Los Angeles was founded by Spanish explorer Juan Crespí on September 4, 1781 as an outpost pueblo of Mission San Gabriel [founded in 1771 by Father Junipero Serra. The small town received the name El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles sobre el Río Porciúncula, Spanish for "The Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels on the Porciuncula River."
Los Angeles was incorporated as an American city on April 4, 1850.
Some of the residents resisted the new Anglo powers by resorting to social banditry against the gringos. In 1856, Juan Flores threatened Southern California with a full-scale revolt. He was hanged in Los Angeles in front of 3,000 spectators. Tiburcio Vasquez, a legend in his own time among the Mexican-born population for his daring feats against the Anglos, was captured in what is believed to be present-day West Hollywood. The bandit was found guilty of two counts of murder by a San Jose jury in 1874, and was hanged there in 1875. The TV series\ movies, Zorro was taken from the life of Vasquez.