El Segundo, California is a small city in Los Angeles County that holds a rich history. Founded in 1917, El Segundo has seen a lot of action over the years, including some significant historical events that have unfolded in and around the city. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near El Segundo, CA:
1. Manhattan Beach Oil Refinery Fire (1929): Located just south of El Segundo, the Standard Oil Refinery in Manhattan Beach suffered a massive explosion and fire in 1929. The blast was so powerful that it knocked people off their feet several miles away. The fire sent smoke and fiery debris high into the sky and burned for two days, killing ten people and injuring over 150. It remains one of the deadliest refinery fires in U.S. history.
2. Battle of El Segundo (1942): In February 1942, during World War II, a Japanese submarine shelled the coastal oil fields near El Segundo, causing minor damage. This event came to be known as the Battle of El Segundo and was one of several submarine attacks along the California coast during the war.
3. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1944): The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was founded in 1944 and is located near El Segundo. It was originally part of the California Institute of Technology and became NASA’s center for robotic space missions in the 1950s. JPL has developed some of the most advanced spaceflight technology in history, including the Mars rovers and the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft.
4. Aerospace Industry Growth (1950s – 1960s): During the 1950s and 1960s, the aerospace industry boomed in Southern California, and El Segundo became a hub for business. Major aerospace companies like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon all have significant operations there, designing and manufacturing aircraft, spacecraft, weapons systems, and more.
5. Rodney King Beating (1991): On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was beaten by LAPD officers after a high-speed chase that ended in Lake View Terrace, about 20 miles north of El Segundo. The incident was caught on video and sparked widespread outrage, leading to riots in Los Angeles and across the country. The four officers involved were charged with excessive force and cleared of all charges, leading to further unrest and civil unrest.
6. OJ Simpson Chase (1994): On June 17, 1994, former football player OJ Simpson led police on a high-speed chase in a white Ford Bronco through the streets of Los Angeles. The chase ended at Simpson’s home in Brentwood, but the incident began in El Segundo, where Simpson’s friend Al Cowlings picked him up in the Bronco after Simpson was scheduled to turn himself in for charges related to the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
7. World War II Hangar Fire (2018): In May 2018, a massive fire broke out in a historic World War II-era hangar at the former site of the Douglas Aircraft Company near El Segundo. The hangar, which had been used for aircraft production during the war, was vacant at the time of the fire, which was so intense that it could be seen from miles away. Fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze.
In conclusion, El Segundo, California, and its surrounding areas have seen significant historical events that shape the world we live in today. From major disasters to aerospace technology advancements, the city is rich in history, and its surroundings continue to have an impact on global events.
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