Wheelchair races at Downey's Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center Photo courtesy City of Downey
Cities of the 38th District of California
Highlighting seven cities of the 38th Congressional
District of California -- Signal Hill, Bellflower, Paramount, Long
Beach, Downey, Lakewood and San Pedro -- this project focuses on
the history and heritage that make each city unique.
Signal Hill, with magnificent views
of the Pacific coastline from Huntington Beach to the Palos Verdes
Peninsula, is notable for the part the oil boom of the 1920s played
in its history and development; in 1921 "Alamitos #1" struck oil
and became the richest oil field per acre in history. The hill that
lends its name to the town is the site of the popular Hilltop Park
and its "center mist" feature which sends a cloud-like water mist
into the air each half hour to recall the Indian smoke signals of
the area's first residents.
The city of
Bellflower is located on
land which was one of the first Spanish land grants conferred in
California, and site of the beautiful apple orchards whose
flowering trees inspired its name. Today, Bellflower Boulevard is
the focus of the city's identity as a thoroughfare devoted to major
retail and service businesses; "reworking the Boulevard" has become
a recurrent theme in the city's history. Playing a role of great
importance to Bellflower's legacy, civic organizations have
undertaken many projects and functions that normally would be the
responsibility of government.
Incorporated in 1957, the City of
Paramount has recently taken significant steps to
improve its housing and livability. The Pocket Parks Program,
preserving and increasing public park space, is an innovative
approach that Paramount has taken to improve the quality of life
for its residents. Paramount also boasts the holiday train. In the
week preceding Christmas, Santa and his helpers chug along the
streets of Paramount distributing candy canes and apples to
thousands of children.
Long Beach hosts thousands of
visitors to Toyota Grand Prix road race and to the Queen Mary, a
retired luxury cruise liner now serving as an historic hotel and
attraction. Long Beach also boasts the Ranchos Los Cerritos
Historic Site, a 4.7-acre site of an 1844 Monterey-Colonial adobe
house and historic gardens, and the Rancho Los Alamitos Historic
Ranch, with its beautiful gardens, regional historic and
educational facilities and extraordinary views of the mountains and
the sea. Since 1970, the Port of Long Beach has been the location
of a combination container and automobile terminal. The port has
received awards for its environmental protection programs and its
efforts to expand and facilitate exports.
Combining the charm of yesteryear with the
environmental consciousness of today, the City of
Pedro introduced the San Pedro Electric Trolley in
December 1999. San Pedro also holds the International Lobster
Festival, famous for its delicious crustacean, its dog costume
parade and its cioppino cookoff. Ranked second only to New York in
foreign exports, the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro has become
the West Coast's busiest seaport.
Site of the original -- and still operating --
McDonald's "hamburger stand,"
outstanding educational and recreational services to the community:
the Downey Public Library; the Rio Hondo Golf Course, one of the
nation's premier municipal golf courses; and Wilderness and Apollo
Parks. Downey is also the site of the internationally recognized
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, which provides a
full spectrum of rehabilitative services.
Lakewood, incorporated in 1954, was
a model of local government innovation for city-county
partnerships. Lakewood contracted with Los Angeles County to
provide police and street maintenance services, and with other
public agencies and private companies to provide new services more
efficiently and at a lower cost. Lakewood's "contract plan" for
local government was soon copied in a wave of incorporation
movements in Los Angeles County and throughout the state.
Lakewood's oldest community event, the Pan American Festival, begun
in 1946 is, along with Washington, D.C.'s, the only regular
celebration of the peoples and cultures of Latin America.
The project is documented with a 14-page written
report and 8 x 10 photos depicting scenes from each city.
Originally submitted by: Stephen Horn, Representative (38th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.