The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Bojangles is a 2001 American made-for-television biographical drama film that chronicles the life of entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. This film boasts tap dance routines and a complicated, if not unique, interpretation of the main character by Gregory Hines, who served as an executive producer. Starting with Robinson's funeral, including what looks like archival footage of the event, the film plays out the biography in a straightforward manner as a flashback, both in color and black-and-white. In 1916, Robinson was a successful vaudeville performer and considered the finest tap dancer of his generation. At the peak of his career, he was the highest paid Black entertainer, but for all the joy he gave others, his life was anything but happy, there was a great deal of tragedy in himself, he penniless. When the American Civil War was still a living memory, segregation in public facilities was the rule, rather than the exception, all sorts of strange and arbitrary regulations were aimed at keeping people of color in a separate and inferior position.
On the vaudeville circuits there was what was known as the "two-colored rule"—no solo performances for black entertainers. But Robinson shocked people when he worked as a solo act, he starred on Broadway and was a headliner in Canada, which did not have the same issues with racism as America, while roles for black actors in Hollywood were limited at the time, Robinson managed to become a recognized screen star, headlining the musical Stormy Weather and appearing in a significant number of films with child star Shirley Temple. Robinson was a great subject for a movie biography, he loved his native New York City and gained notoriety for his generosity, performing at more of 3000 benefits, but was a compulsive gambler and a womanizer. Hines, arguably the greatest tap dancer of his generation, displays his fascination with the history of the art, but instead of creating a glorified image of the man and his work, he shows a different side of the entertainer; the best scenes of Bojangles are the dance numbers, including a memorable duplication by Hines of a filmed dance by Robinson using an up-and-down set of stairs in which Hines' step dance is repeated with the film of Robinson's, side by side.
An effective supporting cast helps to keep the energy levels from flagging. Kimberly Elise is charming as Robinson's wife of 27 years, Peter Riegert adds dimension to Marty Forkins, Robinson's loyal agent who gave up other clients–the Marx Brothers, Will Rogers—to focus on building Robinson's career. Bojangles features Savion Glover and Maria Ricossa. All of these characters speak directly to the camera/audience at one point or another, a device that helps vary the straight-line storyline. Furthermore, the film allows the opportunity for the audience to examine the difficulties of black entertainers back against similar difficulties today. Bojangles was produced by Darrick Productions and MGM Television for the Showtime premium cable network. Black Reel Awards Kimberly Elise – Best Supporting ActressImage Award Gregory Hines – Outstanding Actor Emmy Awards Gregory Hines – Outstanding Lead Actor Henry LeTang – Outstanding ChoreographyImage Awards Outstanding Movie Kimberly Elise – Outstanding Lead ActressGolden Reel Award Best Sound EditingScreen Actors Guild Awards Gregory Hines – Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor Bojangles on IMDb AllMovie.com
Catch Me If You Can
Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Jeff Nathanson. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, with Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Nathalie Baye in supporting roles; the film is based on the life of Frank Abagnale, before his 19th birthday performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, a Louisiana parish prosecutor. His primary crime was check fraud. Development for the film started in 1980, but did not progress until 1997, when Spielberg's DreamWorks bought the film rights to Abagnale's book. David Fincher, Gore Verbinski, Lasse Hallström, Miloš Forman, Cameron Crowe had all been possible candidates for director before Spielberg decided to direct it himself. Filming took place from February to May 2002; the film was a critical success. In 1963, teenager Frank Abagnale lives in New Rochelle, New York with his father Frank Abagnale, Sr. and French mother Paula.
When Frank Sr. is denied a business loan at Chase Manhattan Bank due to unknown difficulties with the IRS, the family is forced to move from their large home to a small apartment. Paula carries on an affair with a friend of her husband. Meanwhile, Frank poses as a substitute teacher in his French class. Frank's parents file for divorce, Frank runs away; when he runs out of money, he begins relying on confidence scams to get by. Soon, Frank's cons increase and he impersonates an airline pilot, he succeeds in stealing over $2.8 million. Meanwhile, Carl Hanratty, an FBI bank fraud agent, begins tracking Frank. Carl intercepts Frank at a hotel but Frank convinces Carl that his name is Barry Allen of the Secret Service and that he is after the fraudster. Frank leaves and Carl angrily realizes a minute too late that he has been fooled. At Christmas, Carl is still at work when Frank calls him, attempting to apologize for duping Carl. Carl rejects his apology and tells him he will soon be caught, but laughs when he realizes Frank called him because he has no one else to talk to.
Frank hangs up, Carl continues to investigate realizing that the name "Barry Allen" is from the Flash comic books and that Frank is a teenager. Frank, has expanded his con to include the identities of a doctor and lawyer. While playing Dr. Frank Conners, he falls in love with Brenda. While asking her father's permission to marry her, he admits the truth about himself and asks for help with the Louisiana State Bar exam. Carl tracks him to his engagement party and Frank is able to sneak out a bedroom window minutes before Carl bursts in. Before leaving, Frank makes Brenda promise to meet him in Miami two days so they can elope. Frank sees her waiting for him two days but notices plainclothes agents waiting to arrest him. Seven months Carl shows his boss that Frank has been forging checks all over western Europe and asks permission to go to Europe to look for him; when his boss refuses, Carl brings Frank's checks to printing professionals who claim that the checks were printed in France. From an interview with Frank's mother, Carl remembers that she was born in Montrichard, France.
He goes there and locates Frank, tells him that the French police will kill him if he does not go with Carl quietly. Frank assumes he is lying at first, but Carl promises Frank he would never lie to him, Carl takes him outside, where the French police escort him to prison; the scene flashes forward to a plane returning Frank home from prison, where Carl informs him that his father has died. Grief-stricken, Frank escapes from the plane and goes back to his old house, where he finds his mother with the man she left his father for, as well as a girl who Frank realizes is his half-sister. Frank gives himself up and is sentenced to 12 years in prison, getting visits from time to time from Carl; when Frank points out how one of the checks Carl is carrying as evidence is fake, Carl convinces the FBI to offer Frank a deal by which he can live out the remainder of his sentence working for the bank fraud department of the FBI, which Frank accepts. While working at the FBI, Frank misses the thrill of the chase and attempts to fly as an airline pilot again.
He is cornered by Carl, who insists that Frank will return to the FBI job since no one is chasing him. On the following Monday, Carl is nervous. However, Frank arrives and they discuss their next case; the ending credits reveal that Frank is real and has been married for 26 years, has three sons, lives in the Midwest, is still good friends with Carl, has caught some of the world's most elusive money forgers, earns millions of dollars each year because of his work creating unforgeable checks. Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale Jr. Tom Hanks as Carl Hanratty, based on Joseph Shea Christopher Walken as Frank Abagnale Sr. Nathalie Baye as Paula Abagnale Amy Adams as Brenda Strong Martin Sheen as Roger Strong James Brolin as Jack Barnes Nancy Lenehan as Carol StrongBrian Howe, Frank John Hughes and Chris Ellis portray FBI agents. Jennifer Garner cameos as a call girl. Ellen Pompeo, Elizabeth Banks, Kaitlin Doubleday have supporting roles; the real Frank Abagnale appears in a cameo as a French police officer arresting his character.
Frank Abagnale sold the film rights to his autobiography in 1980. According to Abagnale, producers Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin purchased the film rights after seeing him on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Two years
Diagnosis Murder is an American action comedy-mystery-medical crime drama television series starring Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan, a medical doctor who solves crimes with the help of his son Steve, a homicide detective played by Van Dyke's real-life son Barry; the series began as a spin-off of Jake and the Fatman, became a series of three TV movies, a weekly television series that debuted on CBS on October 29, 1993. Joyce Burditt wrote the episode in Jake and the Fatman and is listed here as the creator of the spin off series; the series struggled at first and was canceled at the end of the second season, but it returned as a midseason replacement in the third season, was renewed thereafter. 178 episodes were made and aired in the show's eight seasons on the CBS network in the United States and two more TV movies aired after the series' cancellation on May 11, 2001. The show was produced by The Fred Silverman Company and Dean Hargrove Productions in association with Viacom Productions and is distributed by CBS Television Distribution.
In the Jake and the Fatman episode, Dr. Mark Sloan was a widower with no sons. Dr. Amanda Bentley is played by Cynthia Gibb in the TV movies and Victoria Rowell in the TV series. Stephen Caffrey played Dr. Jack Parker in the movies, a role that went to Scott Baio as Dr. Jack Stewart in the weekly series; the first two TV movies were shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, the third was shot in Denver, Colorado. The first few episodes of the series were shot in Denver, before shifting to Los Angeles for the remainder of the show's run. Since 1997, reruns of the show have been shown in syndication and on Freeform, Ion Television, Hallmark Channel, CBS Action and MeTV; the plot centered around Dr. Mark Sloan, a former United States Army doctor who served in a MASH unit. After his service ended, Dr. Sloan became a renowned physician and consults with the local police department, can't resist a good mystery or a friend in need. Cases involved his son, Detective Steve Sloan, the elder Sloan's friend Norman Briggs, a hospital administrator.
Assisting Dr. Sloan are his colleagues, medical examiner/pathologist Dr. Amanda Bentley, two residents: Dr. Jack Stewart in the first two seasons and Dr. Jesse Travis from season 3 onwards. Dr. Mark Sloan, Former army doctor and Chief of Internal Medicine at Community General Hospital, protagonist of the series. Son of a cop and father of another, in whose cases he gets involved, he is a medical consultant to the LAPD. Dick Van Dyke was considered for the lead role after the positive reviews he received from his dramatic role in the 1990 movie Dick Tracy. In the pilot the character had interests in tap clarinet playing. Lieutenant Detective Steve Sloan, a police detective sergeant in the Robbery/Homicide Division of the LAPD and Dr. Mark Sloan's son. After an earthquake destroyed his apartment, he lived in a separate apartment in his father's beach house in Malibu. Steve uses his "patented" dive to apprehend criminals. Dr. Amanda Bentley Bentley-Livingston, resident Pathologist at Community General Hospital and assistant County Medical Examiner, Dr. Mark Sloan's straightwoman and medical partner, involving in each of Mark's & Steve's cases, after the accident.
As a favorable character of the show, she dated Jack and was Jesse's best friend. During the series, she married a military man, had a son named C. J. Depending on the episode, she divorced he was killed in an airplane crash. In the series, she adopted another boy, Deon. Dr. Jack Stewart, a doctor at Community General Hospital and Steve's best friend, whom he helped in his cases, he left to open his own practice in Colorado. Jack Stewart does reappear in a couple of Lee Goldberg's Diagnosis Murder books, "The Silent Partner" and "The Last Word". In the first three TV Movies his name was Jack Parker. Dr. Jesse Travis, a resident and handsome student at Community General Hospital who Mark took under his wing and who became best friends with Amanda. Another favorable/breakout character of the series, he got involved in Mark and Steve's cases, with good intentions but not always good results. In the crossover double episode "Murder Two", he himself became the prime suspect of a rival doctor's killing, hence he badgered Mark to call his old friend Ben Matlock for help.
The hospital staff thought he wrote the tell-all book "Big City Hospital" as Dr. Anonymous but found out it was written by someone else. Jason Tucker was a character in the book who sounded like Jesse, why the hospital staff thought it was him. Norman Briggs, administrator at Community General Hospital and a close friend of Dr. Mark Sloan though he is exasperated by him. Delores M
Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story
Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story is a 2004 television film starring Jamie Foxx and Lynn Whitfield. The film was directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall. Other cast members in the film include CCH Pounder; the film deals with the life of Stanley Tookie Williams, the co-founding member of the Crips street gang, principally his life in the streets and his life in prison. It shows some of the work he did while incarcerated to help decrease gang violence in the world; the film was shot in 2003. On December 13, 2005, Williams was executed by lethal injection in California. After its debut at The Sundance Film Festival, the film was released in January 2004 via the FX cable network on television and went on to become a successful venture for the network; the film won 11 of them. Among the awards the film was nominated for include American Cinema Editors, Black Reel Awards, Golden Globes, NAACP Image Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, MovieGuide, Satellite Award, Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild of America.
Shot in 38 days during July and August 2003, all of the filming took place in Toronto. The Toronto water treatment plant was used as a double for the exterior of San Quentin State Prison. Production was shut down when Michael Mann refused to release Jamie Foxx from his rehearsal schedule on Collateral, but Foxx, who had met with Stanley Williams for many hours at San Quentin convinced Mann to give him a three-week window. Jamie's performance was shot over only three six-day shooting weeks in Toronto. During that period, Toronto suffered a massive citywide blackout, the production only had power from its backup generators. Jamie Foxx's dialogue coach during the shoot was a former inmate of San Quentin. Jamie Foxx... Stanley Tookie Williams Lynn Whitfield... Barbara Becnel Lee Thompson Young... Charles Becnel Brenden Jefferson... Young Stan Williams Brenda Bazinet... Barbara's Agent Wes Williams... Tony Bogard Greg Ellwand... Prison Chief CCH Pounder... Winnie Mandela Barbara Barnes-Hopkins... Mrs. Williams Tom Barnett...
Jim Kates Karl Campbell... Deuce-Five Joseph Pierre... 17yr. Old Ray Washington Vibert Cobham... Buddha David Fraser... Strange Man Kahmaara Armatrading... Stan Williams Marcus Johnson... Monroe Kid Garfield Williams... Envoy Aaron Meeks... Banger #1 Donovan Palma... Banger #2 Philip Craig... Warden Gomez Rosemary Dunsmore... Warden Woodford Shane Daly... Associate Warden Scanlon Calvin Green... Balfour Armstrong Alison MacLeod... Mrs. Moore Hadley Sandiford... Ancient Man Scott Wickware... Security Detective John Bayliss... Robert Lee Morgan Barbara Gordon... Mrs. Morgan Laura DeCarteret... Morgan Spokesperson Reg Dreger... Rosen Executive Derek Keurvorst... Professor Keach Dan Duran... Campus Reporter Liz West... Publisher #3 J. C. Kenny... TV Reporter #1 Tim Gammon... TV Reporter #2 Stefanie Samuels... Female Guard Arnold Pinnock... Guard #1 Ted Ludzik... Guard #2 Jean Daigle... Guard #3 Martin Roach... Guard Morales Stephen Lee Wright... Visiting Room Guard Tommy Chang... Junior Guard Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story on IMDb Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story at AllMovie
The Pretender (TV series)
The Pretender is an American action television series that aired on NBC from September 19, 1996 to May 13, 2000. It was part of NBC's action programming block, Thrillogy; the series follows Jarod, a young man on the run, a "Pretender": a genius impostor able to master the complex skill sets necessary to impersonate a member of any profession. In each episode, Jarod poses as a new professional identity in his quest to uncover his origins, deliver justice to criminal wrongdoers who evade the law, stay one step ahead of The Centre, the sinister think tank that kidnapped Jarod as a child to exploit his Pretender abilities. According to show creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle, the character of Jarod was inspired by serial impostor Ferdinand Waldo Demara. Following NBC's cancellation of the series, two television movies continuing the storyline were aired on TNT: The Pretender 2001 and The Pretender: Island of the Haunted. In 2013, creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle began updating the story with a series of books and graphic novels.
The first, The Pretender: Rebirth, was published on October 7, 2013. Jarod is a child prodigy, abducted at a young age and raised in a think tank called the Centre, based in the fictional town of Blue Cove, Delaware. Told that his parents have died, Jarod is assigned to the care of a man named Sydney, a psychiatrist working for the Centre. During Jarod's youth, Sydney mentors the boy and coaches him through complex simulations designed to exploit his intellect for real life application, but as an adult, Jarod discovers that the Centre is using data gathered from his responses for nefarious purposes, such as illegal black ops and engineering the deaths of others. Feeling responsible, Jarod escapes the Centre. Soon afterward, he discovers that the people whom he had long believed to be his parents were not, as Jarod has an anomaly in his blood that a father or mother would share—which neither of his supposed parents do; the Centre is continually tracking down Jarod's location. The team in charge of recapturing him is Sydney, computer expert Broots, "Miss Parker", a dogged and formidable operative, raised in the Centre and knew Jarod as a child.
Though she is no longer an active field operative, she is "recalled from Corporate" during the pilot episode and put in charge of Jarod's recapture. While Sydney feels loyalty to Jarod and wishes his safe return, Miss Parker is under orders to "preferably" bring him in alive and will not hesitate to use deadly force. Fearing for Jarod's safety, Sydney at times undermines Miss Parker and will directly prevent her from using lethal methods to prevent Jarod's continued evasion of his pursuers. In the pilot, Parker questions Sydney's commitment to the Centre, telling him he can be a scientist for the Centre or "mommy" to Jarod, but not both. Despite the Centre's resources, Jarod stays a step or two ahead of his pursuers. While tracking down clues to his past and his parents, Jarod targets criminals who have gone unpunished or undetected by the law. Through assumed identities, he uncovers the truth about these crimes and lures the perpetrators into staged set-ups that emulate the harm they have done to others and forces them to confess their crimes, leading to their downfall.
At times, he leaves Miss Parker and Sydney deliberate clues that point to the criminals he is targeting and why. During his adventures, Jarod discovers the joys of the childhood he was denied while being raised in isolation, such as ice cream and Silly Putty. Loyalty is a recurring theme in the series. Sydney's loyalty to the Centre wavers when it concerns Jarod's safety and this rift increases when he discovers truths about what the organization did to his twin brother Jacob. During the first season, Jarod sends Miss Parker evidence that she too has been manipulated by the organization, led by her father. Miss Parker learns from Jarod. Further revelations are made concerning her brother; this puts her in a parallel to Jarod's quest of discovery and at times her loyalty wavers, though it never falters. When she and Jarod do share a romantic moment, Jarod questions if this will change things and Miss Parker replies it will not. "You run, I chase." Though Jarod learns more about his family, there are still unanswered questions when the series ends after four seasons.
The series finale closed with both characters being nearby an exploding bomb. The ending did not reveal; the next year, the telemovie The Pretender 2001 picked up directly from this cliffhanger, leading into Jarod's next adventure. Michael T. Weiss as Jarod Andrea Parker as Miss Parker/Catherine Elaine Jamison Parker Patrick Bauchau as Sydney/Jacob Jon Gries as Broots Ryan Merriman as Young Jarod/Gemini Alex Wexo as Young Sydney Richard Marcus as Dr. William Raines James Denton as Mr. Lyle Harve Presnell as Mr. Parker Paul Dillon as Angelo Pamela Gidley as Brigitte Jason Brooks as Thomas Gates Jeffrey Donovan as Kyle Ashley Peldon as Young Miss Parker The building seen in nearly every episode and identified as "The Centre" is the R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, located in Toronto, Canada. After the series was cancelled, it was picked up in syndication by TNT. In response to an outpouring of emails from fans, which prompted negotiations involving the show's creators and both NBC and TNT, two telemovies – The Pretender 2001 and Island of the Haunted – were aired on TNT in 2001.
Both movies ended with an unresolved cliffhanger. T
Watts, was a city of the sixth class that existed in Los Angeles County, between 1907 and 1926, when it was consolidated with the City of Los Angeles and became one of the neighborhoods in the southern part of that city. The area now known as Watts is situated on the 1843 Rancho La Tajauta Mexican land grant; as on all ranchos, the principal vocation was at that time beef production. There were household settlers in the area as early as 1882, in 1904 the population was counted as 65 people. C. V. Bartow of Long Beach was noted as one of the founders of Watts. Watts was said to have got its name from a widow who lived on ten acres, occupied by a Pacific Electric power house and for whom the train stop was named, she moved to Arlington, California. A subdivision with the name Watts was platted by the Golden State Realty Company, between 1903 and 1905, when the settlement had a population of about 150 people. In 1905 lots were being sold by the Golden State Realty Company for prices ranging from $100 to $200: The terms were advertised at a dollar as down payment and a dollar a month thereafter, with the company claiming there would be "no interest and no taxes."
The Watts Lumber Company had a plan of "easy payments" which "enabled those desiring houses in the little settlement to secure their material and to build and occupy their houses at once." Watts became a city in 1907, after three petitions objecting to the proposed borders were presented to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Seven ranchers said that they had no intention of subdividing and that all unimproved land should be omitted from the proposed city. Another petition declared that most of the property owners in Watts did not pay taxes inasmuch as they were buying the 25-foot lots for speculation, that the residents were "migratory" and that most of them were transitory "Mexican railroad laborers." A third petition for exemption was submitted by residents of the Palomar stop, who dressed up their plea with quotations ranging from Greek philosophers to Hamlet. Those petitioners announced that they had changed the name of their settlement from "Watts Park" because they did not want any affiliation with Watts.
The City of Watts was approved by voters of the district, it became a municipality in May 1907, with J. F. Donahue, a driver for the Blue Ribbon beer company, as mayor and Frederick J. Rorke as city clerk. There was, however, no money to run the city because it had become incorporated too late to levy and collect any taxes. A proposed business license fee raised so much objection that the Board of Trustees, or the city council, submitted to the people a straw vote question about allowing liquor to be sold in the city. A majority of the 250 votes did agree that Watts should allow saloons, or bars, that the municipality should raise money by taxing them. Rorke said: We have two retail saloons and one wholesale as a result, an income that more than pays our running expenses. In fact, we have several hundred in the treasury; the voters, who admitted the saloons, looked upon it as a business proposition. While many of them are not in favor of having them in our midst, the experience was adopted for giving us a working fund.
Some of the surplus funds are being used to employ engineers to establish street grades, looking forward to improvements in our thoroughfares in the near future. As an instance of prosperity, there is not a vacant house in Watts, it is impossible to find one to rent. By January 1910 Watts had a population of about 2,500, "well improved streets, a fire department, a weekly newspaper", it was completing a $12,000 city hall, it had "the best of public schools, churches of the leading denominations, the principal fraternal orders, a chamber of commerce and a good government league," of which J. H. Hurley was the president and W. C. Street the secretary. In 1910 J. B. Traughber was the city marshal and tax collector, A. B. Waddingham was the city engineer. In 1910, C. H. Dodd was the mayor. Water for the community came from Artesian wells, which were said to provide a supply at 10 feet depth and a "big flow" at sixty feet, but in 1912 it was noted that "the present source of water supply is unsatisfactory, in many cases people are unable to get service at all."
In 1913, voters were asked to approve $85,000 in bonds for a water system and $15,000 for new fire department equipment, but both measures were defeated. In 1916, things got better with the installation of more and larger water mains, a worker was kept on duty at the water plant all night in case a conflagration required additional water pressure. There was a school in Watts from an early date. In 1905 it was reported that "Steps have been taken to enlarge the present school building", a new building was erected in 1911 at a cost of $30,000. By 1914, that structure had become overcrowded, additional desks were "installed everywhere, in the library, in the halls and in the auditorium." There were 18 teachers. While work was under way on a new school, the contractor absconded with some of the money and his bondsman was compelled to finish the job. Older students attended Redondo Union High School. Watts was a part of the Compton School District, but in January 1914, a mass meeting was held in Watts to make plans to secede from Compton and build a new high school in Watts, at a cost of about $100,000.
The same month, Watts boosters made the same statement at a meeting with Compton backers in that city. By 1925 Watts voters had approved $170,000 in bonds for a new high school, the town was served by four public grammar schools and one Catholic school. There were seven grade schools./ A Watt