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The Roots of Long Beach

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Long Beach, California’s history stretches back to the 1500s; however, it was not until hundreds of years later that this city was incorporated. In its earliest days, Native Americans inhabited the area. These initial residents were proficient users of smoke signals as a way to communicate with their fellow tribes people. As a result of their intuitive form of messaging, an explorer thought it clever to name this land he discovered Bay of the Smokes. He noticed the smoke signals ascending from a hill, which today happens to be Signal Hill.

Spain had control over the land for some time, and in the late 1700s divided it between two landowners, forming Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos, which remain standing and in operation today. The land was further divided after it was sold in the 1880s. The population began to grow, a school was built and on February 10, 1888 the city of Long Beach was incorporated. Years later, on July 24, 1896, Long Beach was unincorporated, however, only one year later, it was reincorporated on December 13, 1897.

Following its reincorporation, Long Beach soon became a prime destination for tourists. Amusement rides and other attractions brought travelers to vacation in the city. At this time, Long Beach also gained clout as an important port location. The boom of business continued to be felt into the early 1930s until a substantial earthquake rocked the area in 1933. Much damage was sustained and paved the way for improved building codes in an effort to prevent such disastrous destruction in the future.

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Standing as the fifth largest city in California, Long Beach is home to over 490,000 residents. This bustling city is afforded with all of the big-city amenities while maintaining a beach- town type of atmosphere. Scrumptious restaurants, top-quality education, friendly and diverse neighborhoods, countless attractions, first-class shopping, booming tourism, deep- rooted culture, exceptional healthcare and so much more make up the distinct personality of Long Beach.

The city can only improve with the Long Beach Strategic Plan 2010. This plan looks toward creating a safer environment in all areas, from emergency services to promoting citizen involvement. Establishing a superior business environment and incorporating and utilizing green initiatives are both major goals of the plan.

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