to Mexico and, therefore, to California.
1850 California becomes the 31st state.
1875 The Santa Fe Railroad reaches Los Angeles.
1881 The Los Angeles Times begins publication.
1892 Oil is discovered in Downtown Los Angeles.
1900 The population of California approaches 1.5 million; Los Angeles has more than 102,000 residents.
1902 The first movie house, the Electric Theatre, opens.
1909 Santa Monica Pier is erected to accommodate cargo and passenger ships.
1911 Hollywood's first film studio is established.
1912 More than 16 motion-picture companies are operating out of Hollywood.
1913 Cecil B. DeMille directs the film industry's first full-length feature, The Squaw Man.
1923 The Hollywood sign (which at the time read HOLLYWOODLAND) is erected to advertise a real-estate development.
1927 The first "talkie" is released: The Jazz Singer, with Al Jolson.
1929 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestows its first Oscar.
1940 L.A.'s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, connects Hollywood and Pasadena.
1947 The first TV station west of the Mississippi, KTLA, begins broadcasting.
1950 L.A.'s population is nearly two million.
1955 Disneyland opens.
1961 Hollywood's Walk of Fame is started by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
1962 California overtakes New York as the nation's most populous state.
1965 Tension between white LAPD officers and the African-American community fuels riots in Watts.
1968 Robert F. Kennedy is fatally shot at the Ambassador Hotel after winning California's Democratic Party presidential primary.
1980 L.A.'s population is nearly three million.
1984 Los Angeles hosts the Summer Olympic Games.
1992 More than 40 die and hundreds are injured in the race riots resulting from the acquittal of the police officers involved in the Rodney King beating.
1994 An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale shakes the city.
1996 At the conclusion of the "Crime of the Century" trial, O. J. Simpson is found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
1997 The J. Paul Getty Center opens on a Brentwood hilltop overlooking L.A.
1998 El Niño conditions over the Pacific bring torrential rain, flooding, and landslides to Southern California.
2000 The country's largest police scandal erupts in L.A., with dozens of Rampart Division officers incriminated in illegal activity.
2005 Antonio Villaraigosa is elected mayor of Los Angeles -- he is the first Latino mayor since Cristobal Aguilar in 1872.
2006 The Griffith Observatory reopens in November after a $93-million, 4-year renovation.
2008 A two-train collision kills 25 people and injures 130 others after an engineer fails to heed a traffic signal due to text-messaging.
2009 Economic downturn has Los Angeles in a financial tailspin. Hotel sales plummet while numerous local businesses shut down. Hopes are pinned on President Barack Obama's economic recovery program.
Michael Jackson dies at age 50 of an administered drug overdose after being rushed to a hospital from his Beverly Hills home.
2011 Hollywood icon and dear friend of Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor passes away at the age of 79 from congestive heart failure.
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