This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. July Learn how and when to remove this template message Indigenous people have lived in coastal Southern California for over 10, years, and several successive cultures have inhabited the present-day area of Long Beach. By the 16th-century arrival of Spanish explorers, the dominant group was the Tongva people.
They had at least three major settlements within the present-day city. Tevaaxa'anga was an inland settlement near the Los Angeles River , while Ahwaanga and Povuu'nga were coastal villages. Along with other Tongva villages, they were forced to relocate in the midth century due to missionization, political change, and a drastic drop in population from exposure to European diseases. The boundary between the two ranchos ran through the center of Signal Hill on a southwest to northeast diagonal.
Its boundaries were in dispute for years, due to flooding changing the Los Angeles River boundary, between the ranchos of Juan Jose Dominguez and Manuel Nieto. Temple created a thriving cattle ranch and prospered, becoming the wealthiest man in Los Angeles County.
Both Temple and his ranch house played important local roles in the Mexican—American War. On an island in the San Pedro Bay , Mormon pioneers made an abortive attempt to establish a colony as part of Brigham Young 's plan to establish a continuous chain of settlements from the Pacific to Salt Lake.
Three years later Bixby bought into the property and would later form the Bixby Land Company. In the s as many as 30, sheep were kept at the ranch and sheared twice yearly to provide wool for trade. Willmore, who subdivided it in hopes of creating a farm community, Willmore City. The City of Long Beach was officially incorporated in Bixby, was influential in the city. After first working for his cousins at Los Cerritos, J. Bixby leased land at Rancho Los Alamitos.
He put together a group: Hellman , Lewellyn and Jotham Bixby, and him, to purchase the rancho. In addition to bringing innovative farming methods to the Alamitos which under Abel Stearns in the late s and early s was once the largest cattle ranch in the US , J. Bixby began the development of the oceanfront property near the city's picturesque bluffs. Under the name Alamitos Land Company, J. Bixby named the streets and laid out the parks of his new city.
This area would include Belmont Heights, Belmont Shore and Naples; it soon became a thriving community of its own. Bixby died in of apparent appendicitis. The Rancho Los Alamitos property was split up, with Hellman getting the southern third, Jotham and Lewellyn, the northern third, and J. Bixby's widow and heirs keeping the central third. The Alamitos townsite was kept as a separate entity, but at first, it was primarily run by Lewellyn and Jotham Bixby, although I.
W, Hellman who had the largest single share had a significant veto power, an influence made even stronger as the J. Bixby heirs began to side with Hellman more and more. Oil field in Long Beach, The town grew as a seaside resort with light agricultural uses. Gradually the oil industry, Navy shipyard and facilities and port became the mainstays of the city.
In the s it was referred to as "Iowa by the sea," due to a large influx of people from that and other Midwestern states. Huge picnics for migrants from each state were a popular annual event in Long Beach until the s. Oil was discovered in on Signal Hill, which split off as a separately incorporated city shortly afterward. Most of the damage occurred in unreinforced masonry buildings , especially schools. Production of Ford vehicles continued after the war until when the plant was closed due to a fire,  and January when the factory was demolished partially due to air quality remediation efforts.
Anti-aircraft batteries fired into the night sky, although no planes were ever sighted. Before the war, Long Beach had a sizable Japanese-American population, who worked in the fish canneries on Terminal Island and owned small truck produce farms in the area.
Due to exaggerated fears on the coast and racial prejudice, state officials persuaded the national government to remove Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans for internment in to inland facilities. Most did not return to the city after their release from the camps. Douglas Aircraft Company 's largest facility was its Long Beach plant, totaling 1,, sq. The first plane rolled out the door on December 23, In McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing , which still makes C Globemaster transport planes in Long Beach, although this program is slated to end and the plant may be closed.
It has become a major attraction visited by more than 13 million people since its opening. In , the Census Bureau reported Long Beach's population as According to the United States Census Bureau , the city has a total area of Long Beach completely surrounds the city of Signal Hill. Some neighborhoods are named after thoroughfares, while others are named for nearby parks, schools, or city features. Climate[ edit ] Long Beach, depending on the reporting location, has a Mediterranean climate , with strong semi-arid climate characteristics.
In general, the city features warm to hot, dry summers and mild, damp winters. Days in Long Beach are mostly sunny, as in Southern California in general.
Temperatures recorded at the weather station at the Long Beach Airport , 4. During the summer months, low clouds and fog occur frequently, developing overnight and blanketing the area on many mornings. This fog usually clears by the afternoon, and a westerly sea breeze often develops, keeping temperatures mild. Heat and humidity rarely coincide, making heat waves more tolerable than they would be otherwise.
Long Beach's geographic location directly east of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, paired with its mostly south facing coastline, results in the city having significantly different weather patterns than coastal communities to the north and south. As in most locations in Southern California, most rainfall occurs during the winter months.
Storms can bring heavy rainfall.