Saint Junípero Serra y Ferrer, O. F. M. was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, in what was Alta California in the Province of Las Californias, New Spain. Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 1988, in the Vatican City. Pope Francis canonised him on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D. C. during his first visit to the United States. His missionary efforts earned him the title of Apostle of California. Serra was born in the village of Petra on the island of Majorca off the Mediterranean coast of Spain. A few hours after birth, he was baptized in the village church, his baptismal name was Miquel Josep Serra. His father Antonio Nadal Serra and mother Margarita Rosa Ferrer were married in 1707. By age seven, Miquel was working the fields with his parents, helping cultivate wheat and beans, tending the cattle.
But he showed a special interest in visiting the local Franciscan friary at the church of San Bernardino within a block of the Serra family house. Attending the friars' primary school at the church, Miquel learned reading, mathematics, Latin and liturgical song Gregorian chant. Gifted with a good voice, he eagerly took to vocal music; the friars sometimes let him sing at special church feasts. Miquel and his father Antonio visited the friary for friendly chats with the Franciscans. At age 16, Miquel's parents enrolled him in a Franciscan school in the capital city, Palma de Majorca, where he studied philosophy. A year he became a novice in the Franciscan order. On September 14, 1730, some two months before his 17th birthday, Serra entered the Franciscan Order at Palma the Alcantarine branch of the Friars Minor, a reform movement in the Order; the slight and frail Serra now embarked on his novitiate period, a rigorous year of preparation to become a full member of the Franciscan Order. He was given the religious name of Junípero in honor of Brother Juniper, among the first Franciscans and a companion of Saint Francis.
The young Junípero, along with his fellow novices, vowed to scorn property and comfort, to remain celibate. He still had seven years to go to become an ordained Catholic priest, he immersed himself in rigorous studies of logic, metaphysics and theology. The daily routine at the friary followed a rigid schedule: prayers, choir singing, physical chores, spiritual readings, instruction; the friars would wake up every midnight for another round of chants. Serra's superiors discouraged visitors. In his free time, he avidly read stories about Franciscan friars roaming the provinces of Spain and around the world to win new souls for the church suffering martyrdom in the process, he followed the news of famous missionaries winning sainthood. In 1737, Serra became a priest, three years earned an ecclesiastical license to teach philosophy at the Convento de San Francisco, his philosophy course, including over 60 students, lasted three years. Among his students were fellow future missionaries Francisco Palóu and Juan Crespí.
When the course ended in 1743, Serra told his students: "I desire nothing more from you than this, that when the news of my death shall have reached your ears, I ask you to say for the benefit of my soul:'May he rest in peace.' Nor shall I omit to do the same for you so that all of us will attain the goal for which we have been created."Serra was considered intellectually brilliant by his peers. He received a doctorate in theology from the Lullian College in Palma de Majorca, where he occupied the Duns Scotus chair of philosophy until he joined the missionary College of San Fernando de Mexico in 1749. During Serra's last five years on the island of Majorca and plague afflicted his home village of Petra. Serra sometimes went home from Palma for brief visits to his parents—now separated—and gave them some financial support. On one occasion he was called home to anoint his ill father with the last rites. In one of his final visits to Petra, Serra found his younger sister Juana María near death.
In 1748, Serra and Palóu confided to each other their desire to become missionaries. Serra, now 35, was assured a prestigious career as scholar if he stayed in Majorca. Applying to the colonial bureaucracy in Madrid, Serra requested that both he and Palóu embark on a foreign mission. After weathering some administrative obstacles, they received permission and set sail for Cádiz, the port of departure for Spain's colonies in the Americas. While waiting to set sail, Serra wrote a long letter to a colleague back in Majorca, urging him to console Serra's parents—now in their 70's—over their only son's pending departure. "They will learn to see how sweet is His yoke," Serra wrote, "and that He will change for them the sorrow they may now experience into great happiness. Now is not the time to muse or fret over the happenings of life but rather to be conformed to the will of God, striving to prepare themselves for that happy death which of all the things of life is our principal concern." Serra asked his colleague to read this letter to his parents.
In 1749, Serra and the Franciscan missionary team landed in Veracruz, on the Gulf coast of New Spain
The Gateway Cities Region, or Southeast Los Angeles County is a urbanized region located in southeastern Los Angeles County, Southern California between the City of Los Angeles, Orange County, the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, has a population of 2 million. Despite its predominating urban fabric of single-family homes with low-scale multifamily residential structures, Southeast LA County comprises some of the most densely populated municipalities in the United States; the "Gateway Cities Council of Governments" is located in the city of Paramount. Area residents identify as being part of urban Los Angeles, despite living in independent municipalities; the following cities are members of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments: Also members of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments: Avalon Los Angeles County Port of Long Beach The region hosts a variety of colleges and universities: Cerritos College, in Norwalk El Camino College Compton Center, in Compton Long Beach City College, in North Long Beach Rio Hondo College, in Whittier Southeast LA County's Long Beach Airport provides regular direct flights to and from the following: The Port of Long Beach is located within the region, the nation's second busiest port, as well as significant freight rail infrastructure running through Vernon, Industry, Santa Fe Springs, Pico Rivera.
The LA Metro connects to Southeast LA County via the following commuter and light rail lines: Blue Line Green Line Artesia Line Given its high population, Southeast LA County is noticeably crisscrossed with regional freeway infrastructure connecting it to other parts of Greater Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire. The following freeways directly service Southeast LA County: Interstate 5 Interstate 405 Interstate 605 Interstate 105 Interstate 710 Interstate 110 California State Route 91 California State Route 60 California State Route 22 California State Route 1 Pacific Coast Highway Many cities of Southeast LA County share geographic identity with other parts of LA County, including: South Los Angeles, Los Angeles Harbor Region, East Los Angeles Region, South Bay Region, the San Gabriel Valley. San Gabriel Valley Region: Montebello WhittierEast Los Angeles Region: Commerce Montebello Pico Rivera Whittier Huntington ParkSouth Los Angeles Region: Compton LynwoodLos Angeles Harbor Region: Avalon Carson Long Beach Hawaiian Gardens Signal Hill Lakewood Gateway Cities travel guide from Wikivoyage Gateway Cities Council of Governments
Signal Hill, California
Signal Hill is a city in Los Angeles County, California located in the Greater Los Angeles area. Situated on a hill, the city is an enclave surrounded by the city of Long Beach. Signal Hill was incorporated on April 22, 1924 three years after oil was discovered there; as of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,465. Signal Hill was known as Los Cerritos, but got its current name when it became the signal point of the Coast Survey in 1889; the hill that the city is named after is 365 feet above the surrounding town of Long Beach. Because of this height, it was used by the local Tongva Indians for signal fires that could be seen throughout the surrounding area and out to Catalina Island, 26 miles away. After the Spanish claimed Alta California, Signal Hill became part of the first large rancho grant to be allotted under Spanish rule in Alta California; the Rancho San Pedro land grant exceeded 74,000 acres as granted to a soldier, Juan Jose Dominguez, who accompanied Junipero Serra, by Governor Fages through authority of King Carlos III of Spain in 1784.
Between 1913 and 1923 an early California movie studio, Balboa Amusement Producing Company, was located in Long Beach and used 11 acres on Signal Hill for outdoor locations. Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle were two of Balboa Studio actors. Before oil was discovered in Signal Hill, there were large homes built on the hill itself, in the lower elevations was an agricultural area where fruits and flowers were grown. Signal Hill changed forever; the hill would soon become part of the Long Beach Oil Field, one of the most productive oil fields in the world. On June 23, 1921, Shell Oil Company's Alamitos #1 well erupted; the gas pressure was so great. Soon Signal Hill was covered with over 100 oil derricks, because of its prickly appearance at a distance became known as "Porcupine Hill". Today, many of the oil pumpjacks are gone, although quite a few still remain. Signal Hill is now a mix of commercial areas; the city was incorporated on April 22, 1924. Among the reasons for incorporation was avoiding annexation by Long Beach with its zoning restrictions and per-barrel oil tax.
Proving to be a progressive city, Signal Hill elected as Mrs. Jessie Nelson, she was California's first female mayor. On the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Signal Hill is represented by 4th District Supervisor Janice Hahn. In the United States House of Representatives, Signal Hill is in California's 47th congressional district, represented by Democrat Alan Lowenthal. In the California State Legislature, Signal Hill is in the 33rd Senate District, seat vacant, in the 70th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Patrick O'Donnell; the Signal Hill Police Department provides local law enforcement. In 2018, it budgeted for 38 police officers to enforce the law in the 2 square mile municipality. Basic life support and ambulance transport is provided by Care Ambulance ServiceThe Long Beach Memorial Medical Center provides medical services to the City and LACFD Station 60; the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Whittier Health Center in Whittier, serving Signal Hill.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department provides fire protection services for the city of Signal Hill. Prior to its dissolution, the airline Jet America Airlines was headquartered in Signal Hill; the diner chain Hof's Hut is headquartered in Signal Hill. According to the City's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are: Signal Hill is served by Long Beach Unified School District. There are three elementary schools within the city limits: Signal Hill Elementary School, Juan Bautista Alvarado Elementary School, Burroughs Elementary School. Juan Bautista Alvarado Elementary School is located on the site of the former all male boarding school, the Southern California Military Academy. There is one middle school within the city limits: Jessie Elwin Nelson Academy. High school students attend Long Beach Polytechnic High School, although some students choose to attend Long Beach Wilson Classical High School. Signal Hill Elementary School has earned the California Achieving Schools Award, the National Achieving Schools Award.
Signal Hill and Alvarado are both California Distinguished Schools. Community college students attend one of the two nearby campuses for Long Beach City College. California State University, Long Beach is located less than five miles away. American University of Health Sciences is located within the city of Signal Hill; the university offers an education in Allied Healthcare, offering degrees such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Clinical Research, Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science, is working towards opening a Doctorate of Pharmacy program. Although a small town, Signal Hill has several parks; the largest is Signal Hill Park at 10 acres. It is adjacent to the Community Center and the Library; the park has picnic tables, a playground, basketball courts, a softball field, restrooms. There is an amphitheater where there are weekly outdoor concerts during the summer. Hilltop Park 3.2 acres is at the top of Signal Hill and is popular for its great views. There are several telescopes in the park.
There is some public artwork in the park and a mist tower. This
Norwalk is a suburban city in Los Angeles County, United States. The population is estimated to be 107,096 as of 2014, it is the 58th most densely-populated city in California. Founded in the late 19th century, Norwalk was incorporated as a city in 1957, it is located 17 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles and is part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Norwalk is a member of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. Norwalk's sister cities are Morelia, Michoacán, Hermosillo, Sonora, in Mexico; the area known as "Norwalk" was first home to the Shoshonean Native American tribe. They survived on honey, an array of berries, sage, squirrels and birds, their huts were part of the Sejat Indian village. In the late 1760s, settlers and missions flourished under Spanish rule with the famous El Camino Real trail traversing the area. Manuel Nieto, a Spanish soldier, received a Spanish land grant in 1784. After the Mexican–American War in 1848, the Rancho and mining days ended. Portions of the land were subdivided and made available for sale when California was admitted into the union of the United States.
Word of this land development reached the Sproul Brothers in Oregon. They recalled the fertile land and huge sycamore trees they saw during an earlier visit to the Southern California area. In 1869, Atwood Sproul, on behalf of his brother, purchased 463 acres of land at $11 an acre in an area known as Corazón de los Valles, or "Heart of the Valleys". By 1873, railroads were being built in the area and the Sprouls deeded 23 acres stipulating a "passenger stop" clause in the deed. Three days after the Anaheim Branch Railroad crossed the "North-walk" for the first time, Gilbert Sproul surveyed a town site. In 1874, the name was recorded as Norwalk. While a majority of the Norwalk countryside remained undeveloped during the 1880s, the Norwalk Station allowed potential residents the opportunity to visit the "country" from across the nation. What are known as the "first families" to Norwalk settled in the area in the years before 1900. D. D. Johnston pioneered the first school system in Norwalk in 1880.
Johnston was responsible for the first real industry in town, a cheese factory, by furnishing Tom Lumbard with the money in 1882. Norwalk's prosperity was evident in the 1890s with the construction of a number of fine homes that were located in the middle of orchards and dairies. Headstones for these families can be found at Little Lake Cemetery, founded in 1843 on the border between Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs at Lakeland Road. At the turn of the 19th century, Norwalk had become established as a dairy center. Of the 50 local families reported in the 1900 census, most were associated with farming or with the dairy industry. Norwalk was the home of some of the largest sugar beet farms in all of Southern California during this era. Many of the dairy farmers who settled in Norwalk during the early part of the 20th century were Dutch. After the 1950s, the Hispanic population in Norwalk grew as the area became residential. In February 1958, two military aircraft, a Douglas C-118A military transport and a U.
S. Navy P2V-5F Neptune patrol bomber, collided over Norwalk at night. 47 servicemen were killed as well as a civilian 23-year-old woman on the ground, hit by falling debris. A plaque commemorating the disaster erected by American Legion in 1961 marks the spot of the accident, today a mini-mall at the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Pioneer Boulevard. Built in 1891 by the D. D. Johnston family, the Hargitt House was built in the architectural style of Victorian Eastlake; the Hargitt House Museum, located at 12426 Mapledale, was donated to the people of Norwalk by Charles and Ida Hargitt. The museum is open to the public for free on the first and third Saturday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Norwalk is located at 33°54′25″N 118°5′0″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.243 km2. 9.707 square miles of it is land and 0.039 square miles of it is water. Norwalk is bordered by Downey to the northwest, Bellflower to the southwest and Artesia to the south, Santa Fe Springs to the north and east.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Norwalk had a population of 105,549. The population density was 10,829.6 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Norwalk was 52,089 White, 4,593 African American, 1,213 Native American, 12,700 Asian, 431 Pacific Islander, 29,954 from other races, 4,569 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 74,041 persons The Census reported that 103,934 people lived in households, 315 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 1,300 were institutionalized. There were 27,130 households, out of which 13,678 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 15,190 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 5,045 had a female householder with no husband present, 2,348 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,712 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 178 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,417 households were made up of individuals and 1,631 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.83.
There were 22,583 families.
Whittier is a city in Southern California located within Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 85,331, reflecting an increase of 1,631 from the 83,680 counted in the 2000 Census, encompasses 14.7 square miles. Like nearby Montebello, the city constitutes part of the Gateway Cities. Whittier was incorporated in February 1898 and became a charter city in 1955; the city is home to Whittier College. Whittier's roots can be traced to Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto. In 1784, Nieto received a Spanish land grant of 300,000 acres, Rancho Los Nietos, as a reward for his military service and to encourage settlement in California; the area of Nieto's land grant was reduced in 1790 as the result of a dispute with Mission San Gabriel. Nonetheless, Nieto still had claim to 167,000 acres stretching from the hills north of Whittier and Brea, south to the Pacific Ocean, from what is known today as the Los Angeles River east to the Santa Ana River. Nieto built a rancho for his family near Whittier, purchased cattle and horses for his ranch and planted cornfields.
When Nieto died in 1804, his children inherited their father's property. At the time of the Mexican–American War, much of the land that would become Whittier was owned by Pio Pico, a rancher and the last Mexican governor of Alta California. Pio Pico built a hacienda here on the San Gabriel River, known today as Pio Pico State Historic Park. Following the Mexican–American War, German immigrant Jacob F. Gerkens paid $234 to the U. S. government to acquire 160 acres of land under the Homestead Act and built the cabin known today as the Jonathan Bailey House. Gerkens would become the first chief of police of the Los Angeles Police Department. Gerkens' land was owned by several others before a group of Quakers purchased it and expanded it to 1,259 acres, with the intent of founding a Quaker community; the area soon became known as a thriving citrus ranching region, with "Quaker Brand" fruit being shipped all over the United States. Walnut trees were planted, Whittier became the largest walnut grower in the United States.
In addition to walnuts and citrus, Whittier was a major producer of pampas grass. For many years, the sole means of transport from this area to Los Angeles was on foot, or via horse and wagon over rough dirt roads, impeding settlement and the export of agriculture, thus in 1887 "enterprising and aggressive businessmen" contracted with the Southern Pacific Railroad to build the first railroad spur to Whittier, including a depot. The businessmen covered the $43,000 construction cost for the six-mile spur, which branched off from the Southern Pacific mainline at a junction near what is now Studebaker Road between Firestone Boulevard and Imperial Highway. By 1906, 650 carloads of oranges and 250 carloads of lemons were shipped annually by rail. In 1904, the Pacific Electric opened the trolley line known as "Big Red Cars" from Los Angeles to Whittier. In the first two decades, over a million passengers a year rode to and from Los Angeles on the Whittier line. Groves of walnuts were planted in 1887 and Whittier was known as the primary walnut growing town in the United States.
After World War II Whittier grew and the sub-dividing of orange groves began, driven by housing shortages in southern California. In 1955 the new Civic Center complex was completed and the City Council met in new chambers for the first time on March 8, 1955; the city continued to grow as the City annexed portions of East Whittier. The 1961 annexation added over 28,000 people to the population, bringing the total to about 67,000. In the founding days of Whittier, when it was a small isolated town, Jonathan Bailey and his wife, were among the first residents, they followed the Quaker religious faith and practice, held religious meetings on their porch. Other early settlers, such as Aquila Pickering, espoused the Quaker faith; as the city grew, the citizens named it after John Greenleaf Whittier, a respected Quaker poet, deeded a lot to him. Whittier wrote a dedication poem, is honored today with statues and a small exhibit at the Whittier museum. Whittier never set foot there, but the city still bears his name and is rooted in the Quaker tradition.
The first Quaker meetings were held on the front porch of the Jonathan Bailey House. As more Quakers arrived, the need for an actual Meeting House arose and the first Quaker meeting house was built on the corner of Comstock Avenue and Wardman Street in 1887; the meeting soon outgrew this 100 seat meeting house and a new larger building was erected on the corner of Philadelphia Street and Washington Avenue in 1902. By 1912, membership had grown to 1,200 and a third building was dedicated on the same site in 1917. With a capacity of 1,700, the 1917 meeting house featured a balcony and was constructed of brick with mahogany paneling and pews; the present meeting house, dedicated in 1975, features many architectural elements and materials from the 1917 building including the stained glass windows and mahogany interior. The Quakers founded Whittier Academy, additional meetings met in East Whittier and at Whittier College's Mendenhall. Both the Mendenhall meeting and the East Whittier meeting kept the silent meeting longer than the main church.
In 1887 the Pickering Land and Water Company set aside a 20-acre parcel of land for the development of a college, but a collapse in the land boom stalled construction. Progress on developing a college was sporadi
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
The Atchison and Santa Fe Railway referred to as the Santa Fe or AT&SF, was one of the larger railroads in the United States. Chartered in February 1859, the railroad reached the Kansas-Colorado border in 1873 and Pueblo, Colorado, in 1876. To create a demand for its services, the railroad set up real estate offices and sold farm land from the land grants that it was awarded by Congress. Despite the name, its main line never served New Mexico, as the terrain was too difficult; the Santa Fe was a pioneer in intermodal freight transport, an enterprise that included a tugboat fleet and an airline. Its bus line extended passenger transportation to areas not accessible by rail, ferryboats on the San Francisco Bay allowed travelers to complete their westward journeys to the Pacific Ocean; the AT&SF was the subject of a popular song, Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer's "On the Atchison and the Santa Fe", written for the film, The Harvey Girls. The railroad ceased operations on December 31, 1996, when it merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway.
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway was chartered on February 11, 1859, to join Atchison and Topeka, with Santa Fe, New Mexico. In its early years, the railroad opened Kansas to settlement. Much of its revenue came from wheat grown there and from cattle driven north from Texas to Wichita and Dodge City by September 1872. Rather than turn its survey southward at Dodge City, AT&SF headed southwest over Raton Pass because of coal deposits near Trinidad and Raton, New Mexico; the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad was aiming at Raton Pass, but AT&SF crews arose early one morning in 1878 and were hard at work with picks and shovels when the D&RGW crews showed up for breakfast. At the same time the two railroads had a series of skirmishes over occupancy of the Royal Gorge west of Cañon City, Colorado. Federal intervention prompted an out-of-court settlement on February 2, 1880, in the form of the so-called "Treaty of Boston", wherein D&RG was allowed to complete its line and lease it for use by Santa Fe.
D&RG paid an estimated $1.4 million to Santa Fe for its work within the Gorge and agreed not to extend its line to Santa Fe, while Santa Fe agreed to forego its planned routes to Denver and Leadville. Building across Kansas and eastern Colorado was simple, with few natural obstacles, but the railroad found it economically impossible because of the sparse population, it set up real estate offices in the area and promoted settlement across Kansas on the land, granted to it by Congress in 1863. It offered discounted fares to anyone. AT&SF reached Albuquerque in 1880. In March 1881 AT&SF connected with the Southern Pacific at Deming, New Mexico, forming the second transcontinental rail route; the railroad built southwest from Benson, Arizona, to Nogales on the Mexican border where it connected with the Sonora Railway, which the AT&SF had built north from the Mexican port of Guaymas. AT&SF purchased the Southern California Railway on Jan. 17, 1906. The Atlantic & Pacific Railroad was chartered in 1866 to build west from Springfield, along the 35th parallel of latitude to a junction with SP at the Colorado River.
The infant A&P had no rail connections. The line, to become the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway would not reach Springfield for another four years, SP did not build east from Mojave to the Colorado River until 1883. A&P started construction in 1868, built southwest into what would become Oklahoma, promptly entered receivership. In 1879 A&P struck a deal with the Santa Frisco railroads to construct a rail line for each; the railroads would jointly own the A&P railroad west of Albuquerque. In 1883 A&P reached Needles, where it connected with an SP line. A&P built a line between Tulsa, Oklahoma and St. Louis, Missouri for the Frisco, but the Tulsa-Albuquerque portion remained unbuilt; the Santa Fe began to expand: a line from Barstow, California, to San Diego in 1885 and to Los Angeles in 1887. By January 1890, the entire system consisted of some 7,500 miles of track; the Panic of 1893 had the same effect on the AT&SF. In 1895 AT&SF sold the Frisco and the Colorado Midland and wrote off the losses, but it still retained control of the A&P.
The Santa Fe Railway still wanted to reach California on its own rails, the state of California eagerly courted the railroad to break SP's monopoly. In 1897 the railroad traded the Sonora Railway of Mexico to SP for their line between Needles and Barstow, giving AT&SF its own line from Chicago to the Pac
Pico Rivera, California
Pico Rivera is a city located in southeastern Los Angeles County, United States. The city is situated 11 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, on the eastern edge of the Los Angeles basin, on the southern edge of the area known as the San Gabriel Valley; the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, as well as Los Angeles International Airport, are in close proximity. The 2010 census reported that the city has a population of 62,942. Pico Rivera was founded in 1958, from the merger of the long-standing unincorporated communities of Pico and Rivera. Situated on a rich alluvial plain between the Rio Hondo and the San Gabriel River, the area was once predominantly agricultural. Since the 1950s, it has been both residential as well as industrial, it had a Ford Motor Company plant for many years: Los Angeles Assembly. Pico Rivera lies below the Whittier Narrows, making it one of the “Gateway Cities”. In January 1958, 56 percent of the electorate voted for incorporation, they approved a Council-Manager form of government, the name “Pico Rivera” was established for the new city.
Five citizens were chosen from a slate of 24 candidates to serve as members of the first City Council. The north side of the city is home to the Pico Rivera Sports Arena, where concerts and other events are held. There are nine parks and playgrounds throughout the city, including Smith Park on Rosemead Boulevard, Rivera Park on Shade Lane, Pico Park on Beverly Boulevard, Rio Vista Park, Stream Land Park at the north end of Durfee Road; the community enjoys more than 120 acres committed to public recreational facilities. There are 18 athletic fields, two gymnasiums and four community centers, a nine-hole executive golf course and aquatic centers. In 1965, the Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course was built for the communal enjoyment of not only its residents and golfers, but for those in the surrounding communities; the executive nine-hole course plays to measures 1,504 yards. The practice facilities include two putting a covered driving range. Lighting throughout the golf course and driving range enables practice until 10:00 p.m..
Pico Rivera’s Congressional Representative, Grace Napolitano, helped with the funding, city officials launched a newly renovated senior center that includes a high-tech computer lab with 16 computers and a modern dance room. Funded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the city’s general fund, the US$350,000 renovation of the over 20-year-old center “is an example of your tax dollars at work,” Napolitano told a crowd of local officials and residents, who toured the new facility. Napolitano secured a $198,000 federal grant for the project and the city contributed $157,000 in federal stimulus funds; the fitness room has a set of free weights and two 40-inch flat screen TVs. The activity room has a mirrored wall with a state-of-the-art sound system; the billiard room, a popular part of the senior center, was relocated to larger quarters within the center. It now houses four new pool tables; the Pico Rivera Center, 9200 Mines Avenue, opens from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
Pico Rivera is located at 33°59′20″N 118°5′21″W. It is bordered by Downey on the southwest, Santa Fe Springs on the southeast, Whittier on the east, City of Industry on the northeast, Montebello on the northwest, Commerce on the west. Rosemead/Lakewood Boulevard, CA 19 runs through the center of the city, the San Gabriel River Freeway runs along its southeastern edge. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.003 square kilometers. 21.485 square kilometers of it is land and 1.518 kilometers of it is water. Pico Rivera was the epicenter of a magnitude 4.4 earthquake on March 16, 2010, which occurred at 4:04 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. During 2009–2013, Pico Rivera had a median household income of $57,550, with 13.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line. The 2010 United States Census reported that Pico Rivera had a population of 62,942; the population density was 7,086.8 people per square mile. The Racial makeup of Pico Rivera was 5.2% Non-Hispanic White, 1.0% Black or African American, 1.4% Native American, 2.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander.
Hispanic or Latino of any race is 91.2% of the population. The Census reported that 62,488 people lived in households, 39 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 415 were institutionalized. There were 16,566 households, out of which 8,073 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 8,843 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,334 had a female householder with no husband present, 1,470 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,041 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 91 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,276 households were made up of individuals and 1,154 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.77. There were 13,647 families; the population was spread out with 16,792 people under the age of 18, 6,971 people aged 18 to 24, 17,225 people aged 25 to 44, 14,323 people aged 45 to 64, 7,631 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.0 years. For ever