Fred Astaire was an American dancer, actor and television presenter. He is regarded as the most influential dancer in the history of film, his stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he starred in more than 10 Broadway and London musicals, made 31 musical films, 4 television specials, issued numerous recordings. As a dancer, he is best remembered for his uncanny sense of rhythm, his perfectionism, his innovation, as the dancing partner and on-screen romantic interest of Ginger Rogers, with whom he co-starred in a series of ten Hollywood musicals. Astaire was named by the American Film Institute as the fifth greatest male star of Classic Hollywood cinema in 100 Years... 100 Stars. Gene Kelly, another renowned star of filmed dance, said that "the history of dance on film begins with Astaire." He asserted that Astaire was "the only one of today's dancers who will be remembered." Beyond film and television, many dancers and choreographers, including Rudolf Nureyev, Sammy Davis Jr. Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Madhuri Dixit and Bob Fosse, who called Astaire his "idol" acknowledged his influence.
Fred Astaire was born Frederick Emanuel Austerlitz on May 10, 1899 in Omaha, the son of Johanna "Ann" and Frederic "Fritz" Austerlitz. Astaire's mother was born in the United States, to Lutheran German emigrants from East Prussia and Alsace. Astaire's father was born in Linz, Austria, to Jewish parents who had converted to Roman Catholicism. Astaire's father, "Fritz" Austerlitz, arrived in New York City at the age of 25 on October 26, 1893, at Ellis Island.'"Fritz" was hoping to find work in the brewing trade and moved to Omaha, where he landed a job with the Storz Brewing Company. Astaire's mother dreamed of escaping Omaha by virtue of her children's talents, after Astaire's sister, Adele Astaire, revealed herself to be an instinctive dancer and singer early on in her childhood. Johanna planned a "brother and sister act", common in vaudeville at the time, for her two children. Although Fred refused dance lessons at first, he mimicked his older sister's steps and took up piano and clarinet; when their father lost his job, the family moved to New York City in 1905 to launch the show business career of the children who began training at the Alviene Master School of the Theatre and Academy of Cultural Arts.
Despite Adele and Fred's teasing rivalry, they acknowledged their individual strengths, his durability and her greater talent. Fred and Adele's mother suggested they change their name to "Astaire," as she felt "Austerlitz" was reminiscent of the Battle of Austerlitz. Family legend attributes the name to an uncle surnamed "L'Astaire." They were taught dance and singing in preparation for developing an act. Their first act was called Juvenile Artists Presenting an Electric Musical Toe-Dancing Novelty. Fred wore a top hat and tails in a lobster outfit in the second. In an interview, Astaire's daughter, Ava Astaire McKenzie, observed that they put Fred in a top hat to make him look taller; the goofy act debuted in Keyport, New Jersey, in a "tryout theater." The local paper wrote, "the Astaires are the greatest child act in vaudeville."As a result of their father's salesmanship and Adele landed a major contract and played the famed Orpheum Circuit in the Midwest and some Southern cities in the United States.
Soon Adele grew to at least three inches taller than Fred and the pair began to look incongruous. The family decided to take a two-year break from show business to let time take its course and to avoid trouble from the Gerry Society and the child labor laws of the time. In 1912, Fred became an Episcopalian; the career of the Astaire siblings resumed with mixed fortunes, though with increasing skill and polish, as they began to incorporate tap dancing into their routines. Astaire's dancing was inspired by John "Bubbles" Sublett. From vaudeville dancer Aurelio Coccia, they learned the tango and other ballroom dances popularized by Vernon and Irene Castle; some sources state that the Astaire siblings appeared in a 1915 film titled Fanchon, the Cricket, starring Mary Pickford, but the Astaires have denied this. By age 14, Fred had taken on the musical responsibilities for their act, he first met George Gershwin, working as a song plugger for Jerome H. Remick's music publishing company, in 1916. Fred had been hunting for new music and dance ideas.
Their chance meeting was to affect the careers of both artists. Astaire was always on the lookout for new steps on the circuit and was starting to demonstrate his ceaseless quest for novelty and perfection; the Astaires broke into Broadway in 1917 with Over the Top, a patriotic revue, performed for U. S. and Allied troops at this time as well. The Astaires followed up with several more shows, of their work in "The Passing Show of 1918," Heywood Broun wrote: "In an evening in which there was an abundance of good dancing, Fred Astaire stood out... He and his partner, Adele Astaire, made the show pause early in the evening with a beautiful loose-limbed dance."By this time, Astaire's dancing skill was beginning to outshine his sister's, though she still set the tone of their act and her sparkle and humor drew much of the attention, owing in part to Fred's careful preparation and strong supporting choreography. During the 1920s, Fred and Adele appeared on Broadway and on the London stage in shows such as Jerome Kern's The Bunch and Judy and Ira Gershwin's Lady, Be Good, Funny Face and later
The Colgate Comedy Hour
The Colgate Comedy Hour was an American comedy-musical variety series that aired live on the NBC network from 1950 to 1955. The show featured many notable entertainers of the era as guest stars; the program evolved from Four Star Revue, sponsored by Motorola. The "running gag" sketches were dropped in favor of more performing acts; the weekly show was proposed to be hosted by four comedians in a four-week rotation to provide competition for Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town on CBS. The first episode, starring Hans Conried, Rosemary DeCamp and Dick Foran, was written and produced by the 22-year-old Peggy Webber, who appeared in over 100 episodes of Dragnet with Jack Webb; the new format was backed by its sponsor, Colgate-Palmolive, to the tune of $3 million in the first year, the 8:00 p.m. ET, Sunday evening format show was a spectacular success for Eddie Cantor and the Martin & Lewis and Abbott & Costello duos. In his autobiography, Jerry Lewis wrote that the show premiered Sunday, September 17, 1950, with Martin & Lewis and was telecast from the Park Theatre off Columbus Circle in New York City.
As theatres are known by different names over history, it is possible that this was the now-demolished International Theatre at 5 Columbus Circle, the broadcast location of another NBC show of the era, Your Show of Shows with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. In fact, Eddie Cantor hosted the first Colgate Comedy Hour on September 10, 1950. During the 1950-51 season, AT&T put into regular service a coast-to-coast coaxial/microwave interconnection service which allowed live telecasts from across the nation. Three production units were set up, one in New York, one in Chicago, one in Los Angeles. Martin & Lewis and Abbott & Costello anchored the West Coast, broadcasting from the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, while Eddie Cantor anchored from New York; this gave NBC a substantial edge over Ed Sullivan, since top-grade talent from motion pictures could do network TV on the West Coast Colgate Comedy Hour, while Sullivan had to work with whoever happened to be in New York at the time that a particular episode aired.
During the 1952-53 season, Cantor suffered a heart attack after a Colgate Comedy Hour broadcast in September. Although he recovered and returned in January 1953, he was reluctant to move on with the show. By the fourth season, the sponsor was providing $6,000,000, but the performers were finding difficulty in offering fresh material. Ratings hence began to decline. Cantor had become too ill to continue in the hosting role, the travel was too stressful and painful for him, his final Colgate appearance was in May 1954. Vic Schoen was hired as the musical director in 1954. In 1954, Tony Martinez cast as the farmhand on The Real McCoys, made his television debut on The Colgate Comedy Hour. Hal March and Tom D'Andrea appeared on The Colgate Comedy Hour in what subsequently became in the summer of 1955 the 11-episode NBC live military comedy series, The Soldiers. D'Andrea took leave from his role as Jim Gillis in William Bendix's The Life of Riley for The Soldiers. In June 1955, the show changed its name to the Colgate Variety Hour to reflect a move away from pure comedy.
A number of the earlier hosts had left by the end of the 1953-54 season as the show shifted toward mini-musicals, starring hosts such as Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra, who paired together in truncated version of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes". The show was performing on the road as well, unlike other seasons where the shows were transmitted from New York or Los Angeles at 8 p.m. Gordon MacRae served as host during this period. However, ratings continued to slide; the final show, emceed by the series' last continuing host Robert Paige, aired as a Christmas special on December 25, 1955, with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians choral ensemble. The Colgate Comedy Hour was replaced on January 8, 1956 with the NBC Comedy Hour, hosted by Leo Durocher for the first three shows. After Durocher, the regular hosts changed, after 18 broadcasts, the final show aired in June. Regular supporting casts always co-starred in each of the episodes. Jonathan Winters was featured on the show. On May 11, 1967, NBC broadcast a special Colgate Comedy Hour revival, with guests Nanette Fabray, Kaye Ballard, Edie Adams, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, Phyllis Diller, Bob Newhart, Nipsey Russell, Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.
None of the performers who had performed in the original 1950–1956 shows appeared. The special, produced by George Schlatter served as a television pilot for a possible revival of the series, which never happened. In the 1954-1955 season, Donald O'Connor left the show and starred in his own musical situation comedy, The Donald O'Connor Show, which aired on the NBC Saturday schedule alternating with The Jimmy Durante Show. Notable guest stars who went on to find success in entertainment included Vera Miles, costar of Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Psycho, Bob Fosse a noted choreographer and director who won multiple Tonys and an Academy Award for his work, a child-age Christopher Walken, who became an Oscar-winning actor and screen star, appeared alongside Jerry Lewis in a sketch. Kinescopes of the 28 shows hosted by Martin & Lewis have been airing Saturday evenings on the classic television network RTV since June 30, 2012; the episode broadcast on November 22, 1953, hosted by Donald O'Connor, was the first color television broadcast in the NTSC color
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
The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters were an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia, soprano Maxene Anglyn, mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty". Throughout their career, the sisters sold over 75 million records, their 1941 hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues. Other songs associated with the Andrews Sisters include their first major hit, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön", "Beer Barrel Polka", "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar", "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree", "Rum and Coca Cola", which helped introduce American audiences to calypso; the Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today, have been copied and recorded by entertainers such as Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera and others. The group was among the inaugural inductees to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame upon its opening in 1998. Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Schoifet said the sisters became the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century.
They are still acclaimed today for their famous close harmonies. They were inducted into the Minnesota Rock/Country Hall of Fame in May 2006; the sisters were born to Peter Olga. Patty, the youngest and the lead singer of the group, was 7 when the group was formed, 12 when they won first prize at a talent contest at the local Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, where LaVerne played piano accompaniment for the silent film showings in exchange for free dancing lessons for herself and her sisters. Following the collapse of their father's Minneapolis restaurant, the sisters went on the road to support the family, they started their career as imitators of an earlier successful singing group, the Boswell Sisters, who were popular in the 1930s. After singing with various dance bands and touring in vaudeville with the likes of Leon Belasco, comic bandleader Larry Rich, they first came to national attention with their recordings and radio broadcasts in 1937, most notably via their major Decca record hit, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" a Yiddish tune, the lyrics of which Sammy Cahn had translated to English and "which the girls harmonized to perfection."
They followed this success with a string of best-selling records over the next two years and they became a household name by the 1940s. Instrumental to the sisters' success over the years were their parents and Peter, their orchestra leader and musical arranger, Vic Schoen, Jack and David Kapp, who founded Decca Records. In the years just before and during World War II, the Andrews Sisters were at the height of their popularity, the group still tends to be associated in the public's mind with the war years, they had numerous hit records during these years, both on their own and in collaboration with Bing Crosby. Some of these hits had service or military related themes, including "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "Three Little Sisters", "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree", "A Hot Time In the Town of Berlin" and "Rum and Coca Cola"; the sisters performed their hits in service comedy films like Private Buckaroo. During the war, they entertained the Allied forces extensively in Africa, Italy, as well as in the U.
S. visiting Army, Navy and Coast Guard bases, war zones and munitions factories. They encouraged U. S. citizens to purchase war bonds with their rendition of Irving Berlin's song "Any Bonds Today?". They helped actress Bette Davis and actor John Garfield found California's famous Hollywood Canteen, a welcome retreat for servicemen where the trio performed, volunteering their personal time to sing and dance for the soldiers and marines. While touring, they treated three random servicemen to dinner when they were dining out, they recorded a series of Victory Discs for distribution to Allied fighting forces only, again volunteering their time for studio sessions for the Music Branch, Special Service Division, of the Army Service Forces, they were dubbed the "Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service" for their many appearances on shows such as "Command Performance", "Mail Call", "G. I. Journal."The sisters' 1945 hit "Rum and Coca Cola" became one of their most popular and best-known recordings, but inspired some controversy.
Some radio stations were reluctant to play the record because it mentioned a commercial product by name, because the lyrics were subtly suggestive of local women prostituting themselves to U. S. servicemen serving at the naval base on Trinidad. The song was based on a Trinidadian calypso, a dispute over its provenance led to a well-publicized court case; the sisters told biographers that they were asked to record the tune on short notice and were unaware either of the copyright issue or of the implications of the lyrics. An ad in the 1951'Radio Annual' showed photos of the Andrews as children, as contemporary singers, as old women in the then-future year of 1975, although the act would not make it that long. In the 1950s, Patty Andrews decided to break away from the act to be a soloist, she had married the trio's pianist, Walter Weschler, who became the group's manager and demanded more mo
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens and permanent residents may claim American nationality; the United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance. English-speakers, speakers of many other languages use the term "American" to mean people of the United States; the word "American" can refer to people from the Americas in general. The majority of Americans or their ancestors immigrated to America or are descended from people who were brought as slaves within the past five centuries, with the exception of the Native American population and people from Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands, who became American through expansion of the country in the 19th century, additionally America expanded into American Samoa, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands in the 20th century.
Despite its multi-ethnic composition, the culture of the United States held in common by most Americans can be referred to as mainstream American culture, a Western culture derived from the traditions of Northern and Western European colonists and immigrants. It includes influences of African-American culture. Westward expansion integrated the Creoles and Cajuns of Louisiana and the Hispanos of the Southwest and brought close contact with the culture of Mexico. Large-scale immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from Southern and Eastern Europe introduced a variety of elements. Immigration from Asia and Latin America has had impact. A cultural melting pot, or pluralistic salad bowl, describes the way in which generations of Americans have celebrated and exchanged distinctive cultural characteristics. In addition to the United States and people of American descent can be found internationally; as many as seven million Americans are estimated to be living abroad, make up the American diaspora.
The United States of America is a diverse country and ethnically. Six races are recognized by the U. S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes: White, American Indian and Alaska Native, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, people of two or more races. "Some other race" is an option in the census and other surveys. The United States Census Bureau classifies Americans as "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino", which identifies Hispanic and Latino Americans as a racially diverse ethnicity that comprises the largest minority group in the nation. People of European descent, or White Americans, constitute the majority of the 308 million people living in the United States, with 72.4% of the population in the 2010 United States Census. They are considered people who trace their ancestry to the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa. Of those reporting to be White American, 7,487,133 reported to be Multiracial. Additionally, there are Latinos.
Non-Hispanic Whites are the majority in 46 states. There are four minority-majority states: California, New Mexico, Hawaii. In addition, the District of Columbia has a non-white majority; the state with the highest percentage of non-Hispanic White Americans is Maine. The largest continental ancestral group of Americans are that of Europeans who have origins in any of the original peoples of Europe; this includes people via African, North American, Central American or South American and Oceanian nations that have a large European descended population. The Spanish were some of the first Europeans to establish a continuous presence in what is now the United States in 1565. Martín de Argüelles born 1566, San Agustín, La Florida a part of New Spain, was the first person of European descent born in what is now the United States. Twenty-one years Virginia Dare born 1587 Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina, was the first child born in the original Thirteen Colonies to English parents. In the 2017 American Community Survey, German Americans, Irish Americans, English Americans and Italian Americans were the four largest self-reported European ancestry groups in the United States forming 35.1% of the total population.
However, the English Americans and British Americans demography is considered a serious under-count as they tend to self-report and identify as "Americans" due to the length of time they have inhabited America. This is over-represented in the Upland South, a region, settled by the British. Overall, as the largest group, European Americans have the lowest poverty rate and the second highest educational attainment levels, median household income, median personal income of any racial demographic in the nation. According to the American Jewish Archives and the Arab American National Museum, some of the first Middle Easterners and North Africans arrived in the Americas between the late 15th and mid-16th centuries. Many were fleeing ethnic or ethnoreligious persecution during the Spanish Inquisition, a few were taken to the Americas as slaves. In 2014, The United States Census Bureau began finalizing the ethnic classification of MENA populations. According to the Arab American Institute, Arab
Los Angeles the City of Los Angeles and known by its initials L. A. is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California; the city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity and the entertainment industry, its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America. Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other; the city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index; the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of $1.044 trillion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028; the city hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments. Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California.
The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood; the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California assured the city's continued rapid growth; the Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning "poison oak place". Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.
Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'; the present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African and European ancestry; the settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico.
During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847. Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000; the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city. Due to clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent city and communities became compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones; the new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were