Home

Previous Did You Know?

The most intense earthquake ever recorded in the Los Angeles area (and one of the most intense in the nation, for that matter) was the Fort Tejon earthquake that exploded along the San Andreas Fault north of Los Angeles on February 9, 1857. The quake was believed to have measured 7.9 to 8.0 on the Richter Magnitude Scale. This magnitude ranks as a "Great Quake" where, in heavily populated areas, tremendous destruction and loss of life occurs (or about 20 times the magnitude and 89 times the strength of the 1994 Northridge earthquake). Despite the destructive power of this monster, only two people were reported to have lost their lives, due to the sparse population of the time. Today, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates a seven percent chance of a similarly-sized or greater earthquake for the Los Angeles area within the next 30 years.

Damage due to the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Photo.

Immigration has long been a hot issue in California, even back to the days of California's Mexican period (1822 to 1846). Pio Pico, last Mexican governor of California, lamented:

"We find ourselves suddenly threatened by hordes of Yankee [American] emigrants, who have already begun to flood into our country and whose progress we cannot arrest….Shall we remain supine while these daring strangers are overrunning our fertile plains and gradually outnumbering and displacing us? Shall these incursions go on unchecked, until we shall become strangers in our own land? We cannot successfully oppose them by our own unaided power; and the swelling tide of immigration renders the odds against us more formidable every day."

Don Pio Pico in later years. Photo by Schumaker, courtesy of Library of Congress.

Because of the marriage of one of their players, the Brooklyn Dodgers, later our own Los Angeles Dodgers, were originally named the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (1890-1898). Their name was changed to the Brooklyn Superbras in 1899 and then to Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers in 1910 because of the trolleys prevalent in Brooklyn at the time. Later, in 1913, the name was changed again, this time to Brooklyn Robins. Finally, in 1932, the team became known as the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers, 1913. Liggett & Myers Co., Benjamin K. Edwards Collection, Library of Congress